Leave without pay and injury


Q. I am a federal employee under FERS. I have 13 years of service with a minimum of 10 years to become eligible for regular retirement. Due to an injury, I was on leave without pay for several months, then returned to work overseas. After I was on the job eight months, my condition manifested in physical symptoms, at which point my physician recommended that I take leave. My employer approved sick and annual leave but said I was ineligible for LWOP because I was overseas. I am still on my own leave, but it will soon be exhausted, and I am not cleared to return to work.

Are federal employees eligible for LWOP while assigned outside the United States? Also, what are my options for early retirement?

A. The granting of LWOP is entirely in the hands of your agency. It makes the decision about whether, when and where it can be granted.

The only option that could result in your receiving an immediate annuity would be if you were approved for disability retirement. Your agency is required to explain the process and help you fill out the paperwork.


About Author

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

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