2017 ORS 238.320¹
Disability retirement allowance

(1) Whenever an employee who is a member of the system is found, after being examined by one or more physicians selected by the board, to be mentally or physically incapacitated for an extended duration, as determined by medical examination, and thereby unable to perform any work for which qualified, by injury or disease sustained while in actual performance of duty and not intentionally self-inflicted, the member shall receive a disability retirement allowance consisting of:

(a) A disability retirement refund annuity based on the contributions, if any, credited to the member account of the member.

(b) A current service pension provided by the contributions of employers equal to:

(A) For a police officer or firefighter, the pension to which the member would have been entitled if the member had worked continuously until attaining the age of 55, or if the member has attained the age of 55, the pension which the member would receive were the member to retire for service, as provided in this chapter.

(B) For a member other than a police officer or firefighter, the pension to which the member would have been entitled if the member had worked continuously until attaining the age of 58, or if the member has attained the age of 58, the pension which the member would receive were the member to retire for service, as provided in this chapter.

(c) The same prior service pension the member would have received had the member worked until normal retirement age.

(2) As used in subsection (1) of this section, “injury” means bodily injury causing the disability directly and independently of all other causes and effected solely through accidental means.

(3) Whenever an employee who is a member of the system and who has been an employee for 10 years or more of an employer participating in the system is found, after being examined by one or more physicians selected by the board, to be mentally or physically incapacitated for an extended duration, as determined by medical examination, and thereby unable to perform any work for which qualified, from cause other than injury or disease sustained while in actual performance of duty or intentionally self-inflicted, the member shall receive a disability retirement allowance as provided in subsection (1) of this section.

(4) Payments under a disability retirement allowance provided for in subsection (1) or (3) of this section for the first 90-day period of incapacity shall be withheld until such 90-day period has elapsed.

(5) An inactive member is not eligible for disability benefits referred to in subsection (1) or (3) of this section unless the member applies for such disability benefits within five calendar years after the date of separation from service with a participating public employer if the disability is continuous from such separation date or within six months after the date of such separation from service if disability occurs after such separation date.

(6) In computing years of employment for the purpose of subsection (3) of this section, the following schedule shall be used: For employment before the employee established membership in the Public Employees Retirement System, a member shall be considered to have been employed for one year for each year of prior service credit allowed, and for any minor fraction of a year of continuous service as certified by the employer for which no prior service credit was granted. After having established membership in the Public Employees Retirement System a member shall be considered to have been employed one year for each 12-month period or major fraction thereof during which time the member received compensation for employment which entitled the member to membership in the system, as evidenced by payroll records. For the purpose of determining a member’s eligibility for disability benefits, no leave of absence after a member ceases to work for any participating employer shall be considered other than accumulated sick leave not in excess of 90 days. The effective date of the disability shall not in any event be determined by the board as prior to the last day for which the disabled member performed services for a participating employer. No benefits may be paid for any month in which the member received salary or sick leave benefits from the participating employer.

(7) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (3) of this section, a member of the system shall be considered to be mentally or physically incapacitated for an extended duration if the mental or physical incapacity can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 90 days. [Formerly 237.171; 2001 c.945 §51; 2003 c.67 §24]

(formerly 237.171)

Notes of Decisions

Injury is sustained in actual performance of duty if resulting from, ag­gra­vat­ed by or accelerated by performance of duties in employ­ment of participating public employer. Hoskinson v. PERB, 23 Or App 328, 542 P2d 157 (1975)

When an employee is injured in the service of an employer who later becomes a member of the system, and thereafter, while a member of the system, that employee is consequently found to be disabled, he is entitled to early retire­ment benefits. Begley v. Pub. Employes Retire­ment Bd., 26 Or App 869, 554 P2d 559 (1976)

Statutory presump­tion, under ORS 656.802 (Occupational disease), of occupa­tional cause of firefighters’ heart disease is limited to Workers Compensa­tion Law and inapplicable to public retire­ment disability benefits cases controlled by this sec­tion. Mitchell v. PERB, 28 Or App 339, 559 P2d 1325 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Aggrava­tion of preexisting condi­tion or disease as injury, (1980) Vol 40, p 339

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 238—Public Employees Retirement System, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors238.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 238, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano238.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.