Navigating the federal disability retirement system can be confusing if you don’t have a law degree, which is why our lawyers explain how to determine if you are eligible for federal disability retirement benefits:
Basic Eligibility Requirements
If you are a federal employee or postal worker, you can apply for disability benefits under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). However, only employees who have worked for the federal government for at least 18 months are eligible for these benefits. Additionally, you must have a physical or mental disease or injury that prevents you from performing “useful and efficient service" at work. The disability you claim must also be expected to last for at least one year from the date you file.
Lastly, the federal agency that employs you has to prove that they attempted to accommodate your disability in your current position and that no other options were suitable or available for reassignment at your same grade or pay level.
Unlike workers' compensation cases, the disability you claim doesn’t have to be the result of a workplace injury, work-related stress, or occupational disease. You also don’t have to prove that you are "totally disabled” like when you file for Social Security disability. Instead, you just have to show that you can’t perform your regular job duties.
If you plan to apply for disability retirement through FERS, you must do so while you are still employed by the federal government or within one year of when you were separated from employment.
At John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, we are committed to helping federal employees defend their rights and obtain the benefits they deserve? If you need help filing for federal disability retirement, call (202) 759-7780 to get started on your free 30-minute consultation.