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Federal Disability Retirement: Seeking Reinstatement of Benefits

Federal Disability Retirement: Seeking Reinstatement of Benefits

In some situations, OPM will grant your FERS or CERS disability retirement benefits, and later, make a determination that you are restored to earning capacity. At that point, they will stop paying your federal disability retirement benefits.

Many times, this happens in the case of annuities granted for mental health conditions like depression, PTSD, anxiety or stress disorders, etc. The annuitant, after treatment, may see his or her condition temporarily improve, only to return to its disabling state at a later time. When that happens, can a Federal employee ask OPM to reinstate their federal disability retirement benefits? The answer is yes.

The standards for proving reinstatement are slightly different depending on the circumstances under which your annuity was initially terminated.

If the federal disability retirement annuity stopped because you were found to have recovered from your disability, the annuity may be reinstated as of the date of a current medical examination showing that the disability for which you retired has recurred, so long as: 1 ) you are not currently employed in a position subject to retirement coverage; 2) you have not established new title to an annuity (immediate or deferred), due to re-employment after your disability annuity was terminated; 3) you are not age 62 or older; and 4) you have not been restored to earning capacity.>

If the federal disability retirement annuity stopped because you were found to have been restored to earning capacity, the annuity may be reinstated effective the first of the year following any calendar year in which your earning capacity falls below the 80% limitation, so long as: 1 ) you are not currently employed in a position subject to retirement coverage; 2) you have not established new title to an annuity (immediate or deferred), due to re-employment after your disability annuity was terminated; 3) you are not age 62 or older; and 4) you have not medically recovered from the disability for which you retired.

If you seek reinstatement of previously terminated federal disability retirement benefits, the process is the same: apply to OPM first. If denied, seek reconsideration. If still denied, file an appeal to the MSPB.

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.