On Oct. 6, 2017 the Cole County Circuit Court entered a judgment finding that individuals who received a blind pension between February 1, 2001 and June 30, 2010 did not receive the full amount of the pension that they were entitled to receive, and that members of that class who did not opt out are entitled to a monetary award. Since this judgment, the parties were able to reach an agreement to establish a fund to compensate those affected.

About the Settlement

  • The attorneys for the class, in consultation with the representative plaintiffs and the Missouri Council of the Blind, and the attorneys for the Department have negotiated a settlement pursuant to which the Department will make available $21,000,000 from a settlement fund.
  • The settlement fund includes $11,478,681 to compensate eligible blind pensioners for underpayment of the pension benefit plus an additional $9,521,319 to compensate them for interest on those underpayments.
  • On March 30, 2018, the judge approved the settlement.
  • This settlement resolves all issues, the pending appeal, the possibility of a loss and/or another trial court hearing and has the approval of class attorneys, class representatives and defense attorney and will allow the Department to begin the claims payment process.

Important Dates

The settlement required the Department to send notification to Eligible and Current Eligible Members (Exhibit A and A-1) and Ineligible Members (Exhibit B). All required notifications were mailed on July 16, 2018.

The following dates are deadlines outlined in the settlement for each group of the class. Deadlines are calculated based on the date the notices were mailed.

Current Eligible Members (an Eligible Member who is entitled to receive a current blind pension payment):

  • If you received Exhibit A-1 and you are satisfied with the amount the Department has determined you are eligible for, no further action is needed by you. If you receive your blind pension payment by check, you will receive an extra payment by check. If you receive your blind pension payment by direct deposit, you will receive an extra payment through direct deposit sometime before May 15, 2019.
  • October 15, 2018: Deadline to request an Administrative Review and to request Waiver of Payment or decreased payment.
  • February 12, 2019: Deadline for Department to complete Administrative Review process and send notification of the decision.
  • May 15, 2019: Deadline for Department to issue all payments.

Eligible Members (a member who received at least one monthly payment from the Blind Pension Fund for the period of February 1, 2001 through June 30, 2010):

  • October 15, 2018: Deadline to submit a Claim Form to the Department. (Note: Surviving spouses of deceased eligible members must complete the claim form and Exhibit G. Heirs of deceased eligible members who are not a spouse must complete the claim form and Exhibit H.)
  • February 12, 2019: Deadline for Department to process Claim Forms and send notification of claim amount.
  • May 13, 2019: Deadline to request an Administrative Review.
  • August 12, 2019: Deadline for Department to issue payments to Eligible Members who did not request an administrative review.
  • September 10, 2019: Deadline for Department to issue payments to Eligible Members who requested an administrative review.

Ineligible Members (a Member who is not an Eligible Member and who shall not be entitled to file a claim for compensation):

  • October 15, 2018: Deadline to request an Administrative Review.
  • February 12, 2019: Deadline for Department to complete Administrative Review process and send notification of the decision.

Questions?

If you have questions, you may contact the attorneys for the class: the Greider Law Firm, 314-727-8910, or the Saint Louis University Legal Clinic, 314-977-2778.