Disability Retirement for Maryland State Employees
State employees may be entitled to receive disability retirement benefits if they sustained an injury on the job that prevents them from performing their normal work duties. Having replacement income after an unexpected accident can have a significant impact on your life.
Andalman & Flynn represents clients who have sustained serious injuries on the job and who wish to file a claim for Maryland State employee accidental disability retirement benefits. To discuss your case with an experienced disability benefits attorney, contact our office to schedule a consultation.
State Disability Retirement Benefits
The Maryland State Retirement System provides a retirement annuity to state employees who become seriously ill or sustain a serious injury that prevents them from being able to perform their normal job duties. The state offers two types of disability retirement benefits:
- Ordinary disability
- Accidental disability
Ordinary disability covers a permanently disabling medical condition while accidental disability covers injuries that are sustained from an accident that happened on the job. Both programs also provide continued health insurance coverage for employees.
Eligibility Criteria for Accidental Disability Retirement Benefits
To qualify for accidental disability retirement benefits, the employee must be considered a public employee. These are employees such as:
- Public school teachers
- Public school administrators
- Employees employed by state agencies
There is not a specific length of service requirement to be eligible for accidental disability retirement benefits in Maryland. However, to be eligible for accidental disability retirement benefits, an employee must establish the following:
- The disabling injuries were the natural and proximate cause of a work accident that occurred while the employee was performing his or her work duties
- The employee is totally and permanently incapable of performing his or her job duties
- The accident was not caused by the employee’s willful negligence
The employee has to show that he or she cannot perform his or her current job, not that he or she cannot perform some other type of job. Additionally, permanent disability is classified in this way when the injury is expected to last for more than a year.
All disability claims are evaluated by the Maryland State Retirement System’s Medical Board. This board consists of a group of physicians who have different medical specialties. The board may send the employee for an Independent Medical Examination to be evaluated by a doctor that is paid by the MSRS. This doctor evaluates the employee’s injury and provides an opinion as to whether the injury was likely caused by the work accident or due to some pre-existing condition.
Duration of Annuity
If an accidental disability retirement annuity is awarded to a state employee, he or she is paid the annuity for the remainder of his or her life. The benefits go back to the date when the application was filed or when the claimant last was paid, whichever is later. However, the accidental disability annuity is subject to an offset for any worker’s compensation benefits that are received or credited for any month that the accidental disability retirement is also awarded.
The injured employee must complete the accidental disability retirement application while he or she is still working or within four years of going off the payroll. The application must include the following:
- Documentation that supports that the injury arose out of a work accident
- The employee’s first report of the injury
- Documentation regarding any workers’ compensation claims or awards
The initial decision is often issued within 90 days from the date the application is filed, but the MSRS may request additional information that may delay the process. Contacting an experienced disability retirement benefits attorney before completing the application can significantly improve your chances of receiving an approval of your claim. An attorney can help gather medical and vocational evidence to support your claim. He or she can also help you apply for ordinary disability benefits if you qualify for them. Discuss your options during your free initial consultation.
Contact the Disability Lawyers at Andalman & Flynn in Maryland
If you have more questions about accidental disability retirement benefits or you are ready to file a claim, the Maryland disability lawyers at Andalman & Flynn can help. We’ll guide you through all aspects of applying for and appealing your claim.
Living with a disability can be difficult, but getting the payments you’re entitled to shouldn’t be. Contact us today and we’ll do our best to make your life a little simpler with the disability benefits you deserve.