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Disability Retirement


The federal government allows employees who are unable to work to retire under a disability retirement. It is in the best interest of both employees and the federal government for employees to remain gainfully employed in their current grade or pay level, as long as they can provide useful and efficient service without endangering themselves, others or government property.
Disability retirement should be the very last option and should be used only when attempts have been made to preserve an individual's employment, and those attempts have failed.

Order our Disability Retirement guide to educate yourself on the rules and regulations concerning disability retirement for federal employees.

To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.
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BMac  
#1 Posted : Thursday, June 27, 2019 1:44:28 PM(UTC)
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I am just about ready to file for disability retirement. Had rotator cuff surgery in March. Needed 7 anchors to put my shoulder back together along with a biceps tenodosis. And my hip has been diagnosed with moderately server arthritis. Had an injection 2 weeks ago with no relief. Been out of work since 1/24/19. I have been on lwop for about 2 months or so now and burning through my savings fast. My only option to get me through the long process of disability retirement is to separate from the postal service so I can access my TSP account. I'm 55 so there won't be a penalty for me. My concern is if I initiate the separation, will that have any bearing on my case 1 and 2, will it effect the re-instatement of my health and life insurance on approval? I would like it if the post office would initiate the separation, but not sure how r to go about getting that done. I wouldn't think they would keep me on lwop for a year but who knows. If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it.
GSBS  
#2 Posted : Thursday, June 27, 2019 5:18:05 PM(UTC)
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Where did this happen, sounds like a Nightmare. If you resign from service just to collect your TSP don't count on your FEHB working anymore. The P.O. will probably give you the 365 day LWOP and keep your benefits active unless you do resign which might cause other problems down the line
thanks 1 user thanked GSBS for this useful post.
BMac on 6/28/2019(UTC)
BMac  
#3 Posted : Friday, June 28, 2019 3:37:15 AM(UTC)
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I fell in my driveway tossing some salt on the ice. Went down pretty hard. So it’s not a comp case. I am going through the reasonable accommodation process now. My Doc has limited me to no job that requires me to lift my arms above shoulder height. And no lifting above 25lbs. Sitting and standing for no longer than 2-3 hours at a time. I live in a pretty rural area in upstate NY(Adirondacks) and have been told by my post master that there will be no position for me that fits my restrictions. My thoughts are that they will initiate the separation if they don’t find a job for me. But maybe that’s wishful thinking. I know the government doesn’t always work the way you think it will.
gembarok  
#4 Posted : Friday, June 28, 2019 4:40:03 AM(UTC)
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Greetings,

Myself, I would exhaust all means to stay on salary as possible. You are already discussing reasonable accommodations which is part of the DR application. I would also discuss light duty as well pending FERS DR approval with your boss. I consider LWOP a last desperate option always.

What concerns me towards you being approved by OPM is that these disabilities have a prognosis for recovery. (3-6 months typical recovery time for biceps tenodesis and hip replacement surgeries), Remember, to be eligible, "The disability must be expected to last at least one year." You probably will need your doctor to say that in writing.

That being said, there is no reason not to try. You don't have to resign to apply and applying may make your management more favorable to granting RA's and approving light duty. Good luck.

S/
K
thanks 3 users thanked gembarok for this useful post.
GSBS on 6/28/2019(UTC), BMac on 6/28/2019(UTC), Calicocat on 7/9/2019(UTC)
American*Spirit  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 12:37:51 AM(UTC)
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BMac. I was USPS also.

It appears you do want to leave regardless because of the discomfort with your shoulder and hip, difficulty with doing the job. If you are a veteran, they are inclined to work with finding you some kind of work, more so than not. If you separate yourself, and file for immediate retirement, don't know how many years you have, but you will receive a reduced annuity. This may be a first desperate step and all your cards are put into the fact that you will be approved disability.

You may want to talk to someone in the HR dept. or log online with your postal account to see what your annuity would be if you went the route of immediate retirement with reduced annuity. You may also be eligible for the Special Fers supplement under 62.

As gembarok stated, you do want to show that you attempted a reasonable accommodation for disability retirement purposes. You requested it and received it, or were denied. It is possible USPS can put you into a year worth of LWOP, and after that year most likely terminate you if you are not able to return. So please utilize some accommodation if you can get it. See how that works for you, and if it is still hard to do, talk with your supervisor about your desire to file disability. Keep working on the clock if you can until approved.

There is also the process of annual leave donation request for those with disabling situations that put them out of work for a good while. Talk to your union about this process. Usually, they post these requests on bulletin boards within your entire district and peers donate annual leave so your able to have a little help getting through. I never requested donation, but I did donate once or twice when I could. You may get a little, you may get more. Who knows. I usually saw no less than 4 on the bulletin board. People I didnt know, like I said, it was district wide.

Then, there is the Voluntary benefits insurance plans. This is offered through your union. You may not have paid into any plan. But union does offer their members the very basic at no cost to you, it was automatic several years back. You didnt even have to sign up for anything. But then again, that, I am pretty sure is exclusive to APWU which covered clerks and maintenance personnel. I dont know which union you belong, if any. What craft you belong to. Check with your local. I do know many, many locals made that available, Im not sure if every single one throughout the country did though. Wouldnt hurt to look at that. Just ask.

TheRealOrange  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 3:25:01 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: American*Spirit Go to Quoted Post
You may want to talk to someone in the HR dept. or log online with your postal account to see what your annuity would be if you went the route of immediate retirement with reduced annuity. You may also be eligible for the Special Fers supplement under 62.

The annuity supplement rules would need to be carefully checked, as I do not believe a retiree is eligible if the retirement annuity is reduced for age. Here is the information from OPM:

Eligibility for the Annuity Supplement

If you retire voluntarily on an immediate annuity which is not reduced for age, you may be eligible for the annuity supplement, in addition to your regular monthly FERS benefit. You may also receive the supplement if you retired involuntarily before attaining your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) or voluntarily because of a major reorganization, reduction in force, or an early retirement for Members of Congress. However, in these three instances, you will not be eligible for the annuity supplement until you reach your Minimum Retirement Age (MRA). If you receive a deferred benefit, a disability benefit or an immediate MRA+10 benefit, you will not be eligible for the annuity supplement.
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