An administrative determination made without a pre-determination hearing must have a "rational basis" and may not be "arbitrary and capricious”
A fire lieutenant [Lieutenant] with the City of Long Beach Fire Department applied for accidental disability retirement benefits pursuant to Retirement and Social Security Law [RSSL] §363-c. The State Comptroller granted Lieutenant’s application.
As Lieutenant not given any notice of the allegations nor an opportunity to respond to them,** despite the substantial contrary record evidence, including medical findings, that led to the approval of Lieutenant's application for disability benefits by the State Employees’ Retirement System, the Court of Appeals said that it agreed with the Appellate Division’s conclusion that the City's justification for its denial of payment of the benefits to be provided in accordance with GML §207-a “lacks the requisite rational basis and was, therefore, arbitrary and capricious.”
** Although as a general rule the payment of the supplement authorized by GML §207-a is a function of the individual's receiving a disability retirement allowance, GML §207-a.6 provides for the forfeiture of the supplement under certain conditions. In view of the Long Beach decision, prudence suggests that such forfeiture of the supplement pursuant to GML §207-a.6 should be effected only after notice and hearing.