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Oregon Bulletin

October 1, 2012

Oregon Public Employees Retirement System, Chapter 459

Rule Caption: Update disability application requirements.

Adm. Order No.: PERS 11-2012

Filed with Sec. of State: 8-31-2012

Certified to be Effective: 8-31-12

Notice Publication Date: 4-1-2012

Rules Amended: 459-015-0020, 459-076-0020

Subject: OAR 459-015-0020(7) and 459-076-0020(5) were previously noticed as housekeeping edits to change “date of termination” to “date of separation from service”. Further modifications are warranted to clarify the timely filing of applications for disability benefits when a member has not terminated employment or become an active member and returns to work before filing the application.

Rules Coordinator: Daniel Rivas—(503) 598-3532

459-015-0020

Application Required

(1) Application must be made on forms provided by PERS. PERS may require the member to provide any information that PERS considers necessary to determine the applicant’s eligibility for a disability retirement allowance.

(2) No disability retirement allowance will be paid unless the member files a timely and complete application.

(3) Application must be made by a member or the member’s authorized representative. A representative must submit to PERS written proof of the representative’s authority; such as, a power of attorney, guardianship or conservatorship appointment.

(4) Upon the filing of an application for a disability retirement allowance, PERS will notify the applicant’s current or most recent employer of the filing. Additionally, PERS may request of an employer information pertaining to current or previous employment.

(5) When an employee member is disabled due to injury or disease, the member may make application immediately after the last day worked even though the member may be on a paid leave or on an official leave of absence without pay. No application will be accepted that predates the last day the member was actually on the job.

(6) An application will be considered filed in a timely manner when received by PERS as follows:

(a) For a member who is totally disabled due to injury or disease before terminating employment from all PERS qualifying positions and has not withdrawn the amount credited to the account of the member in the system, the member must file an application for a disability retirement allowance within five calendar years of the date of termination. Total disability must be continuous from the date of separation from service to the date the application is filed.

(b) For a member who is totally disabled due to injury or disease after terminating employment from all PERS qualifying positions and has not withdrawn the amount credited to the account of the member in the system, the member must file an application for a disability retirement allowance within six months (180 days) after the date of separation from service. Total disability must be continuous from the date of disability to the date the application is filed.

(c)(A) For a member who is totally disabled due to injury or disease but does not terminate employment, an application for disability retirement must be filed no later than 90 calendar days from:

(i) The date the member is medically released for work; or

(ii) The date the member returns to work, whichever is earlier.

(B) Total disability must be continuous from the date of disability to the earlier of paragraph (A)(i) or (ii) of this subsection.

(d) A member cannot apply for disability retirement before their date of disability.

(7) In determining the effective date of a disability retirement allowance, PERS may allow up to 60 months of benefits retroactive from the date the application is filed with PERS, but in no case earlier than the first day of the month following the date of separation.

(8) When making application for a PERS disability retirement allowance, PERS will request the applicant authorize any physician, health practitioner, hospital, clinic, pharmacy, employer, employment agency, or government agency to release and disclose to PERS, or independent physicians and vocational consultants retained by PERS, any information within their records or knowledge, including that information otherwise protected under federal or state law, regarding the applicant’s health and employment which PERS determines relates to the applicant’s claim of disability and inability to perform any work for which qualified.

(9) When filing an application for disability retirement allowance, if the applicant wishes to authorize release and disclosure of protected health information, as defined in OAR 459-015-0001, the applicant must complete and sign a consent form which specifically authorizes the release and disclosure of such information.

(a) This authorization is voluntary. Because PERS is not a covered entity as defined in 45 C.F.R., Parts 160 and 164, the protected health information is not subject to federal and state health information privacy laws, but may be protected under Oregon State Public Record disclosure laws.

(b) This authorization may be revoked in writing at any time, except to the extent the entities named on the authorization form(s) have taken action in reliance of the authorization.

