By: Elliott Andalman, Attorney At Law
When the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approves an application for disability retirement, the annuitant is awarded retroactive benefits from the annuitant’s last day in pay status (LDIP). Whether you receive federal disability assistance as a FERS or CSRS disability annuitant, determining your last day in pay is an important decision and you need to know how donated leave affects the calculation of LDIP.
Donated leave is annual or sick leave that other employees have “donated” to a leave bank for use by employees with medical emergencies. Donated leave is normally posted in the pay period it is paid to you. Consequently, the last date that donated leave is received by you will be certified by the agency as your LDIP. This may be a problem because you could possibly lose months of past due disability annuity payments if you were on leave without pay prior to the receipt of the donated leave.
In order to avoid this problem, we recommend that retiring employees make sure to request that their donated leave is credited retroactively to the date that the employee exhausted his/her unused leave balances. Agencies may be resistant to doing this, but you should insist. OPM does provide for this to be done. See OPM, “Frequently Asked Questions About Leave,” available at www.opm.gov.
If you are a federal or postal employee contemplating filing or have already filed an application for federal disability assistance, then you should consult with an experienced attorney. At Andalman & Flynn, our team of legal professionals can assist and represent you to protect your rights and increase your chances of success with your disability retirement annuity claim. Feel free to call us at 301-563-6685 or toll-free at 1-888-558-7871. You can also visit our website at www.andalmanflynn.com and complete one of our website contact forms so we can contact your for a consultation concerning your situation.