1 DISABILITY BENEFITS An explanation of the salary protection program available to IMRF members. 02/2015 Locally funded, financially sound.
3 YOUR IMRF DISABILITY CHECKLIST Please use this checklist when applying for IMRF disability benefits. You can obtain IMRF disability Forms 5.40 & 5.42 by calling ASK-IMRF ( ) or by downloading the forms from As soon as you stop working and you feel you will be disabled more than 30 days File an Application for Disability Benefits (IMRF Form 5.40) with IMRF. We recommend you submit this application online through your Member Access account at You can also fax your application to IMRF at File the form even if you filed a workers compensation claim. Print your IMRF Member ID or last four digits of your Social Security number on all documents you enclose with the form. MAILED FAXED DATE YOU FILED 2. Call your employer and ask your employer to file an Employer s Statement with IMRF (IMRF Form 5.41). Your employer should have the form. If not, the form can be downloaded from Write down the name of the person you spoke with and the date. Ask when the employer thinks the form will be submitted to IMRF. PERSON YOU SPOKE WITH DATE DATE EMPLOYER WILL SUBMIT 3. Provide your physician(s) (the first physician who examined you for this disabling condition) with a Physician s Statement of Disability Claim (IMRF Form 5.42) and have your physician(s) submit the documentation to IMRF, with copies of your medical records from the date of disability. Write down the name of the person you spoke with and the date. PERSON YOU SPOKE WITH DATE DATE PHYSICIAN WILL SUBMIT 4. IMRF will acknowledge receipt of your claim in writing. Call IMRF at ASK-IMRF ( ) if you have not heard anything within 10 business days after the date of your acknowledgement letter. IMRF will request additional medical information, if needed, directly from your medical providers (you will receive a copy of any such request). 5. When IMRF receives any of the above three forms, we will mail you an acknowledgement letter and an IMRF Disability Benefits booklet. We will also request any missing forms. See the reverse side of this Checklist for key points to remember. Please note: You should contact IMRF if you are thinking of resigning from your current position. Resigning your position may impact your eligibility for IMRF disability benefits. Please be advised that IMRF disability payments are paid at the beginning of the month for the previous month.
4 Key Points to Remember About Your IMRF Disability Benefits Additional details are provided later in this booklet. Each month an IMRF member receives a disability benefit, he or she also receives one month of service credit. You are eligible for disability benefits if you Have 12 consecutive months of IMRF service credit preceding your disability. 2. Are unable to perform your IMRF job for more than 30 days. 3. Receive treatment for your disabling condition as soon as you stop working, and your physician(s) certifies your inability to work and provides evidence of your disability to IMRF. What does IMRF need to begin the disability claim process? 1. Form 5.40, Application for Disability Benefits you must complete this form. 2. Form 5.41, Employer Statement your employer s IMRF Authorized Agent would complete this form and submit it to IMRF. 3. Form 5.42, Physician s Statement of Disability Claim a licensed and practicing physician who has examined you and who can verify the nature and extent of your disability and your inability to work would complete this form and submit it to IMRF along with associated office visit notes/ medical records. 4., If you are age 50 or older, a copy of your birth certificate or other acceptable evidence is required. 5. Other forms or information may be required. IMRF will contact you if any are needed and provide you with reasonable time to respond with the requested information. When can your temporary disability benefits begin? 1. Following the 30-day waiting period. This waiting period begins with your first date of medical treatment following your last day at work. 2. Your benefits can begin on the 31st day or the day after you are last paid by your IMRF employer, if the last day you are paid is later. What is the amount of your IMRF disability benefits? 1. Generally, your monthly disability benefit will be 50% of your average salary prior to becoming disabled. 2. Your monthly disability benefit may be reduced by Social Security Disability or Retirement (pension) benefits or workers compensation benefits you receive. How long does it take for IMRF to process your disability claim? Normally within 5 to 7 business days after IMRF receives the needed items listed above, we make a decision to request additional information, to approve, or to deny your claim. You will be contacted by telephone or by letter at that time. Important Note: If after reviewing the disability checklist and these Key Points you are unsure about whether to file a claim for disability benefits, please call IMRF at
