Disabled Disability System

shane streater

Shane Streater timeline taken from a workerscompensation.com story which is more complete than what is on nj.com:

  • December, 2007: car struck fire-truck
  • March, 2008: fire truck hit a pothole
  • February, 2009: Streater applied for an accidental disability pension
  • Sometime in 2009: “Based largely on statements from Streater regarding his inability to engage in physical activity, an independent doctor found he had a total and permanent disability. The doctor concluded, however, that his disability was from a preexisting condition and not work related.”
  • January 9, 2010: Ordinary disability pension awarded
  • Sometime in 2010: Streater appealed looking to get the higher benefits under accidental disability and an investigation ensued.
  • April; 9, 2012: Streater’s disability pension was revoked when a YouTube video of Streater participating in the highly competitive Grapplers Quest Mixed Martial Arts Tournament in June 2010, at which he won a bronze medal was found and it was learned that Streater was awarded his black belt in jiu jitsu in 2010
  • March 18, 2015: Streater was charged with second-degree theft by deception

Shane Streater is being portrayed as the villain of this piece but consider:

  1. Who in the real world would conclude disability “based largely on statements from Streater”?
  2. Had Streater not appealed and been content with his ordinary disability pension he likely would still be getting it.
  3. “The investigation was conducted for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau by Deputy Attorney General Jon Gilmore, Detective John Sheeran and Detective Paul Marfino Jr., under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Peter W. Lee, Deputy Bureau Chief, and Deputy Attorney General Anthony A. Picione, Bureau Chief. Acting Attorney General Hoffman thanked the PFRS Board and the Division of Law for their investigation and referral.” It took all these people to find a YouTube video?
  4. Three years to prosecute?  He could have hit another pothole in that time and become eligible for disability again.

Apparently Shane Streater is not disabled but the retirement system he tried to play certainly is.

 

 

15 responses to this post.

  1. There are always a extreme few in every group that are the bad apples. Doctors, lawyers and of course our politicians who are corrupt, make bad decisions and sometimes take advantage of the system. I find it very possible you can always find 1%-3% in any group to make a argument but we should be focusing the majority. I have read where attorneys who are getting $500,000 pensions from their firm to get hired in a government position and that seems to be ok for everyone. NJ average pension benefit overall is $26,000 a year. Disabled retirees pay for their health benefits and the majority cannot perform their regular duties and continue the pursuit of their career that they are passionate about. Disability is determined if the individual can continue their regular duties whether in la enforcement or fire fighting. I would have to assume this means running after criminals, jumping fences or in the case of the fire fighter who may have to carry a person from a several story building out of a fire. But again, there are always that 1%-3% who make it look bad for the majority. those individuals can be dealt on a individual basis but I have to believe through my experience that our police, fire fighters and other public servants our interested in serving the public and believe in their jobs. Christie and Corzine skipped $30 billion in pension payments while in office and the municipal governments haven’t paid any payments in about 15 years so most of the funding has been by the public employees for over a decade.

    Reply

    • Posted by dentss dunnigan on March 20, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      ‘NJ average pension benefit overall is $26,000 a year” that commonly cited figure is very misleading. It includes payments to former employees who only minimally vested in a public pension plan–those who worked only part of their careers and those who worked only part-time — many of whom last worked for the government decades ago If New Jersey’s newly retired state and local employees earned an average pension of just over $19,000 after a full career in government, pensions wouldn’t be a raging issue now, because pension costs (while still rising) wouldn’t be nearly as high. In reality, the average benefit for newly retired general government employees after a “lifetime of service” is considerably higher than $26K .the average for only 2014 is more than double that amount .and for police it’s closet to 70K there are now 1,474 retired New Jersey public employees receiving annual pensions in excess of $100,000 each. That’s a 50 percent growth in the numbers of such retirees in just two years.But I would like to see the amount of dis that is paid out and to how many .

      Reply

      • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2015 at 4:17 pm

        Quoting Wayne … ” Disabled retirees pay for their health benefits and the majority cannot perform their regular duties and continue the pursuit of their career that they are passionate about. Disability is determined if the individual can continue their regular duties whether in la enforcement or fire fighting. I would have to assume this means running after criminals, jumping fences or in the case of the fire fighter who may have to carry a person from a several story building out of a fire.”

