To be eligible for Federal Disability Retirement under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), you only need 18 months of creditable federal service. Aside from that, there are a few criteria you must meet in order to qualify for disability benefits.
Qualifications for Federal Disability Retirement
Date of Disability
The sustained disease or injury occurred while you were employed in a FERS position. However, the disease or injury does not have to be job-related. This just means that your medical condition must cause you to be considered disabled for useful or efficient service.
Your condition could be pre-existing but you would have to prove to OPM that your condition has worsened while working in your federal agency.
Length of Disability
The disability must be expected to last at least one year.
Your doctor must clearly state that your condition is expected to last at least one year or 12 months. You also must have established treatment with a medical provider.
Social Security Disability Insurance
You must apply for Social Security Disability, although you do not have to be approved.
Your application for SSDI is a necessary part of your Federal Disability Retirement application. If you are approved for SSDI there will be an offset between the two benefits.
Your employing agency must certify that it is unable to accommodate your condition and it has considered you for any vacant position in the same agency at the same pay/grade level within the same commuting area.
A reasonable accommodation would allow a disabled employee to continue performing all of the essential functions of their job, if your agency cannot accommodate you then you would still qualify for Federal Disability Retirement.
You must be considered occupationally disabled. This means your disability is keeping you from being efficient at your current job. Also, this doesn’t mean that you cannot find work outside of federal service. It simply means you can no longer be efficient at your current duties.
Harris Federal Law Firm has helped countless Federal workers, in every state, with their Disability claims. If you think you may qualify for Federal Disability Retirement, call us at (877) 226-2723 or fill out this inquiry form!