In South Carolina, state and many local governmental employees participate in the S.C. State Retirement System. If you are covered by the South Carolina Retirement System, you may be eligible for Disability Retirement benefits. You also may be eligible for basic and/or supplemental Long Term Disability benefits through a private insurance company that manages the plan for the State of South Carolina. The legal rights and procedures for application and appeal for all of these plans are governed by state law. For more information on the S.C. Retirement System, visit their website at www.scrs.state.sc.us.
It may be helpful to contact your personnel or human resources director to determine the procedures for filing a claim, as it is important that you make your application in writing as soon as possible. If the application forms are not available, you should immediately send a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the insurance company or your benefits plan or employer, indicating that you are applying for benefits.
If your claim for benefits is denied, you have the right to appeal. As with ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) cases, the failure to follow certain procedures can result in the loss of your right to contest the denial or termination of benefits. In ERISA and State Retirement claims, the time to hire an attorney is at the first level of appeal. Otherwise it may be too late for your attorney to submit the evidence needed to win your case.
If your claim has been denied and you would like to file an appeal, please contact us so that we may assist you in this process. Disability benefits law is our only practice area, and we understand the system.