One of the hallmarks of the American system of government is the division of power between cities, counties, states, and the feds. Divided sovereignty protects citizens from power being too concentrated in the hands of a few politicians, and allows for regional differences and quirks.
However, the responsibilities and tasks assigned to each level of government are sometimes mixed-up and overlapping. This can make it confusing when you are trying to figure out what level of government or government agent you are supposed to be dealing with when you need access to benefits or answers to a specific question. We see this often in the world of disability benefits.
At the Seelig Law Group, we help clients in the New York City area apply for all of the disability benefits they are eligible for. This means figuring out whether they are eligible for private disability insurance benefits provided by employers, NYC Pension Plan benefits, federal disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, and/or state benefits through the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS).
The least understood benefit provider in this list is the NYSLRS. NYSLRS comprises two different systems, administered by the same staff in the State Comptroller’s office. They are:
More than 3,000 employers participate in the NYSLRS. Of the total members, approximately 32% are state employees, 32% are local government employees, and 21% are school district employees. Employees of state and local public authorities and other governmental corporations make up the remaining members.
As noted above, the system does not cover workers in New York City, but it does cover people who live in New York City and work in an NYSLRS-participating employer outside of the city. This can be confusing because much of the information the Comptroller’s office puts out about the NYSLRS emphasizes that employees in NYC are ineligible.
What disability benefits you are eligible for cannot be determined by reading through broad statements on some government website. Your individual situation and life story will dictate what benefits you can receive.
At the Seelig Law Group we focus on fleshing out your life story and learning about you and your family. We can then navigate the administrative red tape every benefits provider spews out on your behalf. This personal touch is what sets us apart from other firms. We become invested in your well-being and are there to hold your hand when you need direction or reassurance.
If you need help determining which disability benefits you are eligible for, and applying to get the benefits you deserve, we are ready to help. Please contact our office in Manhattan to schedule an initial consultation.