If you are a Connecticut state employee and you became permanently disabled, you may be entitled to disability compensation under your Connecticut disability retirement plan. If you are permanently disabled, there are two avenues from which you may be able to receive benefits.
The first is for service connected injuries. This means, if you became disabled as a result of any injury received while in the performance of your duty as a state employee, then you may be eligible for disability retirement regardless of how long you worked for the state.
The second avenue is through non-service connected disability. If you are disabled and you have more than ten years of service with the state, then you are entitled to non-service connected disability.
Also, the standard of disability changes over time. For the first two years after your injury, the state will determine that you are permanently disabled if you are unable to continue the service in which you have been employed. After 24 months, the standard requires a greater degree of impairment to be disabled. You will then be required to show that you are totally disabled for any suitable and comparable job. “Suitable and comparable” can refer to any job that a disability retiree is capable of performing considering his age, education, physical limitations, vocational skills, and experience. There are alternative sources of income while you are disabled. The sources include social security disability, workers’ compensation benefit payments, disability compensation under Section 5-142 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and income from an outside job. Section 5-142 provides additional income for certain state employees who are injured while subduing an inmate. Section 5-142 does cover more infrequent situations, such as contracting a disease while in the course of your job performance and other limited situations that cause disability.
In addition to state disability retirement claims, this office will also be able to assist with your social security disability claim.
The decision of whether your injury was service connected and whether you meet either standard of disability is at the discretion of the medical examining board. The board decisions are final and not reviewable by the court system. That is why it is so important to contact an attorney when you know disability retirement is in your future.