Disability Benefits FAQs

  1. How do I apply for disability benefits?
    Please contact the 1977 Fund for an application for disability benefits.
  2. What process governs my application for disability benefits?
    The local board will hold a hearing regarding this matter. That board will issue findings as to whether or not you are impaired (and a class of disability determination for 1977 Fund members hired after Dec. 31, 1989 or those members who converted to the provisions of the 1990 disability statutes). Your application, the medical information, and the findings of the local board are sent to the 1977 Fund to be reviewed by the PERF medical authority. The 1977 Fund will issue a letter of determination regarding your impairment.
  3. How do I know if my benefit is determined under a class of impairment?
    If you were hired for the first time after Dec. 31, 1989 or elected to convert to the 1990 statutory provisions, then your benefit is determined by the class of impairment and degree of impairment.
  4. How is the amount payable determined?
    The amount payable is based on the statutory provisions and the base salary at the time of disability retirement. For members of the 1990 statutory provisions, the amount payable is determined by the class of impairment and the degree of impairment. (Please refer to the preceding information in this handbook on the classes of impairment). For 1977 Fund members not covered by the 1990 statutory provisions, the benefit for a fund member with 20 years of service or less is 50 percent of the first-class salary for the year in which their service ends. If the member’s service exceeds 20 years, then the benefit is computed using that service in the same manner as a retirement benefit from the 1977 Fund.
  5. Who determines the degree of impairment?
    The degree of impairment is determined by the PERF medical authority.
  6. Will my surviving spouse be entitled to a benefit if I die after my disability benefits commence?
    Yes. Generally, your surviving spouse is entitled to 60 percent of your disability benefit and a death benefit of $12,000.
  7. Should I apply for disability while I am receiving pay or wait until my pay has ended?
    You should not delay your disability application filing. You may apply for benefits while you are receiving pay.
  8. Will I be required to have a medical examination?
    The local board, the 1977 Fund or the PERF medical authority may request a medical examination.
  9. Am I ineligible for a benefit if there is a light duty position available?
    You are not eligible for a disability benefit if there is a suitable light duty position available in your department with that employer.
  10. If I receive a disability benefit based on a Class 1 or Class 2 impairment, am I entitled to receive the disability benefit for the rest of my life?
    Yes. If you were hired after Dec. 31, 1989 (or elected coverage under IC 36-8-8-12.4), you will receive the disability benefit for the remainder of your life, except under certain limited circumstances for Class 2 impairments. At age 52, you may be entitled to a monthly supplemental benefit.

  11. Whom should I call if I have questions about the disability application process?
    Please contact our office at (888) 526-1687 or e-mail us at questions@inprs.in.gov.