Q. I recently returned to the federal government, and have 21 months in my current return. My total federal service will be 22 years in October. I had an on-the-job injury while with the Postal Service, and this injury has gotten worse since a car accident and surgery (I work for the Department of Veterans Affairs). I do not know how much longer I can work (pain, medication, etc). Am I qualified for disability retirement with medical benefits, even though my current return to federal service is less than five years?
A. You only need to have 18 months of service to apply for disability retirement, and you have nearly 22 years. Therefore, you can apply at any time. Note: If you are a FERS employee, you must also apply for Social Security disability benefits.