Greg Caggiano, of Miller and Caggiano, LLP, is the attorney that we have been referring members to regarding Worker's Comp., Ordinary Disability Retirement and Social Security Disability benefits. COVID-19 has taken the world by storm and we have all heard of cases in which people who contract the virus do not survive. Thankfully, our members who have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 have fully recovered or are on the path to recovery. It is important that members remain informed of the benefits that their family may entitled to should they succumb to the virus.
It is Greg Caggiano's strong recommendation that should any of our members become ill, or even exhibit symptoms attributed to the COVID-19 Virus, they complete the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) Power Of Attorney immediately. They should also immediately complete the Application for Ordinary Disabiity Retirement. These documents must be filed on behalf of the ill member, BEFORE, they pass away so that family members can receive benefits. The members attorney or a trusted family member can hold onto these documents should they need to be filed with the Retirement System immediately.
Click here for the New York State Employee's Retirement System's new online Power of Attorney and Ordinary Disability Retirement forms. These would be used to file for the Ordinary Disability Pension on behalf of a member whose illness might result in death, i.e. COVID-19, and the member cannot file on their own.
Once again, it is important that the NYSLRS POA as well as the Application for Ordinary Disability Retirement be filed prior to the death of the member. The POA must be signed by the member personally and NOTARIZED BY A DULY LICENSED NOTARY PUBLIC. This is why the member should complete the form upon testing positive for the COVID-19 Virus before possible hospitalization.
Thankfully, it is true that, if any of our members contract the COVID-19 virus, most will survive. We must take into account the severity of this illness and the speed at which it may attack the members who may be more susceptible. It is for those who may fall ill quickly, be taken to the hospital and be quarantined away from friends and family alike that again it is strongly suggested at the outset of contracting COVID-19, that the NYSLRS POA NOTARIZED and Application for Ordinary Disability Retirement be completed and held with a trusted individual to possibly be filed immediately with the Retirement System before the death of a member should that become necessary.
For those members who are close in time and age to their service retirement, it is imperative that the member or the members family contact a Union Board Officer or their attorney to discuss the filing of a Service Retirement Application with the NYSLRS POA NOTARIZED as opposed to the Ordinary Disability Retirement Application as there may be long standing monetary value concerns should the Service Pension be of higher value than the Ordinary Disability Pension as the Retirement System may grant the lower Ordinary Disability Pension.
If there are any questions, please feel free to contact Greg Caggiano, (cell 631-523-2121, office 631-821-7700, or email Greg@millercaggiano.com) or his assistant Margaret Ryan (cell 631-388-1190 or email Margaret@millercaggiano.com).