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Emergency Law Inventory | Full Law Text

Law Number

Miss. Code Ann. 45-2-21

Summary Title

Workers' Compensation: Firefighter and Law Enforcement Officer

Summary

A firefighter or law enforcement officer, who is injured while performing their duties, is entitled to workers' compensation.

Full Title

Definitions; establishment of disability benefits trust fund; payments from fund; administration of fund

Full Text

(1)  Whenever used in this section, the term: (a)  "Covered individual" means a law enforcement officer or firefighter, including volunteer firefighters, as defined in this section while actively engaged in protecting the lives and property of the citizens of this state when employed by an employer as defined in this section; it does not include employees of independent contractors. (b)  "Employer" means a state board, commission, department, division, bureau, or agency, or a county, municipality or other political subdivision of the state, which employs, appoints or otherwise engages the services of covered individuals. (c)  "Firefighter" means an individual who is trained for the prevention and control of loss of life and property from fire or other emergencies, who is assigned to fire-fighting activity, and is required to respond to alarms and perform emergency actions at the location of a fire, hazardous materials or other emergency incident. (d)  "Law enforcement officer" means any lawfully sworn officer or employee of the state or any political subdivision of the state whose duties require the officer or employee to investigate, pursue, apprehend, arrest, transport or maintain custody of persons who are charged with, suspected of committing, or convicted of a crime. (2)  (a) The Attorney General's office shall make a monthly disability benefit payment equal to thirty-four percent (34%) of the covered individual's regular base salary at the time of injury when a covered individual, while engaged in the performance of the individual's official duties, is accidentally or intentionally injured in the line of duty as a direct result of a single incident. The benefit shall be payable for the period of time the covered individual is physically unable to perform the duties of the covered individual's employment, not to exceed twelve (12) total payments for any one (1) injury. Chronic or repetitive injury is not covered. Benefits made available under this section shall be in addition to any workers' compensation benefits and shall be limited to the difference between the amount of workers' compensation benefits and the amount of the covered individual's regular base salary. Compensation under this section shall not be awarded where a penal violation committed by the covered individual contributed to the disability or the injury was intentionally self-inflicted. (b)  Payments made under this subsection are exempt from the claims and demands of creditors of the covered individual. (3)  (a) There is established in the State Treasury a special fund to be known as the Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters Disability Benefits Trust Fund. The trust fund shall be funded by any funds made available by the Legislature or by donation, contribution, gift or any other source. (b)  The State Treasurer shall invest the monies of the trust fund in any of the investments authorized for the funds of the Public Employees' Retirement System under Section 25-11-121, and those investments shall be subject to the limitations prescribed by Section 25-11-121. (c)  Unexpended amounts remaining in the trust fund at the end of the state fiscal year shall not lapse into the State General Fund, and any income earned on amounts in the trust fund shall be deposited to the credit of the trust fund. (4)  The Attorney General's office shall be responsible for the management of the trust fund and the disbursement of disability benefits authorized under this section. The Attorney General shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement and standardize the payment of disability benefits under this section, to administer the trust fund created by this section and to carry out the purposes of this section. The Attorney General's office may expend up to ten percent (10%) of the monies in the trust fund for the administration and management of the trust fund and carrying out the purposes of this section.