Our contributory plans provide disability retirement benefits for active members who are determined by the Board of Retirement (BOR) to be permanently incapacitated and unable to perform their regular job duties.
Members of LACERA’s contributory General Plans A, B, C, D, G and Safety Plans A, B, and C who become permanently incapacitated from the performance of their usual job duties due to illness or injury are eligible to apply for a disability retirement allowance.
- Plan D members who were previously in Plan E have additional requirements for applying for disability retirement.
- Plan E members are not eligible for a disability retirement allowance but may be able to apply for disability benefits under the County's Long-Term Disability and Survivor Benefit Plan. Contact the County Employee Benefits Hotline at 213-388-9982 for details.
- Members who have withdrawn their retirement contributions are not eligible for disability retirement. The act of withdrawing your contributions means any pending disability application or disability appeals will be closed and you may not reapply.
- If you are a reciprocal member, it might not be advantageous for you to apply for disability retirement. See more under Disability Benefits and Reciprocity or, for more comprehensive information, refer to Disability Retirement: A Step by Step Guide.
Types of Disability Retirement
There are two types of disability retirement. The type of retirement that applies and the benefits available depend on the circumstances surrounding the disability.
A service-connected disability (SCD) is a permanent disability resulting from an illness or injury directly related to County employment.
- There is no age or service requirement.
- The BOR must find a direct causational link to the workplace in order to grant an SCD retirement.
- The SCD benefit is either one-half of the member’s final average compensation or service retirement allowance, whichever is higher.
A nonservice-connected disability (NSCD) is permanent disability resulting from an illness or injury not related to your County employment.
- There is no age requirement.
- The member must have at least five years (or 60 months) of either County service credit or combined County and reciprocal service credit.
- The NSCD benefit is a portion of the final average compensation or service retirement allowance, whichever is higher, or an annuity under certain circumstances.
When You Must Apply
An application for either type of disability retirement must be submitted:
- While you are still employed
- Within four months after discontinuance of service or
- Any time after discontinuance of service, provided:
- You are physically or mentally unable to perform your usual duties/li>
- That condition has been continuous from the last date of regular compensation
- You have medical evidence to substantiate this continuous disability and
- A delay in filing your application has not impaired LACERA's ability to investigate your case.
If You Service Retire
If eligible, you can service retire while a disability application is pending, or you can file for disability retirement after you have service retired. If granted a disability retirement, your adjusted allowance will be retroactive to the effective date of disability retirement.
Members who service retire and are subsequently granted a disability retirement are allowed a one-time change to their retirement option. (This applies only to disability applications that are granted on or after January 1, 2023.)
How to Apply
Eligible members can apply for disability retirement directly on My LACERA. Just log in and click on the Disability Retirement link on the dashboard to get started. A step-by-step process walks you through the required information and forms before allowing you to submit your application