Many employees who filed a disability retirement claim with CalPERS, between September 2004 to January 1, 2007, were undoubtedly informed that the disability retirement application process had to comply with a California State Supreme Court decision – the Nolan decision.
In the Nolan case, a divided Court ruled that a CalPERS’s disability-retirement applicant must not only prove that the alleged disabled employee was disabled from his/her employer’s job, but must also prove that the employee’s disability extends to all other comparable CalPERS’s employment Statewide.
Hundreds, probably thousands, of applications got delayed, costing the retirement system large sums to administer and depriving the disabled employees of their deserved benefits. CalPERS found that the cost of administering the Nolan decision far outweighed any benefit gained.
Accordingly, CalPERS asked the State Legislature to enact corrective legislation which it did. So as of January 1, 2007, the test for determining whether any employee is disabled is measured by the usual and customary duties of that employee’s job. This was a welcome change for all, employees, employers and CalPERS.