NYS Retirement Disability

retirement disability

New York State & Local Retirement System

Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. accepts cases before the New York State & Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) when either Article 14 or Article 15 disability benefits have been denied. If the Retirement System has wrongly denied your disability retirement benefits, call Peter M. Cordovano, P.C. immediately for representation. The statute of limitations for filing an appeal with the Retirement System is 4 months from the date of the certified mailing that you have received denying your claim. As a public servant in New York State, and a member of one of the world’s largest public pension systems, you are covered by a retirement plan that provides important benefits. Whether you have just joined or have been a member your entire career, it is important to know about these benefits. Retirement consultations are available via the telephone or at locations throughout the State.

To schedule an appointment, contact the NYSLRS Call Center toll-free at 1-866-805-0990, or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, New York area. Appointments are needed for individual consultations at all sites. When visiting any of our sites, please bring photo identification and any recent Retirement System correspondence. With the exception of their New York City site, members do not need an appointment to drop off forms, pick up information or have something notarized. Albany office hours are 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Office hours at all other sites are 9:00 am – noon and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. All sites are closed on legal holidays.

For information about how to file for disability retirement and about the process, visit The Retirement Systems’ website at www.osc.state.ny.us/retire. Their plan booklets should also be reviewed to refer to your particular benefits plan. If you believe you may be eligible for a disability retirement, file your application immediately. NYSLRS is a defined benefit plan. Your retirement benefit will be based on factors such as your tier, retirement plan, service credit, final average salary (FAS) and age at retirement. Eligibility is determined by 6 criteria:

  • Membership tier
  • Retirement plan
  • Final average salary
  • Age when you retire
  • Credited service in the Retirement System
  • If disability resulted from an on-the-job accident

Unless an injury results from an event that would not ordinarily be anticipated in the context of the worker’s employment, it cannot be defined as an “accidental” injury. To determine whether someone has sustained an accidental injury, the focus must be on “the precipitating cause of injury”. The event has to be so “out of the ordinary” that there would be no reasonable expectation of such event ever occurring. This is a difficult target to hit. “Accident” is defined as an event which was not a risk of the work performed. The definition of this term, under retirement system law, is much narrower than what most reasonable and practical people think. “Accident” is further defined under retirement system law as a; a sudden, fortuitous mischance, unexpected, out of the ordinary, and injurious in impact. To properly assess if you are “permanently incapacitated for the performance of your duties” your formal job description must be strictly scrutinized. Your doctor must then make a judgment call, in the first instance, as to whether or not, you can perform the precise duties and responsibilities as set forth within your job description given your functional impairments resulting from your disability. The Retirement System will deny disability applications on 2 grounds. The first ground is if they deem that an applicant “not permanently incapacitated for the performance of your duties”. The second ground is if they deem that an applicant did not suffer an “accident” within the meaning of Retirement and Social Security Law §63. If you are eligible for New York State Retirement Disability, you may apply for service retirement and disability retirement benefits at the same time. There is no early age reduction for disability benefits. Depending on your tier, plan and type of disability benefit, your benefit may be reduced by amounts received from Workers’ Compensation. If you are a Tier 3 member and apply for Article 14 ordinary disability or accidental disability, your benefit will be reduced by 50% of the CO/ESC Social Security Disability benefit in addition to the Workers’ Compensation reduction.


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