For any municipality, special fire control district, chapter plan, local law municipality, local law special fire control district, or local law plan under this chapter:
(1) A firefighter having 10 or more years of credited service or a firefighter who becomes totally and permanently disabled in the line of duty, regardless of length of service, may retire from the service of the municipality or special fire control district under the plan if the firefighter becomes totally and permanently disabled as defined in subsection (2) by reason of any cause other than a cause set out in subsection (3) on or after the effective date of the plan. Such retirement shall herein be referred to as “disability retirement.”
(2) A firefighter will be considered totally disabled if, in the opinion of the board of trustees, he or she is wholly prevented from rendering useful and efficient service as a firefighter; and a firefighter will be considered permanently disabled if, in the opinion of the board of trustees, he or she is likely to remain so disabled continuously and permanently from a cause other than is specified in subsection (3).
(3) A firefighter will not be entitled to receive any disability retirement income if the disability is a result of:
(a) Excessive and habitual use by the firefighter of drugs, intoxicants, or narcotics;
(b) Injury or disease sustained by the firefighter while willfully and illegally participating in fights, riots, or civil insurrections or while committing a crime;
(c) Injury or disease sustained by the firefighter while serving in any armed forces; or
(d) Injury or disease sustained by the firefighter after his or her employment has terminated.
(4) No firefighter shall be permitted to retire under the provisions of this section until he or she is examined by a duly qualified physician or surgeon, to be selected by the board of trustees for that purpose, and is found to be disabled in the degree and in the manner specified in this section. Any firefighter retiring under this section may be examined periodically by a duly qualified physician or surgeon or board of physicians and surgeons, to be selected by the board of trustees for that purpose, to determine if such disability has ceased to exist.
(5) The benefit payable to a firefighter who retires from the service of a municipality or special fire control district due to total and permanent disability as a direct result of a disability is the monthly income payable for 10 years certain and life for which, if the firefighter’s disability occurred in the line of duty, his or her monthly benefit shall be the accrued retirement benefit, but shall not be less than 42 percent of his or her average monthly salary at the time of disability. If after 10 years of service the disability is other than in the line of duty, the firefighter’s monthly benefit shall be the accrued normal retirement benefit, but shall not be less than 25 percent of his or her average monthly salary at the time of disability.
(6) The monthly retirement income to which a firefighter is entitled in the event of his or her disability retirement shall be payable on the first day of the first month after the board of trustees determines such entitlement. However, the monthly retirement income shall be payable as of the date the board determines such entitlement, and any portion due for a partial month shall be paid together with the first payment. The last payment will be, if the firefighter recovers from the disability, the payment due next preceding the date of such recovery or, if the firefighter dies without recovering from the disability, the payment due next preceding his or her death or the 120th monthly payment, whichever is later. In lieu of the benefit payment as provided in this paragraph, a firefighter may select an optional form as provided in s. 175.171. Any monthly retirement income payments due after the death of a disabled firefighter shall be paid to the firefighter’s designated beneficiary (or beneficiaries) as provided in ss. 175.181 and 175.201.
(7) If the board of trustees finds that a firefighter who is receiving a disability retirement income is no longer disabled, as provided herein, the board of trustees shall direct that the disability retirement income be discontinued. “Recovery from disability” as used herein means the ability of the firefighter to render useful and efficient service as a firefighter.
(8) If the firefighter recovers from disability and reenters the service as a firefighter, service will be deemed to have been continuous, but the period beginning with the first month for which he or she received a disability retirement income payment and ending with the date he or she reentered the service may not be considered as credited service for the purpose of this plan.