July 2, 2020

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Police Officers, Firefighters, Paramedics, and Correctional Officers

firefighter using hose

Protecting the public comes at a great cost to police officers, firefighters, and other public safety personnel who are constantly exposed to increased risks and dangers on a daily basis. Because of that increased risk and exposure, Maryland law affords public safety employees enhanced workers’ compensation benefits.

Police Officers

Higher compensation Rates: Police officers are entitled to second-tier compensation rates for injuries that would ordinarily be paid out at first-tier rates. This results in sworn police officers who are injured on the job receiving approximately double the number of permanency benefits than non-public safety employees would receive for the same injury. 

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension and Heart Disease: If you are a police officer and have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or heart disease, it is presumed to be related to your employment. However, in order to have a compensable claim, you must also show disablement. It is important to be represented by an experienced attorney who understands the complexities of representing police officers for occupational disease claims such as hypertension. 

Deputy Sheriffs, Correctional Officers, and Other Law Enforcement Workers

Higher Compensation Rates: Deputy Sheriffs of Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County are entitled to second-tier permanency compensation rates. 

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension and Heart Disease: Corrections officers of Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County are covered under hypertension and heart disease presumptions but are not automatically entitled to higher compensation rates. 

Lyme Disease: Under certain conditions, the Maryland Department of National Resources law enforcement employees and park police officers diagnosed with Lyme disease are covered by the presumption that the disease is causally related to their employment.

Firefighters and Paramedics

Higher Compensation Rates: Volunteer, part-time, and full-time firefighters are entitled to second-tier compensation rates.

High Blood Pressure/Hypertension and Heart Disease: Firefighters and paramedics who develop hypertension are entitled to the presumption that the disease is related to employment. 

Lung Disease and Cancer: Firefighters face unique exposures to health hazards that are not shared by other municipal workers. If you are a career firefighter and have been diagnosed with lung disease or certain cancers including leukemia, prostate, rectal, throat, multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, brain, testicular, or breast cancer, you may have a compensable workers’ compensation claim. 

Navigating the nuances of workers’ compensation public safety claims can be difficult. When selecting an attorney, it is important to chose someone who understands and appreciates the unique challenges that public safety employees face. The Shultz Legal team is proud to represent numerous public safety workers throughout Maryland. If you have suffered a work injury or exposure, please contact us today for a free consultation.