Disability retirement


Q. I have applied for medical retirement from civil service and am still awaiting for decision from the Office of Personnel Management. If I submitted a letter of resignation before my medical retirement is approved, will this affect my medical retirement approval process? In simpler terms, will this cancel out my medical retirement?

A. No, it wouldn’t. However, if you resigned and your application for disability retirement wasn’t approved, you’d be unemployed and without a dependable source of income.


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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.


  1. I am 56yrs. old with 26yrs at the VA hospital. I have filed for retirement disability 10 months ago. Can go out on MRA+10 until I get approve for my disability retirement?

      • Hello. I have been searching for answers and came across this post. I am curious as to what impact accepting retirement or severance pay would have on the Disability Retirement (DR)?

        My understanding is that when the Disability is approved, it gets backdated to the last payment received by the agency? Would retirement pay or severance pay be considered as such a payment to cancel out the months one has been awaiting a decision on their DR application? And also, sorry last one…would severance pay or retired pay have to be paid back once Disability Retirement begins?

        • Severance pay is only given to someone who is separated from his agency through a reduction-in-force. I don;t know what you are referring to when you say “retirement pay.” Are you talking about your last paycheck, your annuity, a cash payment for your unused sick leave? Putting all that aside, if approved your disability retirement annuity would start on the date you separated from the government.

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