If you become injured or develop a disease while working in your position with the federal government, you may qualify for federal disability retirement. You must meet the following requirements:
- Completed 18 months of federal civilian service creditable under FERS
- While employed in a qualifying position, you must have become disabled because of disease or injury for useful and efficient service in your current position
- The disability is expected to last at least one year
- Your agency must certify it is unable to accommodate your condition in your present position and it has considered you for any vacant position in the same agency, at the same grade and pay level, within the same commuting area, for which you are qualified for reassignment
- You must apply before separation from service, or within one year thereafter
- Must apply for Social Security Disability benefits
If you receive an approval for federal disability retirement benefits from the Office of Personnel Management, you may be wondering if there are other benefits you are entitled to receive. As with any other type of retirement, i.e. voluntary, early, etc., there are other benefits you are entitled to when you retire on disability retirement.
Ability to continue working—you can work in the private sector and earn up to 80% of what your previous position (with the federal government) currently earns PLUS you’ll receive your disability annuity.
Survivor benefits—you may provide survivor benefits for your family if you choose to do so. You can elect to leave 0%, 25%, or 50% of your annuity. Your monthly annuity will be reduced by 0%, 5%, or 10% respectively.
Cost of living adjustments—you will be eligible to receive COLA’s 12 months after you begin receiving your disability annuity.
Social Security Disability—OPM does allow you to receive SSD and OPM disability concurrently, however, there will be an offset. SSD becomes your primary benefit.
Year 1 = 100% SSD + (60% OPM – 100% SSD)
Year 2 = 100% SSD + (40% OPM – 60% SSD)
Workers’ Compensation benefits—the ONLY benefit form OWCP you can receive concurrently with OPM disability is a Schedule Award.
VA Disability—if you have any VA rating, you can receive that concurrently with OPM disability.
FEHB—health benefits can be carried into retirement so long as you carried them in the 5 years consecutively leading into retirement, or if less than 5 years, the entire time you were eligible.
FEDVIP—this automatically continues into disability retirement. You cannot enroll, cancel, or change FEDVIP coverage just because you retire on disability. If you’re not already enrolled, you’ll be eligible to enroll in an Open Season.
FEGLI—you may be eligible to continue coverage if you’ve had it for 5 years immediately preceding retirement or for all the periods it was available if less than 5 years. If you’ve had coverage less than 5 years, you cannot continue into retirement.
FLTCIP—this will continue if you continue to pay your premiums. If you pay through payroll deductions, you may need to make other arrangements. You can generally have premiums deducted from your annuity.
Creditable years of service—one of the best benefits to retiring on federal disability retirement is that all the years you receive a disability annuity will count towards your years of creditable service when your annuity re-calculated at age 62. If you retire on disability at age 40 with 12 years of service (making you ineligible for voluntary retirement), and you receive a disability annuity until the age of 62 (when benefits re-calculate), you will receive an extra 22 years towards your retirement annuity calculation, bringing your total to 34 years of service. That sounds a lot better than 12!
Harris Federal Law Firm has helped thousands of federal employees secure a federal disability retirement. If you think you qualify or have any questions, please give us a call at 877-226-2723 or fill out this INQUIRY form. The consultation is always FREE.