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IPERS provides important protection for you and your family if you become ill or seriously injured. Disability benefits provide a monthly payment that you can receive at any age, without reduction for early retirement.

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Disability Benefits for Regular Members
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Disability benefits differ between Regular and Special Service members. (Protection Occupation members and Sheriff/Deputy Sheriff members are collectively known as Special Service members.) Before you proceed, make sure you know your membership group. 


To qualify for Regular member disability benefits, you must:

  • Be vested.
  • Have ended all IPERS-covered employment.
  • Receive federal Social Security disability or Railroad Retirement disability benefits.
  • Apply for IPERS benefits.
  • Have a bona fide retirement.
  • Live into the month you receive your first benefit (or your benefit application will be canceled).

In addition, to remain eligible for regular disability benefits, you must provide IPERS annual proof that you receive Social Security disability or Railroad Retirement disability benefits. If you cannot provide proof, and you are younger than 55*, your IPERS disability benefits will stop.

If you cannot show proof, and you are between age 55 and 65, your benefits may be reduced to the amount you would receive without the applied disability provision.

*If you are a sheriff or deputy sheriff with at least 22 years of service and you are receiving Regular disability benefits, your benefits may be affected before you reach age 50.
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Special Service Disability Benefits
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To be eligible for Special service disability benefits, you must:

  • Be vested.
  • Have a disability that began while you were employed in an IPERS-covered Special service job — but not necessarily while you were on duty.
  • Leave your IPERS-covered Special service job because of your disability.
  • Apply for benefits within one year of leaving your IPERS-covered Special service job.
  • Complete a medical exam by the Medical Board of the University of Iowa, unless waived by IPERS.

Once you have been awarded Special service disability benefits, you may be required to have an annual examination to determine whether your disability still exists.

You must also provide a complete copy of your state and federal tax returns to IPERS every year.

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