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Receiving a Disability Retirement

If you are receiving a disability retirement benefit from PSERS, there are two items that are critical to the continued receipt of this type of benefit if you are not superannuated.  PSERS must receive an Annual Earnings Statement, and if you were granted a short-term disability benefit, you must submit a renewal.   

Annual Earnings Statement

In early January, PSERS mails an Annual Earnings Statement to retirees not superannuated who receive a PSERS disability retirement benefit.  These retirees must provide PSERS with their annual earnings information.  

Only earned income is to be reported to PSERS.  Earned income is money received by working as an employee of any business or by being self-employed.  Disability retirement benefits, social security benefits, worker’s compensation, investment income, dividends, or wages received from the school employer earned prior to the date of retirement are not earned income and should not be included.  

If the completed Annual Earnings Statement is not returned by April 30 of the current year, the monthly disability benefit payment stops until we receive the information.  If the form is not returned, you will forfeit all rights to the disability retirement benefit. 

Renewal of Disability Benefits  

PSERS sends out a disability retirement renewal application to those retirees receiving a short-term disability retirement benefit.  These renewals are sent to coincide with the retirement date, usually on a yearly basis.  For retirees on a special short-term disability retirement, it may be sooner than one year.  

These renewal forms must be completed and returned to PSERS within the specified time frame shown on the form. If you fail to return the form within the specified time, you risk not receiving your monthly benefit on time.  Failure to return the form at all will result in the denial of your disability retirement renewal and your disability benefit will stop.  

Working While Receiving a Disability Retirement Benefit  

You may be employed while receiving a disability retirement benefit from PSERS.  You, however, are not permitted to return to work for a Pennsylvania public school employer without the loss of your monthly benefit unless you qualify for specific exceptions.  These exceptions are further explained in the PSERS publication, PSERS Return to Service Guidelines and Clarifications (PSRS-9682) (PDF).  

If you are employed while receiving a monthly disability benefit, you are subject to a limitation on earnings.  Your yearly earnings plus your yearly disability benefit cannot exceed your annual earnings limitation, which is generally based on your last school year salary.  

Keep in mind that any employment as a PSERS disability retiree may bring into question your PSERS disability eligibility status.    

Additional Information  

For more information about a disability retirement, please refer to the PSERS pamphlet, Let’s Talk About PSERS Disability Retirement Benefits, or contact your PSERS regional office