Challenges when Service Retirement taken at Disability Retirement

On behalf of Attorney Jane Oatman of the Law Offices of Faunce, Singer and Oatman.  Posted in Disability Retirement, on Friday, March 22, 2013.

Public employees may qualify for a service retirement at the same time they are also considering filing for disability retirement. Most are told by the retirement system that retiring for service while filing for disability retirement will not impact their disability retirement claims. The processing of the disability retirement application may not be impacted, but the actual facts needed to support your disability retirement  may be impacted.

Employers often claim after the employee takes a service retirement and applies for disability retirement, that the claimed disability could have been accommodated. The retirement system argues that the employee could have continued to work with the disability, but simply opted to retire. The “after the fact” accommodation is relied upon to defeat the disability retirement application. Thus the disabled employee is faced with the difficult task of having to prove that the alleged accommodation would fail or that even with the accommodation the employee remains disabled from the job.

If an employee has taken a service retirement and the disability retirement application is denied, the only option is to go to a hearing because the employee cannot return to work given that the employee retired.  If you, or someone you know, is facing this challenge, a wise move is to engage the services of an attorney that specializes in disability retirement.

Jane Oatman
Faunce, Singer & Oatman
Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Public Employees