If you are a federal or postal worker and have found that you can no longer perform the essential duties of your job because of an injury or illness, you may find yourself in the world of filing for federal disability retirement. Applying for federal disability retirement can be daunting and confusing if you don’t know what to expect. Below are some of the major steps involved with applying and putting together your claim. These requirements must be met to show that you are eligible to receive this benefit.
To be eligible, FERS employee must have completed at least 18 months of service in a position covered by FERS.
Evidence of Disability
You must be medically disabled. Meaning, you are considered disabled if a medical condition has caused a “service deficiency in performance, conduct, or attendance” or the inability to perform “useful and efficient service”. This also means you are unable to perform the essential job duties of your current position, not that you can’t perform any job. This is the most difficult part to prove. The following types of evidence will be considered and are good to include in your application:
- Objective clinical findings, diagnoses, and medical opinions
- Subjective evidence of pain and disability (only when supported by competent evidence)
- Any other evidence relating to the effect of your condition or ability to perform in the grade or class of your position
Establish Continuity of Disability
You are required to show that your disabling medical condition is expected to continue for at least one year from the date of the disability retirement application is filed.
Prove You Can’t be Accommodated or Reassigned
You must show that you have not declined a reasonable offer of reassignment to a vacant position and that the employing federal agency isn’t able to accommodate your disabling medical condition in the position that you have been assigned to.
File for Social Security Disability
If you are under 62, FERS requires you to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, you do not have to be approved.
File Your Application with Supporting Documentation
You need Form SF 3107 (Application for Immediate Retirement) and Form SF 3112 (Documentation in Support of Disability Retirement). Further, you must submit documentation that you have applied for SSD. Again, an approval is not important in regards to federal disability retirement.
If you are unable to perform your job duties because of a disabling medical condition and don’t know where to start in filing for federal disability retirement, please don’t hesitate to call us. We have over a decade of experience in helping federal and postal workers file for federal disability retirement benefits. Our number is 877-226-2723 or you can fill out this INQUIRY form.