(c) If the applicant refuses to give or revokes authorization to disclose to PERS medical information that PERS determines it needs to evaluate the application, eligibility for a disability retirement allowance may be affected.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 238.650
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238.320 - 238.345
Hist.: PERS 2-1992, f. & cert. ef. 1-14-92; PERS 15-2005, f. & cert. ef. 10-3-05; PERS 8-2011, f. & cert. ef. 10-5-11; PERS 11-2012, f. & cert. ef. 8-31-12

459-076-0020

Application Required

(1) Application must be made on forms provided by PERS. PERS may require the member to provide any information that PERS considers necessary to determine the member’s eligibility for a disability benefit.

(2) No disability benefit will be paid unless the member files a timely and complete application with PERS.

(3) Application must be made by a member or the member’s authorized representative. A representative must submit to PERS written proof of the representative’s authority; such as, a power of attorney, guardianship or conservatorship appointment.

(4) A member must file a timely application for disability benefits:

(a) An active member may file the application immediately after the last day worked even though the member may be on a paid leave or on an official leave of absence without pay. No application will be accepted that predates the last day the member was actually on the job, and:

(A) The application must be filed no later than 90 calendar days from:

(i) The date the member is medically released for work; or

(ii) The date the member returns to work, whichever is earlier.

(B) Total disability must be continuous from the date of disability to the earlier of paragraph (A)(i) or (ii) of this subsection.

(b) An inactive member who was totally disabled due to injury or disease while the applicant was an active member and has not terminated membership, must file an application for a disability benefit within five calendar years of the date of separation from service. Total disability must have arisen while the applicant was an active member and be continuous from the date the member last worked to the date the application is filed.

(c) A member cannot apply for disability benefits before their date of disability.

(5) In determining the effective date of a disability benefit PERS may allow up to 60 months of benefits retroactive from the date the application is filed with PERS, but in no case earlier than the first day of the month following the date of separation from service.

(6) Upon the filing of an application for a disability benefit, PERS will notify the applicant’s current or most recent employer of the filing. Additionally, PERS may request of an employer information pertaining to current or previous employment.

(7) When making application for a PERS disability benefit, PERS will request the applicant authorize any physician, health practitioner, hospital, clinic, pharmacy, employer, employment agency, or government agency to release and disclose to PERS, or independent physicians and vocational consultants retained by PERS, any information within their records or knowledge, including that information otherwise protected under federal or state law, regarding the applicant’s health and employment which PERS determines relates to the applicant’s claim of disability and inability to perform any work for which qualified.

(8) When filing an application for disability benefit, if the applicant wishes to authorize release and disclosure of protected health information, as defined in OAR 459-076-0001, the applicant must complete and sign a consent form which specifically authorizes the release and disclosure of such information.

(a) This authorization is voluntary. Because PERS is not a covered entity as defined in 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164, the protected health information is not subject to federal and state health information privacy laws, but may be protected under Oregon State Public Record disclosure laws.

(b) This authorization may be revoked in writing at any time, except to the extent the entities named on the authorization form(s) have taken action in reliance of the authorization.

(c) If the applicant refuses to give or revokes authorization to disclose to PERS medical information that PERS determines it needs to evaluate the application, eligibility for a disability benefit may be affected.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 238A.450
Stats. Implemented: ORS 238A.235
Hist.: PERS 16-2005, f. & cert. ef. 10-3-05; PERS 7-2007, f. & cert. ef. 4-4-07; PERS 8-2011, f. & cert. ef. 10-5-11; PERS 11-2012, f. & cert. ef. 8-31-12

Notes
1.) This online version of the OREGON BULLETIN is provided for convenience of reference and enhanced access. The official, record copy of this publication is contained in the original Administrative Orders and Rulemaking Notices filed with the Secretary of State, Archives Division. Discrepancies, if any, are satisfied in favor of the original versions. Use the OAR Revision Cumulative Index found in the Oregon Bulletin to access a numerical list of rulemaking actions after November 15, 2011.

2.) Copyright 2012 Oregon Secretary of State: Terms and Conditions of Use

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722
Phone: (503) 986-1523 • Fax: (503) 986-1616 • oregon.sos@state.or.us

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