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Disability Retirement

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#1 LyndaJacobsen


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Posted 09 January 2010 - 06:45 AM

If I have posted my question in the wrong section, please forward it to the appropriate section.

I desperately need some help.  My deadline is in 10 days.


I filed for CalPERS disability retirement and for Social Security Disability benefits. 

The ALJ in the CalPERS disability case denied my application. 

The ALJ in the Social Security case awarded me a fully favorable decision.

I appealed the CalPERS ALJ's decision to the CalPERS Board.  It decided to remand my case back to the ALJ who had denied my application and directed the ALJ to review my Social Security hearing file, and other documents.

There was a pre-hearing conference held before the ALJ who had denied my application and he asked for briefing re issues of res judicata and estoppel.  (Should I also include comity and claim preclusion arguments/case law?  I have seen these terms used in my failed attempt to do my own research). 

The ALJ also wanted to be briefed on how much weight should he give to the Board's directive; and, how much weight he should give to the documents in my Social Security hearing file, if any.  Lastly, the ALJ asked for briefing on whether he is prevented from hearing this case since another ALJ has already determined that I qualify for full disability benefits. 

The CalPERS attorneys are trying to argue that my social security hearing file not be entered into the record.  (I do not understand this action since I presumed that CalPERS legal division would follow its own Board's directive...but apparently that is not the situation).  Also, CalPERS legal staff is arguing that the criteria CalPERS uses is "different" than Social Security disability criteria.  (That may be true but as a lay person, it would seem that if the criteria for full social security disability has been met, then any other criteria would be the same as or less than the high standard/criteria that has to be met in order to receive full social security disability benefits).  Any case law that would discuss these issues favorably for me would be extremely helpful.  (e.g., I need case law that discusses an ALJ being prohibited from ruling on a CalPERS disability case if a ruling of full disability has already been awarded by a Social Security ALJ).

Is anyone familiar with any California law that would help me with the upcoming remand hearing? 

Obviously, I have no monies to retain an attorney but would be willing to try to work some type of contingency arrangement for legal assistance.

Thank you,


#2 Fallen


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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:23 AM

It's best not to use your own name here; google is not your friend in this regard.

We cannot provide legal advice here even if we had all the relevant info, and I'm afraid the message boards are not the place to look for an attorney (even if we knew where you were); try the "find a lawyer" feature here or elsewhere, local and state bar associations for referrals, etc.

You should be consulting a local attorney familiar with CALPERS disability cases for legal research.  You may be able to find someone who will take the matter on contingency.


I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)

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