By Reg Jones
Q. I am 50 years old. I did six years active duty which I have not paid back to get credit, and I have 24 years civil service. I had a heart attack two years ago. I have a stint and defibrillator, but I am able to work. There is no way my boss would give me a positive disability letter. I have a little different outlook on life now. I’d like to travel, etc. Luckily, I have a few hundred thousand in my Thrift Savings Plan. What are my retirement options, if any, right now? I know I have no leave and need to somehow buy back my military time. Is it even possible to retire? If I could even get disability, would buying back my military time add to my retirement? Read the rest of this entry »
March 6th, 2014 | Disability retirement
Q. I am a CSRS covered Title 32 Technician with 30 years’ service. I am being involuntarily separated militarily due to failure to pass the PT test. Due to the loss of my military status in the National Guard, I will also lose my technician position. I am 53 years old. Can I retire under CSRS and collect my retirement annuity immediately (with a penalty) or do I have to wait? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. Will my regular FERS retirement, when it exceeds FERS disability, be converted from disability to retirement? Since I am on FERS disability, my tenure continues to run. How will the supplemental SS portion of my FERS retirement be affected by the SSDI payment? SSDI does not change until I recover or reach 65. Read the rest of this entry »
Q. I was a federal worker covered by CSRS from 1975 to 1989. On leaving, I left my deposits there in the hope I would return. I did not, but I joined the reserves and worked the private sector.
In 2008, I was discharged from the military. I was 53 when discharged. I am considered unemployable by the VA and also receive Social Security Disability benefits. There was a big hole in my Social Security deposit sheet the years I worked for the federal government and therefore receive a reduced SS disability benefit.
Since I am considered disabled currently, am I eligible for an offset or do I have to wait till I am 62? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. I’m 53 and on disability retirement under FERS. Upon reaching Social Security recipient age, will my FERS disability payment end so I’ll only receive my regular Social Security payment? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. I am 62 and have 7 years of service under FERS. My disabilities have worsened, and I must retire fairly soon. I have some other income from a state pension that will help while I apply for SSDI, but I need to know when would be the best time to retire. I do not believe my retirement will amount to more than enough to cover my life and health insurance with a little to spare according to a recent retirement estimate I received from HR. So given that, is there a particular day of the month, being paid bi-weekly, when I should set for my retirement date? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. I am considering filing for VA disability for a military injury that occurred in a parachute jump during airborne training. This was 22 years ago. I did have a severely broken ankle requiring surgery. Now I have arthritis in that ankle as well as severe knee degenerative joint disease that may require knee replacement in the same leg.
I have some concerns:
1. I never retired from active duty. I will receive a reserve retirement at age 60, however. I never applied for military disability retirement (was doing OK at that time).
2. I joined the federal service and “bought back” my military years for FERS credit (19 years). Did over 5 yrs in Veterans Affairs, so I became eligible for a deferred FERS retirement that I will elect to take at 60. Evidently, I can collect both reserve retirement and FERS without any reduction in either (I verified this).
3. If I apply for VA disability benefits (I am 50), and they are granted, will any reduction occur to either military or FERS retirement benefits? Would I lose either?
4. How does having an injury during “hazardous duty” affect me personally in terms of benefits? Read the rest of this entry »
Q. I’m a 37 year old federal law enforcement agent Series 1811. I have a medical condition that has affected my vision and likely cannot be corrected to the standards required by my agency without lengthy, involved treatment. Even though my eyesight has never affected my job, I qualify expert with my weapon and they are sending me to firearms instructor training, even as they say my eyesight is horrible. If in fact, the doctors tell me that I can’t correct my eyesight enough, will my agency force me into medical retirement? Can they give me another job? Do they have to keep paying me at my current pay rate? I’m a GS-12 with 15+ years combined federal service and active military time (which I have bought back).
February 26th, 2014 | Disability retirement
Q. My husband has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. His doctors believe he was affected at least three years prior to retirement. Several of his colleagues knew something was wrong. They informed me he was forced to retire. His supervisor forced his retirement. His doctor knows he should have retired based on disability. How can I proceed?
