How Long Do Disability Retirement Benefits Last in NYS


The New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) offers disability retirement benefits to permanently disabled employees of New York State or other participating employers. Are you an NYS employee who can no longer perform your duties because of a disability? You may qualify for this benefit if so.

The benefit typically lasts for the rest of your life. However, you must first complete an application process confirming you are eligible for benefits.

What is NYS Disability Retirement?

NYS disability retirement is a pension offering monthly payments to employees of New York State and other participating employers who face medically necessitated retirement. NYS disability retirement benefits come in these forms:

  • Ordinary Disability –This disability benefit is available when a disability may or may not be job-related. The minimum service requirement to qualify for this benefit is usually 10 years. The monthly benefit typically doesn’t exceed one-third of your final average salary (FAS).
  • Accidental Disability –You may qualify for this benefit if your disability resulted from a work-related accident. You don’t need to meet a minimum service requirement to qualify for this benefit. However, only certain incidents qualify as “accidents” for NYSLRS benefits.
  • Performance of Duty Disability –You may be eligible for this benefit if you sustained a permanent disability while performing your duties. Unlike the accidental disability benefit, this option is usually only available to people who have specific job titles, including police officers, firefighters, and correctional officers. In addition, it typically only applies to incidents involving specific hazards. There is no minimum service requirement to qualify for this benefit.
  • World Trade Center Presumption –Did you assist in post-9/11 rescue, recovery, or cleanup efforts at the World Trade Center? You may qualify for a World Trade Center accidental disability benefit if so.

You can apply for more than one type of NYS disability retirement benefit. Review your options to determine which you may qualify for.

Be aware you may qualify for disability retirement benefits through the NYC Employee Retirement System (NYCERS) if you worked for NYC rather than NYS. NYCERS offers similar disability retirement benefits options.

How Long Can You Be On NYS Disability?

Once you receive approval, you can continue receiving NYS disability retirement benefits for the rest of your life. Carefully review all information you receive about the terms of your benefits. You should receive benefits every month without pause if you comply with all the terms.

Applying for NYS Disability Retirement Benefits

How Long Do Disability Retirement Benefits Last in NYSThere are several points you need to be aware of when preparing to file for benefits. They include:

  • The benefits you receive will depend on what “tier” you’re in. Your tier depends on when you began service as an NYS employee. NYSLRS offers an online resource to help you determine what tier you’re in. You need to know your tier to know what application to file.
  • You have the right to an attorney during the process. If you hire a lawyer, they will receive all correspondence you receive regarding your application.
  • You must file a World Trade Center Notice if you believe you’re eligible for the World Trade Center accidental disability benefit.
  • Your retirement plan booklet will provide information about application deadlines. Application deadlines can vary depending on such factors as the type of benefits you’re applying for. You may not qualify for benefits if you miss the filing deadline.
  • You must complete a medical information release (HIPAA) form when submitting your application. Your doctors won’t be able to provide medical records without the form. You must provide information about all your disabling conditions when completing the application. You must also provide contact information for all physicians currently treating you. In addition, you must provide contact information for all physicians you ever saw in connection with your disability.
  • It’s wise to provide a birth certificate or other proof of date of birth with an application. However, you should not delay submitting the application if you don’t currently have the necessary documents. 
  • You must write “Filed Without Prejudice” at the top of every application if you’re submitting multiple applications.

Contact an NYS Disability Retirement Benefits Lawyer

Applying for NYS disability retirement benefits can be a complex process. You may not receive approval if your application doesn’t sufficiently demonstrate why you qualify for benefits.

One way to simplify the process is to enlist the help of legal professionals. At Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C., we have experience handling cases like yours. We’ll review your circumstances to help you better understand if you qualify for benefits. If you do, we’ll handle all aspects of the application process on your behalf. Learn more about what an NYS disability retirement benefits lawyer can do for you by contacting us online or calling us at 516-496-0400 for a free case review.

Categories: Disability

Last Updated : April 19, 2024
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