Disability Retirement

Disability Retirement

Overview

If you become disabled while an active Member, you may be eligible for a Disability Retirement. Your disabling condition need not be job-related, but it must prevent you from performing your regular job duties. A Disability Retirement Allowance is generally paid as one-third of your Final Compensation.  A Disability Retirement Allowance is not tax-free. 

If you become disabled, but have over 15.4 years of Service Credit and are eligible for a Normal Service Retirement, you may be paid more from a Service Retirement than a Disability Retirement. Please contact a LACERS Disability Counselor to discuss which type of retirement may be best in your situation. 

Eligibility to Apply

You become eligible to apply for a Disability Retirement after you have five or more years of Continuous Service (City employment and/or full reciprocal service). You must file your Disability Retirement application with LACERS within 12 months of your last day on the City payroll or within 12 months of the final settlement date for a related Workers’ Compensation claim. If you do not apply within the required time frame, you lose your eligibility to apply for this benefit.

If you do not meet the five years of Continuous Service requirement to apply for a Disability Retirement, the following may assist you in meeting that requirement:

  • Purchase of Workers’ Compensation “State rate” time
  • Re-deposits
  • Back contributions
  • Reciprocity

Disability Application Processing

It generally takes four to six months to complete the processing of your Disability Retirement application due to the time needed to obtain medical examinations and reports. If you are considering filing a Disability Retirement application, please contact a LACERS Disability Counselor.

Approval of Your Application

After you have been examined by physicians selected and paid for by LACERS, the Board of Administration will review your medical reports and other evidence to determine whether you have become physically or mentally incapacitated and are incapable of performing your duties.

If the Board approves your Disability Retirement application, usually your allowance will be paid retroactively from the day after your last day on payroll.  A Disability Retirement Allowance is determined by a different formula than a Service Retirement Allowance.

Loans for Applicants

LACERS offers a loan program for eligible Disability Retirement applicants to help with your finances while your application is being processed. Please contact a LACERS Disability Counselor for more information.

Medical Re-Examinations

Disability Retirement Allowances are payable while you remain disabled. After your Retirement Allowance is approved, you may be required to undergo periodic re-examinations. You may also request a medical review if you believe your condition has improved enough to allow you to return to active duty. If you are found to no longer be disabled, you may be returned to active duty if you did not resign or have your employment terminated, and your Disability Retirement Allowance will cease.

Disability Guide

Additional information regarding a Disability Retirement can be found here: Disability Brochure

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