Maryland Teacher and State Disability Retirement FAQs

Answering Common Maryland Teacher and State Disability Retirement Questions

Why should I hire Andalman & Flynn?
How much does it cost to hire Andalman & Flynn?
When should I file my claim and how long will the process take?
What is the definition of disability?
What is the difference between ordinary and accidental disability?
How much will I get paid?
Where do I file my application and from what date do my benefits start?
Can I work and still get benefits?
Do I get to keep my medical insurance if my application is approved?
What are my appeal rights?


 

Q: Why should I hire Andalman & Flynn?

A: Andalman & Flynn has years of experience representing teachers and other Maryland state workers on claims for disability benefits. We know how to evaluate the medical evidence, fill in the missing pieces, and work with your doctors to best present your claim for Maryland state disability. We take the time to regularly follow-up on the status of your claim to ensure that it does not get lost in the system. Simply put, we can help maximize your chances of winning your claim!

Q: How much does it cost to hire Andalman & Flynn?

A: We give you the option of paying for the work on an hourly fee basis or on a mostly contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is contingent on winning your claim and is only owed if your claim is won.

Q: When should I file my claim and how long will the process take?

A: You may file a claim for Maryland state disability retirement while you are still on payroll. You must also file a claim within three years of going off payroll if you are a member of the non-contributory pension system or within four years if you are a member of the contributory pension system. Once you file an application, it can take several months for your claim to be processed. The Medical Board and Board of Trustees meet once a month to review and make decisions on disability retirement applications. If the Board needs more information, it can delay decision on your claim while it seeks additional evidence. Make sure you provide medical records to support your claim in addition to the Attending Physician Statement.

Q: What is the definition of disability?

A: You must demonstrate that you are “permanently” unable to perform the duties of your job, as determined by the Retirement Agency’s Medical Board and approved by the Board of Trustees. “Permanently” is defined as lasting at least one year.

Q: What is the difference between ordinary and accidental disability?

A: 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. An Accidental Disability retirement pays a higher annuity. In order to be eligible for Ordinary Disability benefits, you must have a minimum of five years of eligibility service. Before you apply for disability benefits, be certain that you have enough service credits. If you need to purchase additional credits, you may only do so while you are still on payroll and considered an employee. Accidental disability benefits do not have a minimum service credit requirement.

Q: How much will I get paid for Maryland state disability retirement?

A: The amount of your monthly benefit is dependent on several factors, including (1) whether you were in the contributory or non-contributory pension system; (2) whether the disability is ordinary or accidental; and (3) the highest three consecutive years of salary, which may not necessarily be your three most recent years of salary.

Q: Where do I file my application and from what date do my benefits start?

A: You must file your application with the retirement coordinator of your agency. Your benefits start the month you file your application or the date you last worked, whichever is later.

Q: Can I work and still get benefits?

A: You are subject to certain earnings restrictions if you become reemployed while earning ordinary disability retirement benefits. There will be an earnings limit listed on the letter acknowledging your retirement. If you exceed the earnings limitation, your retirement allowance is reduced $1 for every $2 earned in excess of your earnings limit.

Q: Do I get to keep my medical insurance if my application is approved?

A: A Maryland State employee who is approved for a disability retirement (accidental or ordinary) is automatically eligible for continued health insurance coverage through the State Health Program. The State subsidizes health premium costs for retired State employees. The amount of this subsidy is determined according to each retiree’s State creditable service.

If you are a County employee, such as a public school teacher, your eligibility for continued health insurance coverage is determined by the County for which you worked. Each county has different requirements. Prince George’s County, for instance, requires 12 years of service to be eligible for continued health insurance coverage on an ordinary disability retirement claim.

Q: What are my appeal rights?

A: If your initial application is not approved, you have the right to request reconsideration. If the claim is denied again, there are further appeal rights, which include a hearing before an administrative law judge, an appeal to the State Retirement Board, and ultimately you can petition for court review.

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