Becoming Disabled

Check out the information below to see how your disability can impact your coverage or benefits in the following CalPERS programs.

Your Retirement

  • If your disability appears to be permanent and you will be unable to perform the usual duties of your current position with your current employer, or other California CalPERS employers (including State agencies, schools, and public agencies), you may be eligible for a disability retirement. Review Disability and Industrial Disability Retirement for more information.
  • Review and complete the Guide to Completing Your Disability Retirement Election Application (PUB 35) (PDF).
  • Complete and return all the required forms to CalPERS.
  • CalPERS can expedite an emergency retirement for those facing a terminal illness. If this is your case, Contact Us or your employer immediately for special assistance.

Your Health Benefits Coverage

  • If you are currently a member of the CalPERS Health Program, you must meet specific requirements to continue your health insurance coverage into retirement or to maintain the right to re-enroll in the future after retirement.
  • In the event that you become disabled, your coverage may lapse during the processing of your disability retirement application. To avoid any disruption to your health coverage, contact your employer for completion of a Direct Payment Authorization Form (PERS-HBD-21) (PDF) to pay your premium directly to the insurance carrier(s). If you do not elect to direct pay, you must cancel your CalPERS health coverage. You may need to re-enroll in a CalPERS health plan once your disability retirement is approved.

Your Long-Term Care Coverage

Your Supplemental Income Plans

  • Verify with your employer that they have your correct mailing address.
  • If you are a part of the CalPERS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan (for public agency and school members), contact your employer if you need to elect to begin taking distributions from your account.
  • CalPERS does not administer the State Savings Plus Program, so if you contribute to one of the plans in that program, you should contact them to see what steps you might need to take.
  • If you contribute to the CalPERS Supplemental Contributions Plan, please contact us to determine your account distributions.
  • With the State Peace Officers' & Firefighters' Defined Contribution Plan, you will automatically be sent a distribution packet within six to eight weeks of your separation or disability retirement date.

Dated: 01-08-2013