For federal employees, it can be a dizzying and confusing time when they separate from their Agency. When medical issues are involved, the situation oftentimes becomes more complex. In the course of doing our job, we help clients navigate through these tough times and the intricacies of Federal Disability Laws and paperwork.
A federal employee’s separation from employment is complicated by the fact that, generally speaking, the Agency does not have a duty to inform the employee of the upcoming deadlines they must meet if they plan to file for Federal Disability Retirement (FDR). Therefore, when a client comes to us for help, they usually don’t know the timeframe by which they need to submit medical evidence, or even where that evidence must go. In most instances, if one is applying for FDR within 30 days of their separation, their application must be sent to their Agency. Any time thereafter, the application must go directly to The Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
However, in some special instances, the Agency is required to assist the departing employee, and disclose both the standards for eligibility for Disability Retirement and the timeframe for applying. This Rule is set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 5, Section 844.202(b). This must be done in every instance when an employee is being removed for medical reasons. The unfortunate reality is that this rule is not always followed by the Agency and sometimes the consequences are disastrous. If you have been removed for medical reasons, but have not received the required advice and instructions, contact an attorney right away.
Also, if you have recently been removed by your Agency or separated in any manner and you currently have a disabling medical condition, contact a federal disability lawyer right away because the clock is ticking on your ability to apply for Federal Disability Retirement benefits – the application must be filed with OPM within one year of your date of separation.
Contact Peter Casciano, Esq., at [email protected], or 301-563-6685, ext. 123.