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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 2 Occupational Disability Benefits

Occupational disability benefits are paid if you are unable to work due to a work-related illness or injury. In order to receive occupational disability benefits from SERS you must:

  • File a claim with the Workers' Compensation Commission, the Risk Management Division of your agency, or the Department of Central Management Services to determine if your disability is work-related.
  • Complete and submit an occupational disability packet to SERS.

Applying for Benefits

You must apply in order to receive benefits. It is important to file an application for occupational disability benefits with SERS as soon as you are removed from your agency payroll. The application process requires you to obtain a medical report from a 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

Occupational Disability Benefits Begin When:

  • SERS determines you are disabled.
  • You receive benefits under the Workers’ Compensation or Occupational Diseases Act.
  • You are removed from your agency payroll.

Occupational Disability Benefits End When:

  • Your disability ends.
  • You resume employment.
  • You reach age 65. (If your disability begins after age 60, benefits are payable for five years).

If your disability benefit is terminated because of age, or the five-year limit, you are eligible for a retirement benefit at age 67.

Benefit Amount

The disability benefit equals 75% of your final average compensation on the date you were removed from the payroll. This amount is reduced by any payments made under the Workers’ Compensation Act, or the Workers' Occupational Diseases Act.

Service Credit

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

Benefit Increases

Each occupational disability benefit paid by SERS is increased 7% on January 1 after four years of being granted this benefit. On each January 1 following the date of the 7% increase, there is a 3% benefit increase in the net benefit.