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Disability Process

Step by Step Procedures for Disability Applications

Step 1.  Application for Disability Retirement

In order to apply for a disability retirement, a Disability Retirement Application must be submitted to StanCERA.
An application can be obtained by contacting StanCERA.  The application packet includes the following documents:

    • Procedures of Disability Application brochure
    • Disability Retirement Information & Frequently Asked Questions
    • Disability Retirement Application & Questionnaire *
    • Claimant’s Authorization to Attending Physician *
    • Physician Statement *
    • Authorizations to Obtain and Release Records Forms *
    • Claims Against Third Parties Form *
    • Missed Medical Appointment Form *
    • Copy of Article IX of the Bylaws, “Claim for Disability Retirement”

*These items must be completed and signed for an application to be accepted.

Medical records and reports

      • All medical reports related to the claimed disability; and
      • All medical reports from five years prior to the onset of the disability, regardless of relation to the claimed disability will be obtained by StanCERA.

The member must submit his/her Job Description and Job Task Analysis (JTA) to his/her physician to use when filling out the Physician Statement.  Copies of Job Descriptions are available from your department or StanCERA can assist you in obtaining a copy.  JTA’s can be found here.

Both the Physician Statement and Job Description forms should be returned together.

No altered application or altered Authorizations to Obtain and Release Records forms will be accepted.

An incomplete or altered application will be returned to the member in its entirety.  This can create a delay in the effective date for benefits.

Disability Retirement – When to Apply

    • While you are still employed
    • Within four months after you have terminated employment
    • Any time after terminating employment if you have been continuously incapacitated from the time of your separation from employment to the time of filing

Step 2.  Member Assistance

If possible, the member should meet with the Member and Employer Services Specialist to review the policies and procedures for submitting an application for a disability retirement benefit at the time the “Disability Packet” is obtained.  If a member is unable to be present, a family member, friend, or attorney may obtain this information.

Step 3.  Disability Summary Report

The Member and Employer Services Specialist will review the application to determine if all required documentation has been received. The information to be reviewed is as follows:

    • Nature of Disability
    • Physician Statement Diagnosis
    • Workers’ Compensation Claim(s)
    • Past Medical History
    • History of Injury/Illness
    • Occupational History/Physical Requirements
    • Light Duty/Accommodated Assignments
    • Current Symptoms/Complaints
    • Non-Industrial Factors
    • Witness Statements

Step 4. Medical Examination

StanCERA may require you to be seen by a doctor at its expense. StanCERA will do the following:

    • Send medical records and reports with cover letter to designated physician.
    • Notify the member/attorney in writing of examination date. (The member is responsible for missed appointment fees.)

Step 5. Case Review by Legal Counsel

The case will be referred to legal counsel for evaluation and recommendation.

Step 6. Case Preparation for Retirement Board Meeting

Once the application is ready to be reviewed by the Retirement Board, the following will occur:

    • Member/Attorney will be notified in writing of Board meeting date.
    • Member will be notified that their case will be consent item or will be heard in closed session (not open to the public).
    • Member/Attorney will be advised of the right to attend the Board meeting and may request to make a short statement prior to a closed session item.
    • The Board may approve, deny or set for hearing or remand the file back to staff further investigation.
    • Member will be notified in writing of the Board’s decision.

Final Decision & Appeal

The member will be provided information regarding the right to appeal the Board’s decision. Procedures for the appeal process are in the Bylaws and will be provided with notification.

The steps on this page will walk you through the standard procedures to prepare your disability application for review by the Retirement Board.

The length of time to process your application will depend on medical appointments required to document your disability and/or conflicting medical records/reports.

If you have any questions, please call your StanCERA Disability Member and Employer Services Specialist at 209-525-6393

This webpage provides general information about disability retirement. If any discrepancies exist between information on this webpage and the law, the law will prevail. You are encouraged to call StanCERA’s retirement office should you have any questions about the disability retirement process.