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Do I have to prove my lower back injury happened on the job?

If you work as a police officer, you have a dangerous job where injuries may happen at any time. One such injury you may struggle with is a lower back problem.

State law allows you to make a claim for a lower back injury that occurs on the job. But there are specific criteria you must meet to qualify for benefits.


To qualify, you must be an officer working for the city, state, county, highway patrol or the University of California. You must have been at the job for at least five years. As a condition of your employment, you must have to wear a duty belt, which is a belt holding law enforcement tools, such as handcuffs and gun.

If you meet all of the requirements, then you can make a claim for benefits for a lower back injury under the presumption it occurred on the job.


The law assumes that if you meet the criteria, any lower back injury is a job-related issue. You will not have to prove that the injury happened at work or due to your work. However, someone else can dispute the presumption. For example, if you posted on social media about hurting your back while moving to a new house, it could become proof against you.

In general, you will be able to get benefits for a lower back injury unless there is proof presented that shows it did not happen due to your employment. But keep in mind that you should be honest about how it happened and be ready to defend against evidence showing you are not being truthful.