Congratulations! You’ve finally submitted your application for FERS Disability Retirement.
Well, now you wait for OPM to process your claim. And you may be waiting a long time.
According to my client statistics (which go back to 2012), the average time it takes OPM to process a claim is 7.10 months. However, I’ve seen some claims take 12 months or longer.
Waiting this long for OPM to adjudicate your claim can be extremely frustrating and anxiety-inducing. But what can you do to speed up the processing of your application?
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do that will guarantee that your claim will be processed expeditiously. However, there is something you can (and should) do to ensure that your application is going through the proper procedures.
Contacting OPM for Status Updates
I recommend that you call OPM at 888.767.6738 at least once a month to check the status of your claim. I further recommend that you ask the following questions each time you call:
- What is the status of my claim?
- Is my claim package complete? Are you missing any required documentation?
- Has my claim been assigned to a reviewer?
- Do you have an estimate as to when I will receive a decision?
Alternatively, you may want to contact OPM via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The benefits of email include (a) not having to wait on the phone for several minutes (or hours) to speak with a representative and (b) maintaining a written record of your correspondence.
The main disadvantage, however, is a longer response time (i.e., OPM can take 20+ business days to reply).
Taking the Next Step…
Unfortunately, you can’t control the OPM review process, but you can alleviate some of your anxiety by being proactive. Believe me, the last thing you want is to find out 12 months from now that your application has been misplaced or sent to the wrong department.
So do yourself a favor, and contact OPM today for a status update. You’ll be glad you did!