Action required for disability recipients

Return Employment and Earnings Statement to avoid benefit interruption

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

Feb. 16, 2017 — If you’re receiving a disability benefit from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, you’re required to report to us annual earnings as well as any employment you’ve had during the past year.

You do so by completing an Employment and Earnings Statement, which also allows disability recipients to report employer information and job descriptions. OPERS began mailing Employment and Earnings Statements this week. If you do not return the completed statement within a month, a second notice will be mailed March 14.

To be sure you continue to receive your disability benefit payment, you must complete and submit the Employment and Earnings Statement even if you did not work during 2016.

Only income from employment needs to be reported. Social Security income, spousal support, child support and volunteer service are items that do not require reporting on the statement.

If we don’t receive your completed statement by April 15, your May disability benefit payment and subsequent payments will be held until we receive it. Employment and Earning Statements cannot be accepted by fax. Please mail the completed statement to OPERS as soon as possible.

For more information on the Employment and Earnings Statement, a video is available at the Got Mail? Get Answers section of our website.

When you fill out your statement, don’t forget to:

  • Provide your signature within the Member Acknowledgement and Authorization section.
  • Provide the correct date within the Member Acknowledgement and Authorization section.
  • Answer question #1 (indicating whether you were or were not employed in 2016) within the Employment Information section.
  • Answer question #2 (providing the amount of total earnings) within the Employment Information section.
  • Provide SSDI declaration (question #1) within the Social Security Disability Insurance Income section.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

  • I don’t understand why OPERS doesn’t join the “modern age” and do all this electronically. We can file FED and STATE taxes, sign mortgage docs, insurance docs and many others all with an electronic signature. Why not this form? It would save paper and postage costs for OPERS.

    • Dave,

      Thanks for the question. Currently, OPERS is working to add new self-service features that will allow our members and retirees to electronically file paperwork such as the Employment and Earnings statement. While we don’t have a release date yet, we are in the process of adding this component as an option.

    • I already mailed mine in when I first got it. I didn’t work at all last year or any year since I have been on disability retirement.

    • Jeffrey,

      Each Employment and Earnings statement is customized specifically for you and, therefore, we’re not able to post a generic form on our website. Please call us at 1-800-222-7377 for assistance.

      Thanks,

      Julie, Ohio PERS

      • Why don’t you post the customized Employment and Earnings Statement within the Member Login? It would take 15 to 30 minutes to write the code. The disability member could fax the document back to OPERS, although a secure electronic document file would be much better. I agree with what Dave said. This should have been done in the mid-2000s, when this technology was available in the private sector. OPERS is more than 10 years behind what a small mortgage company’s IT development department could develop or buy. If I were not so disabled, I would write the code for you.

        Jeff

      • Janette,
        The Employment and Earnings statement is customized for each disability recipient. Therefore, the form can’t be posted on the OPERS website. Please call us at 1-800-222-7377 and a member of our Member Services staff can help you.

        Julie, Ohio PERS

  • I understand that filing the completed Employment and Earnings Statement electronically is a “work-in-progress.” But do not understand why it is not possible to at least print the blank form for signture and mailing.

    • Cynthia,

      The Employment and Earnings statement is customized for you and, therefore, it is not offered online. Please call us at 1-800-222-7377 if you need another form and we can mail it to you.

      Thanks,

      Julie, Ohio PERS

  • There is a multitude of forms available on the website for members and retirees. Why is there not a link to this form as a .pdf in the email, the post, the help section, the forms section, or anywhere else it could be readily located? I understand that it must be signed and returned by mail, but I would think typing in the information would also assist OPERS staff as far as legibility is concerned.

    • Vincent,

      You are correct – there are many OPERS forms on our website. The Employment and Earnings form is a little different because it is specifically customized for you. Please call us at 1-800-222-7377 and we can get a form to you.

      Thanks,

      Julie, Ohio PERS

    • Daniel,

      Each Employment and Earnings statement is customized specifically for you and, therefore, we’re not able to post a generic form on our website. Please call us at 1-800-222-7377 for assistance.

      Julie, Ohio PERS

  • If you would send the forms to the proper address instead of deciding arbitrarily which address you want to use, you might get a better response. And please stop telling people to call for assistance. I sat on hold for 3.5 hours the other day (and yes, I timed it) and STILL never got to speak to anyone.

    • Dee,

      We apologize for any issues you have had interacting with us. It is our practice to send forms to the mailing address on file unless instructed by the member to do otherwise. Rather than hold on the line we would encourage you to use our Virtual Hold feature to call you back. We are unaware of any calls not being answered last week.

      Please let us know if we can assist with anything else.

      Julie, Ohio PERS

  • Is there a way that OPERS could notify the disability retiree that they have received the form, say through the member portal message system? Thank you and keep up the good work.

    • Thanks, Mark. That’s a great suggestion. Perhaps we will be able to do that someday.

      Julie, Ohio PERS

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