Congratulations are always in order after a federal employee gets their claim approved for federal disability retirement from the Office of Personnel Management(OPM). But what happens next and when do I start receiving my annuity?
The OPM will initiate the payment process and notify your employing agency to retrieve last date of pay information. Upon receipt, they will begin making interim payments to you. Interim payments are generally about 80% of what they expect the full payments to be. The purpose of these payments is to immediately get some money into the hands of the annuitant while OPM calculates the exact payments and sets up the retirement for the rest of the annuitant’s life.
Once the full payments are calculated, they will replace the interim payments and make up any back pay that is owed. The effective date the payment begins the day following the last time the applicant was paid, either by their agency, or the OWCP.
This process can be lengthy. Once a federal disability retirement application is approved the file is moved into the “post retirement branch” at OPM along with all other non disability retirement applications. OPM is currently working through their backlog and it may take as little as a few weeks or as long as several months before the calculations are finalized.
Working on Federal Disability Retirement
After you are approved for Federal Disability Retirement, you have the option to work in the private sector. By working in the private sector, you can continue to earn money on top of your annuity payments from the OPM. You will be able to earn up to 80% of your previous positions current salary, which will provide you with more money than you were making in your federal position alone.
At Age 62
Once you hit your full retirement age at 62, your Federal Disability Retirement payments will automatically recalculate into your regular retirement payments. You will have continued to earn creditable years of service while on Federal Disability Retirement and these years will increase your retirement annuity. Your retirement annuity is based on your high 3 average and your creditable years of service.