The Maryland State Retirement System (SRS) provides eligible employees with a disability retirement annuity in the event that the employee becomes seriously ill or injured and is unable to perform their job duties.
Determining State Disability Retirement Benefits
The State of Maryland provides benefits for two types of disability retirements:
- Ordinary disability covers a permanently disabling medical condition.
- Accidental disability applies to a permanently disabling medical condition resulting from injuries sustained from an accident that occurred on the job.
All disability claims are evaluated by the SRS’s Medical Board, which comprises a group of physicians with a wide array of medical specialties. Although an application for a disability retirement annuity may be submitted while the employee is still working and within four years of the date of separation (three years for members in a non-contributory pension system), SRS may only award benefits dating back to the date the application is filed.
If you need help filing for state disability retirement in Maryland Virginia, or Washington, DC, contact the disability lawyers at Andalman & Flynn today.
Ordinary vs. Accidental Disability Retirement
Generally, the State of Maryland provides benefits for two types of disability retirements: (1) ordinary disability retirement; and (2) accidental disability retirement. The two systems can be differentiated primarily on three bases:
Ordinary disability benefits require at least five years of service by the employee. There is no service requirement to be eligible for accidental disability retirement benefits.
Amount of Annuity
Accidental disability retirement provides a larger annuity for recipients, and the recipient will receive that annuity for life. Ordinary disability retirement, on the other hand, provides for lower annuity payments, and those benefits will last only until age 65.
In order to be eligible for ordinary disability retirement, the employee must only prove that they are permanently disabled to perform their job due to illness or injury.
The requirements for becoming eligible for accidental disability retirement are more complex. Specifically, the regulations require that in order to be eligible for accidental disability retirement benefits, the member must be totally and permanently incapable of performing their job duties as a result of an accident that occurred while performing job duties and without willful negligence.
Employees who are disabled from an accident at work may apply for both ordinary and accidental disability benefits. Accidental disability retirement is more difficult to win. Many applicants can establish disability, but cannot establish that the disability is the “natural and proximate cause” of a work accident. The SRS will often send applicants for accidental disability retirement benefits to an “Independent Medical Examination” (IME), where a physician selected and paid for by the state will evaluate their injury and render an opinion as to whether the disability was a result of the work accident or other pre-existing conditions.
For Legal Assistance with Your SRS Claim, Contact Andalman & Flynn
Contacting an experienced disability attorney prior to filing your application can improve your chances for winning a claim for state disability retirement benefits. An experienced attorney can assist you in completing and processing your application and in obtaining the medical and vocational evidence necessary to prove your disability claim.
If you wish to speak with Andalman & Flynn about State Disability Retirement in Maryland, you can contact our office for a free consultation by calling (301) 563-6685 or toll-free at 1-888-558-7871. You can also contact us online, and one of our trained professionals will get back to you to discuss your claim.
To reach one of us directly:
Contact Elliott Andalman at 301-663-6685 or [email protected].
We have significant experience representing clients seeking disability benefits. For more information and how you may be impacted, contact one of our Disability Benefits attorneys, Elliott Andalman and Peter Casciano.