Can I Go Back to Work after Taking CalPERS Disability Retirement?
Sometimes in life things go better as planned. One example of this is recovering more quickly or more fully from an illness that the doctor’s had said would last permanently!
And sometimes circumstances just unexpectedly change. A divorce, the loss of a spouse, or an unexpected financial challenge can cause a retiree to reconsider, and prompt them to try and re-enter the workforce.
In this article, the specialized CalPERS Disability Retirement attorneys at Cantrell Green walk you through the process of “reinstating” your employment (going back to work) after previously taking a CalPERS disability retirement.
Going Back to Work after CalPERS Disability Retirement
First and foremost, if a CalPERS employee retired on disability or industrial disability, they must have approval from CalPERS before they can return to active employment with their previous or any other CalPERS-covered employer.
This employment reinstatement process after a disability retirement can take anywhere from approximately three to six months.
Factors affecting the reinstatement approval timeframe include how complete the original reinstatement application packet is that the worker submits – and whether CalPERS decides to send the retiree for an independent medical examination.
Reinstating retirees should submit their reinstatement request application packet as far in advance of their desired return date as possible. And while they may request a specific reinstatement date, their effective date of employment reinstatement after disability retirement cannot be prior to the date of their CalPERS’ approval.
Reinstatement from Disability Retirement Application
The reinstatement application forms are located at www.calpers.ca.gov in the Forms & Publications section.
To begin the reinstatement determination process with CalPERS, the retiree must submit the following forms and documentation:
- Reinstatement From Disability/Industrial Disability Retirement Application
- Authorization to Disclose Protected Health Information
- Physical Requirements of Position/Occupational Title
- Position Duty Statement
- Medical Clearance Report
However, the reinstatement process and the documentation required by CalPERS will vary somewhat depending upon the employer from whom the worker retired, as well as what new position and employer the retiree now wants to work for.
CalPERS Safety Employee Reinstatement After Disability Retirement
Local safety retirees who retired on a disability retirement, who desire to return to any safety position (public agency or state), must submit their reinstatement application to their former employer, who will determine the employee’s eligibility to return to work.
However, local safety retirees who retired on a disability retirement who want to return to work in a miscellaneous position with a CalPERS-covered employer should submit their reinstatement application directly to CalPERS. The retiree must also submit a “position duty statement” that describes the position they were holding when they became disabled, as well as the medical documentation used at the time of their retirement identifying the restrictions placed upon them.
Medical Clearance Required to Go Back to Work After Disability Retirement
A current medical report from the retiree’s specialist must be submitted to CalPERS in order to obtain approval to go back to work after Disability Retirement. If the retiree had more than one disabling condition at the time of disability retirement, they must provide a medical report from each medical specialist.
The Medical Clearance Report must include a statement as to whether the CalPERS employee is presently capable of performing all tasks involved in the new position with or without restrictions or limitations. It must also indicate, including specific details, if there are any restrictions or limitations for the new position.
In some cases, CalPERS may require additional information or an independent medical examination to supplement the medical specialist’s report. In this case, CalPERS will choose the medical specialist, schedule the appointment, and pay for the retiree’s medical exam.
Mandatory Reinstatement Rights for CalPERS State or CSU Retirees
Note that State of California or California State University (CSU) disability retirement retirees, do have mandatory reinstatement rights to their prior civil service position from which they were found disabled. However, their right to return still depends on medical clearance that the condition has improved to the point where he or she can perform the essential functions of the position.
And, if a State of California or California State University (CSU) disability retirement retirees is medically cleared to return to the position from which they retired – but choose not to return – then they will forever forfeit their mandatory reinstatement rights to that position.
CalPERS Retirement Disability Attorneys
If you are a CalPERs covered employee who was injured on the job close to the time you intend to retire, our specialized disability retirement attorneys would be happy to help you determine your eligibility for disability retirement under the CalPERs system.
Free Consultation with a CalPERs Attorney: 562-622-4800
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.
Share this Article
ADDRESS & DIRECTIONS