What are the requirements for retirement under disability?
APERS members can retire with a disability if they
- Have at least five years credited service,
- Have credited service for 18 of the 24 months immediately preceding the disability occurrence, and
- Are ruled eligible for federal Social Security disability benefits due to a total and permanent disability.
What if Social Security denies my claim?
If your disability claim is initially denied by Social Security, you must appeal the ruling through the Administrative Law Judge of the Social Security Administration before a separate appeal to the APERS Board of Trustees will be accepted. You should contact APERS for specific instructions after appealing through the Administrative Law Judge of the Social Security Administration.
What if I didn't work 18 of the 24 months immediately before the disabillity? Can I still apply?
Any former member who was or is approved for disability by the Social Security Administration but whose onset date does not meet the provision that requires credited service for 18 of the 24 months immediately before the disability may be retired by the APERS Board of Trustees upon written application to the Board if the onset date determined by the SSA is within 24 months of the date the member terminated from covered employment.
Am I eligible for any benefits while my claim is being decided?
If you are within 10 years of your normal retirement age (for most that is at least 55 years of age), you may receive reduced benefits pending approval of your disability.
Will APERS pay retroactive benefits for the time between my becoming disabled and being approved for benefits?
No, APERS disability benefits begin on the first of the month after our approval. Although we used to pay retroactively, that policy was changed by ACT 332 of 2013.
I feel better. Can I go back to work?
If you return to work, you run the risk of jeopardizing your disability benefit. Much like Social Security, APERS has monthly limitations on earnings by retirees. If you are considering returning to work, please contact the Benefits Unit for more information before you make your decision.
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