Q. My agency is offering Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. I have been approved for both. However, I have become disabled (chemo damaged my nerves, resulting in severe peripheral neuropathy). I thought I could leave via the early-out option for much needed relief and rest, then file for my federal disability.
My human resources department advised that, per the Office of Personnel Management, if I take the VERA, I cannot file for disability later, e.g. within one year.
I consulted with a lawyer, who specializes in federal disability retirement, and he advised that he has many clients who took the VERA option and later filed for disability within the one year.
A. Your attorney is correct. You can file for disability retirement within one year of your separation, whether by resignation or retirement.