Applying for Disability Retirement

Unlike regular service retirements that can occur when certain age and service credit requirements are met, disability retirements must be granted by the KCERA Board of Retirement. The Board relies on KCERA staff and medical professionals to help it determine eligibility and review disability applications. When the application process is completed, the Board decides to grant or deny the application.

If you are considering filing a disability application, please call the KCERA office at (661) 381-7700. A retirement services representative will counsel you on what to expect during the disability application process. For a complete and authoritative explanation of the rules governing the disability application process, please read KCERA’s Rules of Procedure for Disability Retirement. Additional information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the disability handbook.

The Disability Process

Applicants must complete and submit the forms contained in KCERA’s Disability Retirement Application Handbook, except for the Attending Physician Report (APR), which must be completed by a qualified physician. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain the APR and applicable medical records from the physician before submitting the required forms to KCERA. The time is takes to complete the disability process outlined below will vary, depending on a variety of factors.

  • KCERA will requisition the member’s personnel records and compile a disability packet.
  • The Staff Disability Application Group (SDAG) will review the packet in detail and make a recommendation to grant or deny the application.
  • If the SDAG recommends to deny the application, a contracted medical advisor will be automatically assigned to review the packet and provide a written report to the Board. Alternatively, a medical advisor could recommend that the member undergo an additional in-person examination by another medical specialist. The results would be reviewed and reported by the medical advisor.
  • The disability packet will be placed on the Board’s next agenda for a final decision.

KCERA recognizes that its disability application process is lengthy and complex. However, staff communicates with applicants and their attorneys at every major stage in the process, either by phone or written correspondence. KCERA is constantly striving to improve the efficiency of its disability procedures.

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