CBP: Applying for Federal Disability Retirement

Jul 24, 2023

Fence protected by the customs and border protection applying for federal disability retirement

For employees of the Customs and Border Protection, understanding and applying for Federal Disability Retirement can be a complicated process. Yet, Federal Disability Retirement can be life-changing for so many federal employees, especially Customs and Border Protection employees.

Customs and Border Protection positions are considered special provisions, meaning you receive a higher retirement calculation due to the potentially hazardous nature of the job. CBP employees are often exposed to dangerous situations that may result in injuries or illnesses, and if you can no longer perform at least one of the essential functions of your job you need to be aware of the options available to secure your future.

Why Federal Disability Retirement Is Important for CBP

Federal employees in special provisions positions, like Customs and Border Protection, often face high stress levels and a significant risk of injury or illness. Due to the fit-for-duty standards and limited medication allowances that apply to these positions, it can be difficult to remain employed after an injury or illness.

Federal Disability Retirement can allow you to retire now while maintaining your federal benefits, and you will be able to receive your higher special provisions retirement calculation at regular retirement age of 62.

While on Federal Disability Retirement you will receive four main benefits; a secure monthly annuity, creditable years of service, health and life insurance, and the ability to work in the private sector and earn additional income.

You will remain on Federal Disability Retirement until age 62, even if your mandatory retirement age is 57. This is an extremely beneficial aspect of Federal Disability Retirement as you will gain five additional creditable years of service while on this benefit that will increase your retirement pension.

How to Apply as a CBP Employee

To apply for Federal Disability Retirement, you will have to fill out the SF 3112 Documentation in Support of Federal Disability Retirement in addition to other retirement forms. These forms are difficult to fill out on your own and it is recommended to work with legal representation. Our firm will guide you through every part of the application, to ensure it is as strong as possible.

Most agencies require SF 3112 sections “A” through “D” to be filled out before submission, but for CBP, the agency sections, “B” and “D,” do not have to be complete for you to submit your application to the Retirement and Benefits Advisory Services (RABAS). CBP can assist with these forms, but it is typically a faster process if we receive the forms first and complete as much as possible. The final SF 3112 section “E” is completed by the CBP and is filled out when submitted.

Once submitted to RABAS, a specialist will reach out with any updates or needed documents. It is important to review their requests prior to making any changes as our firm is more familiar with what the OPM is looking for.

From here your application will be forwarded to the National Finance Center before moving on to the Office of Personnel Management for finalization.

Medical Documentation is Imperative for Approval

Medical documentation plays a critical role for customs and border protection employees looking to receive Federal Disability Retirement. Special provisions positions have high fit for duty standards and strict medication allowances that can easily prevent you from safely performing your job duties.

Having a supportive medical professional to provide documents, diagnoses, and supportive evidence can be the key to being approved for Federal Disability Retirement.

Medical documentation not only helps prove a medical condition but also provides necessary information about any conditions that may have been pre-existing or that existed prior to your employment with the federal government.

Benefits of Receiving Federal Disability Retirement as a CBP Employee

Receiving Federal Disability Retirement as a Customs and Border Protection employee can be life changing. This benefit can provide financial security and peace of mind for years to come, taking the stress out of your life.

When it comes time to take advantage of the numerous perks that come with Federal Disability Retirement from the CBP, please give our office a call to schedule a free consultation.

We want all CBP employees to feel financially stable in their time of greatest need. When you feel like you can’t keep going, we are here. We take great pride in helping those who are ready to make the move towards pursing approval for their benefits. Our team has comprehensive knowledge in all areas of Federal Disability Retirement—and we look forward to providing any guidance needed!

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