What Do I Need To Know About Advance Designation
You should be aware of another type of representation called .
Advance Designation allows capable adult and emancipated minors who are applying for or receiving Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or Special Veterans Benefits the option to choose up to three people in advance who could serve as their representative payee, if the need arises.
In the event that you can no longer manage your benefits, you and your family will have peace of mind knowing that someone you trust may be appointed to manage your benefits for you. If you need a representative payee to assist with the management of your benefits, we will first consider your advance designees. We must still fully evaluate them and determine their suitability at that time.
You can submit and update your advance designation request when you apply for benefits or after you are already receiving benefits. You may do so through your personal account, contacting us by telephone at 1-800-772-1213 , or at .
How Long Will It Take To Process My Federal Retirement Application
It takes around 60 days to process applications for common cases.
Your application could take longer if:
- We need additional information from you or your former employing agency
- Your retirement claim has special circumstances, like applying under disability provisions, a specific retirement law , or evaluating a court order
- We need to contact you to make a benefit election, like a service credit deposit
- We need to contact another agency, like the Social Security Administration, if a benefit from them impacts your claim
Some Publications That Will Give You More Information On Disability Benefits
The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18.
The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that we will request from you.
The kits also provide general information about the disability programs and our decision-making process.
Here are some additional resources with information on disability benefits:
- Disability Evaluation Under Social Security – Medical criteria for evaluating Social Security disability claims
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Members Applying For Accidental Or Special Disability Also Must Submit The Following:
- employers first report of injury, forms submitted to Workers Compensation and copies of awards,
- medical evidence establishing the accident as the cause of the disability
- evidence that the disability arose out of, and in the course of, the performance of duty .
Following a review by the Systems medical board, the Systems Board of Trustees takes final action on the claim and the applicant is notified. The filing process for ordinary disability can take up to six months. Accidental or special disability claims may take longer. Requests for reconsideration or the appeal process can extend the timeline by six to eight months or more.
NOTE: A disability claim can only be opened upon receipt of a properly completed Form 20: Statement of Disability and . If either of these documents is not received or is not properly completed, the claim will be rejected and all documents will be returned to the member. A disability application is considered submitted on the date it is received by the Maryland State Retirement Agency.
Federal Disability Retirement Benefits Explained:
The Federal Employee Retirement System is a policy designed to benefit-eligible government employees and workers in positions subject to FERS. Under FERS, as well as the Civil Service Retirement System , employees of the agencies mentioned above are privy to many different retirement solutions, including:
- Voluntary Retirement
- Deferred Retirement
- Disability Retirement
The last option, disability retirement, is a special provision for federal employees who have become disabled and can no longer work.
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After You Submit Your Application
We’ll send you an acknowledgment letter after we receive your retirement application. We may also contact you if we have questions or need additional information.
Approximately two weeks before your first retirement warrant, weâll mail you a First Payment Acknowledgment Letter that provides important information about your service retirement, including the date and amount of your first retirement check.
You may sign up to receive your retirement checks through direct deposit at the same time you submit your retirement application. To set up direct deposit online, log in to myCalPERS. Go to the Retirement tab and select Payment Options. Alternatively, you can complete and mail the Direct Deposit Authorization to:
CalPERS Benefit Services Division
Medical Retirement: Calculating Fers Disability Benefits
What feds need to know regarding rules, eligibility, and the application process for the FERS disability retirement.
First off, if you are a federal employee who is able to take an immediate FERS pension, then that is probably the route to take, even if you become disabled. If you think there is a possibility that you might try to return after you leave federal service, then a disability retirement might be an option for you. In this article, well explore how age, length of service, and Social Security impacts a FERS disability retirement calculation.
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Special Rules For People Who Are Blind Or Have Low Vision
We consider you to be legally blind under Social Security rules if your vision cannot be corrected to better than 20/200 in your better eye. We will also consider you legally blind if your visual field is 20 degrees or less, even with a corrective lens. Many people who meet the legal definition of blindness still have some sight and may be able to read large print and get around without a cane or a guide dog.
If you do not meet the legal definition of blindness, you may still qualify for disability benefits. This may be the case if your vision problems alone or combined with other health problems prevent you from working.
There are several special rules for people who are blind that recognize the severe impact of blindness on a person’s ability to work. For example, the monthly earnings limit for people who are blind is generally higher than the limit that applies to non-blind workers with disabilities.
