CSRS & FERS Disability Retirement: The Office of Personnel Management

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency which reviews, approves or denies all Federal Disability Retirement applications for those who are under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), is taking an extraordinary amount of time in reviewing disability retirement applications.  This is true across the board — whether at the initial stage of the process, or at the Reconsideration Stage of the process. 

While certain individual appeals to “personal emergencies” can sometimes move an application ahead of others, the simple fact is that OPM is understaffed and overworked.  Patience is simply the only remedy, and the OPM representative will eventually get to a particular case in the order that it was received.  Now, the question as to whether a particular case is properly prepared such that it will get approved at the first review, is a separate question.  That is why it is important to prepare a disability retirement application properly, and well, at the first stage.  Because OPM is taking a long time before it is even reviewed, it is important to try and make your best case at the first stage.  However, by “best” does not necessarily mean a volume of medical records.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

2 Responses

  1. Sir,

    I have been on OPM disability since 1998. My disability was based on my inability to perform my duties as a law enforcement office. At the time I accepted the distability retirement I clearly recall HR stating that when I reached my 20 year retirement date, my annuity would be increased as if I was actually retiring from 30% to 60% of my gross earnings. When I recently contacted OPM to ask this be done, I was told flatly no.

    What is your professional opinion on this matter?

  2. Joanne,

    I am receiving an OPM disability, and was also told that my annuity would be increased. I am now 62 and called OPM, was told that was wrong and my annuity would be considered a disability forever,and I wouldn’t receive an increase either.

    When did all of this change?

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