5 Table of Contents Frequently asked questions and answers... i-iv Introduction... v Origin and purpose of the IMRF disability plan What is the IMRF Disability Benefit Plan?... 1 Explanation of the plan Eligibility requirements How, when, and why to apply for disability benefits... 4 Temporary disability benefits Application process When do temporary benefits begin Length of time benefits are paid Amount of benefits Payment of benefits When do temporary benefits end Workers Compensation Workers Compensation impact on your IMRF disability benefits Social Security Benefits Social Security Benefits impact on your IMRF disability benefits Social Security Disability Benefits Social Security Retirement Benefits Returning to Work Returning to work on a part-time basis Trial work period Other employment Impact of earnings on disability benefits Total and Permanent Disability Benefits IMRF Disability Payment Agreement Income Taxes If You Held a Public Safety Position Investigation process for IMRF disability claims Pre-existing condition Extent/degree of disability Medical certification Disability Claim Closure Appeal Process Index... 40
6 The following is a brief summary of the disability benefits available to you as an active member of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). For the purposes of disability benefits, an active member is one who works for an IMRF employer and makes contributions to IMRF, or is in a seasonal leave position with IMRF. This summary also includes the requirements to be eligible for those benefits. The complete IMRF plan is found in the Illinois Pension Code. In case of any conflict with the information found in this booklet, the Pension Code governs.
7 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Question Who should I contact with questions about my disability claim? Answer If you have a question, problem, or issue regarding your claim, you should call IMRF Member Services at ASK-IMRF ( ). One of our Disability Claims Examiners will be assigned to process your claim. You will receive correspondence and other communications from this examiner. Question What does IMRF consider a disabling condition? Answer (page 4) A medical condition or physician s report that you are disabled may not be sufficient reason for IMRF to pay disability benefits. IMRF s definition of a disability is a medical condition(s) that is supported by objective data and documentation that supports a member s inability to perform any duties reasonably assigned by their IMRF employer. Question My claim is being delayed due to missing information from my physician. How can I get my doctor to complete and send in Form 5.42 (or other needed records, test results, or office visit notes)? i Answer (page 4) When your physician or any physician who has treated you does not cooperate or provide information in a timely manner, IMRF can do little to force the physician to cooperate. You can best expedite your claim process by contacting your medical providers and letting them know the importance of IMRF s request. Your medical records belong to you and, as a result, you may have more success in getting your physician to send your records to IMRF. Question If I am approved for benefits, when will I receive disability payments? Answer (pages 7 and 8) After the 30-day waiting period, benefits are payable on the first day of each month for the preceding month, e.g. a March benefit payment is mailed April 1.
8 Question Once my disability claim is approved and I am receiving IMRF disability benefits, why does IMRF need additional medical records? Answer (page 11) If your claim for temporary disability benefits is approved, you will receive an approval letter advising you of this approval. The letter will indicate the length of time for which you have been approved for disability benefits, based upon your medical condition. If you remain disabled past the period of time stated in the letter, you should have your doctor complete the form, Physician s Statement (Form 5.42A) enclosed in the letter. You should submit the completed Physician s Statement (Form 5.42A) (along with your medical records) to IMRF no sooner than two weeks prior to the date shown in your approval letter. Question Why is my IMRF disability benefit check only $10? Answer (pages 16 and 19) Both workers compensation and Social Security disability can affect the amount of your IMRF benefit. See both examples that follow. Before any workers compensation settlement is drawn up, have your attorney contact the IMRF legal department. ii Effect of workers compensation Typically, IMRF pays 50% of your average monthly earnings as your disability benefit. However, your IMRF disability benefits may be reduced to a monthly minimum of $10 if you receive either workers compensation or Workers Occupational Disease Act benefits. IMRF will require a copy of your workers compensation settlement contract to determine correct disability benefits. Workers Compensation Example Your application for IMRF disability benefits is approved for $ per month (50% of your average monthly earnings). But you were injured on the job, and you are also receiving workers compensation pay of $1, per month (66-2/3% of your earnings). Because the workers compensation amount exceeds your IMRF payment, you will receive the minimum IMRF disability benefit of $10 per month. Effect of Social Security disability benefits Disability benefits are also reduced by the amount of Social Security disability benefits you are entitled to, even if you do not apply for Social Security disability benefits. You are eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits from the onset of your disability. Should you apply, there is a five-month waiting period. When the Social Security disability benefit you are entitled to is greater than your IMRF disability benefit, your IMRF disability will be reduced to $10 per month.
