A member who applies for a disability benefit through the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) is initially evaluated under an “own occupation disability standard.” The “own occupation disability standard” is defined as an inability to perform your last public employment position due to physical and/or mental impairments. Please note that the physical and/or mental impairments must last, or be expected to last, for a continuous period of 12 months. The “own occupation disability standard” is reviewed on a yearly basis during the first three years an individual receives disability benefits.
After three years, members will be evaluated under “any occupation standard.” OPERS will terminate a member’s benefits based on the “any occupation standard” if it is determined that a member can perform the duties of any position which meets the following criteria:
a) The position pays at least 75 percent of the salary of your last public employment;
b) The position is reasonably found in the member’s regional job market;
c) A position for which the member is qualified to do based on his/her education and experience.
The “own occupation disability standard” is a lower threshold to meet in order to be awarded disability benefits because the OPERS review board is only comparing your abilities to perform one job. It is more difficult for members to meet the “any occupation standard” because the OPERS board will see if the individual is capable to perform a wide variety of other positions.
OPERS may extend the initial “own occupation standard” for an additional two years if the member agrees to rehabilitative services. The Rehabilitation Services Program is designed to improve a member’s employability through clinical and vocational rehabilitation services. More information on the Rehabilitative Services can be found here: https://www.opers.org/pubs-archive/leaflets/ISL-K.pdf#page=3.
Social Security Benefits Increase in 2018
When the Social Security Administration announces the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), there’s usually an increase in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit amount people receive each month. Federal benefit rates increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index (CPI-W). The CPI-W rises when […]READ MORE →
CAR REPAIR NIGHTMARE LEADS TO CLASS ACTION
Our client had a minor fender bender and took her car in to have a dent repaired. She had insurance, and her insurance was willing to pay the reasonable expenses associated with repairing the vehicle. It is alleged that the repair shop, Three-C Body Shop, encouraged her to leave everything in their hands. Weeks passed […]READ MORE →
Patrick Monday, April 2, 2018 A special thank you to Jones Law Group attorneys Kevin Larrimer and Nick Kolitsos for helping me with my STRS disability claim. They are both very competent and well versed in Ohio STRS disability law and were able to succeed in my claim where I was unable on my own. […]