5 CFR 831.1204 - Filing disability retirement applications: General.
(a) Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, an application for disability retirement is timely only if it is filed with the employing agency before the employee or Member separates from service, or with the former employing agency or OPM within 1 year thereafter.
(b) An application for disability retirement that is filed with OPM, an employing agency or former employing agency by personal delivery is considered filed on the date on which OPM, the employing agency or former employing agency receives it. The date of filing by facsimile is the date of the facsimile. The date of filing by mail is determined by the postmark date; if no legible postmark date appears on the mailing, the application is presumed to have been mailed 5 days before its receipt, excluding days on which OPM, the employing agency or former employing agency, as appropriate, is closed for business. The date of filing by commercial overnight delivery is the date the application is given to the overnight delivery service.
(c) An application for disability retirement that is filed with OPM or the applicant's former employing agency within 1 year after the employee's separation, and that is incompletely executed or submitted in a letter or other form not prescribed by OPM, is deemed timely filed. OPM will not adjudicate the application or make payment until the application is filed on a form prescribed by OPM.
(d) OPM may waive the 1-year time limit if the employee or Member is mentally incompetent on the date of separation or within 1 year thereafter, in which case the individual or his or her representative must file the application with the former employing agency or OPM within 1 year after the date the individual regains competency or a court appoints a fiduciary, whichever is earlier.
(e) An agency may consider the existence of a pending disability retirement application when deciding whether and when to take other personnel actions. An employee's filing for disability retirement does not require the agency to delay any appropriate personnel action.