Disability retirement


Q: I am a 37-year-old female with 11 years of federal service in law enforcement. Because I am unable to medically participate in defensive tactics/firearms training, I am being separated from service (unfit for duty). I have applied for disability and immediate retirement, but I am allowed to continue working pending OPM’s decision on whether to grant benefits. I have been denied Social Security disability because I remain employed at a relatively high salary. Hypothetically, please assume OPM’s decision is favorable and I am officially separated from service and have already reapplied for Social Security disability … can I apply for or receive unemployment benefits pending Social Security’s decision even though I will receive a disability annuity? Moreover, will receiving a sizable lump-sum payment for unused annual leave adversely affect my claim for unemployment benefits?

A: As a disability retiree, you wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment compensation, so your second question is moot.


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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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