Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 8, 2017 - In 2016, voters in Florida helped pass Amendment Three, a 100 percent property tax exemption to first responders who suffered a permanent disability while on duty.
The tax Exemption for Permanently and Totally Disabled First Responders Amendment applies to police, fire, jail and EMS workers who are completely and permanently disabled due to an injury suffered in the line of duty. However, there are some first responders who have encountered challenges that have adversely affected their eligibility.
One such person is April Bulla, a disabled former medic. Bulla said eight years ago, while she was administering treatment to a patient, the ambulance she was in became involved in a collision. She stated that her head crashed into a cabinet, and caused her to suffer brain damage. She is in possession of medical records that mention the injury and her disability.
Florida social security disability attorney David W. Magann states “Because of the additional requirement of Amendment Three, some first responders may not realize the benefit the amendment was intended to provide.”
Bulla can be in the midst of making plans to go someplace, and then forget where she is going. Or she could be at home and be unaware of what she is doing. She has difficulty with numbers and with reading. She also becomes easily flustered, and grapples with short-term memory loss. Her doctor said she is unable to keep a job, and in need of assistance.
She receives approximately $800 monthly in Social Security disability, which covers the cost of her living expenses associated with her home in Citrus County, along with her prescriptions. Her only other source of income is from the sale of her chickens. Bulla believed that Amendment Three would help her survive. However, Florida legislators crafted rules that make it much more difficult for her to benefit from the tax break.
According to the lawmakers’ plan, medical records and proof of disability are not the only requirements. She also has to provide a note from her previous employer that links her disability with her former position. But any company for which legal exposure is a concern may be unwilling to do so.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618
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