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Partial disability benefits extended to all first responders

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill passed during the 2024 regular legislative session which extends partial disability benefits to members of the West Virginia Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System takes effect this week.

Delegate Geno Chiarelli, R-Monongalia, the lead sponsor of House Bill 5188, said it’s important to show support for police and firefighters at every opportunity.

“These men and women put their lives on the line every day for us,” Chiarelli said. “The least we can do is help support them and their families should something happen to them in the line of duty.”

The West Virginia Municipal Police Officers and Firefighters Retirement System had only provided disability benefits if a member is totally disabled. This new law extends benefits like the partial disability benefit in the West Virginia Deputy Sheriff Retirement Plan. The partial disability benefit is 45% of the member’s average full monthly compensation for the 12-month period the member contributed to the plan prior to the disability. 

The bill unanimously passed the full Legislature and was signed by the governor. The law goes into effect June 6, 90 days from the bill’s passage.

Chiarelli, who first was elected to the House of Delegates in 2021, represents the 78th District, which is made up entirely of Monongalia County. He serves on the following committees: Fire Departments and Emergency Medical Services, Education, Government Organization, Substance Abuse and Senior, Children and Family Issues.

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