Sick leave and disability retirement


Q. Benefits Administration Letter 10-105 made changes to how accrued sick leave is used. As a federal employee participating in the FERS (27 years and age 57), I was approved for disability retirement. My reviews and subsequent understanding for the use of accrued sick leave is, if the disability retirement was approved, I could stay on the payroll and use up my sick leave and subsequently start retirement. So far, I have received a lump-sum payment of my accrued annual leave and was told by my human resources group that the accrued sick leave was used to add time to my length of service computation. I was told there is no provision for using up accrued sick leave before entering disability retirement. The debate is over my 600 hours of accrued sick leave of which I would get a greater benefit staying on the payroll until it ran out not adding 300 hours to my service time. Do I have an incorrect understanding of the use of sick leave as it pertains to disability retirement?

A. You were mistaken. While you could have used sick leave while your application for disability retirement was reviewed, once it was approved, your agency had to separate you. As for Benefits Administration Letter 10-105, it had no bearing to your situation.


About Author

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

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