Disability retirement


Q. Is it hard to get qualified for disability retirement? How long would I have to wait?

A. To qualify for disability retirement, you have to be disabled for “useful and efficient service.” Your agency would have to certify that you are unable to perform the duties of both your current position and any other vacant position at the same grade or pay level for which you are qualified within your agency and your commuting area.

To begin the disability application process, you’d have to complete a Standard Form 3112 and provide documentation from a doctor who is qualified to judge your condition. That form and your agency’s concurrence would then be sent to the Office of Personnel Management. Depending on OPM’s workload, it could take a few months to several months for them to reach a decision.


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.


  1. Can you still receive survivor;s benefits if you retired CSRS but obtained a state job and are paying into social security and husband died this year at 70?

    • Where did your late husband work, for the federal government, state or local government, or the private sector?

  2. Larry Martino on

    Concerning your statement “Depending on OPM’s workload, it could take a few months to several months for them to reach a decision” for a disability decision. Is the disability package processed the same as a regular annuity or does it take longer? Say Boyers OPM receives a complete package from an agency’s HR today and assigns a Claim Number. Is the wait 3 months, 6 months, 9 months 12 months, longer? Thanks!

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