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Retirement Reaches OPM for Decision

Posted Feb 13 2011 5:09pm

We didn’t check the mail yesterday.  TJ went out for something this afternoon so we asked him to bring back the mail.  There was something for me from the Office of Personnel Management Retirement Operations Center in Boyers, Penn.

“We received your Federal Employees Retirement System application for disability retirement on 02/07/11.  Your application will be forwarded to the Disability Group in Washington, DC , so we can decide whether you are eligible for retirement based on disability.”

OK, let’s see.  The request went from our Personnel office in Bethesda, Maryland to Boyers, PA — near Youngstown, Ohio — about 268 miles from Bethesda so they could send it back to Washington, DC, which is 8 miles from the front door at NIH , but 215 miles from Boyers.  So, my application had to travel 483 miles to make a 8 mile trip.

So, if you’re looking for a way to cut spending…

Anyhoo…

Information on how long from this point to actual retirement varies according to which website you look at.  This one seems to make the most sense.

Your claim number will begin with the letters CSA ( Civil Service Annuity). This number is very important because you will need to refer to it anytime you call or write OPM about your claim. Note: If you are retiring on disability, the fact that OPM sends you a CSA number does not mean that you have been found eligible for disability retirement.  The Retirement Operations Center will review your application package and assemble them into a retirement file. If your entitlement to annuity is clear, OPM will authorize recurring interim annuity payments to provide you with an income until your claim is completed. If necessary, OPM will request additional information to develop any incomplete service history or insurance documentation that was not provided by your agency which may be needed to process your claim.
Interim annuity payments are usually between 85% and 95% of your regular monthly payment after deductions – such as for health insurance. The OPM goal is to authorize the Department of the Treasury to make payment within 5 work days after receiving your retirement records. The time frame within which you can expect to receive your first interim payment can vary from about 5 days to 2 to 3 weeks. Once interim payments are authorized, they continue until final adjudication of your application for retirement is complete. After the Retirement Operations Center completes initial actions your file is forwarded to a claims adjudication office. The benefits specialist assigned to your case will determine the amount of your monthly annuity benefit and will authorize payment of your regular annuity benefit. The processing time to complete the final adjudication of claims will vary according to whether the retirement package submitted is fully documented and accurate. OPM will send you an Annuity Statement and other informational material concerning your retirement benefits when your regular annuity payments are authorized.

Now, once my case is actually assigned to an OPM Disability Specialist, it can take 2 to 6 months for them to make a decision.  Frankly, I don’t see any controversy here.  Parkinson’s disease is progressive, irreversible and will get worse.

At any rate, I’m guessing mid-May to August as being the time-frame here.  I mean, when a package has to travel almost 500 miles to go 8 miles…

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