Q. I have 25 years of service with the Postal Service. I am extremely ill and have been told by my doctor that I would need to consider disability retirement. My base pay is $57,000 per year. Could you please tell me what my disability retirement will be?
Q. My agency is offering Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay. I have been approved for both. However, I have become disabled (chemo damaged my nerves, resulting in severe peripheral neuropathy). I thought I could leave via the early-out option for much needed relief and rest, then file for my federal disability.
My human resources department advised that, per the Office of Personnel Management, if I take the VERA, I cannot file for disability later, e.g. within one year.
I consulted with a lawyer, who specializes in federal disability retirement, and he advised that he has many clients who took the VERA option and later filed for disability within the one year.
Q. I applied and was just approved for disability retirement, and I am waiting for them to determine my final benefits. I have received a check for back pay for $4,677.44 for six months from the day I retired. I understand they take 100 percent of Social Security Disability Insurance out the first year, but I did not receive SSDI payments during that period of back pay. I did not receive my first SSDI payment until Feb. 11. I have been off work due to illness since March 2013 and retired July 2013. I read that back pay starts from the last payday and was told by a benefits counselor that it starts from the day you retire. What is the correct answer?
Q. My father was recently told he can no longer work. He is 62. The damage and arthritis in his hands is getting worse and he needs to file for workers’ compensation. The doctor also recommended early retirement. Can he file both? Should he do one or the other first to maximize his benefits since this was not anticipated?
Q. I’m 52, and I’ve been on FERS disability retirement since I was 47. My minimum retirement age is 56. Is it true that they’ll stop withholding federal income taxes on my pension when I reach my MRA? Is it also true that I’ll be switched to regular retirement when I reach my MRA, and not when I reach 62?
Q. If a person qualifies for a buyout, does the position have to qualify for it?
Q. I have been receiving a FERS disability retirement annuity since November 2007. I am 60 years old. What will happen when I am 62 years old? Will I be able to draw my retirement without a penalty?
Q. I am completely out of annual leave and sick leave and have recently received a cancer diagnosis. My local human resources department has informed me of two options: voluntary leave transfer program and advance leave request. However, I don’t want to have to worry about losing my job, etc., and may not feel good enough to come back to my old job. What are my options? Are there any disability benefits available to me? What is early retirement for someone like me who is only 48 years old and has eight years of service with the Veterans Affairs Department?
Q. I am receiving disability benefits. I am 49 years old and a former Customs and Border Protection officer. I was basically forced to retire when I became injured, and the agency informed me I was not suitable to be an officer, and they offered me a secretarial job. The agency asserted that I could no longer fulfill my job as a CBP officer notating the job description for 6(c) coverage. I am wondering if I should be entitled to 6(c) retirement under disability or regular retirement?
Before 6(c) was authorized, I was already performing the same duties just without the title. Furthermore, the agency even provided me with a description of a CBP 6(c) officer when they rejected any other law enforcement position for me.
Additionally, if I am found medically recuperated from my injury, does CBP have an obligation to place me back as an officer or supervisor?
Isn’t there a minimum age? I retired at age 44 with 19 years of federal service. I have been on disability for five years. Would they hire me again at age 49 or 50 in a 6(c) law enforcement position? If not, why does the Office of Personnel Management continue to send periodic medical evaluations?
Q. I retired Oct. 2, 2007, on CSRS Offset at age 56 with 31 years in. From 1977 to 1991, no Social Security insurance was taken out of my pay. I left the Postal Service in 1991. When I came back in 1994, I was placed in CSRS Offset. After retiring in 2007, I went to work for Home Depot at age 61. I went on SSI disability. At age 62 in October, SSI sent me a letter stating my payment is reduced because of offset. Is this correct? Even though I’m on SSI disability?
Q. I retired under the FERS disability provisions 16 years ago. I want to find out what portion of my monthly retirement benefit represents the special retirement supplement portion. At the time of my retirement, I had 16 years of creditable service. I am receiving about $1,900 per month, and I believe my calculation at age 62 would be times 1.1 percent. I will not be eligible for Social Security until age 62 and one month. Will I lose the supplement for one month?