By Reg Jones
Q. I have been receiving disability under FERS (as well as Social Security) for 17 years. I am 61. I understand that, at age 62, my FERS disability benefits will be converted to a retirement annuity as though I had been working the entire time. I have never been married, but I intend to get married in the near future. Will I be able to elect survivor benefits for my spouse? What about coverage under my health insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield)? Does it matter whether I get married before my 62nd birthday or not?
Q. I am a rehired CSRS annuitant paying both CSRS and the Office of Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities (Social Security). What is the percentage withheld for each? And what does this do for me? Will my annuity be reduced when I turn 62? I can’t collect Social Security, can I?
Q. I am on disability retirement from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I have 13 years of service and fall in the MRA bracket born in 1953-1964. When will my annuity be recalculated? Will my annuity be more than what I am receiving on disability?
Q. I retired from the military after 22 years of active duty and receive a VA pension and 10 percent disability pension. Since then, I have been in the federal government for 10 years, and I hope to retire at 20 years and 62 years old. What will my retirement look like?
Q. I’m a 55-year-old CSRS employee filing for disability retirement from the USPS. I have eight years military but have redeposited only half of what is required.
Will I be able to continue making deposits while OPM reviews my case? And if not, will I get my initial deposit back in a lump sum?
Q. I am trying to understand the FERS disability retirement. My wife has 34 years of federal service but has not reached her MRA. I understand the high-3 and 60 percent the first year and then the 40 percent rule after 12 months and how it affects Social Security. If she applies now for FERS disability retirement and is approved, can she then go to Social Security and apply for her full disability entitlement? Also, if she receives her Social Security 100 percent disability entitlement within 12 months, how will her FERS retirement formulate? Will she still get 40 percent of her high-3 pay and 100 percent from Social Security?
Q. I retired on disability in 1981. I have 30 years of Social Security, 27 substantial. I understand the windfall elimination provision does not apply to me, as I retired on disability before this law took effect, in 1984.
Q. I’m 52½ years old. I came into the civil service as an air reserve technician in April 2007. I bought back 10 years of active-duty service, which brings me to 16 years creditable service. In 2008, I had a botched surgery and have also developed a foot problem, both no fault of my own. My case is being reviewed by a medical evaluation board. If I lose my dual status, under these circumstances, can I remain in my job as civil servant, or will I be offered a civil service position to remain in the civil service until I retire in 2020? Title 10 USC 10218 says I would. USAFR Instruction 136-114 says I would.
However, I have heard that I would only be considered for a position should one exist at my current assigned base and under my current wage grade (WG-11). If none exists, I would be medically retired and qualify only for an annuity, based on my creditable service of 16 years. I think it’s 25 percent of my annual salary at 16 years. I do not think I would qualify to draw my Social Security. However, I haven’t been able to find any directives stating these rules within the laws or regulations governing air reserve technicians. Can you advise?
Q. I have been an 1811 status (federal agent) federal employee for 16 years. I have been on leave without pay and receiving workers’ compensation for the past year due to an on-the-job injury.
I have received little if any guidance from my agency’s HR, as the representatives admit they have little or no experience with workers’ comp.
What should I do to maintain the best possible benefits for me and my family if this becomes a long-term/permanent situation and I am not able to return to work? And if I can return to work, how would the time on workers’ comp affect my retirement benefits etc.?
What survivor benefits will my spouse have if I die while on workers’ comp?
Q. I receive a FERS annuity. If I receive Social Security disability, I understand I lose 60 percent of that pay until I’m 62. Will FERS go back however many months and make me pay back the difference for those months of retroactive pay from Social Security? In other words, if I collect six months of retroactive pay from Social Security do I owe FERS 60 percent of my annuity that I received for those six months?
Q. I am 57 and was a civilian firefighter for the Navy in FERS with 13 years of service. I was medically retired in 2001 and have been receiving a disability annuity since.
I remember being told or having read that when I turn 62, my disability annuity will revert to a standard retirement, reducing my pension.
A couple of years after I left the federal system, I found part-time work to help add to my income, staying well under the 80 percent requirement, but over the last two to three years, my medical issues have worsened, and I am now unable to work at all.
