It’s obvious – and a complete understatement – to say that COVID-19 has upended almost every aspect of daily life. And, the financial implications for workers whose jobs were shut down is one of the most devastating fallouts of the 2020 pandemic.
Many CalPERS employees have reached out to us during these challenging times, concerned about various ways the COVID-19 situation has or will affect their CalPERS retirement benefits and/or their ability to navigate the CalPERS retirement benefit system.
As one of only a few law firms who specialize in the CalPERS disability retirement benefits, our attorneys are here to help.
Getting Straight Answers on CalPERS benefits During COVID-19
If you are considering filing for any type of disability retirement in the State of California – or if you have already filed but are having trouble collecting your benefits due to COVID-19 or any other reason – the best step is talk with our experienced attorneys.
CalPERS has also published a thorough, but somewhat complicated series of answers to questions about COVID-19 and their retirement and public pension fund HERE.
In this article our attorneys answer some of our clients most pressing and frequent questions about CalPERS during the pandemic.
Is CalPERS Open During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Yes, but not in-person. Currently CalPERS Sacramento headquarters and all Regional Offices are closed. But CalPERS is still conducting business, through the CalPERS Contact Center on Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377).
To avoid long hold times, you can also schedule a next-day telephone appointment with your Regional Office (or any other CalPERS office) through your myCalPERS account.
You can also use your online myCalPERS account to make changes to tax withholdings or direct deposit, or you to submit secure member questions.
Can I Reschedule or Cancel a CalPERs Regional Office Appointment due to COVID-19?
Yes. You can also reschedule, or cancel your CalPERS appointment through your myCalPERS account.
Are Retirement Disability Determinations Being Delayed because of COVID-19?
Generally not. CalPERS is reporting that there currently are delays in the time it takes for service retirement, disability retirement, or survivor benefit determinations, or for processing Service Credit Purchases and refunds.
Are CalPERS members Eligible for a Stimulus Check ?
Being a CalPERS member does not affect a persons eligibility to receive a “federal economic impact payment” – commonly called a stimulus check. So CalPERS members are eligible just like anyone else. Conversely, if you receive a stimulus check it should not affect your CalPERS benefits in any way.
If I am a Full-Time, Eligible Member on Paid Administrative Leave Because COVID-19 has Shut Down my Work, Is My Pay Still Considered Reportable Compensation?
Yes. Pursuant to Government Code section 20630, CalPERS member’s compensation should be reported for items such as vacation, sick leave, compensatory time off, or leave of absence. Members who are on a paid administrative leave earnings should also continue to be reported as normal as it can be considered either compensatory time off or a paid leave of absence.
If I am Collecting Unemployment Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Is My Time Pensionable Compensation or Compensation Earnable?
If CalPERS employees are granted compensatory time off or posting leave credits – such as vacation or sickness – that time is still reportable.
But current laws do NOT allow for unemployment insurance to be considered as compensation earnable or pensionable compensation and isn’t reportable to CalPERS.
Disability Retirement Attorneys for CalPERS Members
Our Long Beach Cal RES disability retirement attorneys are here to help you obtain your hard earned benefits – during the pandemic, and at any time.
If you were injured on the job close to the time you intend to retire, we would be happy to help you determine your eligibility for disability retirement under the CalPERs system.
This article applies to members of California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS); and does not reflect the rules, laws or regulations governing how other public retirement systems are administered. If you have question about another public employee retirement system, find your system, below – or call our attorneys at: 562-622-4800
Thank You for Visiting Our Disability Retirement Blog!
Our highly specialized disability retirement attorneys are committed to ensuring that every injured or disabled public employee obtains the disability retirement benefits he or she has earned.
We have successfully filed hundreds of disability retirement applications and appeals – obtaining millions of dollars in disability retirement benefits in our four decades of legal service.
In our Disability Retirement Blog, our attorneys keep you updated on the latest, news and information pertaining to CalPERS, CalSTRS, OCERS, LACERA. SBcera, VCERA & SDCERA disability retirement.