It is no secret that law enforcement officers and firefighters are often in hazardous situations. This is one of the reasons the services they provide are so important to the societies they serve. Unfortunately for these civil workers, the dangers of their jobs often take a heavy toll.
Because of the nature of their jobs, law enforcement officers and firefighters deal with situations on a regular basis that have a high potential for short and long-term physical and mental injury. Although the workers’ compensation program tries to account for these factors, it sometimes falls short. However, this may be changing soon.
Potential workers’ compensation changes
According to a recent news article, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has proposed a new budget that, if passed and enacted, will provide better benefits for law enforcement officers and firefighters. Potential changes include,
· Allowing law enforcement officers to retire after 25 years of service instead of 30
· Increased health coverage for firefighters, specifically for cancers that can develop as a result of being exposed to smoke and chemical fumes.
It is important to note that these changes have not yet taken effect and that there is no guarantee that they will. Although the vast majority of legislators believe that law enforcement officers and firefighters should be able to take advantage of health care that meets their needs, the cost of that coverage has to come from somewhere.
It has been estimated that changing the retirement time requirement for law enforcement officers alone would cost the North Carolina government around $35 million a year. This is no small amount of money, but many people believe it would be worth it.
In the meantime, however, all civil servants may have to deal with work-related injuries. When they do, they should have solid legal representation to ensure that their needs are met. If you find yourself confronted by workers’ compensation issues, it is highly recommended that you obtain the services of an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional.