Disability Insurance for Federal Employees
The financial hardships experienced by those who become disabled and unable to return to work are often significant. The loss of income combined with accruing living and medical expenses puts families in difficult situations. Although social security disability benefits may be available as well as payments from your FERS pension, there is often still a gap between income and expenses.
At My Federal Plan, we help you prepare for worst-case scenarios, including one in which you become disabled, to help you avoid financial downfalls.
How Do I Know If I'm Eligible for Disability Retirement?
Only consider applying for disability retirement after you have consulted with your employer, they have reviewed the complete medical file documenting your disability, and they were unable to sustain your employment in a productive position either via a medical accommodation or reassignment.
You must meet all of the following conditions:
- You must have completed at least 18 creditable months (under FERS) of civilian service.
- You must have become disabled, during employment in a job that was part of the retirement system because of disease or injury, for useful and efficient service in your current position.
- Medical professionals must expect the disability to last at least a year.
- Your agency must verify that it cannot accommodate your medical condition in your current role, nor can it find a vacant position in the same agency at the same grade or pay level within the same commuting area, for which you’d be qualified to perform.
- You or a guardian must apply for disability retirement while you’re still employed or within one year from your separation date. The application must be received by either OPM or your former employing agency. (This requirement may be waived only if you were mentally incompetent on the date of separation or within one year of this date.)
- You must apply for social security disability benefits (SSDI). You cannot apply for FERS disability retirement if you do not apply for SSDI, and if the application for SSDI is withdrawn, your FERS disability retirement application will be dismissed.
How to Apply for Retirement Disability
Your employing agency will help you complete and submit the required forms (SF3107, SF 3112, and SSDI if you are under the age of 62). If you have been separated from your federal agency for more than 31 days, you will submit the forms to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
For a comprehensive understanding of disability retirement benefits, including how to compute disability retirement benefits, please refer to OPM’s website for the most updated information.
We understand that this is an overwhelming process. At My Federal Plan, we are able to help you sort through the options and numbers and determine your benefits. In addition, we can help you determine what other benefits, including payments from your annuity, social security, and/or worker’s compensation, you may be entitled to receive.
Ask questions. We’re here to help you.