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You Have Disability Coverage Through PERA

As a Colorado PERA member, you have access to a disability program in the event that you cannot work due to an illness or accident. This is in addition to coverage your employer may provide. You become eligible to apply for PERA’s disability benefits after earning five years of service credit. (Judges and Safety Officers have different requirements.) If you need it, you may qualify for short-term disability coverage or a disability retirement, depending on your disabling condition.

You don’t have to pay any additional premiums or fees; the benefits are built in to your PERA membership. However, keep in mind:

  • Timing matters: You must apply for PERA’s disability program within 90 days after you leave PERA-covered employment.
  • No second chances: If you miss the 90-day window to apply, you are no longer eligible for PERA’s disability coverage.

Because timing is so critical, if you are leaving PERA-covered employment because of a medical condition, consider applying for a disability benefit as soon as possible so you don’t miss the 90-day window. You can even apply while you are still working. Don’t wait until your workers’ compensation or employer-sponsored disability coverage ends. By then it could be too late to apply for coverage with PERA.

Visit the Disability Benefits page for detailed information on PERA’s disability program.