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New FDNY Recruits Face Diminished Disability Pay

New FDNY Recruits Face Diminished Disability Pay

As a New York City Firefighter, am I entitled to a disability pension if I am injured on the job?

The New York City Administrative Code recognizes that firefighting in New York City is highly dangerous by including a lifetime disability pension set at 75 percent of a firefighter’s final average salary. In a city with some of the country’s highest living expenses, this protection against financial crisis following an on-the-job injury is crucial to a firefighter’s pre- and post-accident well-being.

Unfortunately, new hires do not enjoy the disability pension benefits enjoyed by veteran/Tier 2 firefighters. According to a union representing firefighters, the reduced benefits amount to only $27 per day. These newly-hired firefighters were recruited to add diversity to the department, and there are many African-American, Hispanic and female new hires. Now, the union claims the disability policy is discriminatory.

The most recent tier of reduced pension benefits came about following a veto to extend tier 2 benefits by former Governor Paterson. At that time, finances precluded extending the status quo of pension benefits to firefighters and some other municipal and state employees. The ensuing cost cutting measures include these reduced pension costs.

Mayor de Blasio’s office cited fiscal concerns, stating that it would cost $40 million to provide every firefighter a 75 percent disability pension. That is precisely what UFA President Steve Cassidy is advocating for his members. Hundreds of firefighters protested recently at City Hall demanding that the pension law be rewritten.

The attorneys at Seelig Law Offices have the knowledge and experience needed to help you with any disability case. We regularly assist FDNY members who were injured on the job, as well as handle other uniform civil service and non-uniform civil service disability claims. Contact us today at (212)766-0600 for a consultation.

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