1. Am I eligible to receive Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Retirement benefits?
You are eligible to receive FERS benefits if you have 18 months of credible service under the FERS system. Additionally, you must be unable to perform useful and efficient federal service as a result of a disability or medical condition. Such disability must be likely to last at least a year. Additionally, your agency must certify that they are unable to accommodate you in your current position or any vacant position within the same grade, pay level, and commuting area.
2. What would my FERS benefits look like?
For the first year of your disability, you are entitled to receive 60 percent of your “high-three” average salary. For every year thereafter, FERS benefits entitle you to 40 percent of your “high-three” average salary.
3. Can I still get FERS benefits even if my disability is psychological?
Yes. Individuals with emotional illnesses are still eligible to receive FERS disability retirement benefits so long as they are unable to perform useful and efficient federal service.
4. How do I file for disability retirement?
To file for disability retirement benefits, the claimant must complete a FERS disability retirement application. The application has several parts, including the:
- Applicant Statement of Disability
- Attending Physician’s Statement
- Supervisor’s Statement
- Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts
- And others.
In order to finalize your claim, you must also submit an application for Social Security Disability (SSD)benefits.
5. How long will it take until Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approves my disability retirement?
Once your FERS Disability Retirement application has been submitted to OPM, it generally takes between 8 and 12 months for a decision to be made. If your condition is terminal or otherwise extremely serious, you may request that OPM expedite your claim.
6. How can Andalman & Flynn help me?
An experienced disability attorney at Andalman & Flynn can assist you in preparing your FERS Disability Retirement application, including helping you complete the applicant statement, as well as collecting your medical records and working with your doctor to complete the Attending Physician’s Statement.
If you or anyone you know has a disability and needs legal assistance or answers to other disability benefits questions, please call me at (301) 244-4525 or toll-free at (888) 558-7871. You can also complete one of the contact forms directly on our website, and we will get back to you to schedule a consultation concerning your situation. Consultations are available by phone for out-of-state clients, and our staff is multi-lingual to accommodate your needs.
We have significant experience representing clients seeking disability benefits. For more information and how you may be impacted, contact one of our Disability Benefits attorneys, Elliott Andalman and Peter Casciano.