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Friday, July 08, 2011

Filing a timely notice for disability retirement benefits critical to eligibility for such benefits


Filing a timely notice for disability retirement benefits critical to eligibility for such benefits
Wilson v NYSERS, 288 AD2d 602

Theodore J. Wilson neglected to file the written notice required by Retirement and Social Security Law [RSSL] Section 363-c (e) (a) in order to claim accidental disability retirement benefits. As a result, the Retirement System rejected his application for such benefits.

Wilson appealed, arguing that he had provided the required notice because he had filed Workers' Compensation claims, which was an option available to him, citing RSSL Section 363-c [e] [b] [1].

Unfortunately, this did not offer a solution to Wilson’s problem because Wilson had not filed his written claim for workers' compensation benefits within the 30-day period provided by Workers' Compensation Law Section 18.

While Wilson had apparently gave oral notice of the occurrence and thereby provided the employer with actual knowledge of the occurrence within the 30-day period, which would be sufficient to permit the Workers' Compensation Board to excuse the lack of timely written notice, the Appellate Division, citing Spahn v Regan, 163 AD2d 642, said:

This court has repeatedly stated that a decision of the Workers' Compensation Board to excuse a petitioner's failure to comply with the provisions of Workers' Compensation Law Section 18 is not binding upon respondent [Comptroller] for accidental disability retirement purposes and does not alter the fact that timely notice of the compensation claim was not given.
 
The Appellate Division said that it found no reason to deviate from this holding notwithstanding the fact that Wilson's application was for performance of duty disability retirement benefits.

The lesson here: It is essential that the individual file the required Section 363-c (e) (a) notice with the Retirement System in a timely fashion.

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

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A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

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