Retirement Policy

Under OPM policy, agencies are to expedite disability retirement applications of their retiring employees who have a life expectancy of one year or less or who have certain serious health conditions. If that applies to you, make sure your agency follows the special process.

Agency retirement counselors are to provide information directly to the disability branch at the time that the retirement application is submitted so that OPM can review the medical documentation before the retirement case is received at OPM. Agencies are to send that information by fax or email using a cover sheet OPM provided that identifies the case as for expedited processing.


The list of qualifying conditions is:

Aortic stenosis which is severe and cannot be corrected

Metastatic and/or inoperable neoplasms

Class IV Cardiac disease with congestive heart failure

Respiratory failure, chronic and progressive

Cor pulmonale with respiratory failure

Emphysema with respiratory failure


Severe cardiomyopathy – Class IV

Aplastic anemia

Uncontrollable hypertension with hypertensive encephalopathy

Cardiac aneurysm not amenable to surgical treatment


Severe chronic hepatic failure

Severe hypoxic brain damage (encephalopathy)


Severe portal hypertension with esophageal varices

AIDS (active – not AIDS related complex or seropositivity)

Scleroderma with severe esophageal involvement

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, rapidly progressive)

Huntington’s disease

End-stage sclerops

End-stage Parkinson’s disease

End-stage renal disease which cannot receive dialysis or transplantation

Quadriplegia with life-threatening complications

This advance notice is designed to allow OPM’s disability branch to review the application and determine if additional information is needed so that there is no delay once the case arrives. The application must still meet all requirements for a disability retirement, including required service and timeliness.