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New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association, Inc.

NYSCOPBA represents over 26,000 New York State employees and retirees from the Security Services Unit. Our Union was formed in May 1998 and since that time has provided superior representation to our membership under the independent and democratic model. Our Mission continued...

Heart Bill Questions & Answers

Q: What is the Heart Bill?

A: On December 29, 1999, Governor Pataki signed into law a Heart bill for State Correctional Officers and Security Hospital Treatment Assistants. The law, which amended Sections 63-a, 507-b and 607-a of the Retirement and Social Security Law, provides:

Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or any general or special law to the contrary, any condition of impairment of health caused by diseases of the heart, resulting in disability or death to a member covered by this section, presently employed and who shall have sustained such disability while so employed, who successfully passed a physical examination on entry into service as a correctional officer or security hospital treatment assistant, which examination failed to disclose evidence of any diseases or other impairment of the heart, shall be presumptive evidence that it was incurred in the performance and discharge of duty, unless the contrary be proved by competent evidence.

Q: When does the Heart Bill take effect?

A: The law took effect on December 29, 1999 when Governor Pataki signed the bill into law.

Q: How do I apply for a disability retirement?

A: The New York State Retirement System has advised us that the Chapter 722 application should be used at this time.

Q: What am I entitled to if I am approved for a Heart Bill disability retirement?

A: The disability retirement allowance is three-quarters (3/4) or seventy-five (75%) percent of a disabled member’s final average salary.

Q: If I had a heart attack prior to the passage of this law and am currently employed as a Correctional Officer, Sergeant or SHTA, am I eligible for this benefit?

A. The fact that you had a previous heart attack does not affect your eligibility. You can still apply for the benefit. However, just because you have a heart condition does not automatically entitle you to a disability retirement. Your heart condition must render you permanently incapacitated from performing the full and strenuous duties of your position. Therefore, if you are currently working your condition most probably will not be considered as rendering you permanently incapacitated. However, if you are not able to go to work and have a heart condition, you should apply for a disability retirement.

Q. If I am retired can I now apply for this benefit?

A. No. The law is clear that you must be “presently employed” to be eligible for this benefit.

Q: What should I do if I have any further questions?

A: You should contact the New York State Retirement System at (518) 474-7736; or contact Gary Dommermuth at (518) 427-1551 x257.

102 Hackett Blvd., Albany, NY 12209   518.427.1551 | 888.484.7279  Fax: (518) 426-1635