Employees who become disabled during the course of their federal career may be entitled to a disability annuity. First, under CSRS/CSRS Offset, they must have completed at least five years of federal civilian service; under FERS, only 18 months. Second, while employed in a position covered by either CSRS/CSRS Offset or FERS, they must have become disabled for “useful and efficient service” in both their current position and any other vacant position at the same grade or pay level for which qualified.

Before they can be considered eligible for a disability retirement benefit, their employing agency must determine that they are not qualified for reassignment to any other vacant position within the agency and commuting area at the same grade or pay level of the position they currently occupy.