Just another reminder to all who are contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS (CSRS employees are excluded from this notification, because you do not have to file for SSDI) — that filing for SSDI is not a “sequential” precondition to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.
Many Human Resources personnel are apparently telling people that SSDI must be filed prior to sending in the Federal Disability Retirement application; or that a determination must be received by the Social Security Administration prior to filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits; or, in some cases, some have been told that an individual must actually have to qualify for SSDI benefits prior to filing for FERS Disability retirement benefits. Misinformation is both perilous and pervasive in this society. While it is logical to file for SSDI some time during the process of preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, the only time that the Office of Personnel Management requires the receipt from SSDI confirming that one has filed, is when the FERS Disability Retirement application is approved by OPM. And, remember, all that is required is a receipt that you filed with SSDI; no determinations are necessary.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire