Home    ●    Site Map    ●    Contact US 


Maine Public Employees Retirement System
P.O. Box 349, Augusta, ME 04332-0349
toll free: (800) 451-9800 ● local: (207) 512-3100

QUICK LINKS:
Home 
About Us
Disability
FAQs
Forms
Group Life Insurance
Investments
Laws/Rules/Legislation
Links
Publications
 
 
 
Disability - FAQs
       
  Does MainePERS offer some form of a disability benefit program?

What makes me eligible to receive a disability  retirement benefit?

Does MainePERS administer a short-term or long-term disability insurance program?

Will someone from MainePERS help me complete the disability retirement benefit application form?

If I am eligible for a disability retirement benefit, what payment amount will I receive?

How will disability retirement benefits be paid to me?

If I am eligible for a disability retirement benefit, how long will it take before I get my first payment?

How long does it take to process a disability retirement benefit application?

Am I required to send my medical records to MainePERS when I apply for a disability retirement benefit?

Can I work while receiving a disability retirement benefit?

How long will I receive disability benefits?

Am I allowed to receive both Workers' Compensation benefits and/or Social Security Disability Insurance and MainePERS disability benefits?

Will my case be reviewed for continued disability benefits?

How will the review process affect a disability retirement benefit I receive?

How will I be notified that my case is being reviewed?

Does MainePERS provide vocational rehabilitation services?

Can I refuse to participate in the rehabilitation program?

I have terminated my position. Can I still apply for the MainePERS disability retirement benefit?

My employer terminated my employment. Can I still apply for the MainePERS disability retirement benefit?

Is there a time limit for applying for a MainePERS disability retirement benefit?



< Back to Top >

Q: Does MainePERS offer some form of a disability benefit program?

A: Yes. The majority of members of MainePERS are covered under the "Article 3A" disability statute and the following questions and answers concerning the disability program relate to Article 3A eligibility. You should contact the MainePERS Disability Retirement Unit to determine if this statute applies to you. Additional information on the disability retirement program can be found in the publication
Overview of Disability Benefits.

The disability retirement benefit that is available to most MainePERS members is different than short- or long-term disability insurance and is also different than disability payments available from the federal government through the Social Security Administration or Veterans Administration.

< Back to Top >

Q: What makes me eligible to receive a disability retirement benefit?
(Article 3-A; see above)

A: You must meet certain statutory requirements to be eligible for a disability retirement benefit:

You must have a permanent mental or physical incapacity that makes it impossible for you to perform the duties of your job or of another job, of comparable stature and equal or greater pay that your employer has offered you.

You must have become incapacitated before reaching your normal retirement age (unless you have elected the No-Age Disability Plan or were hired on or after October 16, 1992.)

At the time you became incapacitated, you must have been receiving compensation from your employer and paid contributions to MainePERS for the compensation. 

There must be no job modifications that your employer will make that will allow you to do your job, such as changing your job duties or the way you perform a certain task, or providing special equipment for your use.

If you have fewer than 5 years of creditable service preceding your last date in service, you may not eligible for a disability retirement benefit if the incapacity is a result of a physical or mental condition which existed before your membership in MainePERS.  The exception is if the incapacity is a result of, or has been substantially aggravated by, an injury or accident received in the line of duty but from events or circumstances not usually encountered within the scope of your employment.

If you have been incapacitated for more than two years, you must show that you are unable to engage in any substantially gainful activity.

< Back to Top >

Q: Does MainePERS administer a short-term or long-term disability insurance program?

A: No. To qualify for the MainePERS disability retirement benefit, your incapacity must be determined by medical professionals to be permanent.

< Back to Top >

Q: Will someone from MainePERS help me complete the disability retirement benefit application form?


A: Yes. A MainePERS representative would be happy to answer any questions over the telephone or to assist you in person with completion of the application. Call the MainePERS Disability Retirement Unit for an appointment if you require assistance. Be sure you review the forms before your appointment so that you will have all pertinent information with you in order to avoid any delay in the completion and filing of the application.

< Back to Top >

Q: If I am eligible for a disability retirement benefit, what payment amount will I receive?


A:
Age-Limited Plan: If you were hired before October 16, 1992 and continue to be employed and did not elect the No-Age plan, your benefit will be 66 2/3% of your average final compensation, subject to any Workers' Compensation, Social Security Disability, or similar law offsets.

No-Age Limit Plan: If you were hired on or after October 16, 1992, or if you elected coverage under the No-Age Limit disability provisions, your benefit will be 59% of your average final compensation, subject to any Workers' Compensation, Social Security Disability, or similar law offsets.

< Back to Top >

Q: How will disability retirement benefits be paid to me?

A: MainePERS will deposit your benefit payment directly to your savings or checking account at a financial institution, by Electronic Direct Deposit.

< Back to Top >

Q: If I am eligible for a disability retirement benefit, how long will it take before I get my first payment?


A: If your application for a disability retirement benefit is approved; to begin receiving the benefit, you must terminate your employment position.  To determine the actual amount of your disability retirement benefit, MainePERS must receive your final payroll information from your employer.  If this does not happen promptly, or if the details regarding your service credit or compensation are complex, a number of months may pass before you receive your first full monthly disability retirement payment. 

In order not to delay the start of benefit payments, in some situations you may be eligible to receive a “preliminary” monthly benefit payment.  The gross amount of each preliminary benefit payment will be an estimated monthly disability retirement benefit using the earnings reports on file at MainePERS at the time subsequent to approval when the first preliminary payment will be made. (You are not eligible for a preliminary benefit if you receive Workers Compensation or Social Security Benefits.) The full and final disability retirement benefit payment amount will begin with any necessary reconciliation of the preliminary benefit to the final benefit once MainePERS has received all the needed termination paperwork and final payroll filings from your employer.

