What is dual status and how can it affect federal disability retirement benefits?
We currently have a client filing for federal disability retirement benefits and he works as a military reserve technician. Because he is what’s considered “dual status”, the rules are a little different for those who fall into this category.
Military Reserve Technicians
A military reserve technician is a member of one of the reserve components of the Armed Forces. Those components include:
- Army National Guard of the U.S.
- Army, Naval, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard Reserve
- Air National Guard of the U.S.
A person in this position is assigned to a civilian position as a technician in the administration and training of one of the reserve components, or in the maintenance and repair of supplies issued to one of the components. As a condition of employment, this person is required to be a member of one of the reserve components serving in a specified military grade.
Special Disability Rule for Reservists
A military reserve technician who has performed at least 18 months of civilian service may retire under disability provisions if:
- They are separated from employment as a military reserve technician due to a disability that disqualifies them from membership in a reserve component of the Armed Forces or holding the military grade required for that employment.
- They are not considered to be disabled in their position under FERS disability rules.
- He/she is not appointed another position in the federal government.
- An offer for appointment that meets the following criteria has not been declined:
- The offered position is within commuting area of the former position
- You’re qualified to serve in the offered position
- The offered position is in the same grade, or equivalent level, as the position in which you separated
Note: A military reservist technician who qualifies for retirement under the following conditions may not retire under this disability provision.
- One who is involuntarily separated from technician service due to a disability or other reason determined by your agency is entitled to an immediate annuity after attaining 50 years of age and completing 25 years of service.
Termination of Benefits
If you retire under the provisions described above, your annuity will terminate if you:
- Decline an offer of appointment that meets conditions described above.
- Are found restored to earning capacity.
- Are appointed to any position in the federal government.