What exactly is the OPM looking for? What needs to be included in my application? Applying for Federal Disability Retirement can be an overwhelming process and you might have a lot of questions just like these.
Luckily there are many resources available to help you through this process to ensure that your application is as strong as possible. The ideal Federal Disability Retirement application will include all of the required documentation from the start, ensuring that the OPM does not have to request anything more and that you receive maximum federal benefits.
Overview of application process
Federal disability retirement is available to federal employees who are not yet able to retire and have a medical condition that prevents them from performing at least one of the essential functions of their job.
When applying for Federal Disability Retirement there are a few basic requirements that must be met to be eligible for this benefit:
- You must be a federal employee paying into your FERS retirement
- You must have 18 months of creditable service
- You must have a disability that is preventing you from performing all the essential functions of your job
- You must apply for Social Security Disability Insurance
- You must still be on your agencies rolls or be within one year of your separation
What should be included in your application
In your application for Federal Disability Retirement, there are two main forms that you must include, the SF 3107 and the SF 3112.
The SF 3107 is the Application for Immediate Retirement. This form must be filled out by you and your employing agency. This form includes a summary of your federal service including any military time, your insurance and survivor elections, and any additional benefits you might be receiving. Keep in mind these elections will continue into regular retirement after age 62.
The SF 3112 serves as the necessary documentation in support of Federal Disability Retirement. Sections A-E need to be filled out in their entirety in order to be approved for Federal Disability Retirement. These forms include:
- 3112 A- Applicant’s Statement of Disability
- 3112 B- Supervisor’s Statement
- 3112 C- Physician’s Statement
- 3112 D- Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts
- 3112 E- Disability Retirement Application Checklist
Your federal agency will help you complete these forms, and they will submit these to the OPM. If you are separated, you will submit these directly to the OPM. Learn more about the 3112.
How to make sure your application is complete and accurate
Making sure your Federal Disability Retirement application is complete and accurate can be the difference between being approved or denied for benefits.
To ensure the strongest application possible, include all supportive medical evidence. This could be things like-
- treatment plans
- results of tests or procedures
- medical restrictions
You must show a relationship between your service deficiency and medical condition such that the medical condition has caused the service deficiency. Additionally, you must show that your agency is unable to accommodate or reassign you.
Having the right representation can help ensure your application is as strong as possible from the initial submission, allowing you to get the most out of your federal benefits.
If you are still denied
Don’t let a denial discourage you as you still have appeal options! You have 30 days from the date of your denial letter to apply for reconsideration. You have the option of submitting new evidence or requesting an additional 30 days to gather new evidence before submitting. The OPM will provide reasoning for your denial so that you may submit any additional documents needed when appealing their decision. Read more about Federal Disability Retirement denials.
You are also able to reapply for Federal Disability Retirement at a later date if your condition worsens. Read more about reapplying for Federal Disability Retirement.
It is recommended to seek legal advice at this stage. Our firm has helped over 6,000 clients through this process, and with a 99% approval rate, we want to help you secure the future you deserve.
The Federal Disability Retirement process can be confusing and overwhelming, but it’s important to stay informed and make educated decisions. Schedule a FREE consultation with our firm today to learn more.