Q. I was told on Sept. 10, 2010, that there was no work available for limited duty personnel and sent home. I drew sick leave until until April 2011. I have not drawn a dime since then. My file with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs was closed in 2003 due to inactivity and I have not been successful at getting it reopened. I am 58 with 21 years in the postal service plus a 10 point Vietnam-era vet. I am thinking of taking the early retirement to get a $700 income. I would like to get the $1,700 Q. I was told on Sept.10, 2010, there was no work available for limited duty personnel and sent home. I drew sick leave disability retirement. If I accept the early retirement to get an income, can I then file for the disability retirement? And if I can get the disability retirement would it be retroactive back to April 2010 when I was last paid or would it just go back to the date I received early retirement payments?
A. You could apply for disability retirement after you had been separated from the service for at least 31 days. For you application to be considered, OPM would have to receive your application no later than one year after you left. If approved, your disability annuity would begin at the point you left government. Therefore, you would receive a lump-sum payment for the difference between what you received as a regular retiree and what you would have received if you had retired on disability.