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Mental disability not enough for Maryland officer's retirement

When you're hurt at work in Maryland, you expect to receive compensation so that you can take the time you need to get better. In this case, a deputy who suffered a workplace injury wants to be allowed to work again, so he can retire can collect his retirement benefits. He claims that he has not returned to work due to post-traumatic stress disorder related to a fatal shooting on the job, which has caused his mental on the job injury. Post-traumatic stress injuries are not commonly accepted as an injury in many states, although this is now changing.

The April 4 news talks about an interesting point reflecting that mental pain should also be considered an injury. According to the story, the deputy claims he was fired during his recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder after he had to shoot and kill a man. Now, he wants to get his job back. If he is re-employed, he will be able to complete his treatment until he reaches his highest level of medical improvement. Once he reaches that level of recovery, the doctor can decide if he can return to duty. This path to returning to work would also open up doors to medical disability retirement.

The man had previously returned to work following the shooting of a man two years ago. However, after returning to work, he reported that his police dog bit him, and he asked for time off due to a stomach condition. After that, he won a compensation award of fourth months worth of wages and medical expenses. Because the man has now moved on to opening his own trophy and awards shop, it's argued that he doesn't have the total and permanent disability required to seek a medical disability retirement.

The officer was allowed to take a full year to recover, according to the story, but he claims it wasn't enough time to allow him to recover from killing someone. The time it takes a person to heal may vary, and it poses the question whether a time limit should -- or can -- be placed on the healing process. It may be worth the legal battle for this deputy to continue his fight for regaining employment or possibly collecting an early medical retirement. He is a younger individual

Source:  SoMdNews, "Fired St. Mary's deputy wants job back, then to retire" John Wharton, Apr. 04, 2014

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