9 Social Security Example Your application for IMRF disability benefits is approved for $ per month (50% of your average monthly earnings). Five months after the onset of your disability, you are awarded Social Security disability benefits of $ per month. Because the Social Security disability amount exceeds your IMRF benefit, you will receive the minimum IMRF disability benefit of $10 per month. Why bother applying for $10 per month? While $10 is not a large amount of money, Your service credit is protected You continue to earn IMRF service credit (credit toward your future pension) at no cost to you. This is important because without being on IMRF disability or an IMRF benefit protection leave, you will not earn service credit for any month you are not paid by your employer, even if you are receiving workers compensation. Gaps in service credit can also affect your eligibility for future IMRF disability benefits. Your pension is protected If you retire with IMRF, IMRF will use your earnings at the time of your disability rather than the lower disability benefit payment to determine your final rate of earnings (FRE). Because your FRE (an average of your highest total earnings during any 48 consecutive months [for Tier 1] or 96 consecutive months [for Tier 2] within your last 10 years of IMRF) determines your IMRF retirement benefit, you protect your IMRF retirement benefit while on IMRF disability. iii Your family is protected Your IMRF death benefit protection (one year s salary plus a refund of the balance of your member account, less any benefit prepayment) also continues while you receive disability benefits. Question Why has my check been reduced? Answer (pages 11 and 19) You are eligible to apply for Social Security disability benefits from the onset of your disability. Social Security begins paying disability benefits six months from the onset of the disability. At that time, IMRF reduces your IMRF disability benefit by the amount you are entitled to receive from Social Security even when you do not apply for your Social Security disability benefits. If you know your condition will keep you from work for more than six months, apply for Social Security disability benefits when you apply for IMRF benefits.
10 Example Your application for IMRF disability benefits is approved for $ per month. After six months of being disabled, you begin receiving Social Security disability benefits of $ per month. In this case, your IMRF benefit will be reduced by $ per month to $ per month. Question How long do disability benefits last? Answer (page 9) As long as you remain disabled by a condition that existed while you were a participating IMRF member, you can receive temporary disability benefits for a period of time equal to one-half of your IMRF service credit at the time of disability, but not more than 30 months. If your temporary disability benefits run out and you are still disabled by the same condition, your claim will be investigated to determine your eligibility for total and permanent disability benefits. See page 27 for information on total and permanent disability benefits. iv If you are considering resigning from your IMRF position, contact IMRF first! Resigning your position may impact your eligibility for IMRF disability benefits. Question Are my contributions used to pay for my disability benefits? Answer (page v) No. The entire cost of the IMRF disability plan is funded by your employer. All of your IMRF contributions are applied toward your future pension. Question How long does it take to approve a claim? Answer (pages 4-5) From the date IMRF has your complete disability claim (all three fully completed forms: 5.40, 5.41, 5.42) in our office, our Disability Claims Examiners will normally process claims within five to seven business days, provided we have everything needed to process your claim. If we need additional information (such as medical records), this processing period may be extended. However, we will keep you informed of your claim status.
