Eligibility & Benefits
If you become permanently incapacitated—mentally or physically—from performing your job, you may be eligible for a disability retirement. Permanent incapacitation means the substantial inability to perform the usual duties of your job for an indefinite period. Members who are permanently incapacitated may be eligible to receive a service-connected or nonservice-connected disability retirement following an application process.
Rules for Disability Retirement
Service-Connected Disability (SCD)
A service-connected disability means an incapacitating injury or illness was caused by employment. There is no minimum age or service credit requirement to be eligible for an SCD.
If granted, a service-connected disability benefit would equal 50 percent of the member’s final average compensation. Moreover, the benefit would be exempt from federal and state income taxes. Any portion of the member’s total monthly KCERA benefit that exceeds the 50 percent limit may be subject to taxes.
Nonservice-Connected Disability (NSCD)
A nonservice-connected disability means an incapacitating injury or illness was not caused by employment. To be eligible for a nonservice-connected disability, the member must have at least five years of retirement service credit. There is no minimum age requirement.
If granted, a nonservice-connected disability benefit would be based on the member’s years of retirement service credit, starting at 20 percent of final average compensation and increasing 2 percent for each additional year of service, not to exceed 40 percent.* The NSCD benefit would be subject to federal and state income taxes.
(* If you are eligible to retire and your regular service retirement would pay more than an NSCD retirement, applying for a regular service retirement would be more financially advantageous than applying for an NSCD retirement.)