Section 3307.48 | Disability benefit recipients.
(A) As used in this section, "disability benefit recipient" means a recipient of a disability benefit under any of the following:
(1) Section 3307.63 of the Revised Code;
(2) Section 3307.631 of the Revised Code;
(3) The STRS combined plan.
(B) A disability benefit recipient, notwithstanding section 3319.13 of the Revised Code, shall retain membership in the state teachers retirement system and shall be considered on leave of absence during the first five years following the effective date of a disability benefit.
(C) The state teachers retirement board may require any disability benefit recipient to submit to an annual medical examination by a physician selected by the board or may require additional examinations if the board's physician determines that additional information should be obtained. If a disability benefit recipient fails to submit to a medical examination, the recipient's disability benefit shall be suspended until the examination has occurred. If the failure continues for one year or the disability benefit is terminated for any reason during the one-year period, all the recipient's rights under and to the disability benefit shall be terminated as of the effective date of the suspension.
After the examination, the examiner shall report to the board whether the disability benefit recipient is no longer incapable of resuming the service from which the recipient was found disabled. If the examiner determines that the disability benefit recipient is no longer incapable of resuming the service from which the recipient was found disabled, the retirement board shall appoint a medical review board composed of at least three disinterested physicians to evaluate the examiner's report. The medical review board shall report its finding to the retirement board. If the retirement board concurs in a finding by the medical review board that the disability benefit recipient is no longer incapable, the board shall order termination of payment of a disability benefit as follows:
(1) Immediately upon employment as a teacher;
(2) If the leave of absence has not expired and the recipient is not employed as a teacher, the later of the last day of the third month following the board's termination or the following thirty-first day of August;
(3) If the leave of absence has expired and the recipient is not employed as a teacher, the last day of the third month following the board's termination.
The board shall provide notice to the recipient of the board's order. At the request of the recipient, a hearing on the order shall be conducted in accordance with procedures established by the board. If the leave of absence has not expired, the board shall so certify to the disability benefit recipient's last employer before being found disabled that the recipient is no longer incapable of resuming service that is the same or similar to that from which the recipient was found disabled. If the recipient was under contract at the time the recipient was found disabled, the employer by the first day of the next succeeding year shall restore the recipient to the recipient's previous position and salary or to a position and salary similar thereto, unless the recipient was dismissed or resigned in lieu of dismissal for dishonesty, misfeasance, malfeasance, or conviction of a felony.
(D) An individual receiving a disability benefit from the system shall be ineligible to perform any teaching service, as defined by the board. A disability benefit shall immediately terminate if the disability benefit recipient performs any teaching service in this state or elsewhere. The board shall notify the recipient that the benefit is terminated. The recipient may submit, not later than thirty days after the date the notice is sent, to the board information specifying that the disability recipient did not perform teaching services while receiving disability benefits along with any supporting evidence available to the recipient. The board shall review the information and any accompanying evidence to determine whether the individual performed teaching services. The board may designate an individual to review the information and submit a recommendation to the board. The board shall determine whether the benefit was correctly terminated. If not, the benefit shall be reinstated and any missed payments paid to the recipient. The board's decision is final.
(E) If any employer should employ or reemploy a disability benefit recipient prior to the termination of a disability benefit, the employer shall submit a notice of employment with the board designating the date of the employment. If the disability benefit recipient received a disability benefit and performed teaching services for all or any part of the same month, the recipient shall repay to the annuity and pension reserve fund the amount of the disability benefit received by the recipient from the beginning of employment.
(F) Each disability benefit recipient shall submit to the board an annual statement of earnings, current medical information on the recipient's condition, and any other information required in rules adopted by the board. The board may waive the requirement that a disability benefit recipient submit an annual statement of earnings or current medical information if the board's physician certifies that the recipient's disability is ongoing.
The board shall annually examine the information submitted by the recipient. If a disability benefit recipient fails to submit the statement or information, the disability benefit shall be suspended until the statement and information are submitted. If the failure continues for one year or the disability benefit is terminated for any reason during the one-year period, the recipient's right to the disability benefit shall be terminated as of the effective date of the suspension.
(G) A disability benefit may be terminated by the board at the request of the disability benefit recipient.
(H) If disability retirement under section 3307.63 of the Revised Code is terminated for any reason, the annuity and pension reserves at that time in the annuity and pension reserve fund shall be transferred to the teachers' savings fund and the employers' trust fund, respectively. If the total disability benefit paid was less than the amount of the accumulated contributions of the member transferred to the annuity and pension reserve fund at the time of the member's disability retirement, then the difference shall be transferred from the annuity and pension reserve fund to another fund as required. In determining the amount of a member's account following the termination of disability retirement for any reason, the total amount paid shall be charged against the member's refundable account.
(I) If a disability allowance paid under section 3307.631 of the Revised Code is terminated for any reason, the reserve on the allowance at that time in the annuity and pension reserve fund shall be transferred from that fund to the employers' trust fund.
(J) A former disability benefit recipient shall receive credit for the period as a disability benefit recipient if either of the following occurs:
(1) The former disability recipient again becomes a contributor, other than as an other system retirant under section 3307.35 of the Revised Code, to this retirement system in the STRS defined benefit plan or to the school employees retirement system, or the public employees retirement system in the PERS defined benefit plan, and completes at least two additional years of service credit;
(2) The former disability benefit recipient again becomes a contributor, other than as an other system retirant under section 3307.35 of the Revised Code, to this retirement system in the STRS defined contribution plan and completes at least two additional years of service credit.
Credit may be received for more than one period of leave as a disability benefit recipient, except that for credit received on or after July 1, 2013, the total number of years received shall not exceed the lesser of the years of contributing service following the termination of disability benefits or five years of total service credit.