LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR DISABILITY BENEFITS
Regular Schedule of Benefits
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ARTICLE VII DISABILITY
SECTION 7.01 DISABILITY PENSIONS
A Participant may retire on a Disability Pension, regardless of age, if he becomes totally and permanently disabled, as hereinafter defined, when he is Actively Engaged in Covered Employment, as defined in Section 1.01, and he meets all of these requirements:
- he meets the General Eligibility Requirements set forth in Section 6.01,
- he has at least 10 years of Pension Credit (or 15 years of Pension Credit for Disability Pension payable prior to August 1, 1998),
- he works under a Collective Bargaining Agreement that conforms to Maintenance of Benefits Requirements,
- he is not an Inactive Vested Participant at the Participant’s Effective Date, and
- he has never been in receipt of any pension benefit described in Article VI.
For Disability Pensions effective on or after August 1, 1998, the monthly amount of the Disability Pension shall be equal to the larger of the Participant’s Accrued Benefit multiplied by the Early Disability Pension Reduction Percentage set forth in Table 3 based on the Participant’s age as of the date that the Disability Pension commences and his Special Service Pension. This Disability Pension will be paid in accordance with the Participant’s elections made under Article VIII.
7.02 TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY DEFINED
(a) Totally and Permanently Disabled
A Participant shall be deemed totally and permanently disabled within the meaning of Section 7.01 hereof only if the Trustees shall find on the basis of medical evidence that:
- such Participant is totally unable, as a result of bodily injury or disease, to engage in any kind of substantial gainful work; and
- such disability has existed for six full calendar months and the medical evidence establishes that the disability is likely to last for at least an additional six months.
(b) Proof of Disability
The Trustees may require or accept as sole proof of total and permanent disability a determination by the Social Security Administration that the Participant is entitled to a Social Security Disability benefit. A Participant applying for a Disability Pension may be required to submit to an examination by a physician or physicians selected by the Trustees and may be required to submit to reexamination periodically. The Trustees may contract with a physician, medical group, or other organization to conduct these disability examinations and investigations. Under such circumstances, the Participant who is applying for a Disability Pension may be required to submit proof of his disability to the physician, medical group, or other organization, and otherwise comply with the requirements of said physician, medical group, or other organization relative to initial and continued eligibility for the Disability Pension as described in Sections 7.01 and 7.02, in addition to those established by the Trustees.
7.03 COMMENCEMENT AND TERMINATION OF DISABILITY PENSION
The first monthly payment of a Disability Pension shall commence the first of the month following six months of total and permanent disability and shall continue thereafter so long as the Pensioner remains totally and permanently disabled as herein defined.
- For Disability Pensions first payable on or after August 1, 1998, the Disability Pension payable under this Article VII shall cease if the Participant either returns to Covered Employment or engages in Disqualifying Employment in accordance with the Suspension of Benefits rules of Article XI.
- For Disability Pensions first payable prior to August 1, 1998, Disability Pensions payable under this Article VII shall cease prior to the Participant’s Normal Retirement Age upon the earliest of:
- his death, or
- the date he is no longer totally and permanently disabled.
- If the Disability Pension became effective after September 30, 1991 and the Participant was eligible for benefits under Table 2A or 2B, the Participant may voluntarily convert to a benefit payable prior to his Normal Retirement Age. The benefit payable at Normal Retirement Age is described in paragraph (iv) below. The benefit adjustment required for a benefit payable prior to Normal Retirement Age will be in accordance with the applicable section of Article VI.
- For Disability Pensions payable prior to August 1, 1998, if the Participant remains in receipt of a Disability Pension at his Normal Retirement Age, his Disability Pension shall be adjusted as follows:
- If the Statutory Pension under Article VI for which the Participant would then qualify based on Pension Credit earned through his date of disability, payable in the Life Annuity form, is greater than his Disability Pension, his Disability Pension shall cease and he shall commence his Statutory Pension.
- If the Statutory Pension under Article VI for which the Participant would then qualify based on Pension Credit earned through his date of disability, payable in the Life Annuity form, is less than his Disability Pension, his Disability Pension shall continue in the same amount for the rest of his life and shall be payable in place of any other benefit under this Plan to which he would have been entitled.
Pension payments made after the Participant’s Normal Retirement Age will be paid in accordance with the Participant’s elections made under Article VIII.
(v) For Disability Pensions payable on or after August 1, 1998, such Disability Pension shall continue with no adjustment.
(c) Recovery from Total and Permanent Disability
- If a Participant receiving a Disability Pension, which was first payable prior to August 1, 1998, shall subsequently cease to be totally and permanently disabled prior to his Normal Retirement Age, he shall then be entitled to apply for any pension to which he is then entitled under Article VI based on Pension Credit earned through his date of disability. In that event, his monthly pension shall be an amount based on his then current age. Such Early Retirement Pension shall not be reduced by the value of the Disability Pension that the Participant received.
- If a Participant receiving a Disability Pension which was first payable on or after August 1, 1998 ceases to be totally and permanently disabled prior to his Normal Retirement Age, and the Participant was eligible to apply for any pension under Article VI, such Participant may elect to begin his Early Retirement Pension as adjusted by the appropriate factor set forth in Table 3. Such Early Retirement Pension shall not be reduced by the value of the Disability Pension that the Participant received.
7.04 RESTRICTION ON EMPLOYMENT BY DISABILITY PENSIONER
The restrictions below shall apply to a Participant receiving a Disability Pension who is under Normal Retirement Age.
(a) If a disabled Participant who is eligible for and receiving a Disability Pension engages in substantial gainful activity, the Trustees shall suspend any further payments of the Disability Pension so long as he is so engaged. In determining whether work activity constitutes “substantial gainful activity”, the Trustees shall utilize the following table.
In any event, the Trustees shall be entitled to rely on guidelines issued by the Social Security Administration, to determine whether work activity constitutes “substantial gainful activity” when those guidelines, based upon the age of the recipient, permit greater de minimis monthly earnings.
The Trustees may authorize a 12 month period of suspension for rehabilitation purposes. If the Pensioner is unable to continue in substantial gainful employment after the 12 month period, his Disability Pension shall again become payable without any medical re-evaluation. If he is able to continue his employment beyond the 12 month period, his Disability Pension shall be terminated.
- If a disabled Participant eligible for and receiving a Disability Pension appears to have recovered from his disability, the Trustees may continue Disability Pension payments for up to six months in which period the disabled Participant shall be given the opportunity to furnish additional information of a medical nature as evidence that the disability in fact continues and that he has not recovered. The Disability Pension payments shall terminate unless the Board of Trustees shall, on the basis of the medical evidence, determine that the Participant continues to be totally and permanently disabled as defined in Section 7.02.
- A Disability Pensioner may be required from time-to-time upon request to submit a copy of his current income tax return to the Pension Fund or, if no tax return has been filed, to submit a signed affidavit to that effect. Failure to respond to such a request from the Trustees could delay payment of the monthly pension to which he may otherwise be entitled.
Alternative Schedule of Benefits
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Disability pension is not available under the Alternative Schedule of Benefits.