In a new article on Government Executive, author Kellie Lunney says the Office of Personnel Management is moving their target date of July 2013 (already a month overdue) to March of 2014 to work through the over 25,000 retirement claims and eliminate the backlog at OPM.
OPM cites mandatory budget cuts as the reason for the backlog and is now stating that retirements should be processed in under 2 months.
Now remember, this article and the content is referring to regular retirement, not disability. Hopefully, the OPM office is also working out a more efficient way to process federal disability retirement claims. Disability files are taking upwards of 9 months from the time they are assigned to a Legal Administrative Specialist before a decision is made on the application.
Disability claims processing at OPM is actually one of the quicker disability processes within the government. Social Security Disability can take years and requires a 6 month waiting period before a claim can even begin to be processed. VA disability can take 2-3 years before a decision is made.
Even still, the OPM process is lengthy. Due to a short staff and large case volume, the LAS’s in Washington are seeing a rising backlog. While they are trying new procedures, don’t expect disability retirement packages to speed up significantly. Be sure to call or email us if you have questions about federal disability retirement.