Learn about disability benefits, including eligibility requirements.
If you are totally and permanently disabled, you may be eligible for a disability benefit from BC’s Public Service Pension Plan. This pays you a monthly benefit and replaces any termination benefits or retirement pension you would normally receive as a plan member.
Are you eligible?
To be eligible for a disability benefit, you must meet the following requirements:
- You cannot be entitled to long-term disability benefits under the Public Service Long Term Disability Plan or a long-term disability plan approved by BC Pension Corporation.
- You must terminate your employment.
- You must apply in writing to the plan within two years of the date you were last credited with service in the plan. If you were denied long-term disability benefits and are appealing that decision, you still need to apply within the two-year limit.
- You must have at least two years of contributory service and be under age 60 (55 for correctional employees and certain ambulance paramedics) when you apply.
- Both your doctor and a doctor appointed by the plan must agree you are totally and permanently disabled.
- You cannot have accepted a lump-sum payment to settle a long-term disability claim. If you have accepted a lump-sum payment, you may be entitled to termination benefits or a retirement pension.
How does a disability benefit work?
A disability benefit is paid to you if you become totally and permanently disabled before age 60 (55 for correctional employees and certain ambulance paramedics). You will be paid a pension for your lifetime.
If you return to work for an employer that participates in the Public Service Pension Plan before age 60 (55 for correctional employees and certain ambulance paramedics), we will stop paying you your disability benefit and you must resume making contributions to the plan. When you retire, you will be eligible for a regular lifetime pension.
Why would you take a disability benefit rather than a regular pension?
If you become disabled after your earliest retirement age but are younger than 60 (55 for correctional employees and certain ambulance paramedics), a disability benefit may provide you with a higher benefit than a regular pension.
The rules for calculating disability benefits are complex. Contact the plan for information or to discuss your individual situation.