Prehearing orders in retirement appeals

Helpful information on DALA prehearing orders for retirement and accidental disability retirement appeals.

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Prehearing orders in retirement appeals

DALA’s prehearing orders in retirement appeals instruct you to do two things:

First, prepare a written memo to be filed with DALA, copying your retirement board or their attorney, if known.  In your memo, describe the facts related to the retirement benefit that your retirement board has denied you.  You must also explain why you believe you are legally entitled to this benefit.  The denial decision you received from your retirement board likely sets forth a brief explanation as to why it denied you the benefit you seek.  Your memo should present whatever reasons you have to rebut the board’s reasoning.  If the board’s denial does not state a specific reason, you may contact the retirement board’s attorney to find out more information about why you were denied.

Second, attach relevant documents that you wish to have considered as evidence in your case.  The types of documents that are relevant will depend on the type of benefit you are seeking.  If you applied for a benefit, at a minimum, you should include your application.  You may have filed many pertinent documents with your retirement board earlier, but those are unlikely to be in DALA’s files. DALA will typically have only your appeal.  If you want DALA to consider a document when ruling on your appeal, submit it along with your prehearing memo.

Before you file the memorandum, it is a very good idea to at least consult with a Massachusetts attorney familiar with public employee retirement law so that you can familiarize yourself with what you need to prove.

Prehearing orders in accidental disability retirement appeals

DALA’s prehearing orders in accidental disability retirement appeals instruct you to do two things:

First, prepare a written memo to be filed with DALA, copying your retirement board or their attorney, if known.  In your memo, describe the facts related to your claim for accidental disability retirement.  In particular, describe your job, the injury you had or the job hazard you experienced, the nature of your disability and how permanent it is, and the connection between your disability and the performance of your job duties.  You must explain why you believe you are legally entitled to accidental disability retirement.  The denial decision you received from your retirement board likely sets forth a brief explanation as to why it denied you this benefit.  Your memo should present whatever reasons you have to rebut the board’s reasoning.

Second, attach relevant documents that you wish to have considered as evidence in this case.  The exhibits in accidental disability retirement appeals typically include the retirement application, the accompanying physician’s statement and employer’s statement, the reports of the medical panel (if there was one), the denial decision by the retirement board, your appeal letter, and relevant medical records.  You may wish to consult with the retirement board’s attorney about which one of you should submit the exhibits, which can be voluminous in these cases.

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