Social Security Disability Lawyer
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MainePERS Disability Claims

Maine public employees have disability coverage through the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS). We handle these claims when a covered member receives a denial of disability benefits.

 

The important thing to remember about a Maine State Retirement System disability claim is that issues are framed very early in the case. After a denial of beneifts and an appeal, a preliminary conference with the hearing officer is arranged quite quickly, and consequntial decisions must be made about the claim. It is wise to get a lawyer involved as early as possible in this process.

 

MainePERS covers state employees, teachers, and certain qualifying municipal employees. Often municipal employees, such as police officers and firemen, are covered under both  MainePERS disability and Social Security disability. Where this dual coverage exists, the member will need to also apply for Social Security disability. The Social Security disability benefits will offset the MainePERS disability benefit.

 

There are several issues that make MainePERS disability retirement claims challenging:

    The disability must be "permanent." Remarkably, that term is not defined by the statute.

     

    The medical board that reviews MainePERS claims, in my opinion, plays an advocacy role for the system. As a result, many cases involve competing medical opinions. Further, there is no opportunity to cross-examine the MainePERS doctors regarding the basis of their opinions.

     

    Those disabled for more than two years must be "unable to engage in any substantially gainful activity for which the member is qualified by training, education or experience."

     

    The Maine Public Employee Retirement System has its own unique rules and procedures for handling disability claims. It is important to have an attorney familiar with the MainePERS rules and procedures.

     

    For help with your MainePERS disability claim, please contact us today.