In an effort to ensure that all members of the New Jersey State Police Retirement System receive the retirement benefits they deserve, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo sponsors legislation to clarify State Trooper eligibility requirements for accidental disability retirement benefits. The legislation unanimously passed the full Assembly on Monday.
Currently, some State Troopers who had asymptomatic preexisting conditions that became symptomatic after a traumatic event at work are being denied accidental disability retirement benefits even though they were permanently or totally disabled while carrying out their regular or assigned duties. Under the bill (A-5442/S-3529), State Troopers who fit the criteria would be fully entitled to collect accidental disability retirement benefits and a 10-year lookback period would be created for those who were previously denied benefits.
Upon Assembly approval of the bill, Assemblyman DeAngelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex) issued the following statement:
“We cannot continue allowing New Jersey’s State Troopers to be denied the disability benefits they are owed. It should not matter whether a Trooper has a preexisting condition when, prior to a traumatic event at work, that condition had little impact on their life.
“State Troopers count on the State Police Retirement System to provide for them and their families when they are ready for retirement or can no longer work. This bill clarifies existing law to ensure that all of our State Troopers and their families are taken care of in these circumstances regardless of their preexisting conditions.”
Having previously passed the full Senate, the bill now heads to the Governor.