Occupational disability benefits are paid if you are unable to work due to a work-related illness or injury. In order to receive occupational disability benefits from SERS you must:
- File a claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission, the Risk Management Division of your agency, or the Department of Central Management Services to determine if your disability is work-related.
- Complete and submit an occupational disability packet to SERS.
Applying for Benefits
You must apply in order to receive benefits. It is important to file an application for occupational disability benefits with SERS as soon as you are removed from your agency payroll. The application process requires you to obtain a medical report from a licensed healthcare professional certifying you are unable to perform in your position. You must also sign a release form giving SERS access to your medical records.
All benefit claims and appeals are reviewed by the SERS Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. If your claim is denied, or you question the payment of any benefit, you or your representative may file a written appeal or request a hearing before the Executive Committee.
When Payments Begin & End
Occupational Disability Benefits Begin When:
- SERS determines you are disabled.
- You receive benefits under the Workers’ Compensation or Occupational Diseases Act.
- You are removed from your agency payroll.
Occupational Disability Benefits End When:
- Your disability ends.
- You resume employment.
- You reach age 65. (If your disability begins after age 60, benefits are payable for five years).
If your disability benefit is terminated because of age, or the five-year limit, you are eligible for a retirement benefit at age 67.
The disability benefit equals 75% of your final average compensation on the date you were removed from the payroll. This amount is reduced by any payments made under the Workers’ Compensation Act, or the Workers' Occupational Diseases Act.
While you receive disability benefits, your SERS account will continue to be credited with service and contributions as if you were working.
Each occupational disability benefit paid by SERS is increased 7% on January 1 after four years of being granted this benefit. On each January 1 following the date of the 7% increase, there is a 3% benefit increase in the net benefit.