Unfortunately, federal employees may fall victim to injury or disease which may prevent them from efficiently performing the duties of their position. When this occurs, federal employees may be entitled to disability retirement benefits. At Tully Rinckey PLLC, we assist federal employees with the complex process of applying and securing disability retirement benefits. Our firm can handle all aspects of the disability retirement application process, including assisting you in preparing your application, working with your physician to obtain the proper medical documentation, or appealing an adverse OPM determination to the Merit Systems Protection Board.
To qualify for disability retirement benefits, a federal employee must meet the following requirements:
If currently employed, there is no deadline for filing a disability retirement application. However, employees should attempt to pursue any possible reasonable accommodations prior to seeking disability retirement benefits. Current employees and those separated from federal service for 30 days or less must submit their applications for disability retirement through their agencies. If the employee has separated from federal service for 31 days or more, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) must receive the application within 1 year of the date of your separation.
Disability annuity is computed under a formula that varies by employee due to length of service, age and salary at the time of disability. If an employee is also receiving social security disability benefits, the annuity will be reduced by the amount of the social security benefits. Further, an employee may not receive both worker’s compensation benefits and a disability annuity. If qualified for both, the employee will receive the benefit that pays them more, usually Workers Compensation.
Payment for disability annuity starts on the first day after an employee stops working for the government due to disability and OPM has approved the annuity. Retirees may work another job as long as the salary does not exceed a set amount, which varies on a case-by-case basis. Disability retirement benefits can be revoked if the employee is deemed to be recovered or becomes reemployed by the federal government.
Enrollment in the disability retirement system is a benefit of your service to the federal government. You have the right to ensure careful review of your application and appeal of a negative decision. OPM carefully reviews disability retirement applications and the legal advice of an experienced attorney may be helpful.
If you are a federal employee intending to file for disability retirement or wish to appeal a decision by OPM denying your claim, you should consider seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced law firm.
Contact us to see how our experienced federal employment attorneys may assist you.
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