Section 36-21-71

Disability benefits.

Any member who becomes totally or permanently disabled as a result of a heart attack or any injury received in the line of duty as a peace officer not as a result of his misconduct and who makes proper application to the board on a form to be supplied by the board and submits evidence satisfactory to the board of such total or permanent disability and the circumstances giving rise to its occurrence shall be entitled to be paid benefits. The board shall have the right to require that any applicant for benefits under this section be examined by one or more physicians on behalf of the board and at its expense. Failure of any such applicant to subject himself to such examination shall be sufficient grounds for the board to deny payment of benefits under this section. Any benefit paid under this section shall be paid for a period of not longer than 24 calendar months as follows:

(1) Seventy-two dollars per calendar month if his qualified service is not more than 35 months;

(2) One hundred eight dollars per calendar month if his qualified service is at least 36 months and not more than 47 months;

(3) One hundred forty-four dollars per calendar month if his qualified service is at least 48 months and not more than 59 months; and

(4) One hundred eighty dollars per calendar month if his qualified service is 60 months or more.

Any member disabled as defined in this section for a period of more than 24 calendar months shall be eligible for retirement benefits under this article if he meets the requirements of Section 36-21-70.

The account of any member not meeting the requirements of Section 36-21-70, who does not return to work after having drawn disability benefits for 24 consecutive months shall be placed in an inactive status, not to exceed 36 months, with no further benefits or privileges. If said member returns to law enforcement as a full-time sworn peace officer with the powers of arrest within the 36 months, and pays the dues required, he will have restored all creditable service prior to date of disability. If said member does not return to law enforcement within the 36 months, his account will be closed with no further rights or benefits.

Any member whose account is so closed who later applies for membership in the fund shall lose credit for all of his qualified service up to the time his account is closed and, upon approval of his new application, will become a new member in the fund.

(Acts 1969, No. 999, p. 1855, §11; Acts 1971, No. 1210, p. 2104, §11; Acts 1975, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 62, p. 188, §1; Acts 1988, No. 88-649, p. 1034, §1.)