OPM retirement claims processing time up, backlog down

The Office of Personnel Management reduced its retirement claims backlog in April, but the agency increased the time it took to process claims.

The total retirement claims backlog in April was 17,489, down from 18,730 in March and significantly lower than one of its highest inventories in recent years of 24,225 in February.

The agency received 8,390 new retirement claims last month and processed 9,532 claims, compared with March when the agency received 7,767 and processed 13,362 claims.

It took OPM an average of 58 days to process claims in April, increasing from an average of 49 days in March and 46 days in April.

The new figures are from OPM’s monthly claims processing progress report available on the OPM website.

Reader comments

Wed, Apr 10, 2019 LE Fl

I had to leave work 3/19/18 due to spinal problems and risk of paralysis. I submitted all info requested by my retirement specialist first week of April, 2018. My agency didn’t return my paperwork to OPM until 11/28/18. Was assigned CSA# on 1/22/19. Failed fitness for duty exam 1/14/19. My agency is now separating me from service 4/19/19, losing my health insurance and SSDI has denied me twice, even after an objective MD asked, “WHY?” and told me I may never stand up straight again. My dxs are too numerous to mention, but surgery after a work related injury in 2012 caused scoliosis among additional problems. I have to obtain more records to ask workman’s comp to reopen my case. In the meantime, I will lose my house, car and pets next month. How anyone survives is beyond me. I sacrificed my health for the federal government and they obviously hope I’ll die first.

Mon, Feb 11, 2019

I retired end of September 2018 and attached a court order to the application. As of February I am still in interim status collecting less than half. Is there a time limit on how long OPM can take to process a pension?

Fri, Jan 18, 2019 JC

I filed for Disability Retirement with my Agency April 2017 and received my paperwork back in a month and was sent to OPM who acknowledged receipt in June 2017. December 2017 I started calling the number I was given which will go straight to voicemail. I called several times the next few months but nobody answered or returned my calls. April 2018 my insurance was cut off w/o notice and I was unable to get COBRA or any other insurance for my family while my prescriptions out of pocket got to be $1,800 a month. June 2018 my Congressman did an inquiry and paperwork found on a desk that was not occupied. Retirement was quickly denied saying info was too old and leaving out my primary care Dr notes. Hired attorney and asked for reconsideration. Haven't heard anything yet. Dec 2018 I called the main OPM number and the female who answered the phone w/o identifying herself rudely told me it was still at review board and said, and I quote, "Suck it up and get in line like everybody else" and hung up the phone. Its been 20 months and never received any paperwork asking for more medical records. Had to stop 1/2 my meds for chronic COPD and Asthma due to the cost. Somebody needs to step in and clean house from the ground up.

Fri, Jan 18, 2019 Penny Otowaliski

My paperwork was checked in August 2018 sent to the next step, which is DC in October 2018. I call once a month to check the status. I have been out of work since November 2017. My place of employment took forever to get the paperwork together for me. As I see it, nothing has improved on the timelines for FERS Disability Claims. People will kicked out of their homes, lose vehicles, have the lights turned off and starve while they die waiting! Whoever runs that show should be ashamed of themselves.

Mon, Dec 17, 2018 stephanie

Been off work since October 17 dues to surgery. I started process February 18 for disability retirement when I knew I couldn’t return to law enforcement due to limitations. Paperwork was received in Bowers June 18 for disability retirement. Still has not been assigned to anyone yet. This time frame OPM is giving...does it include time waiting to be assigned and when fully completed? This is a horrible mess!!

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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