In 2022, the monthly earnings limit is $2,260.
Who Is Eligible For Federal Disability Retirement
In order to be eligible, you must be enrolled in the Civil Service Retirement System for a minimum of 5 years or the Federal Employees Retirement System for a minimum of 18 months as a full-time career employee.
Your qualification for Federal Disability Retirement is based on medical evidence from a doctor supporting your claim that you are unable to do even one of your job duties due to a disability, for a period of at least 12 months. This means that even if you are on a light-duty work assignment, that you will still be eligible for disability retirement. In some cases, this change in work can benefit you when building a case.
Keep in mind that this doesnt have to be a work-related injury. For example, you could have hurt your back while lifting weights at the gym which led to an injury that stops you from lifting over 20 pounds at your job. If this injury is expected to last at least 12 months and lifting over 20 pounds is one of your job requirements, then this is an injury that could qualify for Federal Disability Retirement.
Additionally, your condition could have existed before you began working in your position but worsened during your employment with the federal government.
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Information You Need To Apply
Before applying, be ready to provide information about yourself, your medical condition, and your work. We recommend you print and review the . It will help you gather the information you need to complete the application.
Information About You
- Your date and place of birth and Social Security number.
- The name, Social Security number, and date of birth or age of your current spouse and any former spouse. You should also know the dates and places of marriage and dates of divorce or death .
- Names and dates of birth of children not yet 18 years of age.
- Your bank or other and the account number.
Information About Your Medical Condition
- Name, address, and phone number of someone we can contact who knows about your medical conditions and can help with your application.
- Detailed information about your medical illnesses, injuries, or conditions:
- Names, addresses, phone numbers, patient ID numbers, and dates of treatment for all doctors, hospitals, and clinics.
- Names of medicines, the amount you are taking, and who prescribed them.
- Names and dates of medical tests you have had and who ordered them.
Information About Your Work:
- Award letters, pay stubs, settlement agreements, or other .
We accept photocopies of W-2 forms, self-employment tax returns, and medical documents, but we must see the originals of most other documents, such as your birth certificate.
Do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all the documents. We will help you get them.
How Do I Apply For Social Security Disability Insurance
Less than half of disability applicants are accepted on their first try.
You should apply for disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. You can apply online, by calling 800-772-1213 or in person at your local Social Security office. Whichever route you go, you’ll want to have the extensive documentation required at the ready — including detailed information about your condition and recent employment history.
To qualify for disability you cannot already be receiving Social Security benefits and must not have been denied disability benefits in the past 60 days. When you apply, be patient: A majority of disability claims are denied at first and the appeals process can take months — or even years — to resolve.
Even getting a preliminary decision on your application takes more than five months on average, according to AARP.
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What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance
There is no set list of approved disabilities, but the Social Security Blue Book, also known as Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, is an online directory of physical and mental health conditions that automatically qualify if you meet the stringent requirements for diagnosis. For adults, they are broadly split into 14 categories.
- Blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, thrombosis and hemophilia
- Cancer, including Leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, breast cancer and prostate cancer
- Cardiovascular illnesses, such as congenital heart disease and heart failure
- Cognitive andmental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, dementia, depression and intellectual disabilities
- Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems, such as non-mosaic Down syndrome
- Digestive system illnesses, such as bowel or liver disease
- Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
- Genitourinary disorders like chronic kidney disease
- Immune system diseases like HIV, inflammatory arthritis and lupus
- Musculoskeletal issues that are congenital or acquired, such as spinal disorders or amputations
- Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries
- Respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Special sense and speech disorders, such as impaired hearing, sight and speech
- Skin disorders, such as burns, dermatitis and ichthyosis
Federal Disability Retirement Eligibility
The Office of Personnel Management advises those who consider applying for federal disability retirement do so only after you have provided your employing agency with complete documentation of your medical condition and your agency has exhausted all reasonable attempts to retain you in a productive capacity, through accommodation or reassignment.
Additionally, OPM sets crystal-clear employee requirements on what must be done to qualify for federal disability retirement.
According to OPM, to be eligible for a FERS disability retirement annuity, you must:
- Have at least 18 months of federal civilian service under FERS.
- Have become disabled while working with the federal government to the point where you can not be reasonably accommodated or reassigned.
