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There’s also good stuff going on at the city’s retirement board.
Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to stop by the disability committee meeting last Friday.
I discovered that the disability committee is hot on the trail of people who may be incorrectly (dare we even say fraudulently?) drawing disability retirement payments.
The law requires that the retirement board check up on disability retirees. Not surprisingly, this hasn’t been done for maybe 20 years. Once Proposition H passed and the new board members where put in place, cleanup began.
At the direction of the board, staff sent out request for affidavits from a portion of the disability retirees. Once they came back, 10 were referred for medical re-examination. Of those 10, four were cleared and one was dropped from questioning. The remaining five are now working through the re-examination process.
The agenda item on Friday was to refer 20 more for re-examination. The monthly retirement cost associated with disabled retirees is $600,000. Now, just because these few are being re-examined doesn’t mean they will be removed from the disability retirement rolls, but if someone is abusing the system, this is the first step in uncovering that issue.
According to the committee, there is a rub. If someone is improperly receiving disability retirement payments, the law requires that the retirement board order that person back to work. Well fine, but what if the city doesn’t want them back? Remember, the old board wasn’t doing its job, so some of these retirements date back 10-15 years. This is a problem. Not a retirement board problem – it is a city problem and they need to get on this pronto because the retirement board is moving along smartly on the project.
The mayor has an appointee on the disability committee. She wasn’t at the meeting, so I’m assuming that this issue has either already been brought to the attention of the mayor’s office or that someone else on the committee is planning to do that.
Anyway, kudos to the new retirement board for launching into this project!
Update: This post originally stated that the 20 cases being reviewed were costing the city $600,000 a month. That figure is actually the total for all disability cases as the story now reads.
– APRIL BOLING