The bill amends Section 45-19-1 of the General Laws, changing its title to "Salary payment during line of duty illness or injury" and ensuring that police officers, firefighters, and other emergency personnel incapacitated due to line of duty injuries or sickness, or while providing off-duty emergency assistance within Rhode Island, receive their full salary, wage, and benefits. It also requires employers to cover medical and related expenses not covered by insurance. The definition of "police officer" is expanded to include correctional officers at the Department of Corrections. The bill sets out the process for proving the necessity of emergency assistance for eligibility and outlines the conditions for applying for an accidental disability retirement allowance, including time frames and the continuation of injured-on-duty payments until a decision is made by the retirement board.

Additionally, the bill specifies that state employees must apply for an accidental disability retirement allowance within 60 days of being certified as having reached maximum medical improvement or within 18 months of the injury, whichever comes first. For those with a static and incapacitating injury, the application must be made within 60 days of certification of the injury's permanence. Failure to apply within these time frames will result in the termination of injured-on-duty payments. Special provisions are made for employees injured before July 1, 2019, allowing them a 90-day period from this date to apply for the benefit. Correctional officers are now included in the category of employees entitled to full salary if injured in the line of duty. The act will take effect upon passage.

Statutes affected:
2318: 45-19-1