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Service Retirement During Evaluation of a Disability Application

If you are applying for disability and are also eligible to retire from service, you may wish to receive a service retirement benefit while your disability application is being evaluated.

If your application for disability is approved, your service retirement benefit will be canceled and retroactively converted to a disability benefit.

Important Things to Consider

Before you apply for a service retirement benefit while your disability benefit application is being evaluated, consider the following:

  • You’ll remain retired from service if your application for disability is denied.
  • The election that you make for your service retirement benefit will remain in effect if your application for disability is not approved.
    • For example, if you elect a Member-Only Benefit and begin receiving a service retirement benefit, your Member-Only Benefit will continue.
  • If you receive a service retirement benefit while your disability application is being evaluated, you will:
    • Not be eligible to participate in the Reduced Benefit Election.
    • Not receive credit for unused sick leave before an evaluation is made regarding your application for disability. If your application for disability is denied, your service retirement benefit will be recalculated to include your eligible unused sick leave, adjusted to the effective date of your service retirement.
  • If you receive a service retirement benefit during evaluation of your disability application and you die before a determination is made, any subsequent benefits payable will be based on your service retirement elections.
  • If your application for disability is denied and you remain on service retirement, you will not be eligible to reapply for a disability benefit unless you terminate your service retirement, return to CalSTRS-covered employment and earn one year of service credit. In that case, any physical or mental conditions known to exist when you return to active membership may be considered pre-existing conditions, and you would not be able to apply for a disability benefit for those conditions if they remain substantially unchanged.
  • If your application for a disability benefit is denied you may still be eligible to request an administrative appeal.

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