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Disability Benefits Print

Below are questions regarding Disability Benefits within the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System.

PLEASE NOTE: A member who is eligible for regular Age and Service benefits is NOT eligible to apply for disability retirement.

Under what circumstances would I be eligible for disability benefits?
If you are active and have 5 or more years of actual service, you would be eligible to apply for disability benefits.
When does my active status expire?
Your active status expires on the next June 30th following the last fiscal year you last received service credit. For example, if you receive at least a quarter (1/4) year of service during the 2012-13 fiscal year, your active status would expire June 30, 2014.
How do I apply for disability benefits?
You should contact a retirement counselor in our office who will provide the necessary paperwork to apply for disability benefits at (501) 682-2175 or 1-800-666-2877 outside Pulaski County.
What documentation is necessary for consideration of my disability application?
ATRS requires documentation from your physician explaining the circumstances of your disability and the reason you are no longer able to perform your duties. These are reviewed by the ATRS Medical Committee physicians who make a recommendation to the ATRS Board of Trustees.
If approved, when would my disability benefits begin?
Upon approval and, if you are no longer employed by an ATRS covered employer, the effective date of your disability retirement will be the date your application was received by ATRS.

If you are still employed by an ATRS covered employer when disability benefits are approved by the ATRS Medical Committee, you will have up to two (2) full calendar months to terminate employment/active membership with the ATRS covered employer. Your benefit payments will not commence until the first day of the calendar month following the last day you were employed by an ATRS covered employer. There will be no retroactive payments granted to the member in this situation
How are disability benefits computed?
The monthly disability benefit is based on the final average salary (highest three years' salaries), years of service, and a formula set by law for contributory and noncontributory service. There is no reduction in benefits because of age or service.
What happens if I return to work after drawing disability benefits?
If you return to work for a participating ATRS employer before reaching age 60, your disability benefit will cease. You will become an active member of ATRS.

If you have any questions, please contact us at (501) 682-1517, toll free at 1-800-666-2877, or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it to submit your question.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 June 2013 )