Who is Eligible for OPM Disability Retirement?
All federal employees are eligible for disability benefits under the Federal
Employees Retirement System (FERS) or the Civil Service Retirement Service
(CSRS) once they have accumulated 18 months of service for FERS or 5 years
under CSRS. All disability retirement applications must be approved by
the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Only those federal employees
who were hired before 1987 are under the CSRS, though they may switch
to the FERS.
Unlike Social Security Disability, you do not need to be totally disabled
from working to receive OPM Disability Retirement. If a physician determines
you are disabled from performing at least one essential function of your
position of record with the federal government, then you likely qualify.
Further, your disability need not have resulted from a job-related injury
or disease. Our federal employment attorneys can evaluate the specifics
of your case and recommend the best way to proceed.
Can You Continue to Work and Receive Benefits?
Another distinguishing characteristic of OPM Disability Retirement is that
you can continue to work even while your application is pending or while
receiving benefits. This is true even if you are placed on light duty.
At Pines Federal, we make you aware of these details and more as you consult
with us and we guide you through your claim.
Certain special circumstances require the benefit of our more than 20 years
of experience, including:
- Drafting reports on mental, medical, or other disabling conditions that
may prevent you from performing an essential part of your job.
- Knowing how to deal with or address preexisting conditions.
- Keeping you eligible for performing work tasks unrelated to your current
position of record.
- Moving you toward a federal disability retirement annuity that can pay
you a portion of your salary for the remaining years of your working life
up to age 62.
- Preparing doctor's letters correctly and submitting according to federal
- Providing you with the best possible chance of having your application
approved, thus avoiding delays in compensation.
work closely with you to draft the various components of your disability application, making
sure you meet all application requirements. In addition, we know how to
draft your request to your employer and address any objections if they
claim that it would cause an undue hardship on the employer.