STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
March 22, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. PHEFFER AMATO -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Governmental Employees
AN ACT to amend the retirement and social security law, in relation to
implementing a presumption of performance of duty disability for post-
traumatic stress disorder in certain employees of Suffolk county
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The retirement and social security law is amended by adding
2 a new section 605-g to read as follows:
3 § 605-g. Accidental disability retirement for certain employees in
4 Suffolk county. Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or of any
5 general, special or local law to the contrary, any member who serves in
6 Suffolk county as a public safety dispatcher I, public safety dispatcher
7 II, public safety dispatcher III, including Spanish speaking dispatchers
8 in such titles, emergency service dispatcher I, emergency service
9 dispatcher II, emergency service dispatcher III, including Spanish
10 speaking dispatchers in such titles, emergency complaint operator,
11 including Spanish speaking operators in such title, public safety offi-
12 cer I, public safety officer II, public safety officer III, including
13 Spanish speaking officers in such titles, and case worker or case worker
14 trainee in the department of social services family and children's
15 service administration, child protective services investigating bureau
16 and child protective preventative services bureau, who is diagnosed with
17 post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting in disability or death to such
18 member, presently employed, and who shall have sustained such disability
19 while so employed, shall be presumptive evidence that such disability
20 was incurred in the performance and discharge of duty and the natural
21 and proximate result of an accident, unless the contrary be proved by
22 competent evidence; provided, however, that prior to entry into service,
23 such member was not previously diagnosed with post-traumatic stress
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 5713 2
1 § 2. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, none
2 of the provisions of this act shall be subject to section 25 of the
3 retirement and social security law.
4 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
5 FISCAL NOTE.--Pursuant to Legislative Law, Section 50:
6 This bill would grant improved disability eligibility to any Tier 3,
7 4, 5 or 6 member of the New York State and Local Employees' Retirement
8 System (NYSLERS) employed by any municipality within Suffolk County,
9 including Suffolk County itself, in the title of
10 1. public safety dispatcher,
11 2. public safety officer,
12 3. emergency complaint operator,
13 4. emergency service dispatcher, or
14 5. case worker with the Department of Social Services.
15 For any member so employed who is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress
16 disorder, resulting in disability, such diagnosis shall be considered as
17 presumptive evidence that the disability was incurred in the performance
18 of the member's duties and the result of an accident, unless the contra-
19 ry be proven by competent evidence and provided no such diagnosis was
20 made prior to employment with Suffolk County. The annual accidental
21 disability benefit for these members would be 1/3 of final average sala-
22 ry (FAS). Currently, in order to receive a disability benefit of 1/3 of
23 FAS, members must have at least ten years of service.
24 Insofar as this bill would affect the NYSLERS, if this legislation is
25 enacted during the 2023 legislative session, it would lead to more disa-
26 bilities being classified as "accidental". The cost will depend upon the
27 applicant's age, service, and salary. It is estimated that the per-per-
28 son cost will be up to five and one half (5.5) times salary.
29 All costs will be shared by the State of New York and all local
30 participating employers in the NYSLERS.
31 The exact number of current members as well as future members who
32 could be affected by this legislation cannot be readily determined.
33 Summary of relevant resources:
34 Membership data as of March 31, 2022 was used in measuring the impact
35 of the proposed change, the same data used in the April 1, 2022 actuari-
36 al valuation. Distributions and other statistics can be found in the
37 2022 Report of the Actuary and the 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial
39 The actuarial assumptions and methods used are described in the 2020,
40 2021, and 2022 Annual Report to the Comptroller on Actuarial Assump-
41 tions, and the Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York:
42 Audit and Control.
43 The Market Assets and GASB Disclosures are found in the March 31, 2022
44 New York State and Local Retirement System Financial Statements and
45 Supplementary Information.
46 I am a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and meet the Quali-
47 fication Standards to render the actuarial opinion contained herein.
48 This fiscal note does not constitute a legal opinion on the viability
49 of the proposed change nor is it intended to serve as a substitute for
50 the professional judgment of an attorney.
51 This estimate, dated March 10, 2023, and intended for use only during
52 the 2023 Legislative Session, is Fiscal Note No. 2023-98, prepared by
53 the Actuary for the New York State and Local Retirement System.