Applying for Disability

As a participant in the CORP, the benefits that are available to you vary depending on your Membership Tier and during the course of your career there may come a time that due to injury or illness, you are unable to perform your duties.  Should that occur, CORP provides disability pension benefits that you may become eligible to receive, which may be payable for lifetime, as long as eligibility is maintained pursuant to statute.  As with all benefits, you may reference the CORP Member Handbook for additional information and/or you may contact your Local Board to initiate the disability determination process.

If you are not certain who the Local Board contact person is, please Contact Us.

The CORP provides the following disability pension types, each with different qualifications and requirements as outlined below (to view the following table from a mobile device, click here):

Disability Type   

Service Related?

Qualifications     

Calculation

Taxability

Additional Requirements  

Ordinary

No

  • Physical Condition which totally and permanently prevents you from performing a reasonable range of duties within your department.
  • Mental condition that totally and permanently prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful activity.

Tier 1 Members
(average monthly benefit compensation x 50%) x (credited service /20 for non-dispatchers or /25 for dispatchers) = monthly benefit.

Tier 2 Members
(average monthly benefit compensation x 62.5%) x (credited service /25) = monthly benefit.

Fully taxable to the member.

  • Tier 3 DC Members are not eligible to apply for an Ordinary Disability.
  • Cannot be eligible for a normal retirement.
  • Dispatchers disabled on/after September 21, 2006 and non-dispatchers disabled on/after September 26, 2008 may qualify.
  • A member shall file an application for a disability pension after the disabling incident or within one year after the date the member ceases to be an employee and employment is terminated by reason of disability.
  • The Local Board may require periodic medical re-evaluations. Disability terminates if the Local Board finds the retired member no longer meets the requirements.

Accidental

Yes

Physical or mental condition which totally and permanently prevents you from performing a reasonable range of duties within your department and incurred in the performance of your duties and was the result of any of the following:

1.  Physical contact with inmates, prisoners, parolees or persons on probation, or

2. Responding to a confrontational situation with inmates, prisoners, parolees or persons on probation, or

3. A job-related motor vehicle accident while on official business, except that if an employee is found guilty of violating a personnel rule or in violation of state or federal law.

Tier 1 Members
For members with:

  • Less than 20 years of credited service: average monthly benefit compensation x 50% = monthly benefit.
  • 20 or more years of credited service: average monthly benefit compensation x 50% plus 2% for each year of credited service over 20 = monthly benefit.
  • 25 or more years of credited service (max 32 years): average monthly benefit compensation x 50% plus 2.5% for each year of credited service over 25 = monthly benefit.

Tier 2 Members
For members with:

  • Less than 25 years of credited service: average monthly benefit compensation x 50% = monthly benefit.
  • 25 or more years of credited service (max 32 years): average monthly benefit compensation x 62.5% plus 2.5% for each year of credited service over 25 = monthly benefit.

Tier 3 AOC Surveillance and Probation Members within the First 90 Days of Employment
If member is determined to be eligible for a disability, the employee shall be automatically enrolled in the Tier 3 DB Plan for the remainder of the employee's employment with any employer under the System.

Tier 3 DC Members
The calculation is based on a Tier 3 DB member reduced by an amount equal to the monthly annuitized value of the annuity account.

If less than 20 years of service, benefit is fully non-taxable for lifetime.

Tier 1 Members

If greater than 20 years of service, 50% of the average monthly benefit compensation is non-taxable for lifetime, plus any previously taxed monies, if applicable, based on the Exclusion Ratio Safe Harbor Method, are non-taxable income.

Tier 2 Members

If greater than 20 years of service, 62.5% of the average monthly benefit compensation is non-taxable for lifetime, plus any previously taxed monies, if applicable, based on the Exclusion Ratio Safe Harbor Method, are non-taxable income.

