Teachers Workers Compensation & CalSTRS Disability Retirement
There is no doubt that teachers are unsung, underpaid heroes. But most of us are unaware that the teaching profession ranks near the top in risk of on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Many of our schools provide unhealthy environments in terms of toxic exposure, and sadly, increasing risks of injury caused by interactions with students.
California teachers who are injured on the job may be eligible for workers compensation or disability retirement claims through CalSTRS -The California State Teachers’ Retirement System.
Causes of Teachers Workers Compensation & CalSTRS Disability Retirement
A recent study of teacher workers’ compensation claims across the United States indicates some surprising statistics: 30% of claims are for slip and fall accidents; 27% of claims arise out of an assault or being struck; strain injuries account for 24% of claims; and exposure to toxins, and cuts, punctures and scrapes account for 5% each.
Teachers’ Workers’ Compensation & Disability Retirement Due to Violence
The surprising statistic here is that claims resulting from violence in the classroom or on the campus rank almost equal in number to slips and falls. Experts state that assaults on teachers is far more common than the public realizes — in fact, they have indicated that the problem has reached the level of being a national crisis. In 2015, the Department of Education reported that injuries suffered by teachers led to more than $2 billion in losses (which include workers’ compensation benefits and lost workdays).
School Districts Take Proactive Measures to Protect Teachers
Many school districts in California are taking a proactive stance in terms of teaching teachers how to avoid the most common workplace injuries, including:
- Providing in-service training on effective teacher/student communication and conflict resolution, including a hands-off approach to confrontation;
- Increasing site inspections to look for potential hazards such as slippery floors, debris in the hallways or lunchrooms, etc., that may contribute to slips and falls or other similar accidents;
- Encouraging teacher wellness and fitness programs to minimize the risk of strains and improve their overall health and well-being.
Teachers’ Workers’ Comp & CalSTRS Disability Retirement: Toxic Exposure
There are some hazards to teachers, however, that are not so easy to spot. Mold, mildew and lead are all toxic elements that have been found in schools and pose a risk to teachers and students alike. Illness due to exposure to any of these toxic substances in a school building can qualify a teacher for Workers’ Compensation and/or Disability Retirement benefits.
Similarly asbestos exposure can qualify a teacher for Workers’ Compensation and/or Disability Retirement benefits. The vast number of school buildings in California were built prior to 1970, at a time in which the use of asbestos was commonplace in construction. Asbestos insulation, ceiling and floor tiles were extremely common, and many schools still contain them. While these elements pose no harm when they are intact, but once they begin to break down, asbestos fibers become friable and can be inhaled or ingested.
Asbestos puts teachers and their students at risk of contracting a number of serious diseases, including malignant mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other asbestos-related diseases.
Our Attorneys Help Teachers Who Were Injured On the Job
If you are a teacher or school employee who has suffered any on-the-job injury, contact our experienced CalSTRS attorneys to set up a free consultation to discuss your rights. Our CalSTRS attorneys can advise you of your options, and the best course of obtaining the maximum compensation for which you qualify, through your workers’ compensation system or CalSTRS Disability Retirement benefits.
CalSTRS Disability Retirement Attorneys
The disability lawyers at Cantrell Green are among the few attorneys who understand and specialize in CalSTRS disability benefits. If you are unsure if qualify for CalSTRS disability retirement benefits, or you are having difficulty collecting your benefits, call our experienced CalSTRS attorneys today.
Free Consultation with a CalSTRS Disability Retirement Attorney: 562-622-4800
This article applies to members of California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS); and does not reflect the rules, laws or regulations governing how other public retirement systems are administered. If you have question about another public employee retirement system, find your system, below – or call our attorneys at: 562-622-4800