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  #1  
Old 01-10-2022, 11:23 PM
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Default Medically retired guys. Got some questions.

So, unfortunately I'm medically retiring. I've got some questions about future job possibilities for you guys that have medically retired. What have you guys moved on to do? From my understanding so long as the job description isn't the same you should be good to go? If so I'm considering a DAI office. I don't know many medically retired guys so I'd love if some of you could chime in, or take it to PM's if ya prefer. I'll give some background...I'm almost 10 years in at a very busy agency. I've worked custody/patrol/training/SWAT/gang detective. I've got a good resume, and a good reputation... Just trying to plan the future.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2022, 7:48 AM
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From what I was told by a CalPERS rep when I went out with my knee, they use job classification with a CalPERS agency. County plans may be different.

Things may have changed since then, but I would check with them or whoever your retirement plan is with. DA's investigators are peace officers, under 830.1 it would be the same classification.
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Old 01-11-2022, 8:18 AM
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Originally Posted by P5Ret View Post
From what I was told by a CalPERS rep when I went out with my knee, they use job classification with a CalPERS agency. County plans may be different.

Things may have changed since then, but I would check with them or whoever your retirement plan is with. DA's investigators are peace officers, under 830.1 it would be the same classification.
Gotcha. We are under our own retirement system, not PERS. I've heard so many different things. I only know of one guy from our agency that medically retired and stayed in the business, he is now a chief in another state. From what I understood so far was that the job description just had to not contradict your "permanent" disabilities. I'm being forced into retirement with my agency. I'd imagine that imitation would have no juice if I forgo the retirement and just went to another agency?
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Old 01-11-2022, 9:04 AM
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I have a buddy who medically retired from a CalPERS police department. He then went to the county DA's office, who are on a different retirement system and he's been an investigator there for years. Not sure how it would work if you try to go to a DA's office if they are under CalPERS.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2022, 9:30 AM
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Default Different Retirement System is Key

Sounds like OP has the "not PERS" part covered. Retiring (medical or not) from one PERS agency and working more than the PERS-allowed maximums at another, is looked upon as "double-dipping" and they go after you, and not the agency. (Same with other retirement agencies, but PERS covers so many employers it is easier to slip up).

Couple cases in the news lately where the person was even employed by a third party firm, but performing tasks for a PERS agency as a contractor.

Didn't end well.
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  #6  
Old 01-11-2022, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 1911-CV View Post
Sounds like OP has the "not PERS" part covered. Retiring (medical or not) from one PERS agency and working more than the PERS-allowed maximums at another, is looked upon as "double-dipping" and they go after you, and not the agency. (Same with other retirement agencies, but PERS covers so many employers it is easier to slip up).

Couple cases in the news lately where the person was even employed by a third party firm, but performing tasks for a PERS agency as a contractor.

Didn't end well.

At this point Iím just trying to navigate this crap, Iíve heard guys say itís a no no Iíve heard guys say itís ok if the job is basically a desk job (depending on permanent restrictions). The DA agencies Iím potentially looking into job descriptions are pretty clear and not conflicting. I didnít chose to be medically retired, Iíve been forced into it. I was told me QME is legally binding and the office canít accommodate me. I was clear as well as the doc that given time I could return, county decided it wasnít worth the risk ďrisk managementĒ atleast. Iím curious if this could all be circumvented by forgoing the actual retirement and a lateral to another agency? Nothing to come after if Iím not taking their medical pension. Iíve been told by many itís a blessing in disguiseÖ but Iíve always liked my gig. Some days Iím ok with it, some days Iím not.
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Old 01-11-2022, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by ChrisO View Post
At this point I’m just trying to navigate this crap, I’ve heard guys say it’s a no no I’ve heard guys say it’s ok if the job is basically a desk job (depending on permanent restrictions). The DA agencies I’m potentially looking into job descriptions are pretty clear and not conflicting. I didn’t chose to be medically retired, I’ve been forced into it. I was told me QME is legally binding and the office can’t accommodate me. I was clear as well as the doc that given time I could return, county decided it wasn’t worth the risk “risk management” atleast. I’m curious if this could all be circumvented by forgoing the actual retirement and a lateral to another agency? Nothing to come after if I’m not taking their medical pension. I’ve been told by many it’s a blessing in disguise… but I’ve always liked my gig. Some days I’m ok with it, some days I’m not.
The laws here are really complex and it's worth conferring with a well qualified lawyer. If you're in Southern California, Lewis, Marenstein, Wicke, Sherwin and Lee is probably the best firm to meet with.

