FERS Eligibility Requirements

You must meet all of the following conditions to be eligible for disability retirement:

  • You must have completed at least 18 months of Federal civilian service which is creditable under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).
  • You must, while employed in a position subject to the retirement system, have become disabled, because of disease or injury, for useful and efficient service in your current position.
  • The disability must be expected to last at least one year.
  • Your agency must certify that it is unable to accommodate your disabling medical condition in your present position and that it has considered you for any vacant position in the same agency at the same grade or pay level, within the same commuting area, for which you are qualified for reassignment.
  • You, or your guardian or other interested person, must apply before your separation from service or within one year thereafter. The application must be received by either OPM or your former employing agency within one year of the date of your separation. This time limit can be waived only if you were mentally incompetent on the date of separation or within one year of this date.
  • You must apply for social security disability benefits. Application for disability retirement under FERS requires an application for social security benefits. If the application for social security disability benefits is withdrawn for any reason, OPM will dismiss the FERS disability retirement application upon notification by the Social Security Administration.

CSRS Eligibility Requirements for CSRS Disability

You must meet all of the following conditions to be eligible for disability retirement:

  • You must have completed at least five years of creditable Federal civilian service.
  • You must, while employed in a position subject to CSRS, have become disabled, because of disease or injury, for useful and efficient service in your current position. (Useful and efficient service means fully successful performance of the critical or essential elements of the position-or the ability to perform at that level-and satisfactory conduct and attendance.)
  • The disability must be expected to last at least one year.
  • Your agency must certify that it is unable to accommodate your disabling medical condition in your present position and that it has considered you for any vacant position in the same agency, at the same grade or pay level, and within the same commuting area, for which you are qualified for reassignment.
  • You, or your guardian or other interested person, must apply before your separation from service or within one year of your separation. The application must be received by OPM within one year from the date of your separation. This time limit can be waived only in instances involving incompetency.
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