Q & A Session – Survivor’s Benefits


Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.


I was married to a former federal employee for 21 years who is now deceased. I was awarded survivor’s benefits in my divorce. I applied for survivor’s benefits with OPM, which has been denied several times. I submitted an appeal with MSPB, and OPM requested MSPB to dismiss my case. The denial is because I remarried prior to age 55, however, this marriage was annulled. In the CSRS Handbook, it states that survivor’s benefits can be restored if annulment states specific wording, which it does.

Who can I contact to help me with my entitlement?


If your MSPB case is over and the deadline for appeal has passed, it may be too late for any further review.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw Bransford & Roth PC.

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About Author

Debra Roth

Debra L. Roth is a partner at the law firm Shaw Bransford & Roth, a federal employment law firm in Washington, D.C. She is general counsel to the Senior Executives Association and the Federal Managers Association, host of the “FEDtalk” program on Federal News Radio, and a regular contributor to Federal News Radio’s “Federal Drive” morning show. Email your legal questions to lawyer@federaltimes.com.

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