How an Ohio Early Retirement Lawyer Can Help You

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: February 9th, 2017 | Categories: Social Security Disability, State Employee Disability (STRS, OPERS, PERS, OP&F)

How Can I Retire Early in Ohio?

Unless you launch the next Facebook or hit the lottery, you have two basic options for early retirement in Ohio. The first, disability, is unwelcome but, sadly, too common. The other, planning and investment, is primarily available to individuals who have some form of employer-funded pension plan. Anymore, only public sector workers like teachers and state government employers can plan an early retirement.

How an Ohio Early Retirement Lawyer Can Help You Deal With Disability

Becoming too injured or ill to continue working makes most people in Ohio eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Individuals with very few financial resources may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Federal disability benefits do not get awarded automatically. Qualifying for SSDI requires

  • Paying into Social Security, usually via with holdings from paychecks,
  • Presenting medical evidence of a physical, psychological, or emotional issue that will not resolve with treatment or will prove fatal within a year, and
  • Clearing a lengthy and detailed application review process, which may include several rounds of appeals and a federal civil lawsuit.

SSI payments are made based strictly on need. Application forms must be accompanied with reams of information on household expenses, sources of weekly and monthly income, cash savings, investments, and ownership of salable items ranging from a home and vehicles to jewelry and antiques.

An Ohio early retirement lawyer will have experience helping disabled clients and their families fight through the SSDI and SSI application processes. In addition to making sure all the paperwork gets completed and delivered correctly and on deadline, the lawyer will make sure his or her client has access to appropriate medical care and referrals to groups that offer assistance to individuals in poor health and financial straits.

Working With an Early Retirement Attorney on OPERS, STRS, and SERS

Retiring early on one’s own terms typically happens because the young retiree purchased years of service credit. Each retirement system or pension plan sets a minimum number of years a participant must work before he or she can begin receiving benefits. Purchasing credits lets a person shorten the required term of employment.

For Ohioans, the principal vehicles for early retirement are the following:

  • Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, which is open to state and local government employees, state law enforcement personnel, professional firefighters and EMTs, employees of state-funded medical facilities, and faculty at state colleges and universities
  • State Teachers Retirement System, which is open to teachers and some administrators at public schools
  • School Employees Retirement System, which is open to support staff at public schools, such as bus drivers, counselors, and custodians

OPERS, STRS and SERS also cover long-term disability for public employees who have never paid into Social Security. The application and qualification procedures for receiving disability benefits through an Ohio public retirement system bear many similarities to the processes for SSDI.

Consulting with an early retirement attorney will help an Ohio public sector employee interpret and follow service credit purchase rules, navigate a disability benefits application gauntlet, and calculate pre and post retirement budgets. To schedule an appointment with an early retirement attorney, call the Jones Law Group at (614) 545-9998 or use this form.

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