What Federal Employees Are Entitled to Severance Pay?

Federal Employee

If you suddenly lose your job, severance pay can make a significant difference in your immediate financial future. But not all jobs offer severance, and that includes many federal government jobs. So, how do you know if you are entitled to severance pay as a federal employee?

The good news is there are clear guidelines on which federal employees can receive severance pay. The bad news is the federal government doesn’t always follow its own policies, which can leave eligible employees in the lurch.

Which Federal Workers Can Receive Severance Pay?

According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), both full-time and part-time federal employees could be eligible for severance pay. They must meet certain conditions to qualify for that severance pay. Those conditions are:

  • The employee served under a qualifying appointment.
  • The employee had a regularly scheduled tour of duty.
  • The employee had at least 12 continuous months of service.
  • The employee lost their job for reasons other than their job performance or conduct.

These conditions all seem straightforward at first, but there are nuances that can impact your eligibility for severance pay.

What Is a “Qualifying Appointment?”

There are many different kinds and classifications of federal employees, and not all of them are eligible for severance pay. According to the OPM, workers with the following jobs qualify for severance pay:

  • Time-limited appointments, including multiple time-limited appointments by the same agency without any breaks in service, to full-time positions that take effect within three calendar days after a qualifying appointment ends
  • Overseas limited appointments without time limitations
  • Career appointments in the Senior Executive Service
  • Status quo appointments (including those that become indefinite when the worker is reassigned, promoted, or demoted)
  • Excepted appointments without time limitations (except appoints under Schedule C or an equivalent job created for similar reasons)
  • Career-conditional or career competitive service appointments or an equivalent appointment in the excepted service
  • Time-limited appointments in the Foreign Service, when the employee’s assignment was made under a statutory authority that had entitlement to reemployment in the same agency, but the right of reemployment expired

That’s a lot to parse, and it’s OK if you’re a little confused by the terminology. Our attorneys can explain everything to you in clear, concise terms and explain your legal options to you.

How Much Severance Pay Do Federal Employees Receive?

If you qualify for severance pay, the government uses the following formula to determine how much you receive:

  • One week of pay at your position’s base rate for each of your first ten years of full, creditable service
  • Two weeks of pay at your position’s base rate for each full year of creditable service after the first ten years
  • Twenty-five percent of the applicable amount for each full three months of creditable service after your final, full year at your position

Depending on how long you have held your job, you could receive a large amount of severance pay. Our federal employee rights attorneys can review your situation and provide an estimate of how much severance pay you should receive, assuming you qualify.

Need Your Federal Severance Pay? Let Us Help

The Vaughn Law Firm understands how difficult it can be to deal with the federal government’s departments and bureaucracy. Let us use our years of experience and know-how to determine whether you’re eligible for severance and to pursue your severance pay if you qualify. Get a free consultation today by calling 877-615-9495 or visiting our contact page.