< Back to Top >

Q: How long does it take to process a disability retirement benefit application?

A: It takes approximately 4-6 months to process a disability retirement benefit application.

< Back to Top >

Q: Am I required to send my medical records to MainePERS when I apply for a disability retirement benefit?

A: No. Although not essential for filing, you are free to supply copies of medical records you have on hand at the time you file an application. Know that an essential part of MainePERS processing your application is an independent request for your medical information directly from your doctor or medical provider. A benefit to you supplying or at least reviewing information you have in your possession is it reduces the likelihood that a medical provider's name will be forgotten when MainePERS asks for releases from you regarding your doctors.

< Back to Top >


Q: Can I work while receiving a disability retirement benefit?

A: Yes. However there are limitations on the amount you may earn without reducing or eliminating your disability retirement benefit payment. For information on your earnings limitation,
contact the MainePERS Disability Retirement Unit.

< Back to Top >

Q: How long will I receive disability retirement benefit payments?

A: Under the Article 3A Age-Limited Plan, as long as you remain disabled in accordance with state law you will receive a disability retirement benefit until 10 years past your normal retirement age, or when the service retirement benefit you are eligible for equals the disability retirement benefit payment you are receiving, whichever occurs first.

Under the Article 3A No-Age Limit Plan, as long as you remain disabled in accordance with statute, you will continue to receive benefits until the amount of your service retirement benefits equal your disability retirement benefits.

< Back to Top >

Q: Am I allowed to receive both Workers' Compensation benefits and/or Social Security Disability Insurance and a MainePERS disability retirement benefit?

A: You may receive all of these benefits concurrently, however, your MainePERS disability retirement benefit will be reduced (i.e., offset) by the amounts received from Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance if they are being paid for the same incapacitating condition.

< Back to Top >

Q: Will my case be reviewed for continued disability benefits?

A: Yes. Disability retirement recipients are reviewed generally every two years after first becoming disabled, NOT two years from the date you were approved for a disability retirement benefit.

< Back to Top >

Q: How will the review process affect a disability retirement benefit I receive?

A: You will continue to receive your disability retirement benefit throughout the review process.

< Back to Top >

Q: How will I be notified that my case in being reviewed?


A: Yes. You will be notified by mail by means of a review packet that contains 1) questions about your condition 2) a form for your treating doctor to fill out and 3) medical releases for you to sign so MainePERS may obtain updated medical information directly from your doctors or other treatment providers.

< Back to Top >

Q: Does MainePERS provide vocational rehabilitation services?

A: Yes. MainePERS provides vocational rehabilitation services with the intent to assist disability retirement recipients to transition back into the workforce. Generally, an eligibility determination is based upon your inability to perform the duties of your employment position as defined by statute. The vocational rehabilitation focus is on providing services that when combined with your training, education, and experience, would allow you to engage in employment to the level of substantial gainful activity.

< Back to Top >

Q: Can I refuse to participate in the rehabilitation program?

A: Yes, the MainePERS Vocational Rehabilitation Program is voluntary for disability retirees. If you are approved for a disability retirement benefit and rehabilitation services are recommended, the services are optional, a determination to evaluate your suitability for vocational rehabilitation services may be made at the point of approval for disability benefits, in the course of a future review, or you may decline.

< Back to Top >

Q: I have terminated my position. Can I still apply for disability benefits?


A: Yes. Even after you have terminated your employment position, you may apply for a disability retirement benefit as long as you have not taken a refund of your MainePERS contributions. Among other criteria, to be eligible for a disability retirement benefit you would have to demonstrate that your incapacity occurred while you were still considered to be "in service"; you then would have to demonstrate that all other statutory and rule requirements are met.

< Back to Top >

Q: My employer terminated my employment. Can I still apply for the MainePERS disability retirement benefit?

A: Yes. Even if your employer terminated your employment, you may apply for a disability retirement benefit as long as you have not taken a refund of your MainePERS contributions. Among other criteria, to be eligible for a disability retirement benefit you would have to first demonstrate that your incapacity occurred while you were still considered to be "in service"; you then would have to demonstrate that all other statutory and rule requirements are met.

< Back to Top >

Q: Is there a time limit for applying for a MainePERS disability retirement benefit?

A: No. You may apply anytime but you will be required to show that you became incapacitated while you were still in service and that you have not taken a refund of your MainePERS contributions. As you can imagine, it is often harder for members to establish their incapacities if their service is too far in the past. The payment of a disability retirement benefit, if approved, will generally only be retroactive to six months prior to MainePERS’ receipt of your application.



If you have a question that is not addressed here, or if you need more information than provided here, please contact the MainePERS office at (207) 512-3100 or toll-free at 1-800-451-9800.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this Web site is general in nature and is not a complete statement of the laws governing MainePERS or the administrative policies of the System. You should not rely on this general information to guide you in important individual decisions; consult with your own financial or legal advisor or with MainePERS staff. Should there be any conflict between this information and Maine laws or MainePERS policies, the laws and policies will prevail. For more information regarding MainePERS please refer to the Constitution, Statutes, and Session Laws of Maine
at http://www.maine.gov/legis/ros/meconlaw.htm.

< Back to Top >

Home  |  Disability  |  FAQs  |  Group Life Insurance  |  Investments  |  Laws/Legislation  |  Links  |  Publications  |  Site Map  |  Location/Directions  |  Contact Us

Information contained on this Web site is neither a legal reference nor a complete statement of the laws or MainePERS administrative rules. In any conflict between this information and Maine laws or administrative rules, the laws and administrative rules shall prevail.

Copyright © Maine Public Employees Retirement System.  All Rights Reserved.