Q&A: Can I Change to Disability Retirement?


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.

This response was written by Christopher J. Keeven, associate attorney at Shaw Bransford & Roth P.C., a federal employment law firm.

Disclaimer: Ask a Lawyer publishes information on this website for informational purposes only. Information on this website is intended – but not promised, guaranteed, or warranted – to reflect correct, complete and current developments. In addition, the contents of the website do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the attorney. Information from this website is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. You should not act, or refrain from acting, based on information on this website without seeking specific legal advice about your particular circumstances. No attorney-client relationship between you and Ask a Lawyer’s author is created by the transmission of information to or from this site.


About Author

Shaw Bransford & Roth

Shaw Bransford & Roth provides legal representation on a wide range of employment and federal employment law issues. For more information visit us at: http://www.shawbransford.com

Leave A Reply