Public employees are covered by the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS). If a public employee receives OPERS’ disability benefits those benefits are awarded and paid pursuant to Chapter 145 of the Ohio Revised Code. Chapter 145, however, provides for no adjustments to the benefit calculation based on the receipt of Workers’ Compensation benefits. In essence, chapter 145 is silent concerning the person that is receiving both OPERS disability benefits and Workers’ Compensation benefits. This ‘silence’ is important because when determining legislative intent it is the duty of the court to give effect to the words used, not to delete words used or to insert words not used. Thus, the receiving of Workers’ Compensation benefits does not offset OPERS disability benefits.
*On the other hand, the receipt of Social Security Disability benefits does invoke an offset of OPERS Disability benefits.*
If you or a person you know have questions concerning the interplay between these types of benefits, please contact The Bainbridge Firm, LLC to speak with an attorney who may help guide you in the right direction.