CSRS & FERS Disability Retirement: The OWCP Danger of Complacency

Last Updated on November 17, 2016 by Federal Disability Lawyer

I have had far too many calls by individuals who were complacent with being on OWCP/DOL temporary total disability compensation. The old adage, “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse”, is still generally true. It is the responsibility of the Federal or Postal employee to file for Federal Disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS in a timely fashion — within one (1) year of being separated from Federal Service.

The fact that an individual is on the rolls of Worker’s Comp, receiving Worker’s Comp, receiving a scheduled award, going through rehabilitation or job retraining does not protect or extend the Statute of Limitations of 1 year.

Many people, especially Postal Workers, become separated from service without being properly notified.  A hint:  If you all of a sudden stop receiving those “Zero-balance” pay checks, chances are, you have been terminated & separated from service.  The burden is on the Federal employee to keep on top of things:  ask for your PS Form 50, or SF-50, whichever the case may be; call your agency on a regular basis to make sure that you are still on the rolls of the Agency.

If you have been separated from service, a personnel action should have been initiated.  From that moment — when you have been separated from Federal Service — you have one — I emphasize and reiterate — ONE YEAR from the date of separation from Federal Service to file for disability retirement benefits.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

2 thoughts on “CSRS & FERS Disability Retirement: The OWCP Danger of Complacency

  1. My understanding from OWCP info was that an individual on OWCP is not considered to be in an LWOP status.

    If this is true, then how can the USPS seperate for disability under the “one year” rule?

    Also, can you recommend a good resources re: employee with permanent partial accepted work related disability and:

    1. was never afforded Reasonable Accomodation Interactive Process- just left hanging out on OWCP?

    2. has had voc rehab guy contact him and without any testing for limitations, interests, aptitude etc.–told him to call Homeland Security about a job–isn’t there a “process” that should be adhered to?

    3. must this employee take a job as Wal Mart Greeter if Voc Rehab guy says so? What are this employees obligations with regard to voc rehab (particularly when no attempt was made to rehab him to his employer, usps)

    3. will OWCP make up difference in wages after rehabbing into another position?

    4. will receiving a scheduled award impact his status on OWCP or voc rehab?

    Disabiltiy Retirement in process so he doesn’t get left hanging…….

    Thanks very much,

    ‘Trying to help a friend’

  2. i am out on owcp for the last 10 months. i am retired from the army. i was working for cbp when i aggrevated an old injury from military service. I sent the results to vA I was sent a replie that I can put in for 100% disability in the next thirity days. can i still get disability retirement from CBP. And also i have a EO case pending with the agency for the reason i was hurt on the job. what should i do?

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