What's the difference between permanent disability and disability retirement benefits?

What is the difference between permanent disability and disability retirement benefits?


Disability retirement benefits is a phrase used in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). These federal disability retirement benefits are available to those who are unable to work for one year or more. A federal employee does not have to be totally disabled to receive this benefit; however, they must be unable to continue in their current federal employment and the agency that they work for must be unable to accommodate the employee’s disability. 

A permanent disability is a mental or physical illness or a condition that affects a major life function over the long term. It is a term used in the workers' compensation field to describe any lasting impairment that remains after a worker has treated and allowed time to recover (reached maximum medical improvement). Learn more about workers' comp and permanent disability.

The Social Security disability field does not usually use the term "permanently disabled." To qualify for disability, your impairment must last one year or more (or be expected to last that long). If Social Security expects your impairment to be permanent, you would be labeled "medical improvement not expected" (MINE). Learn more about eligibility for Social Security disability or SSI.

Talk to a Lawyer

Start here to find lawyers near you.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Connect with local attorneys
This space intentionally set to be hidden.