Congratulations are always in order after a federal employee gets their claim approved for federal disability retirement from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). But what happens next and when do I start receiving my annuity?
The OPM will initiate the payment process and notify the employing agency to retrieve last date of pay information. Upon receipt, they will begin making interim payments to the annuitant. Interim payments are generally about 80% of what they expect the full payments to be. The purpose of these payments is to immediately get some money into the hands of the annuitant while OPM calculates the exact payments and sets up the retirement for the rest of the annuitant’s life.
Once the full payments are calculated, they will replace the interim payments and make up any back pay that is owed to the annuitant. The effective date the payment begins the day following the last time the applicant was paid, either by their agency, or the OWCP.
This process can be lengthy. Once a federal disability retirement application is approved the file is moved into the “post retirement branch” at OPM along with all other non disability retirement applications. OPM is currently backlogged with applications and it may take as little as a few weeks or as long as several months before the calculations are finalized.