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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Newtown Police Officer Eligible For Disability Pay

Are Psychological Ailments Considered A Disability?

 

A police officer began to suffer from anxiety and depression after responding to the 2012 Newtown shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school.  The officer has been on disability due to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and has not worked since the day of the shootings when twenty children and six educators were killed.  

Newton’s police chief originally suggested firing the officer because he is unable to return to work.  The chief later withdrew that statement, but brings to light the negative connotation those on disability face when they are unable to return to work because of an injury.  This officer was one of many who responded to a horrific scene at the school that day.  The officer originally supervised the evacuation of children from the school’s side doors but later went into the classroom where many of the children were shot dead by the gunman.  The officer says the things he saw that day continue to affect his mental faculties and ability to adequately perform his job.   

The officer testified in front of Connecticut lawmakers during a General Assembly’s debate on granting worker’s compensation and disability payments to first responders suffering from PTSD.  The town’s insurance company is responsible for paying 50% of the officer’s salary through June.  The State Board of Mediation and Arbitration ruled the officer’s contract with Newtown requires the town pay the officer half of his salary until retirement.    

A first responder’s job often involves witnessing horrific accidents and crime scenes..  New York provides short and long-term disability when people become physically or mentally ill. But, filing for and successfully claiming disability can be tricky and tedious.  The lawyers at Seelig Law Offices have years of experience helping people claim disability benefits and getting a maximum payment while the individual is unable to work. Contact our experienced New York City disability lawyers today at (212) 766-0600 for a consultation.      


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