Disability benefits coverage

Disability benefits coverage through the Death and Disability Plan is designed to provide you with a source of monthly income and continued benefits if you become disabled and unable to work. The Board of Pensions partners with Lincoln Financial Group to administer these benefits.

Definition of disability

The Benefits Plan defines disability as being unable to perform your regular work duties because you are sick or injured, and after 24 consecutive months of that disability, being unable to perform any type of work that fits your education, training, or experience. If you become disabled at age 62 or later, the plan defines disability as being unable to perform your regular work duties because you are sick or injured. The Board must certify all disabilities.

Amount of benefits

Disability benefits coverage provides a monthly disability benefit generally equal to 60 percent of the greater of

  • your effective salary (up to a maximum covered salary of $110,000); or
  • the applicable median salary when you become disabled, prorated for part-time employment.

Your initial disability benefit will not be more than your effective salary at the time you become disabled. Disability benefits will be reduced by disability payments you receive from other sources, such as workers’ compensation and Social Security, or an imputed benefit if you have opted out of Social Security.


Your employer enrolls you for disability benefits coverage. You do not need to take any action when first hired or during annual enrollment.


Your employer pays the cost of disability benefits coverage; you may not contribute. Your employer (or you, in the case of transitional participation) continues paying the cost of coverage (dues) for you during the first 90 days of your disability.

When benefits begin

When you are approved for disability benefits, payments begin after you are disabled for 90 consecutive days, or when your salary or severance payments end, whichever is later.

If you become disabled during the first 12 months of participating in the Death and Disability Plan, and the disability is due to an illness or injury diagnosed or treated during the 12 months immediately before you joined the plan, no benefits are paid and all other coverage (medical, pension, death, supplemental death, dental, and supplemental disability) ends.

When benefits end

Disability benefits end when the Board determines that you are no longer disabled, fail to comply with plan requirements, reach maximum benefit eligibility age, or return to work.

To continue receiving benefits, you must undergo required evaluations, follow prescribed medical treatment, participate in case reviews and vocational rehabilitation, and provide requested documentation.

If you become disabled at age 62 or older, the benefit is payable for these maximum periods:

​Age​Duration (years)
​69 or older​1

Other benefits during disability

If you are enrolled in medical, death, or supplemental death benefits coverage through the Board of Pensions at the time you become disabled, these benefits may continue during disability, subject to Benefits Plan rules.

You may also continue to accrue pension credits if participating in the Defined Benefit Pension Plan immediately before disability.

If you were enrolled in dental or vision eyewear coverage before becoming disabled, you may continue participating, but must pay the cost of coverage.

Applying for and receiving benefits

You may apply for disability benefits if your physician states that you are unable to work for more than 90 consecutive days while recovering from an illness or injury. If you are otherwise eligible, and do not apply for the benefit right away, you may still apply within the 12 months after your disability begins.


If your application for disability benefits is denied or disability benefits end, you have the right to appeal. The appeals process is described in Guide to Your Disability Benefits.