What is the difference between PERA Duty Disability benefits and PERA Permanent and Total Duty Disability benefits?
Duty Disability Benefits and Permanent and Total Duty Disability Benefits pay at virtually the same rate. The primary two differences in the benefits are that 1) Permanent and Total Duty Disability benefits are non-taxable for life, whereas Duty Disability benefits convert to a taxable retirement benefit at age 55 or after 5 years, whichever is longer, and 2) Permanent and Total Duty Disability benefits provide for an automatic survivor benefit at no cost to the beneficiary, whereas election of a survivor option for Duty Disability beneficiaries results in a reduction of the net monthly benefit amount. In order to qualify for PERA Permanent and Total Duty Disability benefits, an applicant must show that he or she not only meets the requirements for a Duty Disability, but that he or she is also incapable of performing any substantial gainful employment for a period of at least a year. There are some important workers’ compensation coordination issues that come into play when it comes to deciding whether to apply for a PERA Duty Disability or a Permanent and Total Duty Disability benefit. Meuser Law Office can help you decide which benefit is best for you and your family.