The process in filing for an ordinary disability retirement pension first involves the member documenting their disability through a written application. The member describes the nature of their disability, how it occurred, and includes any associated medical records. The application is filed within the agency. The head of the agency may also elect to file an application regarding the claim.
The application is submitted to the Medical Board of the appropriate pension fund. The Medical Board of the pension fund examines the member and evaluates their application and any other materials. The Board then may approve or disapprove the application. If the member’s application is approved, the member may request that the Pension Board re-review the Medical Board’s findings.
In the process, the Pension Board can vote to accept the findings, upgrade the findings, or remand for further review. If the member is not satisfied with the determination, the member can file an Article 78 appeal in the Supreme Court, State of New York. The only way the Court can overturn the Medical Board’s determination is if they find it is not based on “credible evidence.” In claims involving disability, deference is given to the Medical Board. The result is that conflicting evidentiary findings do not disturb the initial result. If the Court determines that the determination of the Board was not based upon “credible” evidence, the Court can upgrade with instructions to award the member a particular pension and remand to the Pension Board for action.