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Disability benefits overview for Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPSRP) members

To be eligible to apply for disability, you must be unable to perform any work for which you are qualified for a minimum of 90 consecutive days because of an injury or illness.

“Any work for which you are qualified” is not limited to the type of work you performed in your last job or in your usual field of employment. It means any type of job you are qualified to do.

Click on the topics below to learn more about disability benefits.

Two types of disability benefits exist as follows:

  • Duty d​isability — If you are a PERS member and your PERS employment is the primary contributing cause of your disability, you may apply for disability retirement regardless of your length of service.
  • Nonduty disability — You must have 10 years of PERS service time to apply for disability not caused by a job. If you are a school employee, you need 10 or more calendar years as an active member. Contact Member Services to determine if you are eligible to apply for a nonduty disability.

If you apply and are approved for disability benefits, your benefit will be 45% of the salary you earned as of the last month you worked before starting disability benefits.

If you meet the general requirements for disability, Contact Member Services and request a disability retirement application.

Note: You cannot submit your application until you have stopped working.

Along with your application form, you will receive a document with frequently asked questions and answers about disability benefits and a fact sheet about returning to work.

If you expect to be disabled for at least 90 consecutive days, you can apply during the 90-day period; you need not wait until the 90-day requirement has been met.

You also can apply when on a paid leave, but disability payments cannot be made for any month in which you received salary or paid leave benefits from your employer, not including of the lump-sum payoff of accrued vacation or compensatory time.

Once PERS receives your application, we will contact your doctor(s) to obtain information.

PERS staff also may request information from your employer, previous employers, workers’ compensation, or private insurance companies.

PERS staff and a medical advisor will review all of this information and make a recommendation to the PERS executive director, who acts on behalf of the PERS Board.

If your disability retirement is approved, you will receive an approval packet.

The benefit payment process begins once you have submitted the required forms.

Your employer also has mandatory forms that PERS must receive before it can pay benefits.

Benefits are effective the first of the month following the last day worked or the last day of paid leave, whichever is later.

No benefits can be paid until you have been physically off the job for 90 consecutive days.

After the 90-day period, however, benefits will be paid retroactively based on your effective disability date if no salary was paid for that time.

If you qualify for disability, you will receive disability benefits until medical personnel determine that you are no longer disabled or until you reach normal retirement age.

PERS is required, by law, to perform periodic reviews of your continued​ eligibility for benefits until you reach normal retirement age.​

PERS also will contact the Oregon Employment Department to determine if you are working and may request a copy of your annual tax returns.

Your disability benefits will stop if:

  • You recover f​rom your disability before reaching normal retirement age.
  • You return to work in any capacity.

You must notify PERS of the date and place of employment within 30 days. Any overpaid benefits will need to be repaid to PERS.

Need to cancel your disability retirement claim?

If you have applied for disability retirement but need to cancel your claim, submit a Cancellation of Application for Disability Benefits form to PERS.

Do you have additional questions about disability retirement benefits?

Read the OPSRP disability retirement FAQ webpage.