If you are unable to perform your job because of injury or illness, you may be eligible to receive a SERS disability retirement, which is different from other state and federal disability programs.
Call 1.800.633.5461 for more information before leaving your job. If you leave state service before applying, you will no longer be eligible.
SERS retains independent medical examiners to review disability retirement applications and make recommendations to the State Employees' Retirement Board. When the recommendation is to grant an application, the medical examiners also recommend that the board deem the disability as either permanent or temporary.
Make Sure You Qualify
Meeting the eligibility criteria above does not guarantee that you will qualify but you must meet at least these factors to be considered.
Complete Application Forms
The time it takes to process a disability retirement application can vary greatly. The best way to ensure that things move smoothly is to submit current, accurate, and complete information.
While you are still working in state service, you must complete a Disability Retirement Application - Vested or Disability Retirement Application - Non-Vested form, whichever is appropriate. We are happy to help you complete these documents, which should be submitted to SERS within 60 days of your application. You must also have your physician complete a Disability Medical Report.
The independent medical examiners retained by SERS must evaluate your disability without the benefit of a personal examination. They rely solely on the information provided by you and your physician. It is in your best interest to ensure that your physician provides sufficient detail and evidence to help our independent medical examiners make an independent judgment regarding the effective date, severity, and duration of your disability claim.
Attach Medical Information
SERS will not process disability retirement applications without appropriate and sufficient medical data that is dated within 60 days of the application submission. It is your responsibility to secure and provide medical information to SERS. SERS is not responsible for any costs associated with obtaining necessary medical information.
In some cases, SERS' independent medical examiners will recommend and the State Employee's Retirement Board will grant disability retirement benefits of a temporary nature.
If you are approved for a temporary disability retirement, it is your obligation to submit relevant, current, and complete medical information to SERS at the appointed times. If you fail to do so, your disability retirement benefits will end.
File Annual Earnings Statements
As a general rule, you cannot receive more in SERS disability retirement payments and other earnings than your salary at the time you retired.
If your disability retirement application is approved, SERS will send you a letter to notify you of your earnings limit. Then you must complete and submit an Annual Earnings Statement for Disability Benefits to SERS for each year that you receive disability retirement benefits until you reach what would have been your SERS normal retirement age.
Failure to fully complete or timely submit this form will result in having your disability retirement payments reduced or stopped.