An application for retirement benefits must be timely delivered to and received by the retirement system to be operative
Biscardi v New York State and Local Retirement Sys., 2016 NY Slip Op 03238, Appellate Division, Third Department
Valerie J. Biscardi initially applied for disability retirement benefits pursuant to Retirement and Social Security Law Article 15 in February 2012. She, however, withdrew that application in March 2012 and in September 2012 filed an application for “service retirement.”
In May 2013, Biscardi’s attorney, contending that Biscardi had filed an application for disability retirement on September 19, 2012, inquired about the status of Biscardi’s application for “disability retirement.” The New York State and Local Retirement System [SLRS] advised him that there was no record that [Biscardi] had filed a subsequent application for "disability retirement benefits” on September 19, 2012.
Following an administrative hearing, the Hearing Officer determined that Biscardi had not established that she had filed a timely application for disability retirement benefits as required by Retirement and Social Security Law §605.* The Comptroller adopted the ALJ's determination and Biscardi appealed.
The Appellate Division affirmed the Comptroller’s decision.
An application for disability retirement benefits, said the court, “must be filed, as relevant here, ‘within three months from the last date the member was being paid on the payroll.’” Kathleen Nowak, Director of Disability Services for the Retirement System, testified that a search of the Retirement System's records found Biscardi's February 2012 disability retirement application and the March 2012 withdrawal letter, “but no subsequent disability retirement benefits application.”
Although Biscardi contended that her counsel “timely mailed a second application” to the Retirement System in September 2012, the Appellate Division said that "simply mailing an application does not constitute filing; rather, filing only occurs upon actual delivery to and receipt by [the Retirement System]."
Accordingly, said the court, “substantial evidence supports the Comptroller's determination that [Biscardi] failed to file a timely application and it will not be disturbed.”
* In Biscardi’s case, RSSL §605[b] required that she file her an application for disability retirement benefits "within three months from the last date the member was being paid on the payroll."
The decision is posted on the Internet at: