Disability retirement


Q. I recently applied for disability retirement.  My package is done at Randolph AFMPC and is at the Defense Finance Accounting Service now.  I am an Air Force civilian.  I am 53, turning 54 in December.  I have 21 years of service, with an SCD of March 18, 1990.

I just read on your site that if my disability is disapproved by OPM, that I will then get fired.  Can this be true?  It seems so unfair.  I’m so afraid of getting fired, that I am considering canceling my application and just continuing to work through the pain.  It’s a huge risk, isn’t it?  Could you advise me any?  Am I eligible to retire “normally” now?

A.  If your application for disability retirement is turned down, but your agency subsequently determines that you can’t satisfactorily carry out the requirements of your job, they may try to find a vacant position you are able to perform and for which you are qualified. Failing that, they can separate you for unsatisfactory performance.



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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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