        I’d bet that commentator Wayne is an active or retired NJ Public Sector worker, and likely a Police Officer or paid Fireman, as his strong defense of the extraordinarily MINIMAL requirements for a Disability pension wreaks with the classic Public Sector worker “entitlement mentality”.

        First, while I’m not positive, I REALLY doubt that NJ’s disability-retired workers “pay for their health benefits”.

        Second, why should a retired Policeman who legitimately cannot chase criminals but can fill many OTHER positions … and often DOES in NJ State/City employment get BOTH a pension & a paycheck? And, why should he not be required to take that OTHER position, and if lower paying, have the disability retirement pension payment reduced so that the TOTAL from BOTH (the pension & the paycheck) is no greater than what his police wages were?

        Well excuse me for answering my own question, but it’s BECAUSE none of the “stakeholders” could care less about throwing away the TAXPAYERS money when there is a benefit for them to do so …. with the workers getting UNJUST disability payments, and the elected officials who allow this stuff getting big-time Public Sector Union campaign contributions and election support.

        It doesn’t work even CLOSE to this way in Corporate America, where a “disability” retirement mean REAL “Total & Permanent” disability comparable to Social Security’s strict standards.

        There is ZERO justification for this HUGE financial “mugging” of the taxpayers.

        ————————-
        And dentss dunnigan, I was responding to YOU because;

        (a) I believe that Wayne is FULLY AWARE of the HIGH average pension for RECENT-YEAR retirees who are full-time and full-career workers, as you very accurately pointed out above
        (b) I also believe that Wayne is FULLY AWARE that his $26,000 average pension figure is misleading …. and INTENDED to deceive the readers.

        Reply

        • Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2015 at 8:07 pm

          “First, while I’m not positive, I REALLY doubt that NJ’s disability-retired workers “pay for their health benefits”.
          You’re not very informed are you ? I’m disabled as a result of a broken neck
          that left me partially paralyzed, from being struck with a steel pipe to the back of the neck while in the performance of my duties. I assure you I pay for my health benefits.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm

            Anonymous, we traded some comments a while back, and if you recall I expressed sympathy for your situation … and I still do.

            If you say that NJ doesn’t pay for your medical care “premiums” (if that’s what you mean by saying …”I pay for my health benefits”) as a NJ disabled retiree, I’ll accept that as truthful. Like I said earlier, I was not sure …. but I’m still very surprised.

            This is the first time in 20 years that I have EVER found ANYTHING in a Corporate pension plan to be MORE generous that those of a Public Sector Plan. I know a worker, disabled under a Corporate Plan, and his healthcare premiums are waived. Of course under Corporate Plans it’s VERY VERY difficult to get approved for permanent and total disability …. unlike under govt-sponsored Plans

            Don’t get me started again about the NJ Transit cop out on a disability retirement because he stapled his trigger finger.

  2. We have a massive disability fraud problem in NYC and on the LIRR. I don’t think its as bad in NJ, based on data that is reported. Then again NJ usually doesn’t report the data.

    https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2014/07/27/update-new-york-city-police-and-firefighter-pensions/

    Reply

  3. Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Like the other posts mention, there’s always someone trying to beat the system. That’s why aggressive fraud investigation is necessary, if justified in net cost savings.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Anonymous on March 22, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    TL- How does one get “disabled” under a corporate plan ? Paper cut,spilled coffee on self,tie stuck in shredder,elevator crash,plane crash,private chopper went down,bad escargot at the paid for lunch. Coming from Parole and now working in the corporate world I can’t see how anything would rise to the same level of injury potential. Just for clarification local public safety would pay a portion of their health benefits if disabled on job,state would not I think. That may have changed for the state since 2011 depending on years of service.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tough Love on March 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Quoting …. “TL- How does one get “disabled” under a corporate plan ? Paper cut,spilled coffee on self,tie stuck in shredder,elevator crash,plane crash,private chopper went down,bad escargot at the paid for lunch. ”

      You presented that question in a rather “snide” way, but I’ll answer it anyway.

      Some of the more generous “Corporate” Plans provide long term disability insurance (usually equal to about 50% of current pay) for workers who become PERMANENTLY & TOTALLY disabled due to sickness or injury … whether work-related or not.

      BUT as I said earlier, getting so approved is a WHOLE LOT harder than the JOKE of the approval process in the Public Sector …. because the Corporation is spending THEIR money, not someone else’s money (i.e., the Taxpayers money in the case of PUBLIC Sector disability approvals).
      ————————————————————–
      So tell me what I stated above that you disagree with and we can debate it.

