PLEA PROVIDES WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LEGAL PROTECTION
by Mike Napier, PLEA Attorney
Joe Clure, treasurer of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, and Levi Bolton, while still a trustee, recognized, several years ago, a need for workers’ compensation representation in limited circumstances. Time after time, officers were being turned down by the City’s administrator for workers’ compensation benefits despite a need for those benefits. As a result of the repeated denial of benefits, trustees Clure and Bolton began to examine the means by which such coverage or representation could be provided to PLEA members in order to challenge the denial of benefits. Over a period of years, Joe and Levi worked to provide this representation and, effective May 1, 2009, such representation will be available to PLEA members as part of a pilot program through the PORAC Legal Defense Fund, the same insurer that provides legal representation to our officers in use-of-force incidents.
Data was gathered, statistics analyzed, and after several meetings with the Legal Defense Fund Board of Trustees, in California and Arizona, the Legal Defense Fund is now offering this representation to PLEA for its members.
Essentially, legal representation in workers’ compensation proceedings will be provided to PLEA members when representation is not available on a contingency fee basis, there is no claim for wage loss involved, and the purpose of the representation is to obtain active or supportive medical care benefits in circumstances involving denied claims, closed claims, re-opened claims, permanent impairment and supportive care.
With this coverage, members will be able to afford to challenge the denial of benefits without incurring attorneys’ fees. Previously, anyone denied benefits in situations that did not involve a contingency fee, would have had to hire a lawyer in order to obtain the necessary medical care. With this coverage, members will not be required to pay attorneys’ fees in order to obtain medical care. If you qualify, your Association will provide you an attorney to challenge the denial of benefits at no cost to you. If you feel you need this coverage, please call PLEA to initiate your request for assistance.
The cost of this benefit is $2.00 per member per month. Although this benefit is effective May 1, 2009, PLEA will cover the cost through the end of this fiscal year (9-1-09) after which membership dues will be adjusted to include the industrial/workers compensation legal coverage.
Please consider this another example of our continuous efforts to bring to you the very best of service and unmatched legal representation.