Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Disability Lawyer
The Virginia Retirement System (“VRS”) is an independent state agency that delivers disability and retirement benefits to covered Virginia public sector employees, including:
- Public school teachers
- Political subdivision employees (cities, towns, special authorities, and commissions)
- State agency employees
- Public college and university personnel
- State police
- Virginia law officers
- Virginia judiciary
If you are a Virginia public sector employee and have suffered an injury, illness, or occupational disease that permanently prevents you from working, you may be entitled to receive disability benefits. However, the process for applying for VRS disability retirement can be challenging, as individuals with legitimate illnesses and disabilities are often turned down twice before receiving a favorable outcome. A Virginia VRS disability lawyer can help in seeking a favorable outcome earlier in the process; preferably from the initial application.
If you need assistance filing a VRS disability benefits application or appealing a denial, we invite you to call our office to schedule a free consultation with experienced Virginia VRS disability attorney Mark Hurt.
Who Qualifies for VRS Disability?
Individuals are eligible for disability retirement through the Virginia Retirement System if they have a condition that prevents them from performing job duties, and they are:
- State employees hired before January 1, 1999, that did not transfer to the Virginia Sickness and Disability Program (VSDP); or
- An employee of a school division or VRS-participating political subdivision employee in the VRS Plan 1 or VRS Plan 2.
Who Is Not Eligible for VRS Disability Retirement?
Individuals are not eligible to retire on disability if they are not working in a qualifying position OR they:
- Are covered under the VSDP
- Are covered under the Virginia Local Disability Program (VLDP)
- Are a member of the Hybrid Retirement Plan
- Defer retirement
- Leave employment and take a refund of contributions and interest
- Participate in an optional retirement plan (administered or authorized by VRS)
- Are only temporarily disabled
- Are employed by a college or university that opted out of VSDP
What is a Disability Under the VRS?
The VRS states a disability may be:
- The result of an injury, illness, or cognitive condition (a cognitive disability is a loss or deterioration in mental capacity, such as Alzheimer’s disease).
- Non-work-related or work-related. Work-related disabilities typically result from an occupational illness or injury that happens on the job and is determined to be compensable under the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act. A non-work-related disability results from a condition not compensable under the Act.
- A chronic condition (e.g., diabetes, mental illness, etc.) that worsens until an individual is unable to perform his or her job duties.
When Can I Apply for VRS Disability Retirement?
There are no minimum age or service requirements to qualify for VRS disability retirement, but there are stringent deadlines. A person can apply from the first day of employment through ninety days after the last day of work. If an employee is on leave without pay, they have up to twenty-four consecutive months on leave without pay to apply for VRS disability retirement.
If an employee fails to apply within these deadlines, they will no longer be eligible for disability retirement unless they are an active-duty military member on military leave.
Contact Virginia Retirement System Attorney Mark Hurt Today for a Free Consultation to Learn About VRS Benefit Entitlement!
If you have become disabled, we invite you to call today to schedule a free consultation with experienced VRS attorney Mark Hurt. With significant disability application experience, Mark understands what is needed to increase the probability of a favorable determination from the initial application.
Even if you were denied benefits, there is still a significant chance that you can qualify. In fact, many applicants are denied benefits (often twice), even when they have a qualifying disability. If your application was denied, Mark can explain how we can represent you in the appeals process.
As a VRS retirement lawyer with over two decades of legal experience, Mark Hurt has successfully obtained disability benefits for countless clients. Call today to find out how Mark can put his extensive experience to work for you!