Disability payments for minor injuries need to be addressed, Christie says

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie said today he will look forward to working with the Legislature on “tightening up” the criteria by which police and firefighters can receive their disability pensions.

“We are looking at it,” he said when asked about reviewing the policy.

A story published Sunday in Gannett New Jersey newspapers found several cases in which police officers applied and were awarded disability pensions for relatively minor injuries.

Christie said it is important to correct this flaw, adding that leaving it intact “diminishes the value of the pensions for men and women who are working hard” and look forward to receiving that pension in their retirement years.

He said Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-3), of West Deptford, has also spoken about similar issues and Christie would like to work with him on it.

“I think it will be a really positive development,” he said.

While the state adopted a revised pension and health benefits reform package in late June, it focused mostly on requiring workers to make larger contributions.