Corrections Officer Denied Disability, Yet Ruled Unable to Work

James Pieper underwent two spinal surgeries following a fight with an inmate in 2010. He was declared permanently disabled, yet can't receive disability.

A former corrections officer at the Juvenile Justice Commission in Bordentown is unable to return to work because he has been classified as “totally and permanently disabled” by one doctor, yet is unable to collect disability due to the findings of another doctor.

As a result, he has been left in financial ruin, with his home scheduled to go into foreclosure in June, according to nj.com.

James Pieper, 35, was injured while battling an inmate in 2010, and underwent two surgeries to repair his spine, according to the report.

Following his surgeries, a state-assigned surgeon put Pieper under a permanent 50-pound weight restriction, and said he was unable to perform the duties of a corrections officer, according to the report.

The Juvenile Justice Commission then told Pieper he was “unable to continue employment” with them due to his condition, adding there are no light duty jobs available for corrections officers, according to the report.

A second doctor then placed Pieper under the permanent 50-pound weight restriction, but a doctor with the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System concluded Pieper should be denied disability. Pieper said that test took about seven minutes, and the doctor lied about his results, according to the report. The ruling also leaves him ineligible for ordinary disability.

Pieper filed an appeal, but the judge ruled in favor of the Police and Fireman’s Retirement System doctor, according to the report.

However, when Pieper asked the Juvenile Justice Commission for his job backed, he was denied because of the ruling to the two state surgeons.

For more on this story, visit nj.com.


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