Sec. 7-433c. Benefits for policemen or firemen disabled or dead as a result of hypertension or heart disease. (a) Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 568 or any other general statute, charter, special act or ordinance to the contrary, in the event a uniformed member of a paid municipal fire department or a regular member of a paid municipal police department who successfully passed a physical examination on entry into such service, which examination failed to reveal any evidence of hypertension or heart disease, suffers either off duty or on duty any condition or impairment of health caused by hypertension or heart disease resulting in his death or his temporary or permanent, total or partial disability, he or his dependents, as the case may be, shall receive from his municipal employer compensation and medical care in the same amount and the same manner as that provided under chapter 568 if such death or disability was caused by a personal injury which arose out of and in the course of his employment and was suffered in the line of duty and within the scope of his employment, and from the municipal or state retirement system under which he is covered, he or his dependents, as the case may be, shall receive the same retirement or survivor benefits which would be paid under said system if such death or disability was caused by a personal injury which arose out of and in the course of his employment, and was suffered in the line of duty and within the scope of his employment. If successful passage of such a physical examination was, at the time of his employment, required as a condition for such employment, no proof or record of such examination shall be required as evidence in the maintenance of a claim under this section or under such municipal or state retirement systems. The benefits provided by this section shall be in lieu of any other benefits which such policeman or fireman or his dependents may be entitled to receive from his municipal employer under the provisions of chapter 568 or the municipal or state retirement system under which he is covered, except as provided by this section, as a result of any condition or impairment of health caused by hypertension or heart disease resulting in his death or his temporary or permanent, total or partial disability. As used in this section, “municipal employer” has the same meaning as provided in section 7-467.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, those persons who began employment on or after July 1, 1996, shall not be eligible for any benefits pursuant to this section.
(1971, P.A. 524, S. 1; P.A. 77-520, S. 1, 3; P.A. 92-81, S. 1, 3; P.A. 96-230, S. 2, 3; 96-231, S. 1, 2; P.A. 14-122, S. 72.)
History: P.A. 77-520 provided that benefits under section be in lieu of others except as specified; P.A. 92-81 added Subsec. (b) re benefits for police officers and firefighters who begin employment on or after July 1, 1992; P.A. 96-230 amended Subsec. (b) to read “Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, those persons who began employment on or after the effective date of this act (July 1, 1996) shall not be eligible for any benefits pursuant to this section.”, effective July 1, 1996; P.A. 96-231 deleted legislative finding from Subsec. (a) and amended Subsec. (b) to read “Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, only those persons employed on the effective date of this act (July 1, 1996) shall be eligible for any benefits provided by this section.”, effective July 1, 1996 (Revisor’s note: Pursuant to the provisions of Sec. 2-30b the amendment to Subsec. (b) of this section contained in P.A. 96-231 did not take effect since it was deemed repealed by the conflicting amendment to said Subsec. (b) contained in P.A. 96-230 which passed the General Assembly later than P.A. 96-231); P.A. 14-122 made technical changes in Subsec. (a).
