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Living Needs Benefit

You can apply to receive part of your lump-sum death benefit and/or salary continuation benefit prior to your death if you are

  • an active or disabled member, a retired member eligible for death benefits, or covered under transitional participation and paying Death and Disability Plan dues;
  • terminally ill; and
  • expected to live no more than 24 months.  

The living needs benefit is not available if

  • your illness or physical condition stems from an intentional self-inflicted injury;
  • your death and disability coverage has been in effect less than two years;
  • by law, you must use your death benefits to meet creditors’ claims, whether in bankruptcy or otherwise; or a government agency requires that the benefit be used to apply for, obtain, or keep a government benefit or entitlement.

Applying for the Benefit

To apply, you must first request the living needs benefit packet by sending a letter to the attention of “Disability Team” at the Board of Pensions’ main address, listed on the Contact Us page. The packet includes necessary forms and information, including the estimated amounts for which you are eligible.

A physician must certify your condition. The Board may require a second medical opinion (at its expense).

Active and disabled members and those enrolled in transitional participation coverage, where applicable, can request

  • the actuarial present value of up to 100 percent of their salary continuation benefit; and/or
  • 75 percent of the lump-sum death benefit, which is based on 100 percent of the greater of the member’s effective salary (subject to the maximum salary) or the applicable median salary (prorated for part-time employment).

Eligible retired members can request up to the present value of the $9,000 minimum salary continuation benefit.

Receiving Payment

The living needs benefit is paid in a lump sum and only to you as the member; it cannot be paid to another person or entity. The amount paid will be deducted from the death benefits payable to your beneficiary(ies) or eligible dependents upon your death. You can log on to Benefits Connect to add, change, or verify your designated beneficiaries and the percentage of the benefit assigned to each. Benefits Connect will not reflect that a living needs benefit has been paid.