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MARTHA H. KERN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/31/88)

decided: May 31, 1988.

MARTHA H. KERN, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, STATE EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT BOARD, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of State Employees' Retirement Board in the matter of: Martha H. Kern, dated March 4, 1987.

COUNSEL

Stephen W. Furst, Furst and Furst, for petitioner.

Nicholas Joseph Marcucci, Assistant Counsel, for respondent.

Judges MacPhail and Smith, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Barbieri.

Author: Barbieri

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 429]

Martha H. Kern (Claimant) petitions for review of the order of the State Employees' Retirement Board (Board) which granted her a temporary disability annuity for one week. We reverse in part and remand.

Claimant worked as a hydrogeologist in the Department of Environmental Services. On January 1, 1985, she gave birth to a child who died in the delivery room of complications during the delivery. Claimant came under a psychiatrist's care, developed post-traumatic stress disorder and left her job on May 31, 1985, for a period of hospitalization. On October 25, 1985, she applied for a disability annuity under Sections 5704 and 5905(c) of the State Employees' Retirement Code (Code), 71 Pa. C. S. §§ 5704 and 5905(c). Claimant returned to work on a part-time basis on November 1, 1985, and resumed full-time work on December 15, 1985.

Section 5704 of the Code states that disability annuities shall be payable from:

     the effective date of disability as determined by the board and continued until a subsequent determination by the board that the annuitant is no longer entitled to a disability annuity. . . .

Pursuant to this Section and Section 5102 of the Code*fn1 which states that in the case of a finding of disability the date certified by the Board will be the effective date of disability, the Board established 4 Pa. Code § 241.1 stating:

Effective date of disability retirement -- The date following the last day for which compensation was paid or the date on which the member filed

[ 116 Pa. Commw. Page 430]

    an effective application for disability benefits, ...


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