Only procedure mentioned for bringing claims under section is the Workmen’s Compensation Act. 165 C. 615. Statute serves a public purpose and is constitutional despite its conferring a direct benefit on a certain class of individuals. 168 C. 84. Cited. 177 C. 456. Statute is neither a workers’ compensation law nor occupational disease law within meaning of insurance contract. 178 C. 664. Workers’ compensation statutes are not the exclusive remedy for injuries arising out of and in the course of employment where injuries claimed are compensable under this statute. 193 C. 59. Benefits under statute may be taken into account in determining maximum amount payable from pension plan; history and interpretation discussed. 194 C. 139. Purpose not to remove benefits from realm of arm’s-length collective bargaining but merely to ensure that they are provided for members of police and fire departments. 201 C. 577. Cited. 204 C. 563; 207 C. 665. Does not require payment of benefits to estate of a deceased recipient. 208 C. 576. Use of words “hypertensive” and “heart disease” on claim form sufficient to invoke award under section. 210 C. 423. Does not preclude award of special benefits under Sec. 31-308. 214 C. 181. Cited. Id., 189. Economic benefits qualified as “compensation” under section may include fringe benefits in certain circumstances. Id., 394. Cited. Id., 552; 217 C. 50; 220 C. 721; 222 C. 62; 224 C. 441; 231 C. 287. Benefits awarded under section are subject to review and modification procedures set forth in the Workers’ Compensation Act. 252 C. 708. City employer’s right to intervene in employee’s negligence action against physician is incorporated into section pursuant to Sec. 31-293. 253 C. 429. Benefits paid under section are special compensation and not workers’ compensation for purposes of reimbursement from Special Injury Fund pursuant to Sec. 31-306(a)(2)(A) and such a result does not deny employers a protected property interest without due process of law. 269 C. 763. Town constable was not regular member of a paid municipal police department for purposes of receiving benefits under Heart and Hypertension Act. 275 C. 246. Parties’ mistake of law regarding applicability of section to their agreements was inaccurate but reasonable, and therefore agreements may not be opened. 296 C. 352. For purposes of determining limitation period under Sec. 31-294c, hypertension claim was properly treated as one for an accidental injury definitely located in time and place, rather than a repetitive trauma injury, because plaintiff failed to present evidence that hypertension was causally connected to employment; formal diagnosis of hypertension or heart disease, communicated to an employee by his or her physician, constitutes the “injury” that triggers the running of the limitation period of Sec. 31-294c. 299 C. 265. Evidence that claimant had elevated blood pressure readings, or had been advised by physician to monitor blood pressure, is insufficient to trigger one year filing period under Sec. 31-294c, rather there must be evidence that claimant knew he or she suffered from hypertension, ordinarily shown by proof claimant was informed of diagnosis by a medical professional. 302 C. 755. Hypertension diagnosis is sufficient to trigger one year filing period under Sec. 31-294c and prescription of hypertension medication is not required. Id., 767. Medical care exception in Sec. 31-294c does not apply to toll statute of limitations under this section because plaintiff failed to establish that employer previously furnished medical care for specific condition or later claimed condition was causally related to timely reported incident for which employer furnished medical care. 304 C. 571.
Pension benefits payable under the city’s ordinances must be reduced by benefits awarded under statute. 1 CA 58. Purpose of statute is to protect firemen and policemen from economic loss; measure of the loss must be determined by extent to which claimant is precluded from rejoining work force in his former capacity or any other reasonable occupation due to his disability. 2 CA 255. Benefits not retroactively applied; also not applicable to those no longer in active service, either on or off duty. 4 CA 226. Cited. 6 CA 265; 7 CA 142; 12 CA 138. No requirement than an appointment be “permanent”. 13 CA 566. Cited. 17 CA 633; 21 CA 28; 26 CA 194. In order to be eligible for any benefits for either hypertension or heart disease, plaintiff must have successfully passed a preemployment physical showing no evidence of either hypertension or heart disease. 28 CA 754. Cited. 34 CA 307; 37 CA 835. Without evidence establishing claimant’s injury is result of an occupational disease, 1-year statute of limitations applies. 38 CA 1. Cited. 43 CA 773. Language of statute clearly and unambiguously mandates that for claimant to be foreclosed from the benefits of the statute, results of the preemployment physical examination must contain evidence of hypertension or heart disease. 56 CA 235. Board incorrectly interpreted Sec. 31-284b as requiring city to continue insurance coverage for plaintiff and his family once plaintiff’s compensation payments under section ended. 61 CA 9. Section demonstrates clear policy of creating additional benefits for certain classes of disabled municipal employees. 66 CA 105. Member of municipal fire or police department hired before July 1, 1996, may elect to be covered under either this section or Ch. 568; statute not intended to provide its beneficiaries with dual dollar benefits, but to eliminate two of the basic requirements for coverage under Workers’ Compensation Act, i.e. the causal connection between hypertension and heart disease and the employment and requirement that the illness was suffered during the course of employment. 70 CA 321.
Plaintiff not required to assume burden of proving compensability under Ch. 568 where he brought action under both Ch. 568 and this statute. 38 CS 359. Town must have organized police department under Sec. 7-274 in order for this statute to be operative. Id., 419. Cited. 39 CS 321. Claims under statute are subject to procedural requirements of Workers’ Compensation Act. Id., 403.
Benefits may not be awarded concurrently. 57 CA 472.