Disability Retirement

Active MCERA members who have an illness or injury that permanently incapacitates them from performing the essential functions of their job may be eligible to apply for disability retirement. Based on medical documentation, the Retirement Board will determine whether you are permanently disabled from performing the essential functions of your position.

Please contact us for more information on the disability retirement process or to set up a meeting with our Disability Coordinator.

Types of Disability Retirement

Service Connected Disability

A service connected disability means there was a real and measurable connection between your employment and your permanent incapacity. For a service connected disability the monthly benefit is 50% of your highest average compensation, or the amount of your service retirement benefit, whichever is greater.

Non-Service Connected Disability

A non-service connected disability means that your incapacity is a result of injury or disease that is not related to your job. You must have at least five years of service credit (including reciprocal service) to be eligible for a non-service connected disability retirement. The benefit for non-service connected disability is based upon a formula not to exceed one-third of your highest average compensation, or the amount of your service retirement benefit, whichever is greater.

Eligibility Requirements

Disability retirement eligibility requires the following:

  • Current MCERA membership, meaning your retirement contributions are still on deposit with MCERA.
  • Permanent incapacitation from performing the usual and customary duties of your job. "Permanently incapacitated" means that your incapacitating condition is expected to continue for such an extended and uncertain duration of time to be considered permanent according to competent medical evidence, and as determined by the Board. It is not necessary that you be physically or mentally incapable of performing each and every duty or task that might arise within your job classification.
  • For a non-service connected disability you must also have at least five years of retirement service credit, which may include reciprocal service credit with another public retirement system in California (there is no minimum service credit requirement for service connected disability retirement).

Resources and Application Forms

We want you to understand what to expect at each step of the disability retirement application process. These documents will help you with the process, formulate questions, and prepare for your counseling session with MCERA’s Disability Coordinator. They will also help you as you complete your Disability Retirement Application.

The application packet contains all application forms, instructions for completing each section of the application, and a checklist to help you keep track of required documents.