Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Disability Payments under the U.S. Office of Personnel Management

If you are a federal employee and becomes disabled, you may be entitled to U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) disability benefits. However, to be eligible for the benefit, you must have worked for at least 18 months as a federal employee regardless of your age.

If you have been awarded with disability benefits, you have a responsibility to get periodic medical exams to keep your disability benefits. The grant of benefit by OPM is conditioned on your not being able to perform your work as a result of your disability. Absent the determination that you are still under a state of disability, the OPM may stop your benefits.

OPM determines your disability, in granting you disability retirement benefits, based on your medical condition as evidence by your medical records. If you will not fulfill your obligation to provide current medical records upon request, OPM will have no option but to suspend your benefit until you comply.

Also, in case of disability, aside from the OPM, you can claim benefits from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Worker’s Compensation Program (OWCP). However, you cannot claim from OPM and OWCP simultaneously.

If you are already receiving OPM disability benefits and you claimed benefits under OWCP, OPM will suspend your benefits. Nevertheless, you can ask OPM for disability benefits again if your OWCP benefits stop.

You may, however, be able to receive support from OPM and OWCP at the same time if the latter only granted you OWCP Scheduled Award and not continuing disability benefits.