State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_135 > GS_135-59

§ 135‑59.  Disabilityretirement.

(a)        Upon application byor on behalf of the member, any member in service who has completed five ormore years of creditable service and who has not attained his sixty‑fifthbirthday may be retired by the Board of Trustees, on the first day of anycalendar month, not less than one day nor more than 120 days next following thedate of filing such application, on a disability retirement allowance;provided, that the medical board, after a medical examination of such member, shallcertify that such member is mentally or physically incapacitated for thefurther performance of duty, that such incapacity was incurred at the time ofactive employment and has been continuous thereafter, that such incapacity islikely to be permanent, and that such member should be retired; and, providedfurther, that if a member is removed by the Supreme Court for mental orphysical incapacity under the provisions of G.S. 7A‑376, no action isrequired by the medical board under this section and, provided further, themedical board shall determine if the member is able to engage in gainfulemployment and, if so, the member shall still be retired and the disabilityretirement allowance as a result thereof shall be reduced as in G.S. 135‑60(d).Provided further, that the medical board shall not certify any member asdisabled who:

(1)        Applies fordisability retirement based upon a mental or physical incapacity which existedwhen the member first established membership in the system; or

(2)        Is in receipt of anypayments on account of the same disability which existed when the member firstestablished membership in the system.

The Board of Trustees shallrequire each employee upon enrolling in the Retirement System to provideinformation on the membership application concerning any mental or physicalincapacities existing at the time the member enrolls.

Notwithstanding the foregoingto the contrary, any beneficiary who commenced retirement with an early orservice retirement benefit has the right, within three years of thisretirement, to convert to an allowance with disability retirement benefitswithout modification of any election of optional allowance previously made;provided, the beneficiary presents clear and convincing evidence that thebeneficiary would have met all applicable requirements for disabilityretirement benefits while still in service as a member. The allowance onaccount of disability retirement benefits to the beneficiary shall beretroactive to the effective date of early or service retirement.

(b)        Notwithstanding theforegoing, the surviving spouse of a deceased member who has met all otherrequirements for disability retirement benefits, except whose death occurredbefore the first day of the calendar month in which the member's disabilityretirement allowance was due and payable, and who was the designatedbeneficiary for a return of accumulated contributions and the finalcompensation death benefit as provided in G.S. 135‑63, shall be paid inlieu of the return of accumulated contributions and the final compensationdeath benefit a monthly allowance equal to a reduced retirement allowanceprovided by a fifty percent (50%) joint and survivorship option, plus theallowance payable to a former member's surviving spouse, in the manner prescribedunder G.S. 135‑64 as though the former member had commenced retirementthe first day of the month following his death.  (1973, c. 640, s. 1; 1981,c. 689, s. 3; c. 940, s. 2; 1985, c. 479, ss. 192(b), 194; 1987, c. 513, s. 1;2009‑66, s. 3(f).)