A Newsday news report quoted a URRB memo outlining
the five sets of reforms including measures which the
newspaper said could potentially cut off some LIRR
retirees currently receiving disability benefits. Newsday
said the memo was sent to members of the Empire State’s
congressional delegation on Tuesday.
The retirement board has come under fire following reports that it approves, nationally, 98% of railroad disability claims; more than nine in 10 LIRR retirees currently get disability benefits, Newsday said.
According to the news report, a new unit in the
Chicago-based federal agency will handle all LIRR
disability claims. Members of the unit will conduct
independent medical reviews of present and future
disability claims by those not totally and permanently
disabled, developing a program to “re-evaluate dubious
disability claims,” and mandating greater oversight of
the Long Island regional office, Newsday reported.
LIRR president Helena Williams told Newsday that the reforms “unfairly single out LIRR retirees and do not go far enough to address what is a nationwide issue.”