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STRS Must Consider All Disability Reasons for Disability Retirement

In the case of State ex rel. Borling v. State Teachers Retirement Sys. Bd. of Ohio, 2023-Ohio-838, an appellate court held that a retirement board had to review all listed reasons for disability in a teacher’s application for disability.

In this case, the teacher argued that the teacher’s doctor listed both cryptococcal meningitis (“CM”) and mixed connective tissue disorder (“MCTD”) in the doctor’s initial report to the retirement board. In response, the retirement board argued that the doctor’s initial report only supported a diagnosis of CM and that the teacher’s main doctor for MCTD needed to provide an initial report to include MCTD in the teacher’s application. The appellate court agreed with the teacher.

In support of its decision in favor of the teacher, the appellate court explained that the teacher’s doctor clearly indicated on the report that “CM and MCTD were disabling conditions while amyloidosis was not a disabling condition.” 2023-Ohio-838 at ¶ 27. The appellate court further explained that the retirement board improperly relied upon a newer version of Ohio Adm.Code 3307:1-7-01, which required all physicians to provide reports, rather than the version that was in effect when the teacher applied for disability, which only required a single report.

To read this case, click here.

NOTE: this case was decided on the previous version of Ohio Adm. Code 3307:1-7-01, and the case would likely have come out different under the current version.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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