The State of Louisiana currently has over 100,000 active members in its retirement system. State employees include
- Regular State Employees
- Hazardous Duty Services
- Correctional Officers
- Wildlife Agents
- Peace Officers
- Bridge Police for the Crescent City Connection (DOTD)
- Alcohol and Tobacco Agents for the Department of Revenue
- Certain State Legislative Officers and Elected Officials
- Judges and Court Officers
Typically, these employees do not pay into Social Security and are not eligible for Social Security benefits (retirement or disability) unless they had private work in addition to their state/local government employment. But what happens when you become sick or injured and are no longer able to work? Does the state retirement system provide any type of disability benefit?
Fortunately, the State of Louisiana Employee Retirement System (LASERs) does provide a disability retirement benefit. In order to qualify for this benefit, however, you must meet certain criteria. The two qualifying factors are:
- Employee must have at least 10 years of service regardless of age; and
- Employee must be an active member of LASERs at the time the disability application is submitted.
If you are a Louisiana State Employee who is disabled, you will need to complete Form 04-01 to apply for disability retirement.
Here are some tips for making sure your claim is as strong as possible:
- Make sure your own doctor has supporting evidence of your claimed disability;
- Make sure your own doctor’s records are submitted to the LASERs in support of your claim;
- Make sure the LASERs doctor is provided with your own medical record;
- Make sure the LASERs administrative claim file includes all of your evidence prior to closing – don’t wait or assume that you will be able to get evidence not in the file in front of a trial judge.
- If you are denied, you must appeal through the LASERs administrative process in order to bring a later claim in court.
If you are a Louisiana State employee who is fighting a disability denial, give me a call for help with properly preparing your administrative claim file for further litigation!