Disability Retirement and Benefits

  • Click here for information about disability benefits under the Educational Retirement Act.


Disability Eligibility Requirements

You may be eligible to receive disability benefits under the Defined Benefits plan if you meet all three of the requirements listed below:

  • -   You have  accrued at least ten years of earned service credit with the ERB Defined Benefits Plan, and


  • -   You are totally disabled to continue your employment, and


  • -   You are unable to obtain and retain other gainful employment commensurate with your background,
  •     education, and experience. See Section 22-11-35(A) NMSA 1978 in the Educational Retirement Act.


Member Services will determine if you meet the eligibility requirements in order to apply for disability benefits, and to receive a Disability Application Packet. You may call Member Services at (505) 827-8030.


Applying for Disability Benefits

A complete Disability Application packet must be submitted to the NMERB as outlined in the Requirements and Instructions for Disability Application form which is enclosed in your application packet. NMERB cannot consider disability applications that are not complete.  Please note that NMERB uses Managed Medical Review Organization (MMRO), an outside medical review company when reviewing disability benefit applications.  Upon applying for disability benefits, you may receive correspondence on behalf of NMERB from MMRO.

When Payment of Your Disability Benefit Begins

NMERB must first determine that you are totally disabled and unable to continue your employment, and unable to obtain, and retain other gainful employment commensurate with your background, education and experience. Your disability benefit will then become effective, either the month following your termination from employment or the month following the filing of your complete disability application packet with the NMERB, whichever is later.  You may contact the NMERB at (505) 827-8030, for additional information regarding NMERB’s disability benefits. 

 Disability COLA Eligibility

If you retired from the NMERB earlier than you would have because you were totally disabled at the time of your retirement, and could not have continued your employment due to this disability, and could not have obtained or retained employment commensurate with your background, education and experience, you may be eligible for an early COLA. 


Benefits of a member who is on disability status in accordance with Section 22-11-35 NMSA 1978 or a member who the board certifies as disabled at the time of their regular retirement shall be eligible for an early COLA commencing on July 1 of the third full year following the year in which the member was approved by the board for disability or retirement. Section 22-11-31(G) NMSA 1978. Retroactive COLA increases cannot be paid prior to the date of the approval of the disability COLA Application. Members are not eligible to apply for a disability COLA until after they have retired. For information regarding a disability COLA, please contact the ERB at (505) 827-8030. 


For more information please see the ERB Member Handbook or email ERB-memberhelp@state.nm.us.