The Notice Requirement for Mass. Accidental Disability Retirements

Massachusetts Accidental Disability Retirement law requires that that the injury sustained or hazard undergone which forms the basis of the disability retirement claim must have occurred within two years prior to the filing of the application. There are a few exceptions to this requirement. If for example, written notice of the injury was filed with the Retirement Board within 90 days of its occurrence, the notice requirement will be satisfied. Also, the receipt of workers’ compensation payments or G.L. c. 41 § 111F “IOD” payments for police officers and firefighters will satisfy the notice requirement.

Because of this “2 year lookback limitation,” unless there’s an official injury report on file for employees classified in Groups 2, 3, or 4 of the Massachusetts retirement system, within 15 days of knowledge of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty, the employee’s department head is required to notify the Retirement Board, in writing, of the time, location, cause, and nature of the injury along with any additional related information.

Unless one of the exceptions apply, the failure to provide notice to the Retirement Board within the required ninety (90) day notice period may be grounds for the denial of an Accidental Disability Retirement Application in cases where the employee had not received Workers’ Compensation or 111F benefits.

If you are Massachusetts police officer or firefighter who is preparing for the filing of an accidental disability retirement application, you should request a complete copy of your personnel file to see what injury reports are on file. You are entitled to a copy of your file pursuant to G.L. c. 149 § 152C. With a signed release, an attorney can also obtain a copy of the file.