The short answer to that question is “generally, yes”.
Disability retirement is available to Federal Employees who become disabled in the course of their employment. The disability need not have occurred while at work. Whether or not an employee is eligible for disability retirement depends on which Retirement System the employee works under.
CSRS employees must be employed for a minimum of 5 years and be no longer able to effetcively perform at their current grade or pay level due to a medical condition.
FERS employees are eligible for disability retirement if the become disabled after completing at least 18 months of service. (As an aside, FERS and CSRS-offset employees must also apply for Social Security disability benefits or show that they aren’t eligible for those benefits).
To qualify for federal disability retirement, the employee must submit an application to OPM. The process will require substantial documentation of the medical condition, and involves working hand in hand with OPM to ensure that they have the information and documentation to give you the best possible decision.
If OPM rejects your application for federal disability retirement, you can request a reconsideration. If you do not request reconsideration, you will not be able to appeal to the MSPB.
If you request reconsideration, be sure to raise every possible issue that supports your application to OPM in the reconsideration process.
FERS Employees: click here to follow a link to learn more about disability retirement benefits.
CSRS Employees: click here to follow a link to calculate your disability retirement annuity.
Be sure to read the Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC Blog Series: 5 Steps to Federal Disability Retirement, by clicking on the underlined text.
No post on this website is legal advice, is meant to be legal advice, and certainly does not serve as a substitute for legal advice. Information is power, and we are providing this information to give you, the federal employee, with some power. This information is not widely or easily accessible to Federal Employees.
The Law Office of Eric Pines represents Federal employees under FERS or CSRS in their applications for federal disability retirement to OPM. If an application for federal disability retirement is denied, the Firm represents Federal employees under both FERS and CSRS in their MSPB appeals of denials of federal disability retirement applications by OPM.
It is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and disability retirement appeals to discuss the facts and law of your particular case. If you have questions about federal disability retirement under FERS or CSRS, or OPM’s denial of your applications for federal disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, contact an MSPB attorney at the Law Office of Eric Pines to schedule a telephone consultation.