Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration

Disability Retirement

 

Eligibility

To qualify for a disability retirement, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your disability must occur during your active membership.
  • You must be a vested member (have at least five years of membership service).
  • Your disability must be permanent, or at least of extended and uncertain duration.
  • Your disability must totally prevent you from doing the essential functions of your job even with reasonable accommodation.
  • Your employer has defined the essential elements of your job and shown reasonable accommodation was attempted for the disabling condition(s) in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Effective Date of Disability Retirement Benefit

You should apply for the disability retirement benefit while you are still a contributing retirement system member, or within 120 days after termination of your employment. You will need to prove your disability occurred during employment covered by an MPERA-administered retirement plan. If you are approved for a disability retirement benefit, it will go into effect the day after you terminate your employment. To receive disability retirement benefits, you will need to terminate all current retirement system-covered employment.

If you terminate your employment and apply for the disability retirement benefit after four months have passed, you will need to prove your disability occurred before you terminated and that it has been continuous from when you terminated.

Disability Reviews

At its discretion, the Board may review your medical condition while you are receiving a disability benefit. Periodic reviews are performed to determine if you still qualify for a disability retirement. The Board may require you to undergo a medical examination at the Board’s expense.

Disability Benefit Cancellation

The Board will cancel your disability retirement in the following cases:

  • You are no longer disabled; or
  • You accept another retirement system-covered job; or
  • You refuse to submit to a current medical exam or provide updated medical records.

Contact us for complete details about disability benefits and how to apply.

If you are still disabled when you reach normal retirement age, we will convert your disability retirement to a service retirement. Your benefit amount will not be recalculated. Converting to a service retirement will end the need for medical reviews. 

For more information about Disability Retirement, see specific retirement systems' web pages.