11 Introduction As a member of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, you may apply for IMRF disability benefits as a result of your medical condition. IMRF disability benefits are paid to eligible members (see page 1) who are disabled by a physical or mental condition (sickness or injury) that makes the member unable to perform the duties of any position which might reasonably be assigned by the employer. If your application for IMRF disability benefits is approved, and while you are receiving disability benefits, you: Continue to earn IMRF service credit as if working (at no cost to you). Continue to be covered by IMRF death benefit protection (see page 1). Receive 50% of your average monthly earnings (see page 9). Are assured that your future pension would be based on your full salary, not on your reduced disability benefit. Illinois Statute established disability benefits IMRF s disability benefits are considered a salary protection plan which was established by state statute and is administered under the direction of the IMRF Board of Trustees. The entire cost of the IMRF disability plan is funded by your employer. All of your IMRF contributions are applied toward your future pension. While you are on IMRF disability, you will continue to earn IMRF service credit, and your IMRF death benefit protection will remain in force. v What you should know about this booklet Occasionally, you will see highlighted information as shown here positioned over information that is especially important. If, after reading this booklet, you have additional questions, please call an IMRF Member Services Representative at ASK-IMRF ( ), Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
12 Please note: If you participate in IMRF as: A seasonal employee, please read pages 2 and 10. A law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or firefighter, please read pages 3 and 33. An elected official, please read page 3. A public safety employee, please read page 33. An elected county official, please contact IMRF for more information. If you are applying for IMRF disability benefits because of elective surgery, be sure to read page 6. If you are applying for IMRF disability benefits because of pregnancy and childbirth, be sure to read information about conditions with a pre-determined time period on pages 12 and 13. If you became disabled from an on-the-job injury or due to an injury or sickness arising out of your employment, and you plan to file for workers compensation, please be sure to read pages 16 and 17, Workers Compensation. vi If you are between the ages of 55 and your full Social Security retirement age, please be sure to read pages 18 through 22, Social Security Benefits. Disability Claim Closure It is critical that you provide to IMRF in a timely manner any additional information we request regarding your disability claim. You will receive at least two requests for information before you receive a final request letter. The final letter will notify you that you have 21 days from the date of the request to provide the requested information to IMRF. If you do not respond to this final request for information within 21 days of that request, your disability claim will be closed. Closure of your claim represents IMRF s final administrative determination. Once a claim is closed, you forfeit (give up) all rights to apply for disability benefits for that condition or any conditions that relate to the closed claim. If your claim is closed, your only option for appeal is to file an action for Administrative Review in Circuit Court within 35 days of the final request for information letter.
13 The IMRF Disability Benefit Plan IMRF provides two types of disability benefits: 1. Temporary, and 2. Total and permanent. Whenever IMRF awards disability benefits, the initial classification is temporary, regardless of the severity of the disability. 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. Your other IMRF benefits continue while you are on IMRF disability While receiving monthly disability benefit payments, you continue to earn IMRF service credit as if you were working. This service credit is granted without any cost to you. Another benefit is that your salary at the time you became disabled not the disability benefit amount is used to determine your final rate of earnings (FRE) and to calculate a retirement benefit. As a result, your retirement benefit will not be affected by the amount of your disability benefit. 1 In addition, your IMRF death benefit protection continues. If death occurs while IMRF is paying disability benefits, your beneficiary(ies) will be eligible for death benefit options calculated as if you had been working. Your beneficiary(ies) would receive one year s salary plus a refund of the balance of your member account (less any benefit prepayment). Claims for temporary disability benefits are not subject to a pre-existing condition investigation. However, all total and permanent disability claims are subject to a pre-existing condition investigation, unless you have five or more years of IMRF service credit prior to the date of disability and you did not receive IMRF disability benefits within those five years. The investigation may include obtaining physician and hospital records, independent medical examinations, and other pertinent information. For details on the application process for total and permanent disability benefits, please turn to page 27. Eligibility Service requirements To 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.
