5505.18 Disability retirement.

As used in this section, "member" does not include state highway patrol cadets attending training schools pursuant to section 5503.05 of the Revised Code.

(A) Upon the application of a member of the state highway patrol retirement system, a person acting on behalf of a member, or the superintendent of the state highway patrol on behalf of a member, a member who becomes totally and permanently incapacitated for duty in the employ of the state highway patrol may be retired by the board.

The medical or psychological examination of a member who has applied for disability retirement shall be conducted by a competent health-care professional or professionals appointed by the board. The health-care professional or professionals shall file a written report with the board containing the following information:

(1) Whether the member is totally incapacitated for duty in the employ of the patrol;

(2) Whether the incapacity is expected to be permanent;

(3) The cause of the member's incapacity.

The board shall determine whether the member qualifies for disability retirement and its decision shall be final. The board shall consider the written medical or psychological report, opinions, statements, and other competent evidence in making its determination. If the incapacity is a result of heart disease or any cardiovascular disease of a chronic nature, which disease or any evidence of which was not revealed by the physical examination passed by the member on entry into the patrol, the member is presumed to have incurred the disease in the line of duty as a member of the patrol, unless the contrary is shown by competent evidence.

(B)

(1) Except as provided under division (A) of section 5505.58 of the Revised Code, a member whose retirement on account of disability incurred in the line of duty shall receive the applicable pension provided for in section 5505.17 of the Revised Code, except that if the member has less than twenty-five years of contributing service, the member's service credit shall be deemed to be twenty-five years for the purpose of this provision. In no case shall the member's disability pension be less than sixty-one and one-quarter per cent or exceed the lesser of seventy-nine and one-quarter per cent of the member's final average salary or the limit established by section 415 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 415 , as amended.

(2) Except as provided under division (B) of section 5505.58 of the Revised Code, a member whose retirement on account of disability incurred not in the line of duty shall receive the applicable pension provided for in section 5505.17 of the Revised Code, except that if the member has less than twenty years of contributing service, the member's service credit shall be deemed to be twenty years for the purpose of this provision. In no case shall the member's disability pension exceed the lesser of seventy-nine and one-quarter per cent of the member's final average salary or the limit established by section 415 of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C.A. 415 , as amended.

(C) The state highway patrol retirement board shall adopt rules requiring a disability pension recipient, as a condition of continuing to receive a disability pension, to agree in writing to obtain any medical or psychological treatment recommended by the board's health-care professional and submit medical or psychological reports regarding the treatment. If the board determines that a disability pension recipient is not obtaining the medical or psychological treatment or the board does not receive a required medical or psychological report, the disability pension shall be suspended until the treatment is obtained, the report is received by the board, or the board's health-care professional certifies that the treatment is no longer helpful or advisable. Should the recipient's failure to obtain treatment or submit a medical or psychological report continue for one year, the recipient's right to the disability benefit shall be terminated as of the effective date of the original suspension.

(D) A member placed on a disability pension who has not attained the age of sixty years shall be subject to an annual medical or psychological re-examination by health-care professionals appointed by the board, except that the board may waive the re-examination if the board's health-care professionals certify that the member's disability is ongoing. If any member placed on a disability pension refuses to submit to a medical or psychological re-examination, the member's disability pension shall be suspended until the member withdraws the refusal. If the refusal continues for one year, all the member's rights under and to the disability pension shall be terminated as of the effective date of the original suspension.

(E) Each recipient of a disability pension who has not attained the age of sixty years shall file with the board an annual statement of earnings, current medical or psychological information on the recipient's condition, and any other information required in rules adopted by the board. The board may waive the requirement that a disability benefit recipient file an annual statement of earnings or current medical or psychological information if the board's health-care professional certifies that the recipient's disability is ongoing.

The board shall annually examine the information submitted by the recipient. If a recipient refuses to file the statement or information, the disability pension shall be suspended until the statement and information are filed. If the refusal continues for one year, the right to the pension shall be terminated as of the effective date of the original suspension.

(F)

(1) Except as provided in division (F)(2) of this section, a retirant who has been on disability pension, and who has been physically or psychologically examined and found no longer incapable of performing the retirant's duties, shall be restored to the rank the retirant held at the time the retirant was pensioned and all previous rights shall be restored, including the retirant's civil service status, and the disability pension shall terminate. Upon return to employment in the patrol, the retirant shall again become a contributing member of the retirement system, the total service at the time of the retirant's retirement shall be restored to the retirant's credit, and the retirant shall be given service credit for the period the retirant was in receipt of a disability pension. The provisions of division (F)(1) of this section shall be retroactive to September 5, 1941.

(2) The state highway patrol is not required to take action under division (F)(1) of this section if the retirant was dismissed or resigned in lieu of dismissal for dishonesty, misfeasance, malfeasance, or conviction of a felony.

(G) The board may adopt rules to carry out this section, including rules that specify the types of health-care professionals the board may appoint for the purpose of this section.

Effective Date: 03-24-2003; 06-15-2006