Police officers and firefighters are eligible to participate in the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund (OP&F). The fund covers retirement and permanent disability for members in the same way that Social Security does for most other Ohio residents. It was created by the General Assembly in 1965, joining other benefits programs specifically for state employees and public educators such as the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS), the School Employees Retirement System (SERS), and the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS).
Like those other programs for public sector workers, the OP&F is “designed to provide reasonable income to plan participants and their beneficiaries when they need it most, be it when they stop working, become disabled or in the event of death before or after retirement.”
Disability attorneys with Agee Clymer work to make the OP&F live up to that mission statement on behalf of police officers and firefighters who see their public safety career cut short by an injury or illness.
To apply, you must
A further basic rule for OP&F disability eligibility applies to individuals who participate in the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or DROP. If found disabled, you must choose either to accept the disability benefits and forfeit your DROP accruals or decline the disability benefits and continue participating in DROP.
Last, once the OP&F receives a complete application, it schedules an in-person assessment for the applicant. A medical examiner chosen by the program conducts the assessment, which consists of a series of questions and physical tests described in the AMA’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
The OP&F rejects a significant percentage of applications for disability benefits. Our Columbus-based attorneys welcome opportunities to advocate for disabled police officers and firefighters who must appeal a denial of benefits.
We also offer free consultations to individuals who are preparing their initial applications. No matter which Ohio city or county you call home, you can schedule an appointment online or reach out to us by phone at (614) 221-3318.
Stopping a career before expecting to do so can be difficult and emotionally trying. At Agee Clymer, we are here to help OP&F members make that decision and transition with minimal difficulty.