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Key points to note for select disabled federal workers

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2020 | Federal Employment Law

You obviously have a lot on your mind if you are a federal employee battling a persistent illness or dealing with an ongoing disabling condition.

Some health-linked maladies resolve over time and thankfully do not spawn truly life-upending consequences.

Others are enduring, though, which can lead to internally posed questions like these:

How will a disability that is materially affecting my job performance and ability to work affect my status as a federal employee? I know I need to be proactive and take some purposeful action, but how do I proceed? What challenges will I face en route to reaching an employment outcome concerning my health status, and how can I resolve them favorably?

The bottom line for you as a federal worker suffering from a disability likely underscores angst and confusion: You are worried about the future and are eager – though unsure – how to move forward and take steps to ensure a positive outcome.

Disability-linked retirement eligibility under FERS

Federal workers with disabling conditions and related concerns might reasonably want to reach out for proven legal guidance and representation. Advocates from an established disability law firm can candidly discuss next steps and viable options that can lead to positive long-term outcomes.

One of those could be disability retirement under the above-cited FERS (Federal Employees Retirement System). Many disabled workers across the country do successfully negotiate the system, but it bears instant noting that doing so is far from a casual endeavor.

Eligibility requirements for federal disability retirement

Although a federal disability retirement application is vetted through FERS, it must be filed through the government’s Office of Personnel Management. Initial focus will fall on an applicant’s qualifying information, which must demonstrate the following:

  • At least 18 months of federal civilian employment
  • Chronicled disability that has lasted – or is expected to last – at least one year
  • Inability to continue performing job duties adequately
  • Absence of other suitable work that can be done

An in-depth legal overview of the federal disability retirement system discusses the above bullet points and additional information relevant to the process. It notes as well the key point that a disabling condition “does not have to occur at work or during the course of job duties in order to qualify for disability retirement.”

Disabled federal workers with a demonstrated history of diligent employment and the ability to clear all requisite government hurdles applicable to retirement eligibility should proactively engage the disability retirement process.

They have earned the right to do so.


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