Disability Benefits

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In the course of your life, an illness or injury may cause you to become unable to perform your job duties. If the illness or injury is severe enough to force you to permanently discontinue your job, you may need to apply for a disability retirement. 

Applying for a disability retirement can be a rigorous process and usually takes between six and nine months. Members should contact CCCERA for more information.

Non-Service Connected Disability

A non-service connected disability means a member’s permanent illness or injury did not arise from his or her employment. Members in either (1) Tier 1, Tier 4, or a Safety tier who have five or more years of retirement service credit, or members in (2) Tier 3 and Tier 5 who have 10 or more years of retirement service credit, are eligible to apply for a non-service connected disability retirement. If qualified, they will receive the service retirement allowance to which the member is entitled, or one-third of their annual Final Average Salary, whichever is greater.

In the event of a non-service connected disability event, members who have less service than the requirements stated above may take a refund of their contributions and accrued interest, or keep the funds in their account until they are eligible for a deferred retirement allowance (age 70), but they cannot receive a monthly disability allowance.

Service Connected Disability

A service connected disability means a member’s permanent illness or injury resulted from, or in the course of, his or her employment. Members who are permanently incapacitated from performance of duty can be retired for disability regardless of age if the incapacity is a result of injury or disease arising out of and in the course of the member’s employment, with the employment contributing substantially to the disability. (The member must have completed five years of service and not previously waived retirement benefits based on the existing condition.)

The amount of money you receive for a service connected disability retirement is one-half (50 percent) of your final average salary, or if qualified for a service retirement, the amount of your retirement service allowance, whichever is greater.

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