Disability Pension FAQ

Q. If I suffer from a physical or mental disability can I apply for a pension?

A. Whether you are an employee in the private or public sector, you may be entitled to a disability pension. If you are an NYS or NYC employee, you may apply for a disability pension with the NYS or NYC Local Retirement System. If you work in the private sector and you are a member of a union, most union bargaining contracts provide for a disability pension plan. If you are not a municipal or a union employee, your employer as part of your employment benefits may have provided you with a private disability pension plan.

To be entitled to a disability pension, you will generally need to show your disability is permanent and prevents you from performing work activities.

Q. When should I apply?

A. Since there are generally strict time limitations to file an application, you should file your application as soon as possible.

Q. If I'm denied my disability pension what should I do?

A. Generally when your disability pension is denied, you have the right to appeal the denial. Depending on the pension plan, you may have to file an administrative appeal or file a lawsuit. Although an attorney is not required in all cases, it is recommended you consult with an attorney experienced in pension law. The law office of Rosado, Apat & Dudley, LLP, has the experience to help you navigate the pension process from application to appeal.

SUGGESTIONS:

We suggest you take the following steps when making an application for a disability pension:

  1. If the disability is the result of an accident or incident at work, report it immediately in writing to your employer.

  2. Seek medical treatment immediately, and if your disability is the result of an accident at work or developed as a result of the work performed, make sure to tell your doctor.

  3. You should not discuss your claim with anyone other than your doctor or lawyer.

  4. If the disability is work-related, you should file for workers' compensation immediately.

  5. You should seek legal assistance from an experienced attorney.

Q. What other benefits am I entitled to receive?

A. if your injury or disease causes you to be unable to work you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or workers' compensation. Your attorney should advise you concerning the procedures and medical evidence required to apply for these additional benefits.

WHEN YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, YOU WILL BE HELPFUL TO YOUR DOCTOR AND YOUR LAWYER IN PRESENTING YOUR CLAIM AND SECURING BENEFITS.