Know When You Qualify for Federal Disability Retirement

by Carol Fuller

There are times when due to a physical injury, ailment or mental issue a federal employee is no longer able to work in the position for which they have been hired. Oftentimes an employee will be placed into a different job where they can remain effective and still receive a steady income. This gesture is a way for the employer to help put an employee in a difficult situation.

Sometimes, however, the employee just can no longer continue working in any capacity or any position. These are extreme cases, but they do, unfortunately, occur. And when it happens, those employees are entitled to federal disability retirement benefits.

In some cases an employee can receive what is known as a disability retirement annuity that will pay them a portion of their salary for the rest of their lives. This particular benefit only applies to those who are enrolled in the CSRS or FERS retirement plan. Therefore, it is important to know which, if any, retirement plan you are enrolled in before you try to obtain federal disability retirement benefits in this manner.

This disability retirement program also imposes no stipulations on the recipient. If your condition improves, or you begin working in the private sector to supplement the funds you are receiving, it won’t affect your eligibility to receive federal disability retirement benefits.

In order to qualify for federal disability retirement benefits, a person must be expected to suffer from their mental or physical ailment for at least one year. If a condition lasts for a short amount of time, the employee will find it hard to collect any benefits.

There is no guarantee that you will receive benefits even if you qualify for federal disability retirement. Benefits are denied for a number of reasons, but sometimes it may just be an error. Seeking assistance from an OPM disability attorney or other professional who knows the law is a good idea to avoid this problem.

It is best to have an expert on your side when bringing your case to the Office of Personal Management or Merit System Protection Board. Most non-federal attorneys won’t have the knowledge you need to manage your case. Find a lawyer who is familiar and well versed in federal law who can help secure the benefits you deserve.

Sometimes it can be hard to stay on top of all the rules and regulations that are tied to closely to your rights. Perhaps the best thing you can do for yourself is find a professional in the industry who can help you understand what needs to be done to secure your benefits.

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