There is a newer version of the Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 40. Public employee trust fund.
40.63 Disability annuities.
40.6340.63 Disability annuities.
40.63(1)(1) Any participating employee is entitled to a disability annuity from the Wisconsin retirement system, beginning on the date determined under sub. (8) if, prior to attaining his or her normal retirement date, all of the following apply:
40.63(1)(a)(a) The employee has earned at least one-half year of creditable service in each of at least 5 calendar years not including any calendar year preceding by more than 7 calendar years the year in which the application for the disability annuity is received by the department, or has earned a total of at least 5 years of creditable service during that period of time, or, if the disability was a result of employment as a participating employee for an employer, last rendered services to a participating employer not more than 2 years prior to the date the application for the disability annuity is received by the department.
40.63(1)(b)(b) The employee becomes unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or to be of long-continued and indefinite duration.
40.63(1)(c)(c) The employee is not entitled to any earnings from the employer and the employer has certified that it has paid to the employee all earnings to which the employee is entitled, that the employee is on a leave of absence and is not expected to resume active service, or that the employee's participating employment has been terminated, because of a disability as described in par. (b) and as a consequence the employee is not entitled to any earnings from the employer. In this paragraph, "earnings" does not include bonus compensation to which the employee was entitled under s. 25.156 (7) (a), 1997 stats.
40.63(1)(d)(d) Except as provided in sub. (8) (h) 2., the employee is certified in writing by at least 2 licensed and practicing physicians approved or appointed by the department, to be disabled as described in par. (b).
40.63(2)(2) For purposes of sub. (1) a participant shall be considered a participating employee only if no other employment which is substantial gainful activity has intervened since service for the participating employer terminated and if the termination of active service for the participating employer was due to disability. For purposes of sub. (1) an elected official shall be considered to have terminated active service due to disability if a disability is determined, under sub. (1), to exist at the end of the elected official's term of office.
40.63(3)(3) For purposes of sub. (1) (a) only, if a participant was previously receiving a disability annuity which was terminated, the participant is deemed to have received full creditable service for any month for which the previous disability annuity was paid.
40.63(4)(4) Notwithstanding sub. (1) (b), a protective occupation participant is not disqualified from receiving a disability annuity if the participant has accumulated 15 or more years of creditable service and would attain age 55 in 60 months or less after the occurrence of disability and the medical evidence, as provided in sub. (1), establishes a disability to the extent that the participant can no longer efficiently and safely perform the duties required by the participant's position, and that the condition is likely to be permanent.
40.63(5)(5) The department shall make a report based on the evidence prescribed in subs. (1) to (4) as to whether a disability benefit shall be granted and the department shall submit the report to the teachers retirement board for teacher participants and to the Wisconsin retirement board for participants other than teachers. A copy of the report and notice of the date that the report was presented, or will be presented, to the appropriate board and the board's name, shall be mailed to the applicant and to the applicant's former employer. Either the applicant or the employer may request a hearing under s. 227.44 to contest the department's determination by filing a timely appeal with the appropriate board. If a request for a hearing is not timely filed, and the appropriate board does not disapprove the department's determination or request additional information within the time allowed for filing appeals, the report shall be final. If the board requests additional information, the report shall be final 30 days after the board's receipt of the requested information unless the board disapproves the report. If the report is disapproved, notice of the board's action shall be sent to the applicant and the applicant's former employer. Either the applicant or the employer may contest the board's action by submitting a written request for a hearing under s. 227.44 to the appropriate board within 30 days following the date on which the notice of the board's action was mailed to the applicant or the employer.
40.63(6)(6) Any person entitled to payments under this section who may otherwise be entitled to payments under s. 66.191, 1981 stats., may file with the department and the department of workforce development a written election to waive payments due under this section and accept in lieu of the payments under this section payments as may be payable under s. 66.191, 1981 stats., but no person may receive payments under both s. 66.191, 1981 stats., and this section. However any person otherwise entitled to payments under this section may receive the payments, without waiver of any rights under s. 66.191, 1981 stats., during any period as may be required for a determination of the person's rights under s. 66.191, 1981 stats. Upon the final adjudication of the person's rights under s. 66.191, 1981 stats., if waiver is filed under this section, the person shall immediately cease to be entitled to payments under this section and the system shall be reimbursed from the award made under s. 66.191, 1981 stats., for all payments made under this section.
40.63(7)(7) If an application, by a participant age 55 or over, or by a protective occupation participant age 50 or over, for any disability annuity is disapproved, the date which would have been the disability annuity effective date shall be the retirement annuity effective date if so requested by the applicant within 60 days of the disapproval or, if the disapproval is appealed, within 60 days of final disposition of the appeal.
40.63(8)(8) Disability annuity effective dates and amounts shall be determined in the same manner and shall be subject to the same limitations and options as retirement annuities except that separate actuarial tables may be applied and except that:
40.63(8)(a)(a) The creditable service shall include assumed service between the date the disability occurred, or the last day for which creditable service was earned, if later, and the date on which the participant will reach the participant's normal retirement date. The assumed service shall be prorated if the participant's employment was less than full time.
40.63(8)(b)(b) For purposes of s. 40.23 (2m) (e) and (f) only, the participant is deemed to have attained the participant's normal retirement date on the effective date of the annuity.
40.63(8)(d)(d) If an annuity option other than the normal form is elected, the amount of the normal form disability annuity which is greater than the normal form retirement annuity to which the participant would be entitled under s. 40.23, notwithstanding the minimum age requirement for receiving an annuity, shall be a straight life annuity terminating at the death of the annuitant. The balance of the present value of the disability annuity, after providing for the straight life annuity, shall be applied to provide an annuity in the optional form elected.