14 However, 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 benefits if: You have 12 consecutive months of service credit anytime prior to the gap in service and You participated with the same IMRF employer immediately before and after the gap. Exceptions to the service requirement Two exceptions exist: 1. If you had 20 years or more of IMRF service credit, stopped participating in IMRF and did not take a separation refund or a retirement pension, you are immediately eligible for IMRF disability benefits once you return to participating status, OR 2. If your employer just joined IMRF, you may be eligible without meeting the one-year service requirement if you meet all of the following conditions: You became disabled after your employer began participating in IMRF, and You were employed in an IMRF-qualifying position for at least five years before your employer joined IMRF. (If necessary, you will be required to pay for enough prior service to have at least five years of service credit.) and You were employed the 12 consecutive months preceding the date you became disabled. 2 If you work in a seasonal position If you become disabled during a month in which you are not working (your off season ), you are still eligible to file for IMRF disability benefits and are encouraged to do so. Please note: if you elected to be paid by your IMRF employer during your off season months, you are not eligible to receive IMRF disability payments for those months. See page 10 for more information. If your employer terminates your employment If your employer terminates you and you remain disabled by the same condition, you remain eligible for IMRF disability benefits. If your employer terminates your health insurance IMRF employers are required by law to allow certain retired and disabled employees and their surviving spouses to remain on the employer s health insurance policy (however, you may be required to pay your premiums in full). IMRF can answer general questions; more complicated issues should be directed to the Illinois Department of Insurance, Consumer Service Division, your health insurance provider, or your attorney. The Consumer Services Division can be reached at (217) or toll free at (866) If you are considering resigning your position If you become disabled and you are thinking of resigning your position, contact IMRF first! Resigning your position may impact your eligibility for disability benefits.
15 If you participate in IMRF as an elected official You may apply for IMRF disability benefits if you meet the service credit requirements. However, before IMRF can pay you a disability benefit upon an approved claim, you will have to cease earning income through your elected office. Because elected officials are paid as long as they hold office, you would need to resign to collect IMRF disability benefits, and send IMRF a copy of your resignation letter along with a copy of the minutes from the meeting at which your Board (governing body) accepted your resignation. If you wish, you can remain in office and complete your term. If after completing your term of office you are still disabled, you will remain eligible for disability benefits. You could begin receiving IMRF disability benefits at that time. Please note: if an elected official is paid on a per diem basis (paid based upon actual attendance at meetings), he or she does not need to resign the office to receive disability benefits, so long as the official does not attend any meetings and, therefore, does not receive any compensation. If you work as a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, or firefighter You are covered under the Public Employee Disability Act. Illinois statute (5 ILCS 345/1) provides for the continuation of compensation for law enforcement officers, correctional officers, and firefighters who suffer a disabling injury in the line of duty. If you are eligible for a pay continuation under this statute, you are not eligible for IMRF disability benefits until these payments stop provided you continue to be disabled. However, if you meet the other service credit requirements, we recommend you submit a disability application after six months if you will be disabled more than one year. 3 Circumstances when disability benefits are not payable 1) The disability is due to self-inflicted injury or to narcotic drug addiction, OR 2) You are able to perform any duties which may reasonably be assigned by your employer, and you refused the position, OR 3) Your claim is being reviewed to determine if you are eligible for total and permanent disability benefits, and the condition that caused the disability is pre-existing. A condition is considered pre-existing and will be excluded from coverage if you had the mental or physical condition before you began participating in IMRF, or if you had a break in service anytime before your first date of uninterrupted IMRF service. 4) You return to work on a Trial Work basis for an IMRF employer other than the IMRF employer you were working for when you became disabled. See page 34 for detailed information about the pre-existing condition investigation. Your claim will not be investigated for pre-existing conditions if you have five or more years of IMRF service credit prior to the date of disability, and you did not receive IMRF disability benefits within those five years. A physician s report that you are disabled may not always be sufficient reason for IMRF to pay disability benefits.
