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If a member with five or more years of service in a TRF-covered position becomes disabled while an active teacher, he or she may be eligible for a classroom or retirement disability benefit.
Classroom disability refers to a medically confirmed inability to continue classroom teaching due to a mental or physical condition that is not necessarily of sufficient severity to meet Social Security disability guidelines. Benefits are $125 per month plus $5 for each additional year of TRF-covered service over five years. The member must be out of the classroom because of the disability for a continuous period of six months without pay before disability benefits may be paid. No teaching service may be earned while receiving the benefit.
A member must apply for classroom disability within one year of the disability’s diagnosis. A physician selected by the Fund will make the initial determination of eligibility and cases will be reviewed annually for a continued classroom disability benefit until age 65, at which time the member is eligible to apply for disability retirement.
If a member dies while receiving a classroom disability benefit or after returning to the classroom but prior to retirement, the member’s ASA balance is reduced by the amount of any classroom disability benefits paid to the member before death. For additional information, refer to the Death of a Member section of the handbook.
To become eligible for a disability retirement, a member's disability must occur after June 30, 1984 and occur while employed in a TRF-covered position or while receiving classroom disability benefits from the Fund. Additionally, the disability must qualify for Social Security disability, and the member must have at least five years of service credit in a covered position.
The member must provide proof of Social Security disability qualification to TRF. If the member has applied for but not received an award letter from Social Security, the member may still complete an Application for Retirement Benefits and attach a copy of the application sent to the Social Security Administration.
|Note: In order to qualify for a disability retirement benefit from TRF, the onset date of the Social Security disability must be effective back to the time the member was an active teacher.|
At least once a year until the member reaches age 65, the Fund is required to confirm that the member continues to remain eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
Disability Retirement benefit options and calculations for the monthly pension benefit plan, the ASA, and the RSA are the same as those for any other retiree except that: