Termination before disability retirement and insurance


Q. I have been with the Postal Service for 24 years, and I have an action for removal for nonperformance looming over me and a pending disability retirement application with the Office of Personnel Management. If I get terminated before OPM makes its decision, will that guarantee approval of disability retirement? What about insurance? If I get terminated, can I make some kind of arrangements to keep my health and life insurance? I must keep my health insurance with this medical condition and my family. I also need to hold on to my life insurance since my history is blotted.

A. Being separated won’t guarantee the approval of your disability retirement application. However, it may provide contributory evidence of your disability. If you are separated, you’d be entitled to a 31-day extension of your Federal Employees Health Benefits and Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance at no cost to yourself. You would be able to continue your FEHB (but not your FEGLI) coverage after that by paying the full premiums plus 2 percent for administrative expenses. If your application for disability retirement is approved, it would be retroactive to the day you were separated. That would allow you to once more be covered by both the FEHB and FEGLI programs.


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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