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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.

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#1 Posted : Tuesday, May 13, 2008 7:12:55 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 5/13/2008(UTC)
Posts: 3

I am a FERS employee, diagnosed with ALS 9 months ago. I have not yet applied for disability retirement, mainly because I love my job. Also, I'm buying a house with my children. I can't get a straight answer from the Retirement office as to whether or not ALS has a presumptive eligibility.
That would mean it could be processed promptly. My doctor says he will advise retirement any time I want,but he's concerned that it will take a long time and this disease doesn't respect a timeline but is always fatal. I'm already past true usefulness, but can still do computer work and training. I'm four years from regular retirement. Any advice?
#2 Posted : Wednesday, May 14, 2008 5:56:59 PM(UTC)

Rank: Advisor

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Joined: 3/11/2008(UTC)
Posts: 154

...and here is the long and short in response to your question. First the short: unless your condition is rapidly progressive, you would not qualify for expedited processing even though, if I were your HR person, I'd still submit it that way and then let OPM tell me it isn't.

Here the long of it: In April 2007, the Office of Personnel Management changed the process for Human Resource Offices when submitting a disability retirement application from employees with limited life expectancy. This advance notice allows the Disability Branch to review the application for disability retirement and determine if additional information is needed so there is no delay once the case arrives for processing. The application for disability retirement must still meet all requirements, including required service and timeliness.
For disability retirement applications from employees with a life expectancy of one year or less, OPM now requests:
1. That the Human Resources Office (HRO) fax (or e-mail) a copy of the disability retirement application, the documents in support of disability retirement, and the medical documents at the time you are submitting the retirement application through the regular process (to the service center, payroll, etc.).
2. On the front of the fax and on front of the original submission, HRO is to place a cover sheet identifying the case as: EXPEDITED PROCESSING.
To determine if a case meets criteria for this special handling, the HRO is to follow these guidelines.
1. If the medical documentation indicates the employee has a limited life expectancy.
2. If one of the following medical conditions are documented, they also qualify for the expedited handling:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, rapidly progressive

Hope this helps and may you always have hope, peace and love around you.
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