By Sabina Mollot
On November 7, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill benefiting veterans that was written by a Stuyvesant Town resident.
While he doesn’t work in politics, the resident, Jerry Alperstein, is a Korean war vet and also the New York Department Legislative Committee Chair of the Jewish War Veterans group.
He’d been researching veteran-related legislation in 2010, when he discovered a discrepancy in a 2005 law that left some city employees who’d left their jobs for military duty ineligible for an existing pension credit.
The discrepancy in the 2005 law came from most – but not all – city employees called to active military service between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2005 being able to get the pension credit.
This was tied into a benefit program that allowed city employees called to active military service to continue receiving their full salary and benefits, including pension benefits, as long as they paid back their military pay or city pay (whichever was less) when returning to their city jobs.
However, city employees who elected not to receive their city pay while on active duty were not covered by the 2005 law. Alperstein said this wound up being 60-70 people.