The Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) is an organization that provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefit plans for Minnesota state employees, the Metropolitan Council, and numerous non-faculty employees at the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State university system. The Minnesota state legislature established the system in 1929. Since then, MSRS has created a mission to empower Minnesota public employees to build a strong foundation for retirement.
As a judge, state patrol officer, correctional officer, elected official, or university civil service employee, you have dedicated your career to serving your community and giving back to the state of Minnesota. Your contribution has been priceless, and you deserve income security when something hinders you from working.
If you sustained an illness or injury that resulted in a disability rendering you unable to work, you might be entitled to disability benefits from the MSRS. The seasoned professionals at Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law can help you file a disability claim or help you receive benefits if your claim was denied.
What Is Considered a Disability?
Disability benefits vary in different insurance policies and even individual MSRS plans. Regardless of your MSRS plan, Minnesota law defines an occupational disability as a physical or psychological condition that lasts at least one year and prevents a member from performing normal job duties required by the post.
However, a total and permanent disability is lawfully defined as the inability to engage in any substantial or gainful activity due to an existing, medically proven physical or mental impairment that is expected to continue for at least one year. Additionally, two medical professionals must diagnose the disability.
For the MSRS State Patrol or Correctional Employees Retirement Plans, there are two different types of disability: duty disability and regular disability.
- Duty disability: An injury or disease must occur while performing normal or less frequent duties that present inherent danger and are specific to an employment position in the plan.
- Regular disability: An injury or disease must arise from a non-work activity or while performing normal or less frequent duties that do not present danger and are specific to a post covered by the individual’s plan.
Examples of disabilities that MSRS benefits may cover include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Vision or hearing loss
- Mental illnesses (depression, PTSD, anxiety)
- Heart failure
- Back injuries
- Kidney disease
- Respiratory illness
- Neurological disorders (MS, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy)
- Immune system disorders
- Coronary artery disease
- Hematological disorders
Who Is Eligible for MSRS Disability Benefits?
All current vested members of MSRS are eligible for disability benefits. Vesting requirements are based on years of service and differ depending on when membership began. If you joined after June 30, 2010, you are vested after five years of service. If you joined the MSRS before June 30, 2010, you are vested after three years of service. Once vested, MSRS disability benefits will cover you for a lifetime or until you are no longer disabled. Your age does not impact your eligibility.
Certain members are eligible for disability benefits under different plans.
- General Employees Retirement Plan: Coverage for state employees who do not fit into the other plans and civil service employees of the University of Minnesota and the Metropolitan Council. This plan offers coverage for total and permanent disability.
- Correctional Employees Retirement Plan: Coverage for correctional officers and other specified Department of Corrections and Human Services employees who spend at least 75% of their work time directly responsible for inmate or patient care. This plan covers duty disability and regular disability.
- State Patrol Retirement Plan: Coverage for state troopers, gambling enforcement agents, crime bureau agents, conservation officers, Department of Commerce fraud investigators, and members of the Department of Corrections apprehension unit. This plan covers duty and regular disability.
- Judges Retirement Plan: Coverage for judges and justices established by the Minnesota Constitution. This plan offers benefits for judges who meet the definition of occupational disability.
- Unclassified Retirement Plan: Coverage for elected officials, commissioners, department heads, and legislative staff. This plan provides total and permanent disability protection.
Why You Should Work With a Disability Attorney
Navigating disability claims can be confusing. Without the proper help, you can easily make mistakes or leave out important information that could cause you to miss out on valuable benefits and compensation. When you’re out of work, you need to be able to rely on a steady stream of income to cover household expenses, childcare, basic needs, and medical appointments. Working with a skilled disability attorney significantly increases your chances of getting approved for the highest amount of MSRS benefits possible.
Applications for disability benefits are complex, and they often have many catches that go unnoticed. A knowledgeable disability attorney will have the legal expertise to help you file a thorough and complete disability claim. If you have already filed a claim and your benefits were denied, it is essential to seek help from a lawyer immediately to file an appeal.
You must act fast after becoming disabled, as applications are due within 18 months of ending employment. The MSRS will not accept any applications after the deadline. Contact a trusted attorney as soon as possible if you need help applying for coverage or filing an appeal after getting denied.
Acquire MSRS Benefits With the Help of Mottaz & Sisk
If you are a member of the MSRS and have sustained a disability that renders you unable to work, reach out to Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law right away. We will help you navigate your claim so that you don’t have to worry about missing out on crucial benefits. The skilled attorneys at Mottaz & Sisk have filed hundreds of MSRS disability applications for disabled state employees in Minnesota. We will be dedicated to your case and help you win the maximum amount of benefits you deserve.
Your search for an empathetic legal partner who will fight for your disability case ends here. Contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today to schedule a free consultation.