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SERS members have recently been targeted by a variety of phishing scams, including emails, phone calls, and text messages that attempt to impersonate or imply affiliation with SERS.

The fraudulent emails may provide links, including DocuSign, and allege to provide the member with the option to sign up and receive their monthly SERS benefit payments four days early by providing personal financial information, including bank account information.  SERS does not offer an early benefit payment option or request personal or banking information by email or use of DocuSign.  Please note that our emails are always sent from an email address.

Phone calls and Text messages
Several members have recently reported receiving unsolicited phone calls and text messages from individuals claiming to be associated with SERS.  These individuals initially contact the member by phone call or text message and attempt to set up counseling appointments with the member, generally through a follow-up email and/or text message.  These phone calls have been received on State landlines and State issued cell phones.  SERS does not contract with anyone outside of the agency to contact members about retirement counseling appointments or other financial services. SERS does not cold call members for retirement consultations, and only schedules retirement counseling appointments at the request of the member.

If you receive a suspicious email, call, or text message that purports to be SERS that you suspect is a scam, please report this activity to the SERS call center at 217-785-7444. Information that you provide can help SERS prevent and detect schemes that impact our members. 

Tier 2 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 Workers' Compensation Commission.
  • You have submitted a Temporary disability application packet to SERS
  • You have not received, or had a right to receive, any compensation for at least 30 days.

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

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 up to 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 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 final average compensation on the date you were removed from the payroll. If you pay into Social Security and are under full retirement age, your benefit will be reduced by the amount payable from Social Security if you’re approved for Social Security disability benefits. If you have reached full retirement age, your benefit will be reduced by the amount of pension you are eligible for from Social Security.

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.