Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System
Sacramento County employees are generally members of the Sacramento County Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS). If a member becomes injured or ill, whether on the job or otherwise, they may be eligible for Disability Retirement through SCERS if the condition prevents them from performing the duties of their position. Members who are also eligible to retire for service at the time they consider applying for Disability Retirement are encouraged to compare and evaluate the economic result of each benefit alternative.
To make a claim for this benefit, you must file a Disability Retirement application with SCERS. You will need supporting documents from the physician(s) treating the condition(s) you claim are disabling.
There are two types of Disability Retirement benefits:
1. Service-Connected Disability Retirement applies when you have a permanent incapacitation from performing the duties of your position resulting from an injury or illness that arises out of and in the course of your employment and the employment substantially contributes to the incapacity. You do not have to be vested to apply for a Service-Connected Disability Retirement.
2. Nonservice-Connected Disability Retirement applies when you have a permanent incapacitation from performing the duties of the position resulting from an injury or illness that does NOT arise out of and in the course of the employment nor did the employment substantially contribute to the incapacity. You must be Vested (have five (5) or more years of full-time Service Credit with SCERS or in total when combined with the service under a Reciprocal System) to apply for a Nonservice Connected Disability Retirement.
To qualify for Disability Retirement, one must:
1. Be a SCERS member;
2. Have contributions on deposit with SCRES; and
3. Prove based on medical evidence that you are permanently incapacitated from performing the duties of the position.
You should file a Disability Retirement application as soon as you are reasonably certain that the medical condition permanently incapacitates you from performing the duties of the position and:
1. You have supporting medical evidence of the disability, and
2. You are still employed, or
3. Within four months after you have discontinued service, or
4. Any time after you have separated from employment if you have been continuously disabled since you discontinued service and SCERS’s ability to investigate the application has not been impaired because of an unreasonable delay in filing the application.
There are very strictly followed procedures and timelines to file for disability benefits, and failure to follow these could result in an application for benefits being denied. This is why an attorney experienced in handling SCRES Disability Retirement cases can be extremely helpful. The attorney will know what medical documentation to submit and the strict timelines in which to file them.
If you have any questions about whether you qualify for Disability or Industrial Disability retirement benefits, or if you have received a denial of benefits notice from SCERS and notice of appeal, please contact me for a FREE confidential consultation at (916) 333-4653 or Stephen_Fiegel_Esq@comcast.net.
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