16 Temporary disability benefits Temporary disability benefits are payable if you are disabled by a physical or mental condition (sickness or injury) that makes you unable to perform the duties of any position which might reasonably be assigned by your employer. Disability benefits may also be payable for a disability resulting from elective surgery and pregnancy. You should apply for IMRF disability benefits on the date you stop working or the date you become disabled if you will be disabled for more than 30 consecutive days. If you stop working due to a disability, you should immediately see your physician to allow him or her to certify (by completing IMRF Form 5.42) that you are unable to perform your IMRF job. IMRF cannot accept doctors statements that certify a disability for a date prior to your visit or for a date in the future. As a general rule, we will use the first treatment date after the last day worked as your date of disability. Application process: Submitting forms and documents 4 You would submit the following forms and records to IMRF. Please note: we are un able to begin processing your claim until we receive all IMRF disability forms: 1) Form 5.40, Application for Disability Benefits you would complete this form. We recommend submitting it online through your Member Access account at If you are unable to do so, a relative or other representative can complete it on your behalf. (If you are completing this application for an IMRF member, please see next page.) 2) Form 5.41, Employer Statement Disability Claim your employer s IMRF Authorized Agent would complete this form and send it to IMRF. 3) Form 5.42, Physician s Statement Disability Claim a licensed and practicing physician who has examined you and who can verify the nature and extent of your disability would complete this form. Diagnosis, treatment dates, services rendered, and dates of disability are required to process your claim. Your doctor should also attach your medical records as indicated on the form. 4) Birth certificate or other acceptable evidence of birth date (necessary for Total and Permanent disability if age 50 or older). 5) Other IMRF forms IMRF may also request that you complete one or more of the following forms: Form 5.40A, Disability Claim Data Form 5.46, Authorization for Disclosure of Health Information Form 5.49, Authorization to Secure Social Security Award or Disallowance Information, or Form 5.42A, Form 5.42B, or psychiatric/physical questionnaires
17 If such forms and questionnaires are required, IMRF will mail them directly to you. Incomplete and missing forms will delay a decision on your disability claim. Disability claims will be closed if IMRF does not receive requested information. See page 37 for more information. Please provide as much medical information as possible when you submit the forms. If you are completing the disability application for a member Please call IMRF and tell us that the member is unable to sign the application or other disabilityrelated IMRF documents. You would sign the forms on the member s behalf, e.g., Mary Smith for John Smith. If the benefit is approved, IMRF will mail you a representative payee form for you and the member s attending physician to complete. If you have power of attorney for property for the disabled member, please forward a copy of the power of attorney to IMRF for review by our Legal Counsel. IMRF will accept agency designation under a power of attorney for property if it conforms with the requirements of the Illinois Power of Attorney Act. A copy of the entire designation must be submitted for our review. If the original designation is more than a year old, we will send the agent an affidavit that he or she must complete, sign, have notarized, and return to our office for the power of attorney to be accepted. We will accept a power of attorney for property; a health care power of attorney is not acceptable. IMRF will allow a designated agent to act for the member in all aspects excluding the ability to sign a beneficiary form. 5 Filing claims late We strongly urge you to apply promptly; a delayed application may result in loss of benefits. Disability payments cannot be paid retroactively for more than six months from the date IMRF received the application. You may lose one or more monthly payments if you do not apply promptly for IMRF disability benefits. Filing late may also result in gaps in your service credit which could affect your eligibility for other IMRF benefits. Paid sick leave and the application process If you know you will be disabled beyond the last day you will receive compensation (such as sick pay or vacation pay) from your employer, you should submit an application.
