What to Know About Eligibility To Join FERS

A federal worker who is injured (off the job or on the job) or who is ailing and who is incapable of carrying out his/her regular job duties might choose to apply for the FERS Disability Retirement. The Federal Employees Retirement System is prevalently well-known as FERS is the retirement security system prevailing in the United States for all its government workers. The system was instituted in the year 1986 to match with Civil Service Retirement System or CSRS which was there then for Private organizations employees. Federal Employees Retirement System brought in all the government workers employed on or after 1st Jan. 1984. Employees who got appointed before 1984 and ongoing in service as on 31st Dec. 1986 with no less than five years in service were offered an alternative to joining the FERS.

Basic Eligibility Requirements for FERS

The existing retirement system for postal employees and federal workers is known as the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). This system substituted the CSRS, Civil Service Retirement System in 1987; however, some federal workers who began before 1987 shall still get covered by the CSRS.

To be qualified for ill health benefits under FERS, one must have worked as a postal employee or federal civilian for a minimum of 18 months. (A service of five years of is obligatory if a person is applying under CSRS.)

To be medically eligible, one must become incompetent, owing to mental or physical illness or injury, to execute “efficient and useful service” in their present position, which implies a person, ought to be unable to perform an indispensable element of their work. Their incapacity must be anticipated to last at least one year from the date one applies.

Furthermore, the individual’s federal agency should declare that it has attempted and failed to put up with their medical situation in the current job, plus that it was not capable of reassigning them to another nearby post in the same agency at their pay or grade level.

It isn’t essential that the person’s disability arose from on-the-job harm, work-connected condition like occupational disease or stress, as in an employees’ compensation case. Also different from Social Security disability, a person isn’t needed to demonstrate that they are “completely disabled,” only that they are incapable of carrying the obligations of their present-day job.

Application for the Federal Disability Retirement

One must apply for disability retirement whereas still working for the federal government or in 12 months of separation from federal work. Remember that “separation” from work is not necessarily the date an individual became incapacitated, or even the date one ceased working.

Application is made through filing forms with the injured party’s federal agency. Then again if they have been detached from federal service for over 31 days, they must submit their incapacity application straight to the Office of Personnel Management instead of their federal agency.

Once OPM gets the application, it shall make an initial resolve based on the medical records, their physicians’ views, and the application itself.


After a person has been ratified for federal disability retirement, one might be occasionally required to offer the Office of Personnel Management with up-to-date medical proof to show that they are still entitled to benefits. The disability retirement benefits can be dismissed if the condition gets better or if they do not carry on to obtain consistent medical treatment for the situation. There are numerous attorneys and many non-attorneys that take care of disability retirement claims. There isn’t a rule that the counsel hired must be a Federal Disability Lawyer but it is recommended.

Melissa Thompson

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.