Psych Central

Go Back   Forums at Psych Central > General > Insurance and Finances



advertisement
Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 07-16-2012, 07:25 AM   #1
"I'm scarlet inside"
 
Fharraige's Avatar
Fharraige "'Cause in my head there's a Greyhound station"
 
Member Since: Oct 2010
Location: Where the wild things are :)
Posts: 14,684 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

5 yr Member
5,683 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Question Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)



Due to my intensified anxiety/panic disorder and possible PTSD, my supervisor recommended that I apply for this along with SSDI. Has anyone gone through this here? Any advice?

Sorry it's been so long to post back into the community but I've been doing very well and keeping busy IRL until the wheels fell off the brain bus and crashed.

Take care
__________________
"Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet



BP Type 1, GAD, PTSD, BPD
Latuda, Artane, Neurontin, Vistaril and some other stuff

My poetry and prose
My Flickr Photostream
Fharraige is offline   Reply With Quote

advertisement
Unread 07-19-2012, 08:33 AM   #2
Pandita-in-training
 
Perna's Avatar
Perna has no updates.
 
Member Since: Sep 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 27,222 (SuperPoster!)
10 yr Member
536 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

Looks straightforward enough: http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fers/disability.asp

You have to apply for both (and, presumably get SSDI or you won't get FERS); it reminds me some of a lot of State Income Taxes where they want you to copy your Federal information and then they just go from there. If you do not apply for SSDI, the FERS application gets cancelled too.
__________________
"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness." ~John Steinbeck
Perna is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 07-23-2012, 09:33 PM   #3
Grand Member
 
dragonfly2's Avatar
dragonfly2 has no updates.
 
Member Since: Mar 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 873
5 yr Member PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

Sorry you're not feeling well right now. Perna is right in that you need to apply for both SSDI and FERS disability retirement at the same time, but being approved for FERS does not depend on being approved for SSDI. Actually, it is easier to get FERS than SSDI, just based on the definitions involved.

With SSDI, you need to prove that you cannot work in ANY position available in the local economy. With FERS, you only need to prove that you can no longer perform YOUR CURRENT JOB, with or without accommodations. I've heard stories of people who had chemical sensitivities to something in the building they worked in and could not be reassigned to another building or in a new position at the same pay grade and they got FERS disability. But certainly they could work somewhere else if the substance they were sensitive to wasn't there. But that doesn't matter with FERS - it's job-specific.

I was approved for FERS disability last November, but I was already receiving SSDI (I had been on it before and was reinstated when I got sick again). If you've got the Federal time and Social Security work credits, I'd try for it. The way OPM figures out your monthly annuity is a bit complicated and involves different offsets of whatever SSDI you receive. It can take a long time for OPM to process the application, but if you're approved for SSDI, that will typically happen first. (But if you're not approved, that doesn't automatically disqualify you for FERS.) You can ask your agency to keep you in the system and not separate you until you receive a decision so you can keep your health insurance intact. The govt will pay your premiums while you're waiting but then you will need to pay them back out of whatever back pay you might be owed. They'll cover your life insurance as well. Dental and vision premiums, if you have them, need to be paid out of pocket through Benefeds. Your HR manager can connect you with them if you need to. You get to keep your health and life insurance into retirement as long as you've been covered for the last five years (or from whenever you were eligible if it's less than five years). You convert over to a regular retirement when you turn 62, with credit for the years you were disabled.

I highly recommend getting a lawyer. There are lawyers who can do both your SSDI and FERS applications. They know exactly what OPM and Social Security are looking for and can help you focus your applications. A good lawyer will also work with your doctor and supervisor to get the best supportive letters. Some work on a flat fee, some work on contingency or a mix of both. Mine was a mix of both - a small flat fee to get things going and then a percentage of my back pay. I'm not sure what the fee structure would look like with both FERS and SSDI being worked on (mine only did my FERS app), but if it means the difference between an approval and a denial with the headache of appeals, it's worth it to me.

Feel free to PM me if you'd like to talk about it some more.
__________________
I've been scattered I've been shattered
I've been knocked out of the race
But I'll get better
I feel your light upon my face

~Sting, Lithium Sunset


dragonfly2 is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 07-25-2012, 12:11 AM   #4
Wise Elder
 
Rose76's Avatar
Rose76 has no updates.
 
Member Since: Mar 2011
Location: Desert Southwest, USA
Posts: 7,912 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

5 yr Member
3,439 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

I just got approved for SSDI 3 months after filing. I heartily recommend getting a lawyer. I used one of those nationwide firms that just mainly does SSDI/SSI (in my case: Heard and Smith.) My 2nd recommendation is to do your homework before filling out that big bunch of stuff they send you. Read up in books, on-line, but read up on what to put down and what not to put down. The questions are designed to trip you. You can be honest and should be, but you must be savvy. Legally, the lawyers you hire may not be able to spell out for you everything you need to know.

The best stuff I learned was from on-line sites with videos to watch and audios to listen to. Also, list every thing in the world that is medically wrong with you. Got a touch of arthritis here or there - Well that probably limits your dexterity or mobility, at least now and then. Play it all up. Especially, any doctor who has x-rayed you for anything.

My main disability is chronic depression. But I think having other things wrong helped. There is good advice in the posts above. Get all the suggestions you can. But don't let yourself get scared. Just be determined. Consultative Exams are not necessarily bad. I think the pdoc that the SSA sent me to was very supportive and helpful.