- Have a determined disability expectation time of greater than one year, as noted in medical exams.
- Have your employing agency certify that it cannot accommodate or reassign you to a position in the same geographical area that is similar in grade or pay level.
- Have either yourself or a guardian apply for disability-based retirement BEFORE you separate from your current position OR within one year from the date of your separation.The only exception for this rule is if you were deemed mentally incompetent before your separation from service or within the one-year window afterward. If this is the case, you must have a certification that verifies it.
- Submit a claim for Social Security benefits.
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What’s The Difference Between Social Security Disability Insurance And Supplemental Security Income
While SSDI is an earned benefit based on Social Security taxes you’ve paid in during your career, you can receive SSI payments without ever having worked.
Both SSDI and SSI pay benefits to people that the Social Security Administration determines have physical or mental disabilities severe enough to prevent them from engaging in “substantial gainful activity” for at least a year or that are expected to end in their death.
The Social Security Administration generally uses the same medical criteria to determine if a disability entitles an adult to SSDI or SSI and collecting both benefits is allowed.
SSDI is an earned benefit. As with retirement benefits, it comes from paying Social Security taxes during the course of your employment. In 2022, the estimated average monthly SSDI benefit was $1,358.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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Can You Do Any Other Type Of Work
If you cant do the work you did in the past, we look to see if there is other work you could do despite your medical impairment.
We consider your medical conditions, age, education, past work experience, and any transferable skills you may have. If you cant do other work, well decide you qualify for disability benefits. If you can do other work, well decide that you dont have a qualifying disability and your claim will be denied.
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Fers Disability Retirement Requirements
To be eligible for the FERS disability program, federal employees must have worked in a covered position for at least 18 months.
In addition, an employee must have become disabled while employed and the disability must be expected to last for at least one year. Importantly, however, a work-related injury or illness need not have caused the disability.
Federal employees can apply for disability retirement benefits at any age.
One: Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
Why? Because when a federal employee applies for FERS disability retirement, the employee must indicate whether he or she has applied for Social Security disability benefits.
Remember, you do not have to be approved for SSDI, but you must apply.
The applicant also must attach a copy of the Social Security application receipt or award notice to the FERS disability retirement application.
If a disabled employee receives Social Security disability payments, the amount of federal disability retirement payments under FERS will be reduced.
Importantly, if the Social Security Administration denies disability benefits, federal employees still may be entitled to FERS disability retirement payments.
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Continuing Benefits & Deductions
If you’re currently a member of the CalPERS Health Program, you must meet specific requirements to continue your health insurance coverage into retirement, or maintain the right to re-enroll in the future after retirement.
To continue your CalPERS health benefit coverage after retirement, you must meet both of the criteria below:
- Be enrolled in a CalPERS health plan upon separation from employment, either in your own name or as a dependent
- Retire within 120 days of your separation from employment
If you don’t meet both requirements before you retire, you’ll lose all future rights to be in the CalPERS Health Program. If your family members are included in your CalPERS health plan at the time of your death, their enrollment will continue automatically if they’re eligible for and receive a monthly allowance.
Public Agency or School Members
If your employer doesn’t contract with CalPERS for health benefits, contact your employer to determine if your benefits will continue.
To continue dental coverage into retirement, you must:
- Be enrolled in a state-sponsored dental plan on the date of your separation from employment
- Retire within 120 days of your separation
If you’re enrolled in CalPERS Long-Term Care and have premiums deducted from your paycheck, you’ll need to call 982-1775 before you retire to find out how to continue your premium deductions.
Other Deduction Payments
I’m Receiving A Federal Employees Retirement System Disability Benefit Will My Benefit Ever Change
There are at least two scenarios statutorily that your FERS disability benefit can change.
In many cases your disability retirement is calculated as 60 percent of your high-3 average salary for the first year minus 100 percent of your monthly Social Security benefit in your first year of eligibility, if applicable. Your annuity will be recalculated at 40 percent of your high-3 average salary beginning the second year minus 60 percent of your monthly Social Security benefit or your earned benefit, whichever is higher, if applicable.
At age 62, your disability benefit is recalculated as though you had continued working until age 62. Your average salary is increased by all FERS cost-of-living adjustments paid while you were disabled.
If you’re eligible for an immediate retirement when you apply for disability and are approved, your annuity will be calculated at your earned rate there will not be a recalculation at age 62.
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