The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (“LACERS”) is a department of the City of Los Angeles which provides retirement benefits to the civilian employees of the City of Los Angeles. LACERS administers the benefits approved by the City (the “plan sponsor”) which includes pension benefits.
How is someone eligible?
They must prove that they became physically or mentally incapacitated from performing his/her job. It need not be a work injury that causes the disability.
What are the disability retirement benefits?
For those eligible for a disability retirement, they will receive a monthly benefit that is approximately one-third of their highest 12-month average salary. If they have more than 23.3 years of service credit they may receive a slightly higher monthly benefit. Disability retirement benefit may be subject to cost-of-living increases.
Who is eligible to file?
City Employees are eligible to file an application for disability retirement with LACERS if they meet all the following requirements:
- They have five or more years of Continuous Service with the City [“Continuous” means they did not have a break in service longer than three years]
- Their application for Disability Retirement is filed with LACERS within one year of the date they were last paid by their employing department. This filing period may be extended if they have one or more of the following:
- An open related Workers’ Compensation claim
- Their claim closed within the last year (subject to City Attorney review)
- Open administrative proceeding (subject to City Attorney review)
Can a Workers’ Compensation claim assist in a Disability Retirement Application?
A workers’ compensation case can assist with the determination of whether the employee is eligible for such a retirement. Workers’ Compensation doctors are required to address the issue of whether injured workers are able to perform their usual and customary occupation. Their opinions may be of assistance in the granting of a disability retirement. Further, Applicants within workers’ compensation are able to solicit additional discovery that may assist in a disability retirement. Further, as noted above, the filing period of an application can be extended by the virtue of an open related workers’ compensation claim.
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