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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Retirement System’s Medical Board’s determination that applicant is not disabled trumps Workers’ Compensation Board’s determination to the contrary


Retirement System’s Medical Board’s determination that applicant is not disabled trumps Workers’ Compensation Board’s determination to the contrary
Vargas v New York City Employees' Retirement Sys., 2012 NY Slip Op 04185, Appellate Division, Second Department

Alex Vargas filed a petition pursuant to CPLR Article 78 challenging a determination of the Board of Trustees of the New York City Employees' Retirement System [NYCERS] that denied his application for accidental disability retirement benefits pursuant to Retirement and Social Security Law §605-b. When Supreme Court denied his petition, Vargas appealed.

The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s ruling, explaining that NYCERS’ Medical Board determines whether a member applying for accidental disability retirement benefits is disabled and NYCERS’ Board of Trustees of the New York City Employees' Retirement System is bound by the Medical Board's determination as to whether an applicant is disabled. Further, said the court, the Medical Board's determination is conclusive if it is supported by some credible evidence and is not irrational.

The record demonstrates that the Medical Board considered all of the medical evidence submitted by Vargas, interviewed him, and performed its own physical examination of him. Although the medical conclusions of some of Vargas' treating physicians differed from that reached by the Medical Board, the resolution of such conflicts is solely within the province of the Medical Board.

Rejecting Vargas’ argument to the contrary, the Appellate Division said that a disability determination by the Workers' Compensation Board does not control the Medical Board's disability determination.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2012/2012_04185.htm

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

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

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

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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