The information on this page applies to participants of all IMRF plans.
You can also download the printable PDF version of the Disability Booklet here. This information is in a single printable document instead of spread across many pages. You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this file.
You can also download the IMRF Member Disability Checklist to guide you through the disability application process.
Table of contents:
Temporary disability benefits are paid if you are unable to perform the duties of any position which might reasonably be assigned by your current IMRF employer.
Total and permanent disability benefits are paid after temporary disability benefits have expired and if you are unable to engage in any gainful activity for any employer.
While you are on disability, you:
If you receive Social Security disability and/or workers' compensation benefits, IMRF pays the difference between those benefits and 50% of your average monthly earnings (up to $109,971.43 in 2013 for Tier 2 participants). When Social Security and/or workers' compensation exceeds 50% of earnings, IMRF pays a minimum monthly benefit of $10.
For more information on the reduction of IMRF disability benefits for workers' compensation and Social Security benefits, please refer to the IMRF Disability Benefits booklet.
be eligible for disability benefits you must have at least 12 consecutive
months of IMRF service credit since being enrolled in IMRF and you must
have service credit in each of the 12 months immediately preceding the
date of disability.
IMRF members can return to work on a trial work basis and continue to receive IMRF disability benefits. Please see trial work period for information on trial work periods.
If you are considering resigning from your IMRF position, contact IMRF first!
Resigning your position may impact your eligibility for IMRF disability benefits.
IMRF Benefit Protection Leave
It is your responsibility to apply for IMRF disability benefits when it is determined that you will be disabled for more than 30 consecutive days. However, an application should not be filed in anticipation of disability, if you are still able to work. You can obtain an application from your employer's IMRF Authorized Agent.
You can download the IMRF Member Disability Checklist to guide you through the disability application process.
Some members receive salary, sick or vacation pay for more than 30 days following the date a disability occurred. If this is the case, you should apply for disability benefits if the disability will extend beyond the last day you will be paid.
Disability payments cannot be paid retroactively for more than six months from the date the application is filed with IMRF. You may lose one or more monthly payments if you do not apply promptly for IMRF disability benefits.
Submitting forms and documents
You would submit the following forms and records to IMRF. Please note: we are unable to begin processing your claim until we receive all IMRF disability forms:
Incomplete and missing forms may delay a decision on your disability claim. Please provide as much medical information as possible when you submit the forms.
IMRF disability benefits are not paid for the first 30 days of disability. Temporary disability benefits are effective on the 31st day following the date of disability, if you are no longer receiving salary, sick, or vacation pay from your employer. Please refer to the IMRF Disability Booklet (page 8) for information about how the 30-day waiting period is counted.
Total and permanent disability benefits are paid after you have exhausted your temporary benefits. To qualify, you must be totally and permanently disabled and unable to engage in any substantial gainful employment.
For more on IMRF total and permanent disability benefits, please refer to the IMRF Disability Benefits booklet.
If you are disabled but want to re-enter the work force and your employer offers a trial work period, you may be able to return to work part time without losing all of your IMRF disability benefits.
Under IMRF's trial work period, a disabled member may return to work part time as a way of easing back into the work force. IMRF disability benefits would be reduced dollar-for-dollar by the amount of trial work earnings. IMRF will do this for up to 12 months. One trial work period is allowed for each disability.
IMRF disability benefits will stop if you return to work full time or for as many hours as was normal before the disability occurred.
Total and permanent disability benefits are paid after you have exhausted your temporary disability benefits. To qualify for total and permanent disability benefits, you must be totally and permanently disabled and unable to engage in any substantial gainful employment.
If you become totally and permanently disabled, assuming you remain disabled, you may receive IMRF total and permanent disability benefits until the later of the following:
For complete information on IMRF disability benefits, please refer to the IMRF Disability Benefits booklet.
If IMRF staff denies or terminates your claim for disability benefits, we will inform you in writing of that decision. At this point if you have either additional evidence of disability or other compelling argument that meets the Pension Code’s definition of disability, you may request a hearing before the IMRF Board of Trustees’ Benefit Review Committee.
request a hearing, you must complete the “Request for a Hearing,”
Form 5.70. This form is enclosed with the denial letter advising you
of the disability claim denial. The completed request for a hearing form
must be received by IMRF within 90 days of the date of the staff denial
letter. Additional information regarding the procedures and deadlines
for filing information is stated in the denial letter and on the Request
for a Hearing form.
The Benefit Review Committee will make a recommendation to the full IMRF Board of Trustees. The decision of the Board of Trustees, after a Benefit Review Committee hearing, constitutes its final administrative decision and IMRF will take no further action regarding the claim. However, review of the Board of Trustees’ final administrative decisions is provided under Article III of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure [735 ILCS 5/3-101 et seq. (West 2002)]. If a member wishes to pursue a claim, he or she must file an action for Administrative Review in Circuit Court within 35 days of the date of the notice of the Board’s decision.
If you have questions regarding IMRF, Communicate with Us.
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IMRF Online provides a brief summary of IMRF benefits and the adminstration of those benefits. IMRF members' and employers' rights and obligations are governed by Article 7 of the Illinois Pension Code. Statements in these publications are general, and the Illinois state law governing IMRF is complex and specific. If a conflict arises between information in these publications and the law, all decisions are based on the law.
Copyright © Illinois Municipal Retirement FundPage Last Updated by JC on 11.27.12