Disability Benefits

for Tier 1 Regular Plan Members
Beach

IMRF Disability Benefits Protect You

Your IMRF benefits include disability protection if you become disabled while you are an IMRF member. IMRF provides two types of disability benefits:

You always start out receiving temporary disability benefits. If you remain disabled after your temporary benefits run out, you will receive total and permanent benefits.

Your Other IMRF Benefits Are Protected

Your IMRF disability benefits are valuable because:

A Reduced Benefit Still Protects You

If you receive Social Security disability and/or workers' compensation benefits, by law IMRF disability benefits must be reduced by the amount you receive from these benefits. Even if the amount you receive from Social Security disability and/or workers' compensation exceeds 50% of your income, IMRF will always pay you a minimum benefit of $10.00 a month to make sure your other IMRF benefits are protected.

Why is $10 a Month So Important?

Even though it may not seem like a lot of money, this $10.00 benefit is worth much more than you might realize. Every month you receive a disability benefit from IMRF:

When Are You Eligible for Disability Benefits?

To be eligible for disability benefits you must have:

If you have a one-, two-, or three-month gap in service within those preceding 12 months, you may still be eligible for IMRF disability if you:

To be eligible for benefits, the disability:

Why You May Not Be Eligible for Disability Benefits

Pre-Existing Condition Investigation

Pre-existing condition investigations apply only to total and permanent disability benefits. Temporary disability benefits are not subject to pre-existing condition investigations.

If you become eligible for total and permanent disability benefits and have... Your disability claim...
Five or more years of service credit prior to the date of disability, and during that time you did not receive IMRF disability benefits Will not be investigated for a pre-existing condition.
Less than five years of IMRF service credit on the date of disability Will be investigated for a pre-existing condition.

Seasonal Leave

You are protected by disability coverage only if you earn service credit for the off-season months.

How Long Will My Benefits Last?

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, as long as you are no longer receiving salary, sick, or vacation pay from your employer. If you are still getting paid, your benefits will begin the day after the last day you were paid.

Trial Work Period

If 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. The trial work period cannot exceed 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

After you have exhausted your temporary disability benefits you will receive total and permanent disability benefits if you are:

If you remain totally and permanently disabled, you may receive these benefits until the later of:

If You Are Denied Benefits

IMRF will send you a denial letter if we deny or terminate your disability benefits. If you do not agree with this decision, you can request a hearing before the IMRF Board of Trustees Benefit Review Committee. IMRF must receive a completed "Request for a Hearing" form within 63 days of the date of your denial letter. The form and additional information about the appeal process will be included with your letter.

The hearings are held in the IMRF Oak Brook offices. You can:

After your hearing the Benefit Review Committee will make a recommendation to the full IMRF Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees will make the final decision and IMRF will take no further action. If you disagree with this final decision, you can file an action for Administrative Review in the appropriate Circuit Court. You must file this action within 35 days of the date of the notice of the Board’s decision.