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Warning! Many SERS members have recently received unsolicited, potentially misleading emails from companies not affiliated with SERS offering retirement counseling. These emails may appear to come from SERS or appear to represent SERS, they do not. SERS encourages members to be cautious of email solicitations and skeptical of any attempts by outside firms to request personal or financial information. SERS will NEVER contact you asking for personal information. If you are within a year of retirement and need an appointment, you can request an appointment by emailing or by calling (217) 785-7444.

Tier 1 Temporary Disability Benefits

This benefit is available in disputed Workers’ Compensation cases when your agency has formally denied all benefits, and an appeal has been filed with the Workers' Compensation Commission. You may be eligible for the temporary disability benefit if:

  • You have at least 18 months of credited service with SERS, Teachers’, or the State Universities Retirement Systems.
  • You have filed an appeal with the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (Application for Adjustment of Claim)
  • You have submitted the required forms to SERS.
  • You have completed and submitted an application packet for temporary disability benefits to SERS

If the Workers’ Compensation benefit you are receiving is terminated, you may be eligible for temporary benefits if:

  • You have at least 18 months of credited service with SERS, Teachers’, or the State Universities Retirement Systems.
  • You have submitted the required forms to SERS.
  • You have filed an appeal with the Workers' Compensation Commission, and requested an emergency hearing through the Workers' Compensation Commission 19B1 process.

Applying for Benefits

You must apply in order to receive benefits. It is important to file an application for a disability benefit with SERS after it appears your disability will continue beyond 30 days after your removal from the payroll, or when your Workers’ Compensation benefit is terminated.

The application process requires you to obtain a medical report from an acceptable licensed healthcare professional
certifying you are unable to perform in your position. You must also sign a release form giving SERS access to your medical records.

All benefit claims and appeals are reviewed by the SERS Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees. If your claim is denied, or you question the payment of any benefit, you or your representative may file a written appeal or request a hearing before the Executive Committee.

When Payments Begin & End

The benefit will begin on the 31st day from the date you last received, or had a right to receive, any compensation if your claim was denied by the Workers’ Compensation Act.

After your Workers’ Compensation benefit is terminated, the temporary disability benefit will begin the day following termination.

Disability benefits for all periods of disability are payable for a total period of time equal to one-half of credited service not earned while on disability, until death, or one of the following events occurs:

  • Your disability ends
  • You resume gainful employment.
  • You reach age 65. (If your disability began after age 60, benefits are payable for five years, subject to the one-half service credit limitation).
  • A payment is made after determining the state's liability under the Workers' Compensation Act or the Workers’ Occupational Diseases Act.
  • A final determination is made on the member’s claim by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Service Credit

While you receive disability benefits, your SERS account will be credited with service and contributions as if you were working.

Benefit Amount

Your disability benefit equals 50% of your salary rate or your final average compensation (FAC), whichever is higher. Your FAC is the highest 48 consecutive months of service within the last 120 months of service.  

If you pay into Social Security and are under age 66, your benefit will be reduced by the amount of Social Security disability benefits you may receive.  If you have reached full retirement age, your SERS benefit will be reduced by the amount of unreduced SSA retirement benefits you are eligible to receive.

SERS Recovery Rights

Once the Workers' Compensation Commission makes its final determination on a disputed claim, SERS will calculate your benefit to determine if temporary benefits must be repaid. Any member who accepts a temporary benefit acknowledges and authorizes the recovery rights of SERS.