You can certainly work after a disability retirement, but you need to ensure that the nature of the work is consistent with your medical restrictions. Additionally, one component of the medical retirement compensation program is for you to receive occupational retraining, don't let that one pass by just because you're old. I've read of one medical retiree who got his employer to pick up his law school tab as "retraining."

I would not be too optimistic about taking a service retirement and then looking for another LE job. Your medical issues are gonna get discovered by the new agency and will likely be a "Show-Stopper." If your conditions worsen while in their employment, they're going to be liable for the expense and they know that.
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Last edited by RickD427; 02-18-2022 at 2:56 PM..
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  #8  
Old 01-11-2022, 4:52 PM
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With your background, I wonder if you might be able to teach criminal justice at the community college. It would depend on if you are able to participate in the college's retirement plan; but, teaching online courses and classroom stuff may be do-able.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2022, 10:13 PM
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With your background, I wonder if you might be able to teach criminal justice at the community college. It would depend on if you are able to participate in the college's retirement plan; but, teaching online courses and classroom stuff may be do-able.
I know a guy that does this (part time teaching) and the community college enrolled him into CalSTRS. He is pretty happy.
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  #10  
Old 01-11-2022, 10:21 PM
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There are 2 main obstacles to post -disability retirement employment. One is you can't take a new job in the same retirement system, which sounds like it won't be an issue in your situation.

Secondly, you don't want to violate your physical restrictions, being whatever you got medically retired for.

For example, if someone retires with a back injury that prevents them from wearing a full gun belt and ballistic vest, then any job that doesn't require those things would be acceptable, which means a DA Investigator position or similar would be a good choice. It doesn't matter what the career field is. It only matters that you aren't violating your physical restrictions or disability. You can certainly take another law enforcement related position. DOJ, ABC, FBI, Secret Service, there are lots of law enforcement jobs that differ from the daily vest, belt, and uniform requirements of a patrol officer, but where it gets tricky is if the job classification you are considering requires you to be able to do that thing that you no longer could do at your original job, even if you don't actually have to do it.

Example of that is if the job classification you are retiring from requires you to be capable of traversing over a fence, and carrying an unconscious body. It doesn't matter that you never actuality do those things, your inability to meet that requirement is what causes you to get medically retired. The same principle applies to your new career. If the classification of a peace officer with ABC requires you to be able to traverse over a fence and carry an unconscious body, than you can't work in that job classification, even if the specific job you are applying for is office work only. Hopefully that all makes sense. You need to pay attention not only to the requirements of the actual job you are applying for but also the requirements for that employee classification.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2022, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BadKitty View Post
With your background, I wonder if you might be able to teach criminal justice at the community college. It would depend on if you are able to participate in the college's retirement plan; but, teaching online courses and classroom stuff may be do-able.
I've also just discovered that the people that teach criminal justice classes in college are former law enforcement officers, seems like a pretty good gig after you retire from the force.
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2022, 12:21 PM
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My brother used to work at the LA DAI office. He retired as an LT. He told me a few years ago that an officer from a So Cal agency retired with service connected disability and got the job as an investigator at his office. So, it must be okay I guess.
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  #13  
Old 01-13-2022, 10:01 PM
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My brother used to work at the LA DAI office. He retired as an LT. He told me a few years ago that an officer from a So Cal agency retired with service connected disability and got the job as an investigator at his office. So, it must be okay I guess.
From the few medically retired guys I know DAI seems to be a common transition.
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Old 01-13-2022, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 2nab View Post
There are 2 main obstacles to post -disability retirement employment. One is you can't take a new job in the same retirement system, which sounds like it won't be an issue in your situation.

