Regardless of the amount of service credit you may have, if you become permanently incapacitated (physically or mentally) and unable to perform your job as the natural and proximate result of an on-the-job accident not due to your own willful negligence, you may be eligible for the accidental disability benefit.
You may also be eligible if you are permanently disabled because you contracted HIV (where there may have been exposure to bodily fluids that may have involved the transmission of this disease), tuberculosis or hepatitis after contact with members of the public.
Notice of Accident
To be eligible for this benefit, you must have filed a written notice of the accident with:
- The Retirement System within 90 days of the accident; or
- Your employer within 30 days of the date of the accident, if your employer is covered by the Workers’ Compensation Law or if the accident occurred on or after September 1, 1980.
The written notice must detail the time and place of the accident, the particulars thereof, the nature and extent of your injuries, and the alleged incapacity.
If no written notice of the accident is filed as noted above, you may still be eligible for this benefit if you file an application for an accidental disability retirement benefit within one year following the alleged accident.
If approved, the accidental disability retirement benefit is a lifetime pension equal to three-quarters (75 percent) of your FAS, plus an annuity provided by any annuity savings contributions you may have made while in service. The contributions required of Tier 5 and 6 members are not annuity savings contributions, and Tier 5 and 6 members would not receive an annuity based on those contributions.
You must apply for Workers’ Compensation benefits if you are eligible. Regardless of tier, the accidental disability benefit will be reduced by the total amount of Workers’ Compensation benefits that you are eligible to receive.
You must also select an option for the payment of your disability benefits.
You, your employer or someone authorized with your power of attorney may file your application for accidental disability retirement. The application must be filed while you are still in service or within two years of your discontinuance from service. When filing for this benefit, “in service” is defined as while you are:
- Being paid on the payroll;
- On an authorized medical leave of absence for up to two years (which may be extended for an additional two years); or
- Receiving Workers’ Compensation or other similar employer-funded benefits for up to two years since last being paid on the payroll, as long as you have not resigned or been terminated from employment while receiving those benefits.
If you are eligible, applications for ordinary disability, performance of duty disability, accidental disability, and regular service retirement benefits may be filed simultaneously.