One of the important benefits that the Maryland State Retirement System (SRS) provides eligible members is a disability retirement annuity. This benefit becomes invaluable in the event that an eligible member becomes permanently disabled and unable to perform his or her job. In general, a “member” includes but is not limited to employees of State of Maryland agencies, public school teachers and administrators, and participating municipal employees. There are two types of disability retirement benefits—ordinary and accidental.
Regardless of what type of disability retirement benefits you’re applying for, your timing matters. Keep reading to learn more.
The Importance of Timely Disability Retirement Applications
To apply for disability retirement, eligible employees must complete and submit a set of application forms and provide medical evidence. The applicant must file their application in a timely manner. Specifically, the applicant must apply for their disability benefits after five years of service (except for accidental disability retirement claims) and before their membership to the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System ends. Of course, it is generally in the best interest of the employee to apply right away once their treating doctor advises that they are permanently disabled from performing their job.
When Does a Member’s Membership End?
According to the Code of Maryland, a member’s membership to the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System ends in the following ways:
- If the member has been separated (i.e., leaves the payroll) from employment for more than:
- 4 years if the member is part of the Employees’ Retirement System
- 5 years if the member is part of the Teachers’ Retirement System
- If the member withdraws their accumulated contributions to the system
- If the member transfers to the Employees’ Pension System or Teachers’ Pension System on or before December 31, 2004
- If the member formally retires
- If the member dies
If any of these events have taken place, then the applicant will no longer be eligible to apply for a disability retirement annuity.
Specific Deadline for Applying for Accidental Disability Benefits
In addition to ensuring that their membership in the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System has not ended, a claimant applying for accidental disability benefits has an additional timeline to meet. All accidental disability applications must be filed within five years of the date of the accident that caused the member’s permanent disability. Any accidental disability application filed after the five-year deadline will not be considered.
Contact Us for Help Applying for State Disability in Maryland
The disability attorneys of Andalman & Flynn work tirelessly to represent our clients on a wide range of disability matters within Maryland, the District of Columbia, and across the country. If you or someone you know needs legal representation on a disability matter, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation at (301) 563-6685.
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