By Dan Goodkin
According to the Office of Personnel Management, veterans make up approximately thirty percent of the federal workforce. In 2015, approximately one third of new hires by the federal government were veterans. Most federal employees who become disabled, are injured on the job, wrongfully disciplined, or are the victims of discrimination or harassment have options to secure their financial future that they may not be aware of. With more than 50 years of combined experience representing federal employees in all of these administrative matters, Brown & Goodkin limits its practice to representing federal employees in these matters.
The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) program covers employees who become disabled; workplace injuries are covered under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA); adverse actions, such as wrongful termination or suspension, are covered by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB); and discrimination/harassment based on a protected status is covered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC.)
FERS Disability Retirement – https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/fers-information/types-of-retirement/#url=Disability
Under FERS, most federal employees, who began employment after 1984, and who have 18 months or more of federal service who become disabled are eligible to retire early. Eligibility under disability retirement does not require a showing that the employee is totally disabled. The employee need only show that he or she is disabled from his or her official position. The annuity benefit is paid at 60% of the employee’s high 3 average for the first year of disability and 40% each year after until the employee turns 62. While receiving this annuity, the annuitant will still receive the group rate for health insurance.
At 62, the annuity is re-calculated as if the employee did not have to retire early, and years of service for the time the employee received a disability annuity are added to the total years of service. Veterans who buy back their military time prior to retirement can also add the number of years of military service to the total years of service computation at age 62. Disability retirement applications can be filed while employed, even if still working, and up to one year after employment has ended, regardless of whether the employment ended because of termination. Our firm offers 100% money back guarantee with regard to our representation for disability retirement applications.
The next installment will cover Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB.)