Secondly, you don't want to violate your physical restrictions, being whatever you got medically retired for.

For example, if someone retires with a back injury that prevents them from wearing a full gun belt and ballistic vest, then any job that doesn't require those things would be acceptable, which means a DA Investigator position or similar would be a good choice. It doesn't matter what the career field is. It only matters that you aren't violating your physical restrictions or disability. You can certainly take another law enforcement related position. DOJ, ABC, FBI, Secret Service, there are lots of law enforcement jobs that differ from the daily vest, belt, and uniform requirements of a patrol officer, but where it gets tricky is if the job classification you are considering requires you to be able to do that thing that you no longer could do at your original job, even if you don't actually have to do it.

Example of that is if the job classification you are retiring from requires you to be capable of traversing over a fence, and carrying an unconscious body. It doesn't matter that you never actuality do those things, your inability to meet that requirement is what causes you to get medically retired. The same principle applies to your new career. If the classification of a peace officer with ABC requires you to be able to traverse over a fence and carry an unconscious body, than you can't work in that job classification, even if the specific job you are applying for is office work only. Hopefully that all makes sense. You need to pay attention not only to the requirements of the actual job you are applying for but also the requirements for that employee classification.

Great info, very helpful. Thank you for the insight.
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Old 01-14-2022, 1:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 1911-CV View Post
Sounds like OP has the "not PERS" part covered. Retiring (medical or not) from one PERS agency and working more than the PERS-allowed maximums at another, is looked upon as "double-dipping" and they go after you, and not the agency. (Same with other retirement agencies, but PERS covers so many employers it is easier to slip up).

Couple cases in the news lately where the person was even employed by a third party firm, but performing tasks for a PERS agency as a contractor.

Didn't end well.
^ This OP.

OP, before you are actually med retired get the very best settlement you can and that means no going with a union rep or trying to go alone yourself. Once you are med retired there is no getting another bite at the apple, what you get is all there is.

The difference between the best settlement you can get and some half-assed settlement is the difference between not having to worry about what you do and then doing something for enjoyment and sweating out the remainder beating down some job because you have no other choice.

The $ it will cost for the very best representation will pay for itself really fast. If you just go along with some formula you can get shafted.

I have seen enough go through the med retirement process to know what seems to be just some fill in the blanks formula is anything but that, don't let it happen to you.

Then, after your best settlement you could find yourself wanting to do something completely different. You could get into consulting for example, organizations are beating bushes to find good people and the money being thrown at emergency, security and safety consulting contracts is absolutely insane. Instead of punching another clock and dealing with government type service again you could end up in a cush job but still involved in the LE aspects but not tied to a restrictive schedule with longer hours and so on.

A nice gig can easily put $20+K in your pocket for a 2 week stint. Once you get in the door fly wide open. It depends on your skill set.

You have the opportunity right not to set the trajectory for the remainder of your years, don't go the cheap easy route and think just working another job is some answer to retirement.

One thing to insist upon is a right of return if the reason for the med retirement changes. Things can happen and you didn't specify the "why" but what I'm saying is to pay attention to that issue. The right of return if something changes is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay and benefits because depending on your age you could find out that getting back in just for a couple years at some point and then retiring again radically changes the retirement pay calculation by using the then current salary.

