NYSLRS’ Disability Benefit: What You Should Know

Meeting filing requirements and submitting medical documents are key

A disabling condition can happen to anyone at any time. As a member of the NYSLRS, you may be eligible for a disability retirement if you become disabled and unable to work.Applying for a NYSLRS Disability Benefit

Disability benefits are based on your tier and retirement plan. The eligibility and filing requirements can vary too. Most members with 10 or more years of service credit can apply for an ordinary (non-job-related) disability benefit, and in some circumstances, your employer can file for you. If you become disabled due to a job-related accident, there’s no minimum service required.

If you decide to file for a disability retirement, please remember to keep the following in mind:

Meet Our Filing Requirements

You can file your disability retirement application while:

  • You are still on your employer’s payroll, or
  • As soon as possible after you stop receiving your salary.

You can find a list of all the disability retirement applications on our website. You can also read about the filing requirements in your retirement plan publication.

Make Sure We Have Your Medical Documentation

If your application meets the filing requirements, we will request medical reports from the doctors and treatment facilities you listed on your application. We may also ask you to make an appointment, paid for by NYSLRS, with one or more independent medical examiners whose specialty relates to your disability.

A medical or administrative review board will then make a determination about your eligibility.

If you aren’t approved for a disability retirement, you may request an administrative hearing and redetermination within four months from the date of denial. This gives you an opportunity to provide more evidence to support your request for disability benefits.

Because of the multiple steps that can be involved in the process, these cases typically take longer than regular retirement cases. So, since it may take some time to process your application, we encourage you to file the application while you are still on the payroll. This can help minimize any financial hardship you may encounter during the time it takes to process your application.

For more information about the disability retirement process or how to file, read our publication, Life Changes: Applying for Disability Retirement (VO1802).

14 thoughts on “NYSLRS’ Disability Benefit: What You Should Know

  1. Margaret A Wilson

    haha does a human even read this page? nice generic response. wasted my time checking email. NYSLRS needs help

    1. NYSLRS Post author

      We sent an email to the email address you provided on Wednesday, June 22.

      You can find information about filing for disability benefits and what to expect on the Disability Benefits page on the NYSLRS website.

      If you still have questions about the disability process, please call our customer service representatives at 866-805-0990 (or 518-474-7736 in the Albany, NY area), press 2, then follow the prompts.

  2. Frank

    It’s crazy how Social security takes 3-6 months to give you a decision meanwhile, NYS takes 2+ years. They need to get it together.

  3. D. L

    I was approved for disability retirement, waited 3 years to be approved. Website says Payment will be issued 8-12 weeks. I have yet to receive payment. I call, customer service and they can not give you a direct answer, I was told 4-5 months???. I’ve emailed several contacts provided by nyslrs and no response. I go retirement online no information provided either. What is going on here? No one ever has an answer. The game of sit and wait.

    1. NYSLRS

      We apologize for the trouble you are having. Your message is important to us and we have sent you a private message in response.

    2. Catherine

      I waited about 2 years for approval. I was approved January 28th and haven’t seen or heard anything. I called last month bc I too saw it said payment 8-12 weeks after approval. When I finally got thru to a representative she told me it could take up to 4 months to get paid.

  4. Guess

    Takes about two years for service retirement and still waiting for disability retirement which was approved three years ago. Ha,ha,ha…

    1. C

      I had an unfortunate accident at work and have just recently started the disability process. No one really explains the process and the typical reasons why things move slow for most people (3-4 years!). It’s very unnerving and there are many unknowns. Are there any support groups or forums etc. where retirees can offer some support and/or advice for us folks going through the process?

        1. NYSLRS Post author

          For questions about the disability process, please contact your disability caseworker. If you do not have your caseworker’s phone number, you can call our customer service representatives at 1-866-805-0990, press 2, then follow the prompts. You can also email our customer service representatives using the secure email form on our website (http://www.emailNYSLRS.com). Filling out the secure form allows them to safely contact you about your personal account information.

        2. C

          Yes and I’ve researched other states like NJ and they give you a clear idea of the process and a time frame of 6-8 months until a decision is made.

        3. Margaret A Wilson

          I have been waiting over a year and have multiple disabilities. One doctor at a time and a whole lotta time getting them medical documentation and jumping the hoops. Everything is so up in the air and stressful. Not what someone suffering PTSD and chronic pain and colitis. Stress Im told is not good for you. Unbelievable. SSDI is taking awhile too. Ive gone thru all my savings and if this goes on much longer i could lose my house. A guiddeline of what to expect and how things work would be so helpful! seems like they dont want us to know anything. so stressful. I dont think they have nearly enough IME doctors.


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