Disability Protection for Public Employees in Massachusetts
If you are a public employee and have been injured at work, you may have rights in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. Accidental Disability Retirement (ADR) is a benefit that is available to public employees in Massachusetts. Generally, public employees include state, city or town employees, and employees of most public authorities (one exception being the MBTA). If you contribute to the public employee pension system, and if you have a disabling work injury, you may be entitled to ADR.
If you have questions about your eligibility or about the benefits, the Keches Law Group is here to help. You can always be sure that our law firm is on the side of injured employees, and never employers.
What does Accidental Disability Retirement pay for?
ADR pays an injured worker 72 percent of his or her pre-injury wages. While eligibility for ADR is reviewed periodically, an injured public employee can, and in almost all instances will receive ADR for the rest of his or her life. But it is important to note that you will not be able to collect the full ADR allowance in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits.
Your workers’ compensation benefits will be credited against your ADR benefits, with ADR paying the remainder allowance.
Who is eligible for ADR benefits?
There are several requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for ADR benefits.
- You must file an application within two years of the work-related injury unless you are already receiving workers’ compensation benefits for the same injury.
- Unlike workers’ compensation, you must have been injured while performing your specific job duties.
- You must not be able to perform the essential duties of your job. This means that you do not necessarily have to be totally disabled in order to be eligible to receive ADR benefits.
Your health insurance remains in effect on ADR with premiums deducted from the monthly benefits. You may also be able to work to supplement your retirement benefits, so long as the position is not the same or similar to the position you left. And there are limits on what you can earn while receiving ADR.
How can I apply for Accidental Disability Retirement benefits?
- You must file an application with the appropriate retirement board.
- You must have medical evidence of your disability.
- You will be examined and your medical condition evaluated by a regional medical panel.
- You will be required to attend a hearing before the retirement board.
The application process can be long and complex. One of our experienced attorneys can help you negotiate the ADR process to be sure that you are treated fairly and that your rights are protected along the way.
For more information about your rights and how to file an ADR claim, contact us. We represent workers in the greater Boston area and throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
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