A. The purposes of a medical board are to:

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 38-859

  • Accidental disability: means a physical or mental condition that the local board finds totally and permanently prevents an employee from performing a reasonable range of duties within the employee's job classification and that was incurred in the performance of the employee's duty. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Board: means the board of trustees of the system, who are the persons appointed to invest and operate the fund. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Catastrophic disability: means a physical and not a psychological condition that the local board determines prevents the employee from totally and permanently engaging in any gainful employment and that results from a physical injury incurred in the performance of the employee's duty. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Employee: means any person who is employed by a participating employer and who is a member of an eligible group but does not include any persons compensated on a contractual or fee basis. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Local board: means the retirement board of the employer, who are the persons appointed to administer the system as it applies to their members in the system. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Ordinary disability: means a physical condition that the local board determines will prevent an employee totally and permanently from performing a reasonable range of duties within the employee's department or a mental condition that the local board determines will prevent an employee totally and permanently from engaging in any substantial gainful activity. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Pension: means a series of monthly amounts that are payable to a person who is entitled to receive benefits under the plan but does not include an annuity that is payable pursuant to section 38-846. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Physician: means a physician who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Service: means the last period of continuous employment of an employee by the employers before the employee's retirement, except that if such period includes employment during which the employee would not have qualified as a member had the system then been effective, such as employment as a volunteer firefighter, then only twenty-five percent of such noncovered employment shall be considered as service. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • System: means the public safety personnel retirement system established by this article. See Arizona Laws 38-842
  • Temporary disability: means a physical or mental condition that the local board finds totally and temporarily prevents an employee from performing a reasonable range of duties within the employee's department and that was incurred in the performance of the employee's duty. See Arizona Laws 38-842

1. Identify a physical or mental condition or injury that existed or occurred prior to the member’s date of membership in the system and for which benefits may otherwise be limited by section 38-844, subsection D.

2. Evaluate a member’s eligibility for an accidental disability pension.

3. Evaluate a member’s eligibility for an ordinary disability pension.

4. Evaluate a member’s eligibility for a temporary disability pension.

5. Evaluate a member’s eligibility for a catastrophic disability pension.

6. For the purposes of section 38-846, determine through appropriate medical evidence the proximate cause of death for members who are killed in the line of duty if the death occurs more than one year after the date of injury.

B. For the purpose of determining a disability, the medical board shall be composed of a designated physician or physicians working in a clinic other than the employer’s regular employee or contractee. Employees employed after October 1, 1992 shall undergo a medical examination for the purpose of identifying a physical or mental condition or injury that existed or occurred prior to a member’s date of membership in the system and for which benefits may otherwise be limited by section 38-844, subsection D, and for this purpose, the medical board shall be composed of a designated physician or physicians working in a clinic that may be the employer’s regular employee or contractee.

C. A finding of accidental, ordinary, temporary or catastrophic disability shall be based on medical evidence by a designated physician or a physician working in a clinic that is appointed by the local board pursuant to section 38-847, subsection D, paragraph 9 that established the disability. The local board shall resolve material conflicts in medical evidence. If required, the local board may employ other physicians or clinics to report on special cases.  With the approval of the local board, a designated physician or physicians working in a clinic that is employed by the local board may employ occupational specialists to assist the designated physician or physicians working in a clinic in rendering an opinion.

D. All employees shall undergo medical examinations before a designated physician or a physician working in a clinic that is appointed by the local board pursuant to and for the reasons prescribed in this article. An employee who fails to comply with this subsection waives all rights to disability benefits under this article.

E. The examining physician or clinic shall report the results of examinations to the local board, and the secretary of the local board shall preserve the report as a permanent record. Medical examinations conducted pursuant to this article shall be conducted by a physician and shall not be conducted or utilized for the purposes of hiring, advancement, discharge, job training or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment unrelated to the receipt of or qualification for pension benefits or service credits under the system.

F. This section does not affect or impair the right of an employer to prescribe medical or physical standards for employees or prospective employees.