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Disability Benefits

If you are unable to work due to an injury or illness, Colorado PERA’s disability benefits program can help provide monthly income. Disability benefits are available to qualifying members of the Defined Benefit (DB) Plan at no additional cost.

You have 90 days after you leave PERA-covered employment to apply for PERA’s disability benefits. You may be eligible for the two-tier disability program:

Short-Term Disability (STD) Coverage 

STD insurance is intended to help you return to work as soon as practical to your previous job or another job.

The maximum monthly amount of your STD payment will be 60% of your average monthly predisability PERA-includable salary.

PERACare for Members Receiving STD:  While you are receiving short-term disability, you are eligible to enroll in health, dental, and/or vision coverage through PERA.  Only the member is eligible to enroll and is responsible for paying the full cost of the premium through a checking or savings account each month.  If you would like to enroll, you must complete an enrollment form within 30-day of qualifying for Short-Term Disability.

Review the benefit book for plan options and premiums:

PERACare 2024 Health Plan Descriptions for Short-Term Disability Payments

 Complete an enrollment form to enroll:

PERACare Enrollment/Change Form for Short-Term Disability Benefits
Disability Retirement Coverage 

Disability retirement is intended to provide you with monthly benefits if you are unable to resume any regular and substantial gainful employment due to a medical condition.

PERA will determine the amount of your disability retirement benefit by calculating it in a manner similar to calculations for service retirement benefits.

Am I Eligible for Disability Benefits?

In order to be eligible for PERA’s disability benefits program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • PERA must receive your application within 90 days after you have terminated PERA-covered employment.
  • You must have five or more years of earned service credit, with at least six months of this credit earned in the most recent membership period.
  • You must not be eligible for service retirement.
  • You must not have refunded your PERA account if you are an inactive member.

How to Apply

You should apply as soon as possible after your medical condition prevents you from working. Don’t wait until workers’ compensation or other disability coverage runs out. In all cases, state law requires that the Disability Program Application must be received by PERA no later than 90 days after termination of PERA-covered employment. You can apply while you are still working.

Click here to apply online.

Review the Disability Benefits booklet for more information.

Disability Benefits booklet