If you become disabled and unable to perform the essential functions of your job position, you may be eligible to apply for a disability retirement.
If your disability occurred through the course of your employment, you may be eligible for a Service Connected Disability. A Service Connected Disability can occur at any time during service, meaning that there is no requirement for a member to be vested or have a minimum number of years of service.
If your disability occurred outside of your employment, you can apply for a Non-Service Connected Disability. In order to be eligible for a Non-Service Connected Disability, you are required to be vested, which occurs with 5 years of service credit.
You can apply for a disability retirement once you have been deemed permanent & stationary and/or reached maximum medical improvement by your treating physician. .
Our Retirement Specialists will review your application and any supporting documentation for completeness prior to accepting the application. If your application is accepted for processing, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment to discuss your options and the disability retirement process.
During the disability retirement counseling session, the Retirement Specialist will discuss Service vs Non-Service Connected Disability as well as the eligibility requirements for a Service Retirement (non-disability retirement). Some members who are eligible will choose to Service Retire while waiting for the determination of their Disability Retirement application. Please note, that if you choose to Service Retire, you will not be able to return to work if the Board of Retirement denies your application.
The next step in the process is the collection of medical records by our office. These records are then reviewed and a medical examination will be scheduled for an Independent Medical Examination. Upon receipt of all relevant documents, the Retirement Specialist will prepare a recommendation to be presented to the Board of Retirement. You will be informed of the date of the Board of Retirement meeting and given the opportunity to speak to the Board during open or closed session.
The Board of Retirement will deliberate and vote in closed session to grant or deny your application. You or your attorney will be notified of that decision. If your application is denied by the board, you may appeal their decision by submitting a Request for Hearing to FCERA. The Request for Hearing must be received by FCERA within 30 days from the official Notice of Decision mailing date.
For further details about the disability application and hearing process, please reference the Disability Retirement Policy
Please also reference our Disability Flowchart