18 For example, you should apply immediately if the compensation you receive from your employer will continue for more than 30 days following: the date the disability occurred, and you know the disability will continue even after your compensation stops, then you should apply immediately. Reminder regarding purchase of service credit If you have any outstanding service available to purchase from IMRF (such as reinstating a refund or purchasing military or other service credit), you must start the process while you are an active IMRF member (before your employer terminates your employment). For more information on purchasing past service from IMRF, see the IMRF website. If you are planning elective surgery and know when you will be off work 6 You should not apply for disability ahead of time in anticipation of disability, if you are still able to work or are still working. Apply for IMRF disability benefits on the date you stop working or the date you become disabled if you will be disabled for more than 30 consecutive days. Refer to the 30-day waiting period information on pages 7 and 8. See the table below for elective surgery examples. You schedule elective surgery for August 1 Do you apply? Date of elective surgery Surgery performed on August 1 Surgery performed on August 1 Surgery performed on August 1 Time off from work You return to work on August 28. You will be off from work for six weeks. You will be off from work for three months, and your employer pays you for the first 60 days. Should you apply? No, do not apply for disabled benefits. You are not disability more than 30 consecutive days. Yes, apply for disability benefits the first day you are disabled on August 1. Do not apply in advance, even though you know will be disabled for more than 30 days. The disability effective date will be August 31st 30 days after the date of disability. Yes, apply for disability benefits the first day you are disabled (August 1) because you know you will be disabled beyond the last day your employer pays you compensation. The disability effective date will be September 30th 60 days after the first day you are disabled because you are being paid.
19 When do temporary disability benefits begin? Temporary disability benefits are payable on the first day of each month for the preceding month, e.g., a March benefit payment is mailed April 1. IMRF disability benefits are not paid for the first 30 calendar days of disability. In other words, a 30-day waiting period applies to all disabilities unless your disability is a re-occurrence of a previous disabling condition (see page 9). If you know you will be disabled for fewer than 30 days, do not apply. If you know your employer will pay you during the entire time you are disabled, do not apply. Temporary disability benefits are effective on the 31st day following the date of disability, provided you are no longer receiving compensation (sick pay, vacation pay, or a seasonal salary) from your employer, and you are still disabled. See the 30-day waiting period time line on the next page. COUNTING THE 30-DAY WAITING PERIOD The 30-day waiting period is counted from the date of disability and not from the last day your employer pays you compensation. If your employer will pay you beyond the 30 days 7 If your employer pays you compensation beyond the first 30 days of your disability and you are still disabled, IMRF temporary disability benefits will become effective the day after your compensation has stopped. For example: You are disabled on July 10 and receive sick or vacation pay through July 20. IMRF disability benefits will be effective on August 9 (30 days from the date of disability). However, if you receive earnings, sick pay, vacation pay, etc. which extend the compensation period through August 15, IMRF disability benefits will be effective on August 16. If your employer pays you while you re receiving IMRF disability benefits If your employer pays you compensation while you are receiving IMRF disability benefits, IMRF will adjust your disability benefit payments for any months when earnings are received. Using sick pay and vacation pay during 30-day waiting period The IMRF disability plan does not require you to use all of your sick pay or vacation pay before receiving disability benefits. Each employer establishes its own rules on the use of sick pay and vacation pay.
20 30-DAY DISABILITY BENEFIT WAITING PERIOD How to count the 30-day waiting period How sick pay or vacation pay affects the 30-day waiting period Your employer pays you for 45 days of sick (or vacation) time* 30-day waiting period July 10 Date you became disabled. August 9 On the 31st day IMRF disability benefits will be effective September 8 Last day you receive compen sation from your employer. 8 Day one of the 30-day waiting period begins. *IMRF does not require you to use sick or vacation pay, see below. If you are no longer receiving compensation and if you are still disabled. IMRF disability benefits will be effective on Sept. 9 (the day after your compensation stops) if you are still disabled. Questions and Answers sick/vacation pay and the 30-day period What if your employer pays you sick or vacation pay, and this compensation extends beyond the first 30 days of your disability? IMRF temporary disability benefits become effective the day after compensation stops, if you are still disabled. Who makes the rules about the use of sick and vacation pay? Each employer establishes its own rules on the use of sick pay and vacation pay. As a result, IMRF s disability plan does not require you to use all of your sick or vacation pay before receiving disability benefits. What is compensation? Compensation refers to any sick pay, vacation pay, seasonal salary, regular pay, or back pay, including retroactive pay from current or prior year contract negotiations.