I filed application for Article 15 Disability Retirement with New York State for a Motor Equipment Operator, which was approved today without a hearing being required. When seeking disability retirement, I have found that including a vocational assessment (“VA”) and independent medical opinions significantly increases the chances of approval.
The VA uses the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles (the “DOT”) to determine the occupation that most closely matches the State’s job description. The DOT then provides physical and mental demands for the occupation. In addition to exam findings, test reports and restrictions and limitations (“R&Ls”) from the treating doctors, I furnish IME and peer reviews that also provide R&Ls. The VA then compares the R&Ls to the occupation’s demands to determine if the claimant has the ability to perform them.
The cost of the VA, IME and peer review can be substantial. Nonetheless, I believe that it is an investment that more than pays off in the long run.