STATEHOUSE (June 29, 2017) — Gov. Eric Holcomb today ceremonially signed into law legislation authored by State Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) increasing the disability benefits for municipal police officers and firefighters who are catastrophically and permanently injured in the line of duty.
House Enrolled Act 1617 expands the 1977 Police Officers’ and Firefighters Pension and Disability Fund to include benefits for police and firefighters who were grievously injured in the line of duty and can no longer work. Individuals who qualify will receive a monthly salary equal to that of a first class patrolman or firefighter. It also qualifies a spouse or child of an injured and permanently disabled officer or firefighter for free tuition and fees at a state college, university or technical school.
“It is devastating when an officer is killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty,” Speedy said. “While the community immediately rallies around the officer and their family, more ongoing help is often necessary as these public servants grapple with costly, lifelong injuries. There are currently only significant benefits for the families of local law enforcement officers and firefighters who are killed in the line of duty, this law extends this benefit to those officers and firefighters who were devastatingly injured in the line of duty.”
According to Speedy, this law works to bridge the gap for a severely crippled officer to help their family pay for expenses stemming from their injury as well as other expenditures that would have been paid by their regular salary, such as college tuition for a dependent.
Under this law, a catastrophic physical injury is defined as an impairment or disability of 67 percent, which permanently prevents the individual from maintaining gainful employment. All qualified police and firefighters who suffered a catastrophic physical personal injury after July 1, 2008, will be eligible for this new disability compensation.
Rep. Mike Speedy represents House District 90, serving portions of Marion County.
A high-resolution photo of Speedy can be found here.
Photo Caption: Gov. Eric Holcomb signs a bill into law at the Statehouse on Thursday, June 29, 2017, authored by State Rep. Mike Speedy (R-Indianapolis) increasing disability benefits for public safety officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.