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Disability

Disability Retirement Procedure

1. Member or his/her department head submits a written application to the Board of Trustees, via the Retirement Specialist, requesting a disability retirement (MCERS FORM: DIS-2).

2. The Board of Trustees accepts the application and designates a physician to serve as its Medical Advisor (Resolution: MCERS FORM: DIS-3).

3. The Board of Trustees shall forward correspondence (MCERS FORM: DIS-4) to Applicant with the resolution, a copy of the Medical Authorization (MCERS FORM: DIS-5), and the applicable disability retirement procedures (MCERS FORM: DIS-1).  Applicant must return an executed Medical Authorization within 14 days.

4. A copy of the Board’s resolution, the member’s application and the Medical Authorization will be forwarded to the Human Resources Department or applicable agency.

5. The department head or applicable agency will be requested to forward all medical information and/or incident reports to the Board.

6. The Applicant or Applicant’s representative shall obtain the medical reports from all physicians listed on the Applicant’s application and forward all medical and incident reports to the Board’s Medical Advisor. The Retirement Specialist, on behalf of the Board, may also obtain medical reports from all physicians listed on the individual’s application and forward all medical and incident reports to the Board’s Medical Advisor.

7. The Board of Trustees sends a notice to the Board’s Medical Advisor requesting that the physician direct an examination of the Applicant (MCERS FORM: DIS-6). All communications sent by or on behalf of the Board shall be in writing and documented with a certificate of mailing.

8. Examination of Applicant by Medical Advisor.

9. Medical Advisor forwards to the Board of Trustees its medical report and Certification (MCERS FORM: DIS-7) on the issue of whether Applicant is disabled.

10. For disability applicants with less than ten (10) years of service, the Board of Trustees shall decide the issue of whether a member’s disability is the direct and proximate result of the member’s performance of duty as an employee of the County, County Library System, County Community Mental Health Authority, or County Road Commission.

11. The Board of Trustees, based upon: (a) Medical Advisor’s findings and recommendations; (b) its review of the Applicant’s records; and (c) any other evidence deemed appropriate and relevant by the Board; resolves to grant or deny the disability retirement and/or may request additional medical testing if it does not concur in the opinion of the Medical Advisor (Resolution: MCERS FORM: DIS-8). A member’s effective date of disability retirement shall be the later of (1) the date of application for disability retirement, or (2) such date as the member actually last received compensation from the County, County Library System, County Community Mental Health Authority, or County Road Commission.

12. The applicant shall be notified in writing within 30 (thirty) days of the Board’s denial of a claim for benefits. The notification shall give the reason(s) for the denial.  The applicant may appeal the denial and request a hearing.  The appeal shall be in writing filed with the Board within 90 (ninety) days of the denial and shall contain a statement of the applicant’s reason(s) for believing the denial to be improper.  The Board shall schedule a hearing of the appeal before the Board within 60 (sixty) days of receipt of the appeal.  The applicant will have the ability to present any new information to the Board which may be forwarded to the Medical Advisor for consideration.  A final decision on the matter being appealed shall be made by the Retirement Board.

13. The Retirement Specialist will compute the member’s final average compensation, upon receipt of final payroll information from Finance Department or applicable agency, and forward the data sheet to the Board’s actuary. [MCERS FORM: SER-6]

14. Actuary completes benefit report and forwards data to Retirement Specialist who reviews same and then contacts the applicant to set up an appointment with Retirement Specialist to review pension benefit information and Option Election Form. [MCERS FORM: SER-7]

15. Applicant completes and submits to the Retirement Specialist a Refund of Accumulated Contributions Form (if applicable); Option Election Form; Direct Deposit Form (if applicable); Tax Withholding Form (W-4P), and a copy of the following supporting documentation, if applicable: (1) member’s birth certificate; (2) beneficiary’s birth certificate; and (3) marriage license. [MCERS FORMS: SER-3; SER-7; SER-8; SER-9]

16. Disability retirees shall be eligible for election of the annuity withdrawal option at the time of their disability retirement. It is noted that members shall acknowledge and agree in writing [MCERS FORM: DIS 9] as a condition of withdrawing their accumulated contributions at the time of disability retirement that if disability retirement is terminated and county employment is resumed, all accumulated contributions previously withdrawn plus interest must be repaid to the Retirement System within one (1) year of re-employment or the corresponding service credit will be forfeited.

17. Pension checks are processed on a monthly basis. A retiree should anticipate that benefit payments will commence within forty-five (45) days after the member’s effective date of retirement.  Any retroactive benefits will be included with their first pension check.

18. A copy of the Disability Re-Examination procedures shall be provided to all disability retirees.

19. Disability retirees shall be subject to annual certification of earnings. All communications sent by or on behalf of the Board shall be in writing and documented with a certificate of mailing. If a response is not received within 30 days, the annual certification of earnings shall be sent as certified mail.