(a) (1) If the medical examination and other available information show to the satisfaction of the board, or in case of a local safety member, other than a school safety member, the governing body of the contracting agency employing the member, that the member in the state service is incapacitated physically or mentally for the performance of his or her duties and is eligible to retire for disability, the board shall immediately retire him or her for disability, unless the member is qualified to be retired for service and applies therefor prior to the effective date of his or her retirement for disability or within 30 days after the member is notified of his or her eligibility for retirement on account of disability, in which event the board shall retire the member for service.

(2) In determining whether a member is eligible to retire for disability, the board or governing body of the contracting agency shall make a determination on the basis of competent medical opinion and shall not use disability retirement as a substitute for the disciplinary process.

(b) (1) The governing body of a contracting agency upon receipt of the request of the board pursuant to Section 21154 shall certify to the board its determination under this section that the member is or is not incapacitated.

(2) The local safety member may appeal the determination of the governing body. Appeal hearings shall be conducted by an administrative law judge of the Office of Administrative Hearings pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of this title.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 370, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2009.)