Oh, BTW, my law firm won't make a nickle off handling my claim because I got no back pay. Pretty good deal for me considering as I would still be mulling it over in my head if they didn't get the ball rolling and kind of kick start me into gear.
Rose76 is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 07-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #5
Pandita-in-training
 
Perna's Avatar
Perna has no updates.
 
Member Since: Sep 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 27,222 (SuperPoster!)
10 yr Member
536 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

Nice knowledgeable website with other's having questions about the two:

http://blogs.federaltimes.com/federa...ty-disability/
__________________
"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness." ~John Steinbeck
Perna is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Unread 07-28-2012, 08:10 PM   #6
"I'm scarlet inside"
 
Fharraige's Avatar
Fharraige "'Cause in my head there's a Greyhound station"
 
Member Since: Oct 2010
Location: Where the wild things are :)
Posts: 14,684 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

5 yr Member
5,683 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

Thanks for the replies. The linchpin for the whole Fed thing is the physician
statements. I just got one from my psychologist and will probably do a full mental health and SSDI assessment from the local university's psychology dept. We have to do it this way because the mental health professionals here think I'm well enough to go back to work just because I just got meds and "coping skills." (This is despite the fact that it was at work when I had the first severe panic attack.)

Still trying to remain hopeful about the whole thing.
__________________
"Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet



BP Type 1, GAD, PTSD, BPD
Latuda, Artane, Neurontin, Vistaril and some other stuff

My poetry and prose
My Flickr Photostream
Fharraige is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Hugs from:
Unread 07-29-2012, 08:12 AM   #7
Grand Member
 
dragonfly2's Avatar
dragonfly2 has no updates.
 
Member Since: Mar 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 873
5 yr Member PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fharraige View Post
Thanks for the replies. The linchpin for the whole Fed thing is the physician
statements. I just got one from my psychologist and will probably do a full mental health and SSDI assessment from the local university's psychology dept.
The physician statement is key for both. And, while a statement from a psychologist will be helpful in backing up the physician's report, both OPM and Social Security require a physician (either MD or DO is fine), and it would be most convincing coming from a psychiatrist. Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants won't do either - it has to be a board-certified physician. With OPM, a good statement from your supervisor will help too (they require one) and you also need to assess whether or not you could do your job with accommodations. Who is prescribing your meds?
__________________
I've been scattered I've been shattered
I've been knocked out of the race
But I'll get better
I feel your light upon my face

~Sting, Lithium Sunset


dragonfly2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-29-2012, 12:29 PM   #8
"I'm scarlet inside"
 
Fharraige's Avatar
Fharraige "'Cause in my head there's a Greyhound station"
 
Member Since: Oct 2010
Location: Where the wild things are :)
Posts: 14,684 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

5 yr Member
5,683 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

I was between psych residents when the panic attacks occurred. The supervising psychiatrist for them was rather condescending to me, to say the least. So, I'm with a new psychiatrist that isn't involved with them tomorrow, along with scheduling for the assessments. We'll see how it goes from there.
__________________
"Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet



BP Type 1, GAD, PTSD, BPD
Latuda, Artane, Neurontin, Vistaril and some other stuff

My poetry and prose
My Flickr Photostream
Fharraige is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-29-2012, 12:35 PM   #9
Wise Elder
 
Rose76's Avatar
Rose76 has no updates.
 
Member Since: Mar 2011
Location: Desert Southwest, USA
Posts: 7,912 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

5 yr Member
3,439 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

As said in the post above, the physician is the most important person to get support from. I'll use me as an example. Over at the mental health center, no one was particularly supportive of me going on SSDI. It was my primary care physician (MD) who urged me to apply. One psychologist was even pressuring me to try and go back to work to the point that I refused to continue seeing him.

Well I filed my claim in March (through a law firm) and I got approved in June. I did have a long well-documented history of trying to cope with depression and numerous job failures. That helped. What I believe also helped was the report of the psychiatrist that the SSA sent me to. She was very supportive.

It's funny. I know the Federal Courts use psychologists when they want an assessment of someone's competency to stand trial. For purposes of SSDI, it seems that my interests were better served by MDs.

Getting your supervisor to write a letter to SSA about your difficulty coping could possibly be the single best thing you could do.

If you are only newly on meds, then the SSA might want to see if that makes a difference. Sometimes, it takes multiple job failures before SSA will assess that you can not manage on the job. Also, they will look at how you are managing in other areas of your life.
Rose76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-29-2012, 01:58 PM   #10
"I'm scarlet inside"
 
Fharraige's Avatar
Fharraige "'Cause in my head there's a Greyhound station"
 
Member Since: Oct 2010
Location: Where the wild things are :)
Posts: 14,684 (SuperPoster!)
My Mood:

5 yr Member
5,683 hugs
given
PC PoohBah!
Default Re: Federal Disability Retirement (U.S.)

My MD can't do the statement because the hospital's policy is that all psychological/psychiatric requirements must go through the mental health clinic.

My supervisor has already written his statements. We're all just waiting on the physician's statement.
__________________
"Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." Rilke, Letters To A Young Poet



BP Type 1, GAD, PTSD, BPD
Latuda, Artane, Neurontin, Vistaril and some other stuff

My poetry and prose
My Flickr Photostream
Fharraige is offline   Reply With Quote
"Thanks for this!" says:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® — Copyright © 2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

advertisement

 

The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.
Always consult your doctor or mental health professional before trying anything you read here.

 

HomeAbout UsContact UsPrivacy PolicyTerms of UseDisclaimer
Forums HomeCommunity GuidelinesHelp

Helplines and Lifelines