Disability benefit

Most MSRS pension plans provide disability protection. This is an important benefit since it will pay you disability benefits for your lifetime, or until you are no longer disabled. Your age at the time of your disability is not a factor.

The definition of disability and eligibility varies by pension plan.


Disability definition & qualifications

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How to apply for a disability benefit

All MSRS pension plans except Judges - These forms must be completed and returned to MSRS. Go to Disability Forms & Documents to download the appropriate plan forms.

  1. Application for MSRS Disability Benefit (completed by you)
  2. Physician's Statements (completed by two different physicians)
  3. Employer Certification (completed by your employing department)

Judges - Contact your employer for information on how to apply for a disability benefit.


You must apply for a disability benefit within 18 months of ending employment. The benefit may be payable up to 180 days retroactive prior to the day our office receives the completed application.

You cannot apply for a disability benefit until after the last day you're physically on the job. After that date, apply for a benefit immediately. We recommend that you not wait for your sick leave or vacation to run out.

Review of your disability request

The forms you submit are reviewed by MSRS' medical consultant who makes recommendations to the MSRS Executive Director about the extent of your disability.

  • If your disability application is approved, your benefit will begin after you receive payment for all your accumulated overtime, vacation and sick leave hours. Your disability benefit will end in the month that you die unless you selected survivor coverage.
  • If your disability application is denied, you may appeal the decision to the MSRS Executive Director.

Ongoing disability reviews

To continue disability benefits, ongoing reviews are required by Minnesota State law. MSRS will notify you when a review is required.

  • Review of medical condition: Once a year for the first five years; after that, once every three years until you reach normal retirement age.
  • Earnings review: Annually for length of coverage under disability benefit.


Disability Forms & Documents