      Reply

      • Posted by Anonymous on March 22, 2015 at 10:07 pm

        Ordinary disability for the public sector is 40%,is taxed,has to be approved by the pension board and their doctor. I knew someone who received it and it took about 1 year to get. He had uncontrolled hypertension. He died within one year from kidney failure. The threshold for injured on the job is much harder to get,payout is more and is tax free. Had to pay for his health care.It took 2 years to get. He was run over while issuing a ticket. His back was broken and his leg shattered. He was a police officer. The vast majority are not like the guy in John’s article.

        Reply

        • Posted by Tough Love on March 22, 2015 at 10:35 pm

          Being …”approved by the pension board and their doctor.” …. IS THE JOKE of an approval process. Show me a “pension board” that isn’t controlled by or in bed with the Public Sector Unions/Workers.

          Sounds like the case you described was legitimate, and not by just meeting the ridiculously easy and “legal” definition which governs disablement in the PUBLIC Sector. But for every such legitimate case, I’d bet 90+% that are approved in the PUBLIC Sector employment would be denied in the PRIVATE Sector.

          Reply

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 22, 2015 at 10:41 pm

            Follow-up …. there a scandal a year or two ago where 95% of all LIRR (or Metro-North ??) railroad worker retirements were “Disability” retirements. Those pensions are still being investigated and overturned, with some stiff and well-deserved punishment.

            “Disability” retirement abuse in Public Sector employment is legendary.

          • Posted by Tough Love on March 22, 2015 at 11:20 pm

            Source: http://nypost.com/2015/02/22/seventy-percent-of-fdnys-females-are-retiring-on-disability/

            63% of all Male NYC Fire Dep’t retirements are Disability Retirements.

            70% of all Female NYC Fire Dep’t retirements are Disability Retirements.

            Yeah, it’s a dangerous job, but this is ridiculous and an ENORMOUS Taxpayer ripoff.

  5. Posted by Tough Love on March 23, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Required reading:

    http://nypost.com/2015/03/22/defusing-new-jerseys-pension-time-bomb/

    But what’s still extremely misleading is where it says the following:

    “By contrast the reform commission aims to provide Jersey workers with health insurance that matches what the largest private employers in the state provide, in which the insurer pays about 80 percent of costs.”

    Did you notice the word “workers” in the above quote ?

    Yes, NJ largest Corporate employes do indeed insure about 80% of their “WORKERS” healthcare costs, but they also … in most cases for the majority of their ALREADY RETIRED workers, and typically for ALL of their still ACTIVE workers …… provide little to nothing in “RETIREE” healthcare benefits.

    Taxpayers should NOT be providing taxpayer-funded RETIREE healthcare benefit ANY greater than those typically granted PRIVATE Sector workers by their employers.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Anonymous on May 24, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    TL and devout followers; individuals presenting a right wing conservative perspective based on half-truths and lies.

    TL continual posts repetitive misinformation citing sources with extreme ideology. Yet sumarial dismisses other posts with conflicting opinions and sources.

    Specifically, purposely misstated the tax status of public pensions in the following post; https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/christie-curses-out-nj-media/#comments When called to task tried to double talk their way out of it. Standard operating procedure for most of their commentary.

    Fair and equal for all is the mantra. Fair enough, but not when I suggest Federal workers and members of our beloved Armed Forces be part of the bigger conversation. The response, they’re different. But why, because they risk their lives like first responders at home. Their DBP are paid with Federal tax dollars as opposed to State or Local. Everyone knew the job risks when they accepted employment. But they also knew what their salary, pension, and benefits were supposed to be.

    To blame and demonize public workers for the current situation is unfair and untrue. Do politicians make “deals” with unions that don’t always have the taxpayers best interest? I think everyone knows the answer to that is yes. But politicians are always making “deals” it’s what they do. Just ask the various segment market corporations; defense spending (lucrative contracts), farming (subsidies) and the list goes on and on.

    Your bully tactics and demeaning attitude only motivate me more to push back your parties ridiculous vision for NJ and America. Yes I’m sure John knows all of our IP address, so you and your business name can be exposed as well.

    The purpose of continually posting this comment is to allow the counterpoint perspective to be heard. I will no longer personally engage your comments tit for tat.

    Reply

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