LACERA - The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association LACERA Home Disclaimer Links My LACERA FAQs Contact Us LACERA Home


Search by Topic

Brochures & Forms


BENEFITS


DISABILITY RETIREMENT

disability benefits: all Contributory PLANS

LACERA 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.

There are two types of disability retirement:

  • Service-connected disability (SCD) — Permanent disability resulting from an illness or injury directly related to your County employment. The BOR must find a direct causational link to the workplace in order to grant a service-connected disability retirement.
  • Nonservice-connected disability (NSCD) — Permanent disability resulting from an illness or injury not related to your County employment.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: ALL CONTRIBUTORY PLANS

SCD: A contributory member who becomes permanently incapacitated and unable to perform his or her regular job duties due to an SCD may apply to receive an SCD retirement allowance; there is no age or service requirement.

NSCD: A contributory member of any age who has at least five years (60 months) of County (or County and reciprocal) service credit and becomes permanently incapacitated and unable to perform his or her regular job duties due to an NSCD may apply to receive an NSCD retirement allowance.

You may not apply for disability retirement if you are a Plan E member or if you have withdrawn your retirement contributions. However, all general members may apply for disability benefits under the County's Long-Term Disability and Survivor Benefit Plan. Check with your Department for details regarding County-sponsored and/or administered insurance benefits.

Additional requirements: Plan D

A Plan D member must meet one of the following additional conditions to apply for disability retirement:

  • Has been in Plan D exclusively or
  • Transferred to Plan D from Plan E via a Prospective Plan Transfer (PPT) and meets one of the following conditions:
    • Completed two years of continuous service as an active Plan D member after your most recent effective date of transfer. (During that two-year period, you must not take a medical leave necessitated by a preexisting condition.)
    • Or, if you had a break in service, you must have earned five years of service credit as an active Plan D member after your most recent effective date of transfer.

Members who transferred to Plan D from Plan E via a Prospective Plan Transfer (PPT): Prior to 2011, the law placed restrictions on members who had transferred from Plan E to Plan D via a PPT and were determined by the Board of Retirement not to have met the required disability application eligibility conditions. Those restrictions, which included three-years of service in Plan D prior to transferring back to Plan E, no longer apply. Affected Plan D members are now permitted to transfer back to Plan E and continue under the County LTD program as a Plan E member.

Under certain circumstances, it may be more advantageous for the affected member to continue LTD benefits under Plan E than under Plan D. Factors such as the member’s age, amount of service credit, and election of LTD Health Insurance may influence whether the member transfers back to Plan E or remains in Plan D.

For more information regarding Plan D eligibility, call 800-786-6464 to speak with a LACERA Retirement Benefits Specialist.

Read more about Plan Transfers.

WHEN YOU MUST APPLY

An application for either type of disability retirement must be submitted:

  • While you are still employed; or
  • 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, that condition has been continuous from the last date of regular compensation, and 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.

An Employee Disability Retirement Package, containing an application form and brochures detailing disability requirements, policies, and procedures is available on the Brochures & Forms page. You may also request a package by calling LACERA's Disability Division at 800-786-6464.

After you have submitted your application and all other requested documentation, a disability retirement specialist will be assigned to your case. After sufficient information has been obtained and your medical reports reviewed, the retirement specialist will interview you and later send you to one of LACERA's panel physicians to be examined.

A minimum of six to nine months is required to process a disability application.

The Board will make a determination regarding your request for a disability retirement based upon the recommendation of the panel physician(s) and the disability retirement specialist.

8/29/18