The Jones Law Group, LLC assists public employees with obtianing OPERS disability benefits. OPERS members are eligible for one of two disability programs, the original plan or the revised plan. Employees who had contributions on deposit with OPERS on July 29, 1992, had a one time opportunity to select coverage under one of these programs. All employees hired after July 29, 1992, are covered only under the revised plan. The rules and regulations are complex and many individulas find it necesssary to have legal representation throughout this process.
Disability Under both plans:
• A member must have at least 5 years of contributing service credit unless they are covered under the law enforcement division and become disabled due to an on-duty illness or injury.
• The member must go off the payroll because of a presumably permanent disabling condition, either mental or physical, which prevents the member from performing their current job duties. A disability benefit cannot be given due to a temporary illness or temporary disability. The disability does not have to have occurred on the job; a majority of the persons receiving a OPERS disability benefit became disabled as the result of a disease or an “off-the-job” accident.
• No more than two years have passed since contributing service has terminated, unless at the end of the two-year period the member was disabled and unable to file an application.
• The member is not receiving an age and service retirement benefit. Under the original plan, a member must file a disability application before age 60; under the revised plan, they may apply at any age.
Service Retirement Under the traditional retirement plan, members are eligible to retire:
• At age 60 or older if they have at least five years service credit or 60 months contributing membership in OPERS. These members are eligible to retire but will not have access to health care.
• At age 55 if they have 25 years of service credit
• At any age with 30 or more years of service credit
If you are considering applying for OPERS disability benefits, have been denied OPERS disability benefits, or simply have questions please call the Jones Law Group, LLC and we will be happy to assist you. All initial consultations are free of charge. If you decide you would like representation, there is only a fee if your claim for OPERS disability benefits are approved!
Call attorney Eric Jones at (614) 545-9998 for additional information.