Disability Benefits

Good health and the ability to work are assets we take for granted. Earnings from work provide financial support for ourselves and our families. To learn more about this unique benefit, please read on or watch this  short video.

The Plan protects you against financial emergencies that can occur if you are unable to work due to an off-the-job illness or injury. It can also supplement your Workers' Compensation payments if you are disabled due to an on-the-job illness or injury while employed by the Department.

You are eligible for Disability Benefits from the Plan if you are a Full Member and you are contributing to the Plan at the onset of your disabling condition. To be a Full Member, you must be contributing $1.00 each for Temporary Disability, Permanent Total Disability, and Death Benefits for a total of $3.00 per pay period. For more information, please see the section on Full Membership.

First Two Weeks of Sick Leave

The Department will pay you for the first two weeks of your Disability Leave at 100% of your compensation, usually 80 hours or 10 working days. The first two days of your Disability Leave will be deducted from your sick time bank, unless you are hospitalized. (If your Disability Leave requires admittance to a hospital, the first and second days off are not charged against your sick time bank.)

After Two Weeks

If you are absent for more than two weeks, you will need to apply for a disability claim by submitting a Disability Claim Form and a Doctor’s Certificate. Please note, the Doctor’s Certificate will require your treating physician to provide a medical diagnosis and the duration you are expected to be off work. Without these two important information, along with your doctor’s signature and contact, we will not be able to provide you with Disability Benefits. The information is confidential and will not be shared with your Division or your supervisor.

If you qualify for Disability Benefits, your payments are made on the same payroll cycle as the regular paycheck and in the same manner. The amount that you are paid is based on a percentage of your compensation and your number of years of Continuous Service in the Department by applying the below table.

Period of Continuous Service Table
Period of Continuous Service 100%* 85% 60% 50% 40%
6 Months to 3 Years 2 Weeks 2 Weeks 1 Week 26 Weeks 21 Weeks
3 Years to 5 Years 2 Weeks 4 Weeks 2 Weeks 26 Weeks 18 Weeks
5 Years to 10 Years 2 Weeks 6 Weeks 3 Weeks 26 Weeks 15 Weeks
10 Years to 15 Years 2 Weeks 18 Weeks 10 Weeks 22 Weeks --
15 Years to 20 Years 2 Weeks 20 Weeks 12 Weeks 18 Weeks --
20 Years to 25 Years 2 Weeks 22 Weeks 14 Weeks 14 Weeks --
25 Years to 30 Years 2 Weeks 24 Weeks 16 Weeks 10 Weeks --
30 Years to 35 Years 2 Weeks 26 Weeks 18 Weeks 6 Weeks --
35 Years and Over 2 Weeks 28 Weeks 20 Weeks 2 Weeks --
* Paid by Department
Leave of Absences

Once you become a Full Member of the Plan, $1.00 each is deducted from your paycheck for Temporary Disability and Permanent Total Disability. If the Plan is unable to take this deduction in any payroll period because you are not receiving a paycheck, you will lose coverage for your Disability Benefits.  However, if you are off work on a paid Disability Leave or Workers’ Compensation Leave, even though you do not make contributions to the Plan, your coverage will continue automatically.   

You may continue Disability Benefits coverage for up to 13 payroll periods (approximately 6 months) while on leave without pay if you pay the required premium in advance. (This is not available to employees who transfer to another City department.) The premiums to be paid consist of your Disability contributions and Death Benefits plus the amount that is normally paid by the Department toward these benefits.  If you choose to continue your coverage, you must make these payments in advance to the Plan.

To make arrangements for the payments prior to your absence, please contact the Disability Section at (213) 367-1680. 

Limitations of Rights

If you conceal or fail to disclose material information or submit false or incorrect data pertaining to your Disability, the Retirement Board may terminate or cancel your Disability Benefits.

You may not engage in any gainful employment, either full-time or part-time, while you are being paid Disability Benefits, unless such employment is approved in advance by the Retirement Board for rehabilitative purposes.

If you do not qualify for Permanent Total Disability, the Plan will not be able to pay Disability Benefits beyond 2 years from the initial date of your illness or injury.