USPS and disability


Q: I’m a U.S. Postal Service employee. For more than two years, I’ve been on periodic roll with the Labor Department. My physician’s report was disputed, and the Labor Department sent me to its physician. Eventually there was a referee physician picked by the Labor Department. The referee physician determined that I was unable to work until I had knee joint replacement.

I’ve had five knee surgeries, four of them job-related, and at this time will not have the surgery. My question is, is it possible to be put on permanent periodic roll by the Labor Department, or do I have to apply for disability? I live in New Jersey and would like to relocate out of state, and I fear that the Labor Department will try to employ me after I move.

A: Only your agency can tell you whether you could be put on a permanent periodic roll. As for disability retirement, you’d need to work with your agency to determine if you are eligible to apply for that benefit. For starters, your agency would need to certify that you are unable to perform the duties of your current position or any other position for which you are qualified at the same grade or pay in your commuting area.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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