Working While Receiving a Disability Benefit
If you return to any work after you’re approved for a disability benefit, your benefit will be reduced if you exceed specific earnings limits.
While you are receiving a disability benefit:
- You may teach under certain conditions, but you cannot earn CalSTRS service credit or contribute to CalSTRS while receiving a disability benefit.
- If your earnings exceed the limit, the excess amount is considered an overpayment and CalSTRS will collect it back from future benefit payments until paid in full.
- 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 provide verification of the earnings you report to CalSTRS.
- Earnings limits vary. For current information, talk to a benefits specialist, or contact CalSTRS and ask to speak to a disability analyst.
State law establishes two separate earnings limits for members receiving Coverage A disability benefits:
Single-Month Earnings Limit
Your single-month earnings limit is equal to your indexed final compensation. Contact CalSTRS for your current indexed final compensation.
Six-Month Earnings Limit
You can exceed the single-month earnings limit and retain your disability benefit. However, if you are able to earn 66⅔ percent of your indexed final compensation over a consecutive six-month period, you are no longer considered disabled and your disability benefit will be terminated. CalSTRS must collect any overpaid benefits you receive.
Coverage B has an annual earnings limit subject to change by the Teachers’ Retirement Board. Your CalSTRS disability 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.
The earnings limit is updated each calendar year. See the Member Handbook for the current earnings limit.