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Disability Benefits

If you become ill or injured, TRS can help.

Go to this page to learn more about your Disability Benefits.

Disability Application

Temporary nonoccupational or Occupational Disability Benefit Application

Approximately one month before your accumulated sick leave expires, you must notify us in writing and request a disability packet.  Your request should include:

  • Your name
  • TRS Member ID or the last four digits of your Social Security number 
  • The type of disability you are applying for (nonoccupational or occupational)
  • Your due date, if pregnant
  • Your current mailing address, phone number and email address
  • Your current employer(s)
  • The last day you worked or will work
  • The last day you will be paid or were paid for sick leave

Send request to:

Disability Return to Work

Current law allows part-time, limited teaching

Public Act 94-0539 allows individuals who have received TRS disability benefits for one year or more to return to teaching if their medical conditions improve, allowing part-time work.

The law allows you on a limited basis to tutor, substitute, or teach part-time for a TRS-covered or State Universities Retirement System (SURS)-covered employer without loss of your disability benefit as long as your combined earnings from your teaching and your disability benefit do not exceed 100 percent of the salary rate upon which the benefit was based.

Under this program, you may not teach for any employers not covered by TRS or SURS. This includes tutoring and substitute work.

Additionally, if you exceed the salary rate upon which your benefit was based, your benefit will cease including Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) insurance.

Exceeding the salary rate upon which your benefit was based

If you plan to return to teaching and your salary will exceed the salary rate upon which your benefit was based, we need you to contact us so we can help you avoid any overpayment of benefits. If we are not notified of your return to active service and continue to issue benefits, you will be responsible for repaying any unearned disability benefits plus interest.

Disability benefit can be resumed

If your disability benefit is discontinued because you resume teaching in a non TRS-covered position or are otherwise gainfully employed and you are disabled again due to the same cause within 90 days, the benefit will resume at the previous rate. However, first we must receive written notification and verification of your disability and confirmation that you are no longer receiving a salary.

Medicare coverage

Returning to teaching may affect Medicare coverage. If you currently receive Medicare benefits, please contact your local Social Security office regarding your return to work.

Form requirement for limited-basis teaching

If you wish to return to teaching on a limited basis, you must contact TRS to request a Limited Return to Work Program form. This form must be completed and returned to TRS prior to your return to teaching. TRS will acknowledge receipt of the form and confirm your eligibility.

Send request to: