Can I Continue To Work While I Wait For OPM?

Dec 19, 2013

Federal employee at work

The simple answer is “Yes, you can continue to work.”

This can get complex, but the basic reasoning is that Federal Disability Retirement from the OPM is given to anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from being fully successful at their job. They must have a deficiency in service with regards to performance, attendance, or conduct. In the absence of such a deficiency, there must be medical rationale stating that continuing in the job would cause the deficiency.

That is a complicated way of saying that if you are not missing work regularly, or have been performing all of the essential functions of your job, or your conduct has been acceptable, you need to show that your medical condition is making it impossible for you to sustain that. Your doctor needs to be able to state that your medical restrictions are not compatible with your job, or that your medical conditions are worsened — to the point of disability — by the job duties.

The overarching concept is that you do not have to forfeit your right to work just because you apply for the benefit. If you are denied for the benefit, you can continue to do their job as best as you can. You can even reapply for disability retirement as long as you still work for the agency.

Understanding that applying for benefits does not bar you from continuing to work at your current job is an important part of making your decision. If you have questions about how and when you should file for federal disability retirement, call Harris Federal Law Firm, for a free case consultation. We can help you understand your rights and options so you can make the best decision for your future.

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