Q: I am permanently disabled and I retired in February of 2012 with regular retirement, as advised by OPM. I am low on funds, and cannot afford my medication, so I contacted OPM and asked if I can change to disability retirement. They said it’s too late, is that true?
A: For employees in Federal Employees Retirement Systems (“FERS”), an application to change your retirement to disability retirement may be filed within one year of your separation from employment, so long as you did not elect an alternative form of annuity with a lump sum payment equal to your retirement contributions. For more information, see OPM Retirement Services.
For employees in Civil Service Retirement System (“CSRS”), an application for disability retirement must be received by OPM within one year after the date of your separation. For more information, see OPM Disability Retirement.
Therefore, because you have been separated since February 2012, and because both FERS and CSRS disability retirement application must be submitted within one year of an employee’s separation from the Federal service, it appears you may have missed the deadline to apply for disability retirement.
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