BASIC (09-08)

DI 52135.080 Illinois Public Disability Benefits (PDB)

This section provides information for only the Illinois State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). When encountering any other Illinois PDB, follow instructions for offset in DI 52125.001.

A. State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS)

Under State law, SERS has two employee groups and provides three PDB plans. The two groups of employees are:

  • Coordinated – covered by SERS and Social Security in their State job

  • Non-coordinated – covered only by SERS in their State job.

    Details of each plan are below.

1. Non-occupational disability benefits plan

The non-occupational disability plan provides benefits when the disability results from a non-work related injury or illness. SERS reduces non-occupational disability benefits by the Social Security disability insurance benefits (DIB) initial monthly award amount for coordinated employees only. There is no adjustment for any subsequent SSA increases or other types of benefits.

Non-occupational disability payments end when one of the following occurs:

  • A worker is no longer disabled.

  • A worker resumes gainful employment.

  • Disability payments have been made for a period of time equal to 1/2 of their eligible service credit.

  • Five years have elapsed since benefits began and the worker was over age 60 when the benefits began.

  • A worker attains age 65, and benefits began prior to age 60.

  • Failure to cooperate.

a. Policy - Reverse offset provision effective prior to 02/18/1981

This reverse offset provision was in effect prior to 02/18/1981. Receipt of a SERS non-occupational disability benefit will:

  • Not cause offset of DIB for coordinated employees.

  • Cause offset of DIB for non-coordinated employees.

b. Determining if offset applies

Determine if the worker is a coordinated or non-coordinated employee.

For coordinated employees:

  • Determine if the 85 percent exclusion test applies.

  • Code reverse offset only if the employee does not meet the 85 percent exclusion test.

Impose offset for non-coordinated employees.

2. Temporary disability benefits plan

This benefit is available in disputed cases when an agency has formally denied all benefits, and an appeal is pending with the Illinois Industrial Commission. SERS reduces temporary disability benefits by the amount of the SSA DIB initial monthly award amount for coordinated employees only. There is no adjustment for any subsequent SSA increases or other types of benefits.

a. Policy - Reverse offset provision effective after 02/18/1981

The State enacted the reverse offset provision after 02/18/1981. SSA does not recognize it.

Receipt of temporary disability causes offset of DIB for:

  • Non-coordinated employees, and

  • Coordinated employees who do not meet the 85 percent exclusion test for a State PDB.

b. Determining if offset applies

Determine if the worker is a coordinated or non-coordinated employee.

For coordinated employees:

  • Determine if the 85 percent exclusion test applies.

  • Impose offset using the full amount of the PDB (the amount payable before State offset), if the 85 percent exclusion test does not apply.

  • Verify the full amount of the PDB that would have been payable had there been no State offset.

    NOTE: Only verify the pension amount if offset applies.

Impose offset for non-coordinated employees.

3. Occupational disability benefits plan

The occupational disability plan provides benefits for a work-related injury or illness. SERS does not reduce occupational disability benefits by any SSA benefits.

a. Policy - Determining to whom offset applies

Receipt of occupational disability causes offset of DIB for:

  • Non-coordinated employees, and

  • Coordinated employees who do not meet the 85 percent exclusion test.

b. Imposing offset

Determine if the worker is a coordinated or non-coordinated employee.

For coordinated employees:

  • Determine if the 85 percent exclusion test applies.

  • Impose offset if the 85 percent exclusion test does not apply.

Impose offset for Non-Coordinated Employees.