Filing For Federal Disability Retirement Benefits? Here Is What You Need To Know

Jul 14, 2014

federal employee disability retirement

If you have worked for the postal service or any other federal agency and have suffered a disability that prevents you from doing your job, you may be eligible to retire under Federal Disability Retirement. Before you do, there are several factors that you will need to understand. An experienced federal disability representative can help you navigate your options.

Before you file, make sure that you have sufficient medical documentation of your disability and have informed your agency. Our experienced team will help you to gather any necessary medical documents for your application. Telling your employer will be critical to whether you’re ultimately eligible, but you are not required to tell your employer prior to filing.

Federal Disability Retirement Qualification Requirements

Once you have cleared these initial hurdles, you must qualify to retire as disabled.The Office of Personnel Management(OPM) has listed the seven qualification requirements you must meet under the law:

  1. You must have a diagnosed medical condition, which is defined as a health impairment resulting from a disease or injury, including a psychiatric disease.
  2. Your medical diagnosis must be expected to last 12 months or one year
  3. Your disability must cause a service deficiency in performance, attendance, or conduct, after a period of useful and efficient service
  4. There must be a relationship between the service deficiency and the medical condition such that the medical condition has caused the service deficiency.
  5. Your disability does not have to be work related, but it does have to have arisen or worsened while in your federal position
  6. Your agency must be unable to accommodate you without removing any of the essential functions of your job description
  7. Your agency must be unable to reassign you to a vacant position, at the same pay and grade level, within your commuting area, that you are qualified for

If you do not meet these qualification requirements, you will not be able to retire under Federal Disability Retirement. Do not let this happen to you!

Where People Fall Short

The most difficult qualification requirement to prove is that you have a qualifying disability, the first factor listed above.

Most of the seven requirements are objective in nature. You can easily prove that you have met the requirement by producing a form. You either have the form or you don’t. However, whether your disability is legitimate and qualifies will depend on an evaluation of your medical records and documented history of disability. Don’t be fooled. The government will heavily scrutinize your claim.

Being disabled doesn’t necessarily mean you are totally disabled. It means that you cannot “render useful and efficient service” in your position or any comparable position according to the federal regulations.

It is crucial that you have an experienced federal disability retirement representative that can maneuver through this difficult landscape, which is often legal and argumentative in nature. Do not let your future hinge on your belief that you should qualify and your doctor said so. You will have to prove it and a legal representative can make the difference.

Getting Started

As you move forward with you claim, you will need to file the following forms:

  • SF 3107, Application for Immediate Retirement, and
  • SF 3112, Documentation In Support of Disability Retirement

Please review the OPM’s website above, the required forms that you will need to fill out and contact your agency’s representative for guidance.

If you need further advice or have questions, please contact a qualified and experienced attorney to help you. The federal laws and regulations can be difficult to understand and the process can be confusing to navigate. It is always advisable to have help on your side.

If you’re considering Federal Disability Retirement, please give us a call to schedule a free consultation to see if you qualify.

Message us & find out if you qualify today!

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