Disability Benefits

You may be eligible for disability benefits under ERB’s Defined Benefit Plan if:
• you have accumulated ten or more years of earned service credit,
• you are totally disabled and unable to continue your employment, and
• you are unable to obtain and retain other gainful employment commensurate with your education, background, and experience.

In order to qualify for disability benefits, file a Disability Application with the ERB, including a full description of the disability (diagnosis and prognosis) by your physician(s). You may be required to undergo a medical examination by physicians appointed by the ERB. The exam itself would be paid for by ERB; however, you would be responsible for transportation and other costs associated with this exam. You may file a disability benefits application prior to the termination of your employment. If you are found to be disabled, the effective dateof disability benefit will be either the first day of the month following termination of employment or the first day of the month following filing your application with ERB, whichever is later.

If you are receiving disability benefits and you have not been designated as permanently disabled, your case is subject to review by ERB. This review will be made at least annually and, at the discretion of ERB, may be required more frequently. If ERB determines you are able to return to work, your disability benefits will cease. If your physical condition improves significantly, you are required to report your improved condition within 30 days. Failure to do so can carry a legal penalty. If you are receiving disability benefits when you turn 60, New Mexico law requires your status to change to “retired.” Your disability benefit becomes
a retirement benefit. The benefit you receive after the disability benefit is converted will be the same amount as the prior disability benefit. The amount will not be recalculated based on the retirement benefit formula. If you have not already selected a beneficiary payment option (see “Benefit Options”), the ERB will send you a form to do so. If you do not receive that form within 90 days of your 60th birthday, please contact ERB.