Our contributory plans provide disability retirement benefits for active members who are determined by the Board of Retirement (BOR) to be permanently incapacitated and unable to perform their regular job duties.
Types of Disability Retirement
There are two types of disability retirement: service-connected and nonservice-connected. The circumstances surrounding the disability determine the type of retirement that applies and the benefit available.
If you are a Plan D member who was previously in Plan E, there are additional requirements to apply for disability retirement. More details are available in your plan center.
Service-Connected Disability (SCD)
- A permanent disability resulting from an illness or injury directly related to your County employment
- No age or service requirement
- The BOR must find a direct causational link to the workplace in order to grant a service-connected disability retirement
- The SCD benefit is either one-half of the member’s final compensation, or the member’s service retirement allowance (if eligible for a service retirement), whichever is higher.
Nonservice-Connected Disability (NSCD)
- A permanent disability resulting from an illness or injury not related to your County employment
- No age requirement
- Member must have at least five years/60 months of County or County and reciprocal service credit
- The NSCD benefit is a portion of your final average or your full-service retirement allowance, whichever is higher, or an annuity under certain circumstances.
If you are a reciprocal member, it might not be advantageous for you to apply for disability retirement. See more under Disability Benefits and Reciprocity or, for comprehensive information, refer to our step-by-step guide.
When You Must Apply
An application for either type of disability retirement must be submitted:
- While you are still employed, or
- Within four months after discontinuance of service, or
- Any time after discontinuance of service, provided:
- You are physically or mentally unable to perform your usual duties; that condition has been continuous from the last date of regular compensation; and you have medical evidence to substantiate this continuous disability; and
- A delay in filing your application has not impaired LACERA's ability to investigate your case.
See the accompanying Disability Retirement: A Step by Step Guide for more information. Application packages for members, employers, and survivors are available on our Forms & Publications page.
The Disability Application Timeline
A minimum of six to nine months is required to process a disability application.
After you have submitted your application and all other requested documentation, a disability retirement specialist will be assigned to your case. After sufficient information has been obtained and your medical reports reviewed, the retirement specialist will interview you and later send you to one of LACERA's panel physicians to be examined.
The Board of Retirement will make a determination regarding your request for a disability retirement based upon the recommendation of the panel physician(s) and the disability retirement specialist.