DeAngelo Bill to Clarify Accidental Disability Benefits for NJ State Soldiers Passes Assembly
(TRENTON) – To ensure that all members of the New Jersey State Police retirement system receive the retirement benefits they deserve, Assembly Member Wayne DeAngelo is sponsoring legislation to clarify the eligibility conditions of state soldiers for accidental disability pension benefits. The legislation was passed unanimously by the plenary assembly on Monday.
Currently, some State Troopers who suffered from pre-existing asymptomatic conditions that became symptomatic after a traumatic event at work are denied accidental disability pension benefits even though they were permanently or totally disabled in the performance of their regular duties or assigned. Under the bill (A-5442 / S-3529), state soldiers who meet the criteria would be fully entitled to receive accidental disability retirement benefits and a 10-year retrospective period would be created for those who have been denied benefits previously.
After the bill was approved by the Assembly, Assembly Member DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex) issued the following statement:
“We cannot continue to allow soldiers in the state of New Jersey to be denied the disability benefits they are entitled to. It doesn’t matter whether a soldier has a pre-existing condition when, prior to a traumatic event on the job, that condition had little impact on his life.
“State soldiers rely on the state police retirement system to support themselves and their families when they are ready to retire or can no longer work. This bill clarifies existing law to ensure that all of our state soldiers and their families are cared for in these circumstances, regardless of their pre-existing conditions. ”
After being passed by the full Senate, the bill now goes to the governor.
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