Another thing. Whatever you do, if your med retirement is calculated in part upon salary and time in service don't lump sum out on your vacation or sick leave IF burning the time at a rate to meet minimum hours per month will increase the service time factor. A lump sum can seem great but you will lose your rear end doing it. Its a lot of "ifs" but that is why you need the best rep you can get and that is an attorney and not some union rep.
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Last edited by SharedShots; 01-14-2022 at 2:05 PM..
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  #16  
Old 01-14-2022, 3:14 PM
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I got medically retired in November 2020, several knee surgeries, knee replacement in my future, trashed right shoulder and back. Still haven’t settled, but I’ve been getting paid by PERS. The AME and attorneys finally met yesterday. We will see how much longer it takes. I sat around for a couple months then started going stir crazy, started working at a gun shop to get me out of the house. Left Ca for Idaho in December. My best advice is confer with your attorney before accepting any job, just to save you a headache.
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Old 02-18-2022, 2:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisO View Post
So, unfortunately I'm medically retiring. I've got some questions about future job possibilities for you guys that have medically retired. What have you guys moved on to do? From my understanding so long as the job description isn't the same you should be good to go? If so I'm considering a DAI office. I don't know many medically retired guys so I'd love if some of you could chime in, or take it to PM's if ya prefer. I'll give some background...I'm almost 10 years in at a very busy agency. I've worked custody/patrol/training/SWAT/gang detective. I've got a good resume, and a good reputation... Just trying to plan the future.

https://www.calpers.ca.gov/docs/form...retirement.pdf

If you worked for CalPers, this guide is useful. They also have a unit that evaluates post employment if you reach out. Some retirees have misstepped, and had to pay back large amount of funds for taking a temporary job with Calpers based employers. With a disability retirement there are additional steps outlined.

Congrats on your retirement.
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Old 03-27-2022, 7:40 PM
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Default FEDERAL TAX EXEMPTION

Check out if you do not have to pay federal taxes. The exemption does NOT fit everyone's situation.

If you are exempt from fed taxation, then state taxes are off the table also. Get the facts from a solid tax attorney. DO NOT RELY ON B. S.

Usually, if you were already qualified for some form of a retirement pension, got injured on the job, and were required to medically retire, then you are probably exempt from taxes.

Again, this is clearly stated the federal tax laws, but you must qualify.

If you do qualify it would save you some serious $$$$ over the years. Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2022, 10:08 PM
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Wishing you the very best resolution as you navigate your options. Same goes for any active coppers who suit up every day despite internal and external injuries. Lord only knows how long LE can sustain the present complications. Certainly we are bound to see more medical leaves. And one of the best things we can do is support those who separate.

For medical retirement, here are a couple of things for OP to consider. Your present career has EWFs. Essential Work Functions. If you cannot perform at least one of them due to work related injury, you may retire. Use caution to review the EWFs of your new retirement job to make sure you arenít expected to perform the same function(s) that caused you to retire. ( Or your new employer is willing to accept your disability for that function) Remember that the walls have eyes should you take on new work that involves activity that you retired from as being no longer able to to. Hence teaching/ training is so popular post retirement.

Next is to ensure your new employer represents a system other than the one you retired from, or youíre willing to suspend your retirement benefits in exchange for a salary. (Rather unlikely for someone unless youíre looking to boost your service credits) (Generally, double dipping is preferable to most)
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Old 04-04-2022, 10:21 PM
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Other super important factors for injured personnel to consider is- Who to choose for a primary care physician. Generally, I would be fine with the contract medical care your agency uses for most ďminorĒ injuries. However, if truly facing a potential career ending medical condition or debilitating mental health/ emotional work related crisis, I strongly recommend a physician who specializes in workerís compensation. You can still see any surgeon, therapist, or other provider your primary recommends, but you have a specialist who is intimately involved with articulating if youíre Permanently Precluded or Permanent and Stationary and unable to perform your cop job.

Your primary medical provider who is a work comp specialist will also be acutely aware of the timelines that come up quicker than one may realize. This can be key when you need to retain an attorney and are dealing with a QME, AME, Utilization Review for reasonable treatment and when it comes time to separate. Youíre then looking at potential monetary settlement, and acceptance of medical retirement.
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