Civil servants in New York work hard for the communities they love, and the job is not without its perks and benefits. Even those who cannot make it to retirement due to an injury or health issues may still qualify for a pension.
What is Disability?
Disability is an inability to fulfill work requirements due to a serious medical or mental health condition. These could be job-related or not, so long as they meet the criteria for disability:
- Inability to work due to a medical condition
- Inability to work at their normal capacity
- Unable to adjust or retrain to other work due to the condition
- The condition has lasted or is expected to last for more than a year
- The condition may result in death
Medically retired state employees are covered under the New York State Health Insurance Program (NYSHIP), but they may also qualify for federal disability benefits, such as SSI. However, NYSHIP benefits are only available for those who opt-in to the program.
Civil servants who haven’t reached retirement age and aren’t enrolled in NYSHIP but meet disability eligibility requirements could qualify for a civil service disability pension.
Qualifications for civil service disability
In addition to having a qualifying condition, civil service workers must meet a few other eligibility requirements to be approved for a disability pension.
Disability claims are filed under a tier system according to civil service occupation and plan membership.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Minimum of 10 years of total service credit
- Current active service with the NY Department of Education or a qualifying charter school
- Filing within three months of the last date of active payroll, within 12 months of a notice of termination, or being on an unpaid medical leave of absence
- Applicant’s personal report of disability, physician’s report, and authorization to release medical data submitted to TRS
There may also be a TRS medical examination if the applicant is a teacher and their retirement board requests such an examination. Note that the above filing deadlines do not bind Title I and II civil servants.