General Information

Coverage B: Disability Retirement

If you became a CalSTRS member on or after October 16, 1992, you are covered under Coverage B. If you were a CalSTRS member on or before October 15, 1992, you remain under Coverage A unless you elected Coverage B before April 1993.

The Coverage B disability benefit (disability retirement) is 50 percent of your final compensation. Your final compensation must be determined before your monthly benefit can be calculated and may be reduced for periods of part-time employment. Service credit is not a factor in determining your disability retirement benefit.

You will not receive service credit while you receive a disability retirement benefit. Your benefit will continue to be paid as long as you remain disabled, without respect to age. If we determine you are no longer disabled, your disability retirement will be terminated.

If you plan to reinstate to active member status, first make an appointment with a CalSTRS benefits specialist to discuss important considerations, including how your future benefits may be affected.

To apply for a disability retirement benefit, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have five or more years of credited service. (If you were the victim of an unlawful act on the job, you may qualify for if you have one year of service credit.)
  • Your last five years of credited service must have been performed in California.
    • Four of the five years of credit must be for actual performance of creditable service.
    • At least one year of service credit must have been earned after one of the following:
      • Receiving a disability benefit.
      • Service retirement.
      • The most recent refund of your accumulated contributions.

There are no age restrictions.

Disability Retirement Earnings Limit

You can earn money after you begin receiving a disability retirement benefit. You can teach under certain employer conditions, but you are not allowed to earn CalSTRS service credit or contribute to CalSTRS while receiving a disability retirement benefit.

Your earnings from all types of employment, including self-employment, are subject to an earnings limit, unless you are participating in an approved CalSTRS rehabilitation plan.

Your CalSTRS disability retirement benefit will be reduced dollar-for-dollar by the total amount of earnings from all employment in excess of the 12-month calendar year limit. You will be required to provide CalSTRS with an annual report of your gross earnings from all employment. The Employment Development Department and your employer will verify your reported earnings.

The earnings limit for the 2016 calendar year is $28,950. The limit is determined early each calendar year.