The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) provides disability retirement benefits to eligible federal employees. If you qualify under FERS, you may be entitled to a lifetime annuity calculated as a portion of your salary – even if you have been reassigned to light-duty work. The FERS system covers all civilian federal employees, and it provides benefits for disabling illnesses and injuries suffered both on and off the job.
However, applying for FERS disability retirement benefits is not easy. In fact, many federal employees with qualifying disabilities have their benefit claims denied. Securing benefits requires a thorough understanding of the FERS system, and the process is best handled by an experienced federal employment attorney.
Another option available to many federal employees is to seek disability retirement benefits through the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). If you are enrolled in CSRS and you are no longer able to maintain your previous federal employment due to a disabling illness or injury, you too may be eligible for a federal disability retirement annuity. Once again, however, navigating the CSRS system can be extraordinarily complicated and time-consuming, and federal employees who need to apply for CSRS benefits will be well-served by hiring legal representation.
At Melville Johnson, P.C., we bring more than 30 years of experience to representing federal employees in disability retirement claims. Our attorneys have helped countless federal employees obtain retirement disability benefits under FERS and CSRS, and we have a long record of success in requests for reconsideration and Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals. If you are entitled to benefits, do not let red tape and confusing requirements stand in your way. Let us use our experience to quickly secure the benefits you deserve.
“As a person with a disability working for the federal government, I knew I needed . . . the right legal [representation]. . . . Melville Johnson alleviated all the potential stress involved. . . . With their help, I received disability approval in record time! I want to thank you for the superior work your firm performed. From my very first contact, your Client Intake Manager took the time to answer all of my  questions and provide[d] detailed information at every turn. . . . [Y]our attorneys showed nothing but professionalism and kindness throughout the process.” – Sandra B., Federal Employee
Common Questions about FERS and CSRS Federal Disability Retirement
Q: What qualifies as a “disability” for purposes of FERS and CSRS?
The definition of a “disability” for purposes of obtaining federal retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS is very different from the definition that applies in other contexts. In order to be eligible for federal disability retirement benefits, it is enough that you have:
- Suffered an illness or injury that is expected to last 12 months or longer and that,
- Prevents you from effectively performing your essential job duties as a federal employee.
You do not need to be totally or permanently disabled, and you do not need to be entirely unable to work.
Q: How much can I expect to receive in federal disability retirement benefits?
The minimum federal disability retirement benefit is 40 percent of your salary. Under CSRS, the maximum benefit can be as much as 80 percent of your salary. Keep in mind that you may still be able to obtain a light-duty position with the government, and you are allowed to seek employment in the private sector in any capacity without jeopardizing your FERS or CSRS benefits.
Q: Are there minimum employment requirements for FERS and CSRS eligibility?
Yes. To be eligible for disability retirement through FERS, you must have held a covered Federal service position for at least 18 months. To be eligible for CSRS, you must have been employed by the government for a minimum of five years.
FERS and CSRS Disability Retirement Attorneys Serving Federal Employees Nationwide
Whether you are preparing to file for federal disability retirement or have already filed with FERS or CSRS and had your benefits claim denied, our attorneys can help you seek the maximum benefits available. We can also help you avoid common mistakes – such as failing to submit all necessary information or withdrawing an SSDI benefit application – that can jeopardize your federal disability retirement claim. At Melville Johnson, P.C., we offer:
- Decades of experience representing federal employees.
- A deep understanding of the FERS and CSRS systems.
- A commitment to securing the best possible outcome in every case.
- Compassionate, personalized representation and dedicated client service.
- Direct contact with your attorney throughout your federal disability retirement claim.
To get started with a confidential initial consultation, please call (888) 846-7844 or contact us about your disability retirement claim online. We represent federal employees in all 50 states.