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LACERA Responds to COVID-19 with Virtual Services
Due to the impact of COVID-19, businesses and agencies have had to find new ways to provide the essential services. And the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) – the agency that administers and manages the retirement fund for L.A. County and outside Districts – is no exception.
At Cantrell Green, our attorneys understand that many of our clients rely on their LACERA disability retirement benefits to make ends meet – especially during challenging times like these. In this article our attorneys provide some helpful information on using the LACERA system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
And, of course, if you or a family member are having any difficulties applying for (or collecting) your LACERA disability retirement benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic – or at any time – our experienced attorneys are here to help.
LACERA Implements New Virtual Member Service Center
LACERA had previously established a Remote Call Center, which is still in operation the same as it was prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, LACERA has expanded those services via implementation of a new Virtual Member Service Center (VMSC) this summer.
The new LACERA Virtual Member Service Center (VMSC) is accessible on all devices, including desktop computers, phones, tablets, and laptops. Our LACERA members have reported that it is relatively easy to use for individuals who are comfortable with computers. However, some older or disabled LACERA members applying for disability retirement benefits may still have difficulties navigating the LACERA VMSC interface.
If you are a LACERA member applying for disability retirement benefits, our experienced LACERA disability retirement attorneys would be happy to help you.
LACERA Virtual Retirement Counseling
LACERA’s new Virtual Member Service Center (VMS) enables members to participate in face-to-face, in-depth “face-to-face” counseling appointments with a LACERA Retirement Benefit Specialist via telephone, or online using the GoToMeeting app.
Virtual Retirement Benefit counseling appointments average about an hour. And members can receive one-on-one counseling to review different retirement scenarios, discuss purchases of service credit, and to be walked through the retirement or disability retirement process.
Using the LACERA Virtual Member Service Center
Simply visit lacera.com and click on the “Appointment System” link to schedule your appointment. You will have two options: Telephone Counseling Appointment or a Virtual Retirement Counseling Appointment.
Members selecting Virtual Retirement Counseling will interact with a Specialist via a secure GoToMeeting appointment, and will need a phone or computer with an internet connection. You will receive an invitation via email before your scheduled meeting with a link to the video counseling session that enables you to see your Specialist at the designated time. If you choose this option, you can also share documents on your screen for the Specialist to see.
Members selecting a Telephone Counseling Appointment do not need any computer or video connections. It is the same type of one-on-one counseling, but you will not be able to see the Specialist, and you and the Specialist cannot share any documents.
Document Upload Portal on My LACERA
Another new function that is available through LACERA is the ability to log in and upload documents to instantly share them with LACERA. This avoids the need to mail or drop off documents – which is more convenient as well as more “socially distanced”.
Attend LACERA Board Meetings Online
Members can also now attend all public LACERA Board meetings online, and even participate in them online or over the phone. For links to participate, go to the lacera.com homepage and click on the date of the upcoming Board meeting you wish to attend, in the “What’s New” section.
Get LACERA Retirement Benefits Electronically
Finally, LACERA is strongly recommending that all retired members who are still receiving mailed checks use the LACERA website to sign up for Direct Deposit. Checks deposited electronically, ensures that your benefits are not lost, delayed, or stolen. And, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the safest way to guarantee that pension payments are delivered on time. You can sign up for retirement benefit checks online at My LACERA, sign into your account, select Direct Deposit from the menu, and follow the instructions.
LACERA Disability Retirement During COVID-19
In response to the challenges of stopping the spread of COVID-19, LACERA has modified its operations during these difficult times. Our experienced LACERA attorneys understand that this can make applying for disability retirement benefits even more challenging for elderly or disabled OCERS members.
If you or a family member is having any problems applying for (or collecting) your LACERA disability retirement benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic – or at any time – our experienced LACERA attorneys are here to help.
Our lawyers have assisted hundreds of law enforcement officers, firefighters, teachers & school employees, administrators, corrections personnel, sanitation, transportation & airport workers and other public employees apply for disability retirement – or successfully appeal wrongful disability retirement denials.
Our LACERA Attorneys Can Help
Our experienced LACERA disability retirement attorneys have helped hundreds of LACERA public employees, and we would be happy to talk to you.
We are one of very few Los Angeles area law firms that are highly specialized in Public Employees Disability Retirement. Our attorneys have filed hundreds of successful disability retirement applications and appeals and have obtained millions of dollars in disability retirement benefits for our clients.
Our attorneys can help disabled public employees obtain their disability retirement benefits from LACERA or any public employee retirement system in California. If you are an injured police officer, firefighter, teacher, administrator or other public employee, who is applying for or appealing disability retirement benefits, call us today.
LACERA Disability Retirement Attorney: 800-964-8047
This article applies to members of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA); and does not reflect the rules, laws or regulations governing how other public retirement systems are administered. If you have question about another public employee retirement system, find your system, below – or call our office at:
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Our highly specialized disability retirement attorneys are committed to ensuring that every injured or disabled public employee obtains the disability retirement benefits he or she has earned.
We have successfully filed hundreds of disability retirement applications and appeals – obtaining millions of dollars in disability retirement benefits in our four decades of legal service.
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