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40 ILCS 5/16-149

    (40 ILCS 5/16-149) (from Ch. 108 1/2, par. 16-149)
    Sec. 16-149. Disability benefit.
    (a) A disability benefit is payable to a member who was in active service on or after June 30, 1977 and has at least 3 years of creditable service. Part-time and substitute teachers who are in active service on or after July 1, 1990 must have worked as a teacher for at least 340 hours in either the school year in which the disability occurs or in the preceding school year.
    The benefit is payable upon application of a member who is not receiving a benefit under either Section 16-133, Section 16-149.1 or Section 16-149.2. The benefit shall be granted only if the member is found by medical examination to be incapacitated to perform the duties of his or her position as a teacher and only if the commencement of the incapacity occurred while the member was employed as a teacher or within 90 days of such employment.
    A member shall be considered disabled only when the System has received (1) a written certificate by at least 2 licensed and practicing physicians designated by the System, certifying that the member is disabled and unable to properly perform the duties of his or her position at the time of disability, except in the case of disability due to pregnancy where a written certificate from only one licensed and practicing physician is required; (2) a written statement from the employer certifying that the member is not eligible to receive a salary; and (3) a certification from the member that he or she is not and has not been engaged in gainful employment during the period of disability.
    The benefit shall begin to accrue on the 31st day of absence from service on account of disability, except that when an application is made more than 90 days subsequent to the later of the commencement of disability or the date eligibility for salary ceases, it shall begin to accrue from the date of application, and shall be payable during the time the member does not receive a retirement annuity. The benefit is not payable to a member who is receiving or has a right to receive any salary as a teacher, or is employed in any capacity as a teacher by the employers included under this System or in an equivalent capacity in any other public or private school, college or university, except as provided in Section 16-149.6.
    Service credits under the State Employees' Retirement System of Illinois, the State Universities Retirement System and the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund shall be considered in determining the member's eligibility for a disability benefit and the total period during which the disability benefit is payable.
    (b) The disability benefit shall be 40% of the greater of the member's most recent annual contract salary rate at the time the disability benefit becomes payable or the member's annual contract rate on the date the disability commenced. Prior to July 1, 1990, if the most recent period of service of any member was rendered on a less than full-time but not less than half-time basis, the amount of the disability benefit payable to such member shall be computed on the basis of the salary received by such member for the member's last year of service on a full-time basis if such salary was greater than the member's most recent salary. For part-time and substitute members after June 30, 1990, the disability benefit shall be 40% of the greater of the member's most recent annualized salary rate at the time the disability benefit becomes payable or the annualized salary rate or contract salary rate at the time the disability commenced.
    In addition to the above benefit, the member shall receive creditable service and credit for contributions that the member would have made in active employment during any period of disability for which benefits are paid by the System on the basis of the annual salary rate used in computing the benefit, except as provided in Section 16-149.6.
    (c) Effective January 1, 1988, the disability benefit shall continue until the time one of the following events first occurs: (1) disability ceases; (2) the member requests termination of the benefit; (3) the aggregate period for which disability payments made during the member's entire period of service equals 1/4 of the total period of creditable service, not including the time he or she has received the disability payments; or (4) the member is engaged or found to be able to engage in gainful employment, other than limited employment under Section 16-149.6. If the disability benefit is discontinued under item (4) but the member is subsequently found to be unable to be gainfully employed due to the disability which was the cause for his or her most recent incapacity to perform the duties of a teacher, the disability benefit will be resumed, upon notification of the System, as soon as the member is not eligible to receive salary.
    A disabled member who receives disability benefits for the maximum period specified above or who requests that the disability benefits be terminated may be retired on a disability retirement annuity.
    (d) The board shall prescribe rules governing the filing, investigation, control, and supervision of disability claims. The rules shall include specific standards to be used when requesting additional medical examinations, hospital records or other data necessary for determining the employment capacity and condition of the member. Costs incurred by a claimant in connection with completing a claim for disability benefits shall be paid by the claimant.
(Source: P.A. 94-539, eff. 8-10-05.)