588 Management-Initiated Disability Retirement Procedures


Reference Note:

For additional material concerning the subject matter found in 588, refer to:

588.1 General

There are certain limited situations under which an employing office may initiate a disability retirement application on behalf of an employee. OPM will not accept an application filed by an employing office unless the conditions in 588.21 are met. OPM will not act on the application until it receives the appropriate documentation of the separation action.

588.2 Procedures

588.21 Basis for Filing

An employing office may file an application for disability retirement for an employee who has at least 18 months of creditable civilian service when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The employing office has issued a decision to remove the employee;
  2. The employing office concludes, after its review of medical documentation, that the cause for unacceptable performance, attendance, or conduct is disease or injury;
  3. The employee is institutionalized or, based on a review of medical and other information, the employing office concludes that the employee is incapable of making a decision to file an application for disability retirement;
  4. The employee has no personal representative or guardian;
  5. The employee has no immediate family member who is willing to file an application on her or her behalf.
588.22 Notice to Employee

The employing office must inform the employee, in writing, that: (a) a disability retirement application has been submitted to OPM on the employee’s behalf; and (b) the employee may review any medical information and obtain copies of any records at no expense; and (c) the action does not affect the employee’s right to submit a voluntary application for disability retirement or any other retirement benefit to which he or she is entitled under FERS.

588.23 Notice to OPM

When submitting an application for disability retirement to OPM under these procedures, the employing office must provide OPM with copies of the decision to remove the employee, the medical documentation, and any other documents required to show that the cause for removal is due to a medical condition. Following separation, OPM must be provided with a copy of the documentation of the separation.

588.3 Processing by OPM

588.31 Required Documentation

OPM will not act on an application for disability retirement initiated by management until it receives the appropriate documentation of the separation. OPM will notify the former employee when it has received the completed application. OPM will also provide the former employee with an opportunity to submit additional medical documentation.

588.32 Decision

OPM will issue its decision, in writing, to the former employee and to the former employing office through the Retirement Branch, Eagan ASC. The decision will include a statement of findings and conclusions and an explanation of the right to request a reconsideration of OPM’s decision.

588.4 Cancellation of Retirement

OPM will cancel a disability retirement when a final decision of an administrative authority or court reverses the removal action and orders the reinstatement of the employee.

588.5 Employee’s Status Pending OPM’s Decision

The employee will remain on Postal Service rolls pending the final disposition of an adverse action through the appropriate appeal procedures. The employee will not be retained on the rolls pending OPM’s decision on the disability application once all appeal procedures have been exhausted regarding the adverse action.