A TRS member who is mentally or physically disabled, and who has at least 10 years service credit is eligible to apply for disability retirement. The inability to satisfactorily perform one's current work duties, due to health reasons, is the major factor in determining 'disability.'
Disability retirement benefits are calculated using a percentage of salary formula – two percent multiplied by the total years of creditable service, times the average monthly salary for your two highest consecutive years of membership service. The resulting product is the monthly disability benefit under Plan A Maximum plan. There is no age requirement for disability retirement.
Processing disability retirement applications can be a lengthy process due to the time required for health care provider(s) to submit your medical records. If multiple health care providers are involved with your situation, send our forms to them individually and simultaneously to speed completion of your medical documentation. Once all your records are provided, your case will be referred to our medical review board for a ruling supporting or denying your disability. The more medical data you provide, the better positioned the review board will be to understand your case and base its decision. Our review board may request you have an additional medical examination, which we will arrange for you at our expense. TRS will keep you apprised, in writing, on the status of your case, and will notify you when the review board renders its final decision.
There are two ways to apply for disability retirement with TRS: the online application or the paper application. We encourage you to apply online as it expedites the process and helps to eliminate errors that may delay processing your retirement.
Applications for disability retirement should be submitted no earlier than 90 days prior to retirement and no later than the end of the month in which your retirement is to become effective. Your retirement cannot become effective any earlier than the beginning of the month in which we receive your completed application and supporting documentation. You cannot receive a disability retirement check for any month during which you were actively employed. For example, if you wish to retire July 1st you may submit your online application no earlier than April 1st and no later than July 31st. Although we will accept applications at the end of the month in which you wish to retire, we do not recommend waiting until the last minute.
While on disability retirement, you are ineligible to establish other types of service (i.e. military, out-of-state, study leave, etc.). You must also report all employment, including self-employment to TRS, as your disability benefit could be reduced or terminated should you become employed.
If you are enrolled and wish to continue coverage in the State Heath Benefit Plan after retirement, you should complete an enrollment and payroll authorization form prior to your retirement. These forms are available from your employer or the State Health Benefit Plan. TRS does not administer health benefits, so please direct any related questions to your employer or the Department of Community Health.
There are various forms that both you and your employer must complete before your retirement can be processed. The Disability Retirement Package contains the information and forms you need to complete and submit to TRS.