OBTAIN DISABILITY BENEFITS
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Simplify the Claims Process. Get Help Today.
if you or an ohio public employee you know is
Unable to work due to injury, illness, or permanent disability
As a public employee of the State of Ohio you could be eligible for disability benefits through the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS), State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS), or School Employees Retirement System (SERS).
Trying to obtain disability benefits without a long term disability lawyer
Experienced disability insurance lawyers know OPERS, STRS and SERS members can stay employed while their disability applications are being processed. You need expert help filling out OPERS Disability Forms.
Overwhelmed or confused by the disability claims process
Many times routine claims are denied because they lack sufficient medical evidence or paperwork is filled out improperly. Your chances of winning improve when you have a lawyer.
we can help.
Click below to request your free OPERS | STRS | SERS disability claim consultation from an OPERS disability attorney. You pay nothing unless we help you obtain benefits. That’s our promise.
How to Navigate OPERS | STRS | SERS Disability Claims Process
fighting for what is yours
“My husband and I both used Mr. Kolligian to represent us in our disability claim. He was extremely helpful throughout the whole process. I would recommend him to anyone I know.”
Hi, I’m Scott Kolligian
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Frequently Asked Questions
about OPERS DISABILITY
What does a disability lawyer do?
A skilled and experienced disability lawyer will speak with the disabled worker personally to make sure he or she fully understands the impact that all medical conditions have on the worker’s ability to perform his or her (or any) job. The lawyer will then put together a thorough plan to gather all of the evidence needed to support the worker’s application or appeal for disability benefits. This includes reviewing all forms and medical records to identify issues before they become a problem. The lawyer will work with the disabled worker’s medical team to obtain necessary certifications from the providers without taking up their valuable time. A disability lawyer should have experience with appealing denials, attending hearings to present arguments on the disabled worker’s behalf, and even challenging cases in court where it is appropriate and necessary.
What are my chances of getting disability with a lawyer?
This is an extremely difficult question to answer because every case comes with its own challenges and unique differences. However, under no circumstances should your chances of recovering disability fall because you hired a lawyer. Even in cases where the medical evidence supporting disability is incredibly strong, an experienced disability attorney should be able to help you avoid unnecessary delays like problems with forms being rejected, difficulties obtaining certifications of disability from your doctors, or even delays caused by medical records departments not sending the medical file to the medical review board.
Can I get OPERS Disability and Social Security at the same time?
While it is possible that someone can receive both OPERS disability and Social Security disability at the same time, it is very rare. OPERS disability requires that you have worked for a minimum of 5 years in the public sector and that you submit an application for disability within 2 years of the date you were last paid by your public employer. Social Security disability, on the other hand, requires that you have worked and paid “substantial wages” into Social Security in 20 quarters (think 5 years) out of the 10 years prior to your disability. Even if you do qualify for both, a provision called WEP, the Windfall Elimination Provision, will reduce your Social Security disability benefits due to your receipt of the public disability benefits.
What can you get disability for under OPERS?
Nearly any medical condition (or combination of conditions), if properly supported by the medical records, can qualify someone for a disability benefit. The important requirements for a condition to be disabling are that it must be “permanent” (which simply means it should last at least 1 full year or more), and must be identified on the form that your doctor must fill out to certify that you are not capable of performing your last public employment position.
How do I qualify for OPERS Disability?
To qualify for a disability through OPERS, you must have at least 5 years of service in the public sector (unless you are in law enforcement and injured in the line of duty), have a condition (or conditions) that are expected to last at least one year, and have a doctor (an MD or DO) certify that your conditions prevent you from performing your last job in the public sector. OPERS will review this information, will likely have you evaluated by one of its doctors, and then will issue a determination on whether it agrees that you are unable to perform the duties of your last job. If so, you will qualify for a disability benefit, subject to reviews and even a change in the definition of disability down the road.
How long do I have to work for OPERS to get a disability pension?
Typically, you must have 5 years of public service before being covered for a disability benefit. Your disability must occur within 2 years of your final public sector pay. However, special rules apply to law enforcement who become disabled earlier if the disability was due to a line of duty injury.
How long do you have to be off before you can go on OPERS disability?
You can continue working while applying for a public sector disability. You do not have to quit or even take medical leave before applying for a disability benefit. Once your disability is approved, however, you must resign your position by the end of the month after your disability is approved.
Recovery Starts Here
get the disability benefits you deserve
Request Free Consultation
Meet with me, not a case manager. I will help you determine the best possible way to present your claim and maximize your benefits.
Build Your Claim
We coordinate with medical providers and other experts, submit your documentation, and communicate with decision-makers directly.
Get Your Benefits
We help you obtain the compensation and long-term care you need to re-establish yourself as a reliable financial provider for your family.
explore other practice areas
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STD | LTD | ERISA
need help UNDERSTANDing THE State disability CLAIMS PROCESS?
With this free resource, you’ll be able to quickly identify which programs you’re eligible for, learn simple tips to help you build a stronger claim, and determine when it’s a good idea to seek legal representation.
By requesting a copy of The Ohio Disability Guide: Understanding the Claims Process in Less Than 10 Minutes, you are authorizing Scott M. Kolligian, Esq., to contact you via the email address provided. You may opt-out at any time .