Earnings Assessment Reports in Injury on Duty Awards (Police Service)
Police Injury Pensions are paid to compensate injured police officers who have to give up or have given up their career as a police officer and suffer continuing loss of earnings when pursuing a career outside the police service as a result of duty-related injuries. The Regulations provide that a guaranteed payment shall be made to such police officers based on their “degree of disablement”.
The Regulations also provide that a former officer’s degree of disablement shall be calculated by reference to “the degree to which his earning capacity has been affected as a result of an injury received without his/her own default in the execution of his duty as a member of a police force”.
Therefore, the statutory scheme requires a comparison between the earning capacity that the former officer would have had after ceasing to be a police officer if he had not suffered the duty injuries (the former officer’s “uninjured earning capacity” and the former police officer’s actual earning capacity with his duty injuries). This is then converted into a percentage “degree of disablement”. The guaranteed payment to the former officer depends upon which band that percentage falls.
This approach has a degree of realism about it and also corresponds closely with the assessment of loss of earnings capacity in personal injury cases.
With expertise and experience in PI cases, we have undertaken “Earnings Assessment Reports” on behalf of police officers claiming an Injury on Duty Award. In assessing the former officer’s residual earning capacity, a number of factors are taken into consideration, including:
- The officer’s education and employment profile, including an assessment of transferrable/marketable skills and attributes;
- Medical evidence as to the limitations placed upon the former officer by his duty-related injuries
- As the Police Medical appeal Board (PMAB) have to be satisfied that there is actually job opportunities open to a former police officer to which he/she has actual prospects of being appointed, an analysis of the prevailing labour market situation is also necessary
- On identifying potentially suitable alternative occupations, by means of data from established and recognised salary surveys, an assessment of residual earning capacity can be made.
- Factors contributing to the former officer’s potential disadvantage and vulnerability on the labour market.
The Earnings Assessment Report can be prepared from papers, perhaps with the aid of a telephone interview with the former officer, and can be completed in a relatively short timeframe – usually 10 to 14 days – at a relatively modest cost.