Current law allows part-time, limited teaching
Public Act 94-0539 allows individuals who have received TRS disability benefits for one year or more to return to teaching if their medical conditions improve, allowing part-time work.
The law allows you on a limited basis to tutor, substitute, or teach part-time for a TRS-covered or State Universities Retirement System (SURS)-covered employer without loss of your disability benefit as long as your combined earnings from your teaching and your disability benefit do not exceed 100 percent of the salary rate upon which the benefit was based.
Under this program, you may not teach for any employers not covered by TRS or SURS. This includes tutoring and substitute work.
Additionally, if you exceed the salary rate upon which your benefit was based, your benefit will cease including Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) insurance.
Exceeding the salary rate upon which your benefit was based
If you plan to return to teaching and your salary will exceed the salary rate upon which your benefit was based, we need you to contact us so we can help you avoid any overpayment of benefits. If we are not notified of your return to active service and continue to issue benefits, you will be responsible for repaying any unearned disability benefits plus interest.
Disability benefit can be resumed
If your disability benefit is discontinued because you resume teaching in a non TRS-covered position or are otherwise gainfully employed and you are disabled again due to the same cause within 90 days, the benefit will resume at the previous rate. However, first we must receive written notification and verification of your disability and confirmation that you are no longer receiving a salary.
Returning to teaching may affect Medicare coverage. If you currently receive Medicare benefits, please contact your local Social Security office regarding your return to work.
Form requirement for limited-basis teaching
If you wish to return to teaching on a limited basis, you must contact TRS to request a Limited Return to Work Program form. This form must be completed and returned to TRS prior to your return to teaching. TRS will acknowledge receipt of the form and confirm your eligibility.
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