Illness/Disease and Federal Disability Retirement

Aug 2, 2018


There are many requirements you must meet to be qualified for federal disability retirement. One of them being, “you must, while employed in a position subject to the retirement system, have become disabled because of disease or injury, for useful and efficient service in your current position”. And it must last at least one year.

An injury, at times, maybe “easier” to prove that it affects your ability to perform your essential job duties. This can be for many reasons; the injury has a permanent effect on your range of motion, it could cause you to lose a part of your body, and many more.

Many people wonder if their illness or disease is enough to qualify them for this benefit. The short answer is, it depends. The long answer…

Illness/disease comes in many forms and is either physical or psychological. The Office of Personnel Management does not have an exhaustive list of illnesses/disease. Physical conditions can include cancer, degenerative disc disease, Lyme disease, neuropathy, HIV, diabetes, seizures, and so much more.

Psychological conditions can include major depressive disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, and much more.

Both physical and psychological conditions are equally valid in filing for federal disability retirement benefits because the law does not distinguish one from the other in determining the viability of a medical condition and its impact on your ability to perform the essential duties of your job.

Your illness must be clinically supported with medical evidence such as MRI’s, X-Rays, mental health records, and treatment reports that show there is a direct correlation to the illness/disease and your inability to perform your jobs’ essential functions. Having a supportive doctor that you’re currently treating with is extremely important in strengthening your case.

Note: If OPM does approve your application, they may require periodically require you to undergo medical exams and provide them with documentation, in order to keep your benefits, depending on your condition.

If you’d like to learn more and set up a FREE consultation, don’t hesitate to call us at 877-226-2723. You can also fill out this INQUIRY form.

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