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Our Maryland Law Firm Helps You Navigate Your Disability Retirement Options 

There are a number of benefits available to people who are unable to work due to injury or illness, regardless of whether or not you were injured while on the job. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for most people to figure out which benefits they qualify for and how these benefits fit together. Each program may have different rules and procedures, not to mention the paperwork that you will need to submit. A disability retirement attorney can simplify the process, and more importantly, help you get all of the benefits you deserve as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Federal Disability Retirement

disabled woman in wheelchair being hugged

Filing for federal disability retirement through FERS and CSRS can be an intense and tedious process. Whenever a medical condition or disability stands in the way of you continuing your federal career, you might be entitled to federal disability retirement benefits. As with many policies, most workers don’t read them until they need to utilize them. Working with an experienced lawyer like Emmett B. Irwin can ensure the process is as smooth and seamless as possible.

Working through the federal disability retirement process requires superior attention to detail and an in-depth understanding of how the system works. Even if you have a supportive doctor, many lack the know-how to navigate the system that is necessary to succeed in a claim. We can work with you to determine your eligibility for federal disability retirement including determining your creditable service, whether or not your medical condition is considered to cause the service deficiency, the projected length of the disability and all of the documentation needed to support that. We can also assist with appealing an FERS denial if you are denied benefits initially.

Maryland State Disability Retirement

disabled woman in wheelchair

The Maryland State Retirement System (SRS) is designed to provide eligible employees with a retirement annuity and continuing healthcare coverage after a serious illness or injury permanently stops an employee from being able to perform job duties. If you are seeking disability retirement from the state of Maryland, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Emmett B. Irwin can work for you to determine your eligibility and guide you through the filing process.

As with federal disability, the filing process for Maryland State disability retirement is tedious and detail-oriented. Your claims will be evaluated by the Maryland SRS Medical Board, and we will ensure your case is strong, that you meet all deadlines and that you receive the benefits you deserve.

Maximizing Your Coverage in With Overlapping Benefits

If you are injured and unable to work, you may be able to seek disability benefits from more than one source. While you may be able to receive these benefits simultaneously, they may offset each other. In other words, the compensation you receive from one source of benefits will be reduced by the amount of benefits you are receiving from another source. Fortunately, these offsets can be minimized or even avoided altogether with some help from a knowledgeable Baltimore disability attorney. 

The Impact of Workers’ Compensation on Disability Retirement

Workers’ compensation is an important benefit that is available to almost all workers who are injured while on the job. In general, workers’ compensation will pay two-thirds of your income and any medical expenses you incur as a result of your injury. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is a fairly straightforward process, and if your claim is approved, you should begin receiving benefits fairly quickly.

The situation becomes more complicated if you are receiving other benefits such as disability retirement or SSDI benefits. In those situations, your disability benefits may be offset by your workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you apply for workers’ compensation before applying for disability, it is quite possible that your workers’ compensation will not affect your disability retirement benefits. 

An Attorney Can Help You Plan for Your Future

If you have been injured on the job, careful planning as to what benefits to apply for and when presents many advantages: 

  • Workers’ compensation is a fairly efficient system that quickly pays benefits if your claim is approved. You can file your claim as soon as you are unable to work and may begin receiving payments within a couple of weeks. The SSDI and disability retirement programs take far longer to approve claims and begin paying benefits. In addition, there is always the possibility that your SSDI or disability retirement claim will be denied. 
  • Filing for workers’ compensation before other benefits can help avoid offsets. By law, your SSDI and workers’ compensation benefits together cannot exceed more than 80% of your average monthly earnings before you were injured.  
  • Any attorney’s fees awarded as part of your workers’ compensation will not be considered for offset purposes. If you choose to work with a workers’ compensation attorney, any attorneys fees will be paid as a part of your benefits, and will not be considered for offset purposes.  

Every case is different with its own set of unique circumstances that need to be considered. If you are injured and unable to work, a Baltimore disability attorney can help you determine which benefits you are entitled to and how best to proceed. For example, you may be able to structure lump sum workers’ compensation payments or deduct certain expenses in order to minimize SSDI offsets. 

SSDI and Disability Retirement

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to workers who are unable to work for at least 12 months due to illness or injury. Maryland state employees who are disabled and no longer able to work may qualify for disability retirement benefits through the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System.   

If you are a Maryland state employee and unable to work due to injury or illness, you may be able to qualify for both SSDI and disability retirement. Many people are unaware that you can receive both benefits without offset. However, the fact that your claim is approved for one program doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be approved for both programs. SSDI and the Maryland state disability retirement system have different rules that can result in different results. 

Timing can be important when applying for these benefits. For example, getting your SSDI claim approved will likely help get your Maryland state disability retirement claim approved. Depending on your job and the circumstances surround your injury, you could have anywhere from 3 to 5 years to file your disability claim. The state disability retirement system generally only pays benefits from the date your application was filed, it will not pay benefits back to the date that your disability began. 

A Disability Retirement Attorney Can Help You Understand Your Options

For those who are unable to work due to serious illness or injury, disability benefits are essential to avoiding a financial crisis. Unfortunately, it isn’t always clear whether or not you will be able to return to work. This is why it is important to seek professional guidance—a Baltimore disability attorney will know which benefits you qualify for and when is the right time to apply.

In addition, they can help you successfully navigate the process. Many disability claims are denied because claimants fail to submit the correct documentation or make other mistakes. An experienced disability lawyer can help you submit your claim correctly the first time so that you get your benefits when you need them. 

Reach Out to Attorney Emmett B. Irwin Today

Disability benefits programs are far more complex than people realize, especially when they may be entitled to benefits from more than one source. Baltimore disability attorney Emmett B. Irwin works tirelessly to make sure his clients can still live a comfortable life despite their disabilities. To discuss your case and your options, contact us today at 443-329-5668 to schedule a free consultation.