If you become permanently incapacitated because of employment with an SBCERA employer, you may be eligible for a Disability Retirement. Permanently incapacitated means you are physically or mentally incapacitated from performing the usual duties of your job. It can also be described as the substantial inability to perform your usual job duties, although, it is not necessary for you to be physically or mentally incapable for performing each and every duty or task that might arise within your job classification. The incapacity is permanent if change, for the better or worse, is not to be reasonably anticipated under usual standards.
Types of Disability Retirement
There are two types of Disability Retirements: Service-Connected and Nonservice-Connected. The requirements and benefit impacts differ for each type. Below is a summary of each:
- Service-Connected — Your permanent incapacity must be a result of an injury or disease arising out of your employment.
For a Service-Connected Disability Retirement, the monthly benefit is 50% of your highest final average compensation or your service retirement benefit amount, whichever is greater. With a Service-Connected Disability Retirement, 50% of your highest final average compensation may be excluded from taxable retirement income. For questions regarding taxation, you should consult with your tax advisor.
NOTE: Even if you have been found eligible for Workers' Compensation, you still need to complete all applicable forms in the Disability Retirement packet. SBCERA may request any claims and reports you have filed for Workers' Compensation. The Board is interested in reviewing any relevant evidence or reports, but it is not bound by any findings in a Workers' Compensation determination.
- Nonservice-Connected – Your permanent incapacity is not a result of an injury or disease arising out of your employment. You must have at least five (5) years of service credit to be considered for a Nonservice-Connected Disability Retirement. Approved service credit in a system with reciprocity does count toward the required five years.
For a Nonservice-Connected Disability Retirement, the monthly benefit is 20% up to a maximum of 40% of your highest final average compensation, depending on your years of service credit or your service retirement benefit amount, whichever is greater. Your benefit is 100% taxable.