For Cities

How Do I…

Help a Member Apply for Occupational Disability Retirement?


If an employee becomes disabled and is no longer able to perform his/her job, and the disability is likely to be permanent, he/she may be eligible for Occupational Disability benefits from TMRS. There is no minimal length of service or age required to be eligible. An Occupational Disability benefit is calculated like a Service Retirement benefit, based on a member’s deposits and interest, the city’s matching funds, and other credits, and is payable beginning on the last day of the month following the effective retirement date, assuming the disability is approved by the TMRS Medical Board. For an Occupational Disability Retirement, the cause of the disability does not need to be job-related. However, the TMRS Medical Board must find that:

  • The member is physically or mentally disabled for further performance of the duties of his/her particular occupation;
  • The disability is likely to be permanent; and
  • The member should be retired.

If the member meets these criteria do the following:

  1. Determine the retirement date. It must be the last day of a calendar month and cannot precede the termination date from all TMRS cities. The retirement application must be received by TMRS no later than the retirement date and not earlier than 90 days prior to the retirement date.
  2. Request an Occupational Disability Retirement estimate. The retirement estimate provides TMRS members with estimated monthly annuity payments for each retirement plan. Please call TMRS Member Services (800-924-867)7 for an occupational disability retirement estimate.
  3. Request an Occupational Disability Retirement packet (TMRS-ODRP).

To initiate the process, an authorized City Contact should complete an Application for Occupational Disability Retirement with the member. The city should also complete the City Statement for Occupational Disability. A copy of the employee’s official job description should be attached to the completed form. The completed/certified form and attached job description should then be used by the member and the physician(s) to complete the Member’s Statement for Occupational Disability and the Physician’s Statement for Occupational Disability. Once all forms are completed and certified, forward the forms and job description to TMRS for review by the TMRS Medical Board.

Note: All three statements and the job description are required before the file can be presented to the TMRS Medical Board for review.

If the application for Occupational Disability Retirement is approved by the TMRS Medical Board, TMRS will also require the following forms before issuing the first payment:

  • Selection of Retirement Plan
  • Selection of Partial Lump Sum Distribution (only if eligible for service retirement and member wishes to receive this distribution)
  • Proof of birth
  • Proof of birth for beneficiary (only if selecting lifetime payment plan for beneficiary)
  • Name Certifications (if applicable)
  • Direct Deposit Authorization
  • IRS form W-4P (if not received TMRS is required to withhold based on an election of Married with 3 allowances.)

If the Medical Board approves the Occupational Disability Retirement, the member will receive a monthly benefit. While receiving benefits, the member may pursue other employment, but the monthly benefit may be affected if the retirement benefits plus income earned exceeds the salary received while an active TMRS member. TMRS may request that the retiree provide information regarding any income earned each year until the member reaches age 60.

If a member is eligible for service retirement and becomes disabled, he/she should consider applying for service retirement rather than Occupational Disability. The benefits at TMRS are equal, and service retirement places no restriction on earnings.