Disability Retirement

Members who become disabled may be eligible for a disability retirement. The two types of disability retirement are service connected disability and non-service connected disability.  In all instances, you must be considered permanently incapacitated from your job duties with your SCERA-covered employer in order to be eligible to apply for a disability retirement.  Once this determination has been made, your employer will refer you to SCERA to begin the process.

Service connected disability retirement

If the Retirement Board determines that you are permanently physically or mentally unable to continue active performance of your job duties because of an injury or illness arising out of and in the course of your employment, you will be eligible for a service connected disability retirement. There is no minimum age or service credit requirement for this kind of a disability retirement.

The service connected disability retirement benefit will be equal to 50% of your highest average compensation or, if it is higher, the amount of your service retirement benefit.

Non-service connected disability retirement

You must have five years of eligible service to be eligible for this type of disability retirement.  If the Retirement Board determines that you are permanently physically or mentally unable to continue active performance of your job duties because of an injury or illness that did not arise out of and in the course of your employment, you will be eligible for a non-service connected disability retirement.

The non-service connected disability retirement benefit is determined by which retirement plan you are in:

General Plan A, Safety Plan A and Safety Plan B: 1.8% of highest average compensation for each year of service, additional service credit is added to the calculation depending on your age when you retire.  However, the maximum benefit is 1/3 of highest average compensation.  

General Plan B: 1.5% of highest average compensation for each year of service, additional service credit is added to the calculation depending on your age when you retire.  However, the maximum benefit is 1/3 of highest average compensation. 

If your service retirement benefit is higher, then a non-service connected disability retirement would not be processed for you.

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