Applying for Disability

As a participant in the EORP, the benefits that are available to you vary depending on your Membership Tier and during the course of your public service, there may come a time when due to injury or illness you are unable to fulfill your duties as an elected official.  Should that occur, EORP 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 eligibility for benefits, you must Contact Us for assistance to initiate the disability application process.

In order to qualify, you must be permanently mentally or physically incapacitated for the purpose of performing the duties of your office. You will be required to be examined by a board of three physicians and a majority of the board physicians must certify that you are mentally or physically incapacitated for the purpose of performing the duties of your office, that your incapacity occurred during your term of office, the mentally or physically incapacity is expected to be of an indefinite duration, and that you should be retired. 

The disability retirement benefit is fully taxable to the member.

Disability Benefit Calculation - Tier 1 Members: 

Credited Service

Calculation

Percentage of Benefits

4.99 years or less

(Average yearly salary x 4%) x 5 years of credited service

20% of the average yearly salary

5.0 to 9.99

(Average yearly salary x 4%) x 10 years of credited service

40% of the average yearly salary

10.00 or more

(Average yearly salary x 4%) x 20 years of credited service

80% of the average yearly salary

Disability Benefit Calculation - Tier 2 Members and EODCRS Members (EODCRS is offset by the balance of the DC account): 

Credited Service

Calculation

Approximate Percentage of Benefits

4.99 years or less

(Average yearly salary x 3%) x 6.25 years of credited service

19% of the average yearly salary

5.0 to 9.99

(Average yearly salary x 3%) x 12.5 years of credited service

38% of the average yearly salary

10.00 or more

(Average yearly salary x 3%) x 25 years of credited service

Approximately 75% of the average yearly salary

 

Disability Determination Process

Determining your eligibility for a disability pension is a multistep process, which is handled by the Administrative Office of the PSPRS and the PSPRS Board of Trustees.  Below highlights that process.

EORP Administrative Hearing Procedures

If the Board of Trustees renders a decision on your application for disability and you disagree with the decision that was made, you 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 the Administrative Office of the PSPRS highlighting your reasoning for why the Board of Trustees should reconsider the 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

If you are granted a disability pension, you may be required to undergo follow-up medical evaluations periodically to continue receiving the disability pension until normal retirement criteria is met.

Step 1: File Application for Disability

Once you have determined that you may qualify for a disability retirement, your first step is to contact the Administrative Office of the PSPRS to make a formal application for disability.  As part of the application, you will need to identify the hospitals and physicians who have treated you for your noted disabling condition. Additionally, you will need to provide all the medical documentation associated with the condition.

Step 2: The Administrative Office Determines if an Independent Medical Evaluation (IME) is warranted

Once you have submitted your completed disability application, the Administrative Office reviews the application and medical documentation to determine if sufficient evidence exists to warrant continued consideration of disability pension. If so, the Administrative Office will take action to assist in the process to have three separate independent medical examinations (IME) conducted – one physician selected by the member, one selected by the Administrator of the plan, and one selected by the Governor’s Office.  Dependent on the circumstances if sufficient evidence does not exist, the Administrative Office may request for additional documentation, or may take action to have the Board of Trustees review the disability application and medical evidence.  If your request is denied, you have rehearing rights under EORP Administrative Hearing Procedures

Step 3: If Administrative Office Approves the Action, Meet with Appointed IME Doctors

If the Administrative Office approves the action, you will be required to meet with each physician. The Physicians will be evaluating your mental or physical incapacity in relation to the duties of your office in accordance with statutes.

Step 4: Administrative Office Reviews IME Reports to Render A Decision to the Board of Trustees

After receipt of the medical evaluations, the Administrative Office will meet to further to consider your application to determine if, based on the IME reports, your disability retirement request meets the statutory requirements for potential approval.  If approved, the Administrative Office will submit the findings to the Board of Trustees for final review and determination.  If your request is denied, you have rehearing rights under EORP Administrative Hearing Procedures.  

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

If your application for disability retirement benefit has been approved by the Administrative Office of the PSPRS and the Board of Trustees ensuring that all statutory requirements for disability have been met and the required documents for your disability pension packet is complete, your disability pension will be initiated for payment.  Note: Benefits are always paid the last business day of the month.