What is federal disability retirement?
It allows federal workers under the CSRS and FERS systems as well as postal employees to retire if they cannot perform their major job functions.
How long must I have worked to qualify?
If you’re under FERS, 18 months, CSRS, five years.
How much time do I have to file?
A year, but that means you must send all the paperwork to the OPM by then. Begin the process as soon as you can.
Need I be totally disabled to qualify?
No, but your disability must prevent you from doing your current job, even with accommodations.
Can I continue to work while waiting for the OPM’s decision on my retirement claim?
Yes. Often your agency will lighten your load while you’re waiting for your disability retirement to come through.
What’s the difference between disability retirement and workers’ comp?
Disability retirement, just like any other kind, means you no longer work for the federal government. In addition, you can qualify even if an event outside your job caused your disability.
On the other hand, federal workers’ compensation insurance requires that you sustain an injury or contract an illness on the job. Also, the federal government still employs you while you’re receiving workers’ comp. You’re not retired.
Can I receive disability retirement and federal workers’ comp benefits at the same time?
In general, no. You can, however, obtain a workers’ comp scheduled award and disability retirement simultaneously.
What’s the difference between Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Disability Retirement?
In a nutshell, SSDI’s definition of disability is much more stringent. Under it, you must not be able to work at all. In contrast, disability retirement only requires that you cannot perform your current job’s essential functions. Under certain circumstances, you might qualify even after you get another job.
Must I apply for SSDI to qualify for retirement insurance?
Under FERS, yes, CCRS, no.
If you want additional information about any of the topics this article covers, you may either consult the OPM disability handbook or this online brochure. You may also read the other articles on our site.
On the other hand, maybe you’d like to learn about the attorney who might help you sort all this out. If so, you can find information about Stephanie Leet here. (Direct the reader to the article about Stephanie.)
In any case, we’re here to help. Simply call us at …. and we’ll give you a free, friendly, no obligation consultation.