A New York City cop who was forced to retire with a $40,000-a-year disability pension has apparently secured another lucrative source of income by taking part in bodybuilding competitions.
Despite leaving New York’s Finest with a shoulder injury in the mid-1990s when he was 28, Derek Huebner went on to turn professional as a body builder and can now be found pumping iron regularly to win top prizes in the specialist tournaments.
According to the Daily News, despite receiving $40,885.20, in tax-free plus benefits, every year from the NYPD’s fund, Huebner, now 48, is perfectly entitled to take part in the physically exertive contests, as pension rules do not forbid it.
Disabled? Pension rules allow former NYPD cop Derek Huebner to collect city disability cash even though he’s now a bodybuilder. A bad shoulder forced him to retire in the 1990s
‘There’s no law against it,’ Huebner said when asked about his receiving a disability pension while bodybuilding. Plenty of people work out and still — football players still play football,’ he said to the Daily News when they rang his home.
After injuring his shoulder in a foot pursuit while on patrol, he moved to South Florida in 1997 and is now living in Boca Raton.
Huebner set up a gym in his garage and began to work out around the clock.
The News began its own investigation into benefit cheats and was given the name of the retired cop.
Diisability pensions are worked out at the start and are based on standards set by state and city law.
Winning: Despite retiring as a police officer 20 years ago on disability and raking in more than $40,000-a-year as part of his pension, Huebner also pulls in top cash prizes when as takes part in bodybuilding competitions
A medical board independently reviews the cases and determines eligibility before forwarding its recommendations to the trustees, who vote on each case.
It does mean, however, that Huebner’s pension is safe. The pensions terms and conditions are so lenient they would only allow for a retired cop on disability to face consequences if he appeared to not be disabled within 20 years of the day he was hired by the NYPD.
That date has now long since passed.
The NYPD Inspector General is looking whether there are similar cases in the system, and what can be done to address them.