If my annuity changes from disability retirement to standard retirement, will it affect my medical coverage or the cost of my medical coverage, and is it possible to have my disability considered permanent to avoid the change in retirement designations?
Q. In 2008, CBP was legally given 6C law enforcement. I retired in 2007 with 19 years of law enforcement experience working for Customs and Border Protection. I was basically forced to retire since the agency informed me that I could no longer perform the essential elements of the job, supervisory CBP officer. They provided me with the job description of a CBP officer — the job description used today providing 6C coverage to all new recruits. I am wondering if I am entitled to 6C retirement coverage since I met and perform the 6C law enforcement duties before my separation. If not, then why does OPM continue to send me to periodic examinations? Is CBP going to hire me if I am no longer found disabled even though I can no longer meet the age requirement? I am almost 50.
Furthermore, if I recuperate from my initial injury, am I entitled to my job? Even if it is 6C now and I retired before it was granted?
Q. I was injured in September 2010 and was out of work until I retired on disability in March 2011. I exhausted my annual and sick leave, since my initial workers’ compensation claim was denied.
After numerous appeals, my workers’ compensation claim was approved in October 2011. I began receiving interim retirement payments in September 2011 but have yet to receive payment from OPM for annual and sick leave I would have accumulated during that period. I have contacted DFAS and OPM, along with filing two congressionals regarding this issue, but no resolution.
Shouldn’t I be paid for the time I would have been on workers’ compensation? Shouldn’t OPM pay the lump sum after receiving notification that my workers’ compensation claim was approved? I have contacted OPM, and it seems to lack adequate professionals to decipher this mess.
Q. I was injured on the job while working for the federal government and spent 26 years as an annuitant under the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. Recently, I was terminated from OWCP as being recovered from my work-related injury and retired under CSRS as a disability retiree. When I received my first retirement check, I noticed that federal taxes had been deducted. Is this correct? I had thought that disability retirement annuities were not taxable. Will these tax deductions end at some time in the future, perhaps at my minimum retirement age? I will be 68 years old in August.
Q. I am eligible to retire and want to do so, but I also have a pending workers’ compensation case. My percentage for disability has been determined, and I am waiting for further calculation. If I retire before the calculation and payout is finished, will it all be lost? Will my workers’ comp case be jeopardized?
Q. I’ve retired on disability and am 33 years old. I receive a measly $400 per month. I haven’t received my retirement plaque, let alone more pay. I receive $1,300 in Social Security. When I was working, I made over $53,000 per year. Where can I find a retirement lawyer for the federal government and why haven’t they sent me my plaque? I’ve been retired since 2011. I’ve been in appeal process with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs for my on-the-job injury.
Q. I am a 52-year-old employee with 24 years of service. Will I still receive my full retirement if I took the Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay, or would it be best to take the disability I am planning to take later this year? I understand that I can’t take both.
Q. I have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance for a total disability since 2008. From 1981 to 1989, I was a CSRS offset employee in the USPS. When I tried to apply for my CSRS pension, I was informed by letter that I had to wait until I reached age 62, which is unlikely, or withdraw the small amount I contributed as a lump sum. Is it not possible to apply for and receive my CSRS pension when completely disabled? I have read CSRS Pamphlet No. 7 and searched the website Q&A, and I am very confused.
Q. My father is receiving both a disability benefit and a monthly federal pension from CSRS. His wife is in a nursing home and has been on Medicaid since June 2011. Her Social Security is paid directly to the nursing home. She is given only a small amount and the nursing home keeps the remainder.
If my father should pass before her, will the CSRS survivor annuity amount go directly to the nursing home, as well?
February 28th, 2012 | Disability retirement
Q: I have worked in government since April 15, 1991, and in December of that year had an on-the-job accident. I have endured four surgeries since then and the doctors want me to have a fifth. It’s now up to OWCP on the direction to go. I have been on light duty for more than a year, and my employers want to resolve this, including getting me to volunteer to retire, medical retire or even do a fit for duty. I have four more years before I am 57,and I prefer to stick it out, but if I choose to retire, what are my options?
A: Because of your age and service, you would only be eligible for involuntary retirement if your agency separated you, or disability retirement if OPM found you qualified for it.
Tags: Early retirement