Counting injury leave toward retirement


Q: If I received compensation for two years because of an injury at the U.S. Postal Service, does this delay my retirement for two years?

A: If you were in leave-without-pay status while in receipt of workers’ compensation benefits, you’ll receive full credit for that period of time in determining your length of service and your high-3. LWOP while receiving Federal Employees Compensation Act, or FECA, benefits isn’t subject to the six-month limitation in a calendar year, as is other LWOP.


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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


  1. Is this also true with special category members? I’ve heard that LWOP and workers comp past 45 days counts as “ordinary time” toward retirement but does not count toward special category (20 year) time. Which is true?

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