STRS Disability Benefits

The State Teachers Retirement System, or STRS, is open to all K-12 public educators in Ohio. Faculty at Ohio’s community colleges and state university can also enroll in the program. Educational support staff such as secretaries, custodians, and bus drivers participate in a separate pension plan called the School Employees Retirement System.

STRS takes the place of Social Security for members. As such, the retirement system pays disability benefits to members who qualify to receive them. Simply becoming unable to continue working due to a physical or mental condition is not enough, however. STRS disability attorneys with Agee Clymer have decades of experience helping school teachers and college faculty obtain disability benefits.

Know the Rules Regarding Eligibility for Ohio STRS Disability Benefits

To qualify for STRS disability benefits, you must

  • Have accumulated at least 10 years of qualifying service. This became a requirement for STRS members who enrolled after July 1, 2013. Prior to that, enrolled member needed 5 years of qualifying service to have their application for disability benefits considered.
  • File your application within 2 years of the date on which you last worked as an Ohio K-12 educator or a state college faculty member.
  • Be incapable of performing the duties of the job that permitted you to enroll in the STRS program. It is not a requirement that an applicant for STRS disability benefit be currently employed by an Ohio public school system or a state institution of higher learning. Additionally, it is not a requirement that the applicant’s disabling condition be work-related. The injury may have occurred while you were off duty, or the illness may have developed for a reason other than exposures to toxic materials at your worksite.
  • Suffer from disabling symptoms that are expected to last for at least 12 months after the date on which the STRS program receives your completed disability application packet. Temporary disabilities due to illnesses or injuries will not qualify you for STRS disability benefits, but such conditions may be covered by another program such as Ohio Workers’ Compensation.
  • Not already be receiving retirement payments through STRS and also not have received a refund of your contributions to the retirement system.

You Can Appeal a Denial or Cancellation of STRS Disability Benefits

Insufficient medical documentation often leads to the rejection of an initial application for disability benefits. The STRS program may also reach a determination that you have recovered sufficiently to return to work and should no longer receive disability benefits.

In both circumstances, you have the right to appeal the decision. Action must be taken quickly, however, because the STRS program sets short deadlines for appealing.

How We Can Help

Based in Columbus, Ohio, STRS disability attorneys with Agee Clymer welcome opportunities to assist with STRS appeals and all aspects of the application process. We make ourselves available online to educators all across the state, and we also invite calls to (614) 221-3318. We charge nothing for the initial consultation, and we may be able to help with legal issues regarding disability programs other than STRS.

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Worker’s Comp Lawyers Columbus, Ohio - Agee Clymer

140 E. Town St. #1100
Columbus, OH 43215