40.63(8)(e)(e) The annuity option provided by s. 40.24 (1) (e) may not be elected.
40.63(8)(f)(f) If an employer certifies that an employee's date of termination of employment is being extended past the last day worked due to any payment for accumulated sick leave, vacation or compensatory time, a participating employee may file an application for a disability annuity as if the last day worked were the last day paid. Regardless of the application date for a disability annuity, the date of termination of employment for effective date purposes shall be deemed to be the last day for which the participant was paid, including any payment for accumulated leave, but if a disability annuity applicant whose application has been approved dies before the last day paid, but after the last day worked, the effective date is the date of death.
40.63(8)(g)(g) If processing of an application is delayed more than 12 months beyond the date the application is received by the department because of failure to receive some or all of the evidence required under subs. (1) to (4), the application shall be canceled but the applicant may reapply for a disability benefit if otherwise still eligible.
40.63(8)(h)(h) If an applicant dies prior to the date a decision regarding the approval or disapproval of an application for a disability benefit becomes final under sub. (5), the application is deemed to have been approved prior to the applicant's death if:
40.63(8)(h)1.1. The applicant was eligible for the disability benefit;
40.63(8)(h)2.2. The department received an application for the disability benefit in the form approved by the department and at least one written qualifying medical certification required under sub. (1) (d); and
40.63(8)(h)3.3. The applicant dies on or after the date which would have been the effective date of the disability benefit.
40.63(8)(i)(i) For the purpose of par. (h) an applicant is conclusively presumed not eligible for a disability benefit if the application is based on an alleged disability which was the basis for a previous application which the department denied.
40.63(9)(a)(a) The board may require that any disability annuitant shall be examined by at least one licensed and practicing physician, designated or approved by the board, during any calendar year the annuitant is receiving the annuity. A written report of the examination in a form approved by the department which shall indicate whether or not the annuitant is still disabled as specified in sub. (1) (b), shall be filed with the department. This paragraph and par. (c) shall not apply to any annuitant who has attained the normal retirement date for the annuitant's former participant classification.
40.63(9)(b)(b) If a disability annuitant, prior to attaining the normal retirement date for the annuitant's former participant classification, receives earnings or other earned income from any source whatsoever for personal services, including services performed on a contractual basis, the annuity shall be suspended, except for any amount provided by additional contributions, and no payment shall be payable after the first of the month in which the earnings or earned income received during any calendar year exceed the amount established under sub. (11), except that if payment was being made under sub. (4) the annuity may only be suspended if the annuitant is employed in a law enforcement or fire fighting capacity and then the suspension shall be effective immediately. The suspended amount shall be reinstated on January 1 following the date of suspension, or, if earlier, on the first day of the 2nd month following the termination of personal services. An amount, which is reinstated in any calendar year, other than on January 1 of the calendar year, shall again be suspended for any subsequent month in the calendar year following a month in which the disability annuitant receives any amount of earnings or earned income for personal services. The department may request any earnings or compensation information as it deems necessary to implement the provisions of this paragraph and par. (c).
40.63(9)(c)(c) The disability annuity shall be terminated and no payment shall be payable after the first of the month in which a determination is made by the department that:
40.63(9)(c)1.1. The written physician's report required in par. (a) indicates that the annuitant has recovered from the disability so the annuitant is no longer disabled to the extent required under sub. (1) (b);
40.63(9)(c)2.2. The annuitant refuses to submit to an examination under par. (a); or
40.63(9)(c)3.3. The annuitant refuses to submit information regarding earnings or compensation as requested by the department.
40.63(9)(d)(d) If the department terminates a disability annuity under this subsection, the department shall make a report which shall include the department's determination and the reasons for the determination. The department shall submit the report to the teachers retirement board for teacher participants and to the Wisconsin retirement board for participants other than teachers. A copy of the report and notice of the date that the report was presented, or will be presented to the appropriate board, and the board's name, shall be mailed to the affected annuitant. An annuitant may request a hearing under s. 227.44 to contest the department's determination by filing a timely appeal with the appropriate board. If a request for a hearing is not timely filed, and the appropriate board does not disapprove the department's determination or request additional information within the time allowed for filing appeals, the report shall be final. If the board requests additional information, the report shall be final 30 days after the board's receipt of the requested information unless the board disapproves the department's determination.
40.63(10)(10) Upon termination of an annuity in accordance with sub. (9), each participant whose annuity is so terminated shall, as of the beginning of the calendar month following termination, be credited with additional contributions equal to the then present value of the portion of the terminated annuity which was originally provided by the corresponding type of additional contributions. Except for additional contributions, the retirement account of the participant shall be reestablished as if the terminated annuity had never been effective, including crediting of interest and of any contributions and creditable service earned during the period the annuity was in force.
40.63(11)(11) In this section "substantial gainful activity" means employment for which the annual compensation exceeds, for determinations made in the calendar year commencing on January 1, 1982, $3,600 or, for determinations made in subsequent calendar years, the amount applied under this section in the previous calendar year increased by the salary index and ignoring fractions of the dollar.
40.63 - ANNOT.History: 1981 c. 96, 386; 1983 a. 141 s. 20; 1983 a. 191 s. 6; 1983 a. 290; 1985 a. 11; 1985 a. 182 s. 57; 1987 a. 303, 372; 1989 a. 13, 166; 1991 a. 39, 152; 1995 a. 27 s. 9130 (4); 1997 a. 3, 69; 1999 a. 9.
40.63 - ANNOT.Under sub. (1) (c), the employer's failure to certify that it terminated the employee because of a disability was fatal to an application for disability benefits. State ex. rel Bliss v. Wisconsin Retirement Board, 216 Wis. 2d 223, 576 N.W.2d 76 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-1639.
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