At Pines Federal, our team of dedicated federal employment lawyers helps clients across the nation resolve legal disputes regarding federal benefits. With more than 50 years combined experience, we understand how confusing the legal process can be, which is why we are here to stand by your side and guide you through every aspect of your case. Below, we give you answers to some of the common questions we are asked by clients who need help obtaining federal disability retirement benefits.
Question: What do I need to qualify for Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) disability benefits?
A: You will need to meet the following criteria if you want to apply for FERS disability benefits:
- You must be a federal employee or postal employee for at least 18 months.
- You must have a physical or mental disability that is preventing you from being “useful and efficient” in your current job position.
- You must expect to be disabled for at least a year.
- The federal agency you work for failed to reassign you to a new position at the same grade or pay level of your current position.
Question: How are FERS disability benefit amounts determined?
A: Benefit amounts vary from case to case. However, the longer you work for the federal government, the more money you will likely receive. The following things are considered to determine FERS disability benefits:
- An average of your highest paying three years of federal service.
- Applicants over the age of 62 and those eligible for voluntary retirement receive 1% of their three-year average for each year of service with the federal government.
- FERS disability amounts can be reduced if you also qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI).
Question: Do I need anything from my employer to qualify?
A: Your employer must provide proof that they tried to accommodate your disability at work.
Question: Am I allowed to work if I’m on disability retirement?
A: If you work in the private sector and don’t earn more than 80% of your federal salary, you can still collect disability retirement benefits.