(1) All forms necessary to apply for disability benefits may be obtained by contacting MPERA.

(2) The following forms must be completed and submitted to MPERA before the board will act on the application for disability benefits:

(a) application for disability retirement and summary of disability;

(b) job duty questionnaire for disability retirement completed by the employer;

(c) attending physician's statements and all medical records specific to the claimed disabling conditions;

(d) authorization to release information; and

(e) a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) authorization.

(3) If MPERA or the board's medical consultant requests that an applicant complete an application package or requests additional medical documentation, all requested information must be received within 90 days or the application may be administratively closed unless the applicant is unable to provide the requested information due to a disabling condition.

(4) MPERA requires documentation from specialists when an applicant alleges certain disabling conditions:

(a) mental or emotional disorders require a report from a psychiatrist or a minimum of one report each from a psychologist and a medical physician;

(b) orthopedic conditions require a report from a treating or consulting orthopedic specialist or orthopedic surgeon; and

(c) neurological conditions require a report from a treating or consulting neurologist or neurosurgeon.

(5) The requesting party may provide additional medical information for consideration until 21 days prior to the next scheduled board meeting or, if different, the board meeting at which the request will be considered.

(6) The employer of the disability benefit applicant must define the essential elements of the member's position and show reasonable accommodation was attempted for the member's disabling condition(s) in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), statutes and rules.

(7) "Total inability" for purposes of determining disability means the member is unable to perform the essential elements of the member's job duties even with reasonable accommodation required by the ADA.


History: 19-2-403, 19-3-2104, 19-3-2141, MCA; IMP, 19-2-406, 19-3-1002, 19-3-2141, 19-5-601, 19-6-601, 19-7-601, 19-8-701, 19-9-902, 19-13-802, MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, 1986 MAR p. 1454, Eff. 8/29/86; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 291, Eff. 2/11/94; AMD, 1994 MAR p. 2106, Eff. 7/8/94; AMD, 2002 MAR p. 1884, Eff. 7/12/02; AMD & TRANS, from ARM 2.43.502, 2008 MAR p. 2467, Eff. 12/1/08; AMD, 2013 MAR p. 2236, Eff. 11/28/13; AMD, 2024 MAR p. 44, Eff. 1/13/24.