  • A member shall file an application for a disability pension after the disabling incident or within one year after the date the member ceases to be an employee and employment is terminated by reason of disability.
  • The Local Board may require periodic medical re-evaluations. Disability terminates if the Local Board finds the retired member no longer meets the requirements.

Total & Permanent

Yes

Physical or mental condition which totally and permanently prevents you from engaging in any gainful employment and is the direct and proximate result of the performance of your duties.

Same calculations for each Tier Membership based on an Accidental disability.

Same taxability for each Tier Membership based on an Accidental disability.

  • A member shall file an application for a disability pension after the disabling incident or within one year after the date the member ceases to be an employee and employment is terminated by reason of disability.
  • The Local Board may require periodic medical re-evaluations. Disability terminates if the Local Board finds the retired member no longer meets the requirements.

 

Disability Determination Process

Determining your eligibility for a disability pension is a multistep process, which is handled by your local board.  Below highlights that process.  However, your local board may have specific policies and procedures/rules in place when it comes to applying for a disability.  You will need to contact your local board to initiate the disability determination process.

Rehearing of Local Board Decision

When your local board renders a decision on your application for disability and you disagree with the decision that was made, under statutes you do have the ability to request a rehearing on the matter.  In order to make a request for rehearing, the conditions must be met:

  • Your request must be in writing and sent directly to your local board, highlighting your reasoning for why your local board should reconsider their original decision.
  • The request must be made within 60-days of either being in attendance at the meeting where the decision was made, receiving notification of the board’s action via certified mail or by receiving benefits, whichever occurs first.

Disability Follow-Up

  • The local board may require periodic medical re-evaluations until you reach what would have been your normal retirement.  Disability pensions terminate if the local board finds that you no longer meet the requirements for the benefit.
Step 1: File Application for Disability

Once you have determined which one of the 4 disability types you feel you may qualify for, your first step is to meet with your Local Board Secretary to make a formal application for disability.  As part of the application, you will need to identify your physicians who have treated you for your noted disabling condition.  Additionally, you will need to provide all the medical documentation associated with the disabling condition.

Step 2: Local Board Meets to Determine If Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) is Warranted

Once you have submitted your complete disability application, your local board will meet to review the application and medical documentation to determine if sufficient evidence exists to warrant continued consideration of disability pension.  If so, your local board will take official action to appoint a physician to conduct an IME. Dependent on the circumstances of your application, if sufficient evidence does not exist, your board may table your application pending additional documentation or, they may take action to deny the application in its entirety.   If denied, you have rehearing rights under PSPRS statutes.

Step 3: Meet with Local Board Appointed IME Doctor (If Local Board Approved the Action)

While each Local Board may have differing processes or procedures to handle the administration of IME(s) for their members, you will be required to meet with their appointed physician in order to have the evaluation conducted in accordance with statutes.  This Physician will be evaluating your condition/injury in relation to the duties and responsibilities of your position and/or department based on the type of disability benefit you are applying for.

Step 4: Local Board Reviews IME Report to Render a Decision

After receipt of the Medical Board’s medical evaluation, your Local Board will meet to further consider your application.  At this point, your board needs to determine whether your condition/injury, based on their IME doctor’s report, meets the statutory requirement for potential approval. If approved, you will work with your Local Board Secretary to finalize all remaining paperwork required to initiate any benefits.  If your application is denied at this point, you still have rehearing rights under PSPRS statutes.

Step 5: PSPRS Administrative Office Reviews Local Board Action and Initiates Disability Payments

Once your board has completed their disability determination process and your disability pension packet has been completed, your board will submit all documents to our office for review and processing. Your disability packet will be reviewed by our Member Services and Legal Department to ensure that all statutory requirements for disability have been met. Concerns that arise with your disability packet may result in delay in establishing benefits or may result in our office requesting a rehearing of the board’s decision.  If our office concurs with the decision made by the board and your disability pension packet is fully complete, your disability pension will be initiated for payment.  

Note: Benefits are always paid the last business day of the month.