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Publications & Forms Benefits Administration Letters

Number: 07-104

Subject: New Nationwide FEDMER procedures

Date: October 12, 2007

In an effort to improve disability claims processing and shorten processing times, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding to adopt nationwide cooperative efforts through the Federal Medical Evidence of Record Program (FEDMER).

OPM is responsible for administering the disability benefits program for Federal employees. SSA is responsible for administering the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. Under the Federal Employee's Retirement System (FERS) law, entitlement to Social Security disability benefits affects an individual's eligibility to the OPM-administered disability program. Under FEDMER, both OPM and SSA will receive the same medical records at the time of application. Once a decision is made by either OPM or SSA, they will contact the other with the determination.

FEDMER Process Description

When a FERS employee files an application for disability retirement, provide a copy of Attachment 1 "FEDMER Social Security Disability Eligibility Statement" for completion. The statement asks the employee to provide current SSA status; informs the applicant about the SSA Adult Disability Starter Kit and provides information to streamline the process for filing a SSA disability claim.

If the employee checks blocks 1 or 2 on the form (receiving or have already applied for SSA disability benefits), FEDMER does not apply. The employee only needs to sign the statement and present proof of filing with SSA.

If block 3 is checked (not filed for SSA disability benefits or filed and have been denied), provide the employee a photocopy of the medical evidence submitted in support of the FERS application. The employee will need this second copy of the medical evidence when the SSA disability application is filed.

Include a copy of the signed FEDMER Eligibility Statement with the FERS disability package and include a second copy with the medical evidence to be submitted to SSA.

Attachment 1: FEDMER Social Security Disability Eligibility Statement

Kathleen M. McGettigan
Deputy Associate Director
Center for Retirement and Insurance
Services Program

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