Why Don’t Feds Get Disability Insurance?

Why Don’t Feds Get Disability Insurance?

Have you ever wondered why, as a federal employee, you aren’t protected by short- or long-term disability insurance? After all, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 42 percent of private-sector employees had access to short-term disability insurance plans in 2018, and 34 percent had access to long-term disability insurance plans.
A quarter of state and local government employees had access to short-term benefits, while 38% had long-term benefits. What would happen if you were unable to work for a month or more? What if you had a severe sickness or injury that kept you out of work for an extended period of time—or perhaps permanently?
Federal personnel are protected against both short- and long-term disabling incidents. Sick leave is intended to cover the first, while disability retirement covers the second.

1. Sick leave
You can use it for personal needs, including dental, optical, or medicinal exams, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth, as well as instances in which going to work might endanger the health of others by exposing them to a contagious illness.
Sick leave accrues at a rate of four hours biweekly, for a total of 104 hours each year, or 13 days of paid time off. After ten years of federal service, you’ll be eligible for six months of short-term disability benefits, and after twenty years, you’ll be eligible for a full year.
You may also utilize sick leave for appointments with adoption agencies, court processes, and essential travel throughout the adoption process.
Each year, an employee is entitled to 12 weeks of sick leave to care for a family member with a severe health condition. This includes 13 days of sick leave for regular family care or mourning. Your income and benefits will not be reduced while on sick leave. When your sick leave expires, your employer has the option to provide you with more time off.

2. Disability Retirement
Disability retirement is an option if you are sick or have a long-term disability due to an accident or other injury.
To retain your position in the company, your agency will need to know everything about your medical condition, and the company will have to make every effort to keep you on the payroll.

To qualify for FERS disability payments, employees covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) must first apply for Social Security disability benefits, which the Office of Personnel Management must authorize.
The Social Security disability approval requirements are far more stringent than those for FERS disability approval.
A medical condition expected to endure at least a year or result in death qualifies a person for Social Security disability payments. To get disability benefits, you must first meet the requirements of the Social Security Administration’s Disability Determination Services office in your state.

The Bottom Line
Federal government employees may believe they are ineligible for disability insurance. But this is not the case. It is possible to get disability insurance as your company provides sick two types of health coverage: leave and disability retirement, and you can use them by following the rules as described in the article.

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