There are a variety of retirement systems available to the California workers. With regard to the public retirement, there is the CalPERS system, the County Employment Retirement Act of 1937, and certain cities such as the City of San Diego have their own retirement system. If a member of one of these systems has an injury or illness that prevents the member from doing a substantial portion of their job duties, this could create access for a disability retirement. Depending on the system and the length of time that the worker has been employed, there may be availability for a disability retirement event though the condition causing the disability is not related to the members employment.
If the ensuing disability causing the need for retirement is a result of a job-related illness or injury, and depending upon the classification of the member, the injured worker may be entitled to an Industrial Disability Retirement. The Industrial Disability Retirement benefits are traditionally viewed based upon the worker’s medical condition being substantially job-related that precludes them from doing their substantial duties, and if the employer is unable or unwilling to provide a permanent light duty position to accomodate the injured worker.
The different systems have different methodologies of measuring whether the condition is or is not job-related. The CalPERS system will follow to a great extent the determination by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) as to whether a condition is job-related. The other systems, depending upon the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may or may not follow this accord. Many of them make their own independent determination as to whether the condition is job-related, irregardless as to findings made by the WCAB.
Once a condition has been shown to be job-related, the next standard is whether that condition precludes the worker from performing their substantial duties. Typically that determination is made by the individual retirement system and is not reliant upon the Workers’ Compensation view.
In our practice we have represented numerous clients, accessing them to benefits pursuant to disability retirement. If you have a medical condition that you or your doctor feels precludes you from performing your substantial duties, we would invite you to speak to us so we can provide information as to your eligibility regarding the same.
Disability retirement benefits are separate from Workers’ Compensation benefits. An attorney’s representation of you in a retirement matter is handled on a separate retainer.
You may contact us at 1-800-LAW-1199 (1-800-529-1199) or (619)583-1199.