By Reg Jones
Q. I am a FERS disability retiree under retirement age. I have been receiving disability since 2001. I also started receiving Social Security disability. I am confused on the percentage the Office of Personnel Management takes away from me. I do not have any deductions for OPM.
Q. I worked for the Postal Service for 30 years. Arthritis developed in my thumb and was fixed by fusing my middle joint. I still work full time, but there are still things I can’t do with my thumb, such as grabbing thick stuff like books. Can I file for partial disability?
Q. Can a worker apply for disability retirement after involuntary removal? I was in a modified duty position but could not keep up and was removed for poor performance. The contention is that performance and attendance were low because of the injury that made them modify the job. Am I still eligible for disability retirement?
Q. I have put in for retirement effective Sept. 30. I have been unable to work since March and will follow with a disability retirement request.
I am a postmaster with 27 years of service and 56 years old.
So, as of now, I will be taking a 35 percent reduction and not getting the special retirement supplement. Today, I understand an early-out is being offered. The offers will be sent out starting Sept. 16. Since mine is already in place, will I get the offer, or do I withdraw my current request and reapply?
Q. I am 50 years old and was just approved for retirement on disability. I have deep vein thrombosis and a history of phlebitis. I have had a pulmonary embolism. Mentally, I am not ready to retire, but my conditions and body tell me otherwise. If I decide I want to continue working, can I reapply later? What would happen?
Q. Can you make changes to any options on life insurance when you leave and are approved on FERS disability? I will be 62 in a year and a half. Can you increase or decrease amounts?
Q. I am 58 years old, with 24 years with Veterans Affairs Health Care System in the Midwest at GS-6. I have multiple health conditions including several brain surgeries and don’t understand all the nuances with retirement. I have been told I’m eligible to retire in December 2014 with full benefits but would like to continue working until I’m at least 62 years old. I understand I can keep my Federal Employees Health Benefits insurance and life insurance after retirement. I have heard rumors of Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay or buyout at $25,000. I think I have several options of separating: retirement in 2014, disability, accept early buyout if offered, early retirement (am I eligible?).
I have a loan against my Thrift Savings Plan and understand it’ll have to be paid in full before I can retire. Would I be offered buyout with outstanding TSP loan? Or could I take buyout and pay off the TSP loan? What is the penalty for early retirement? If I take disability, can I still carry FEHB and life insurance? Is my grade eligible for the $25,000 buyout? Would this be as one lump sum? Taxed? Is a buyout offered for a specific position nationally or is it up to each department and local facility?
Q. I’m a dual-status federal/air technician in the Air National Guard. I’m 52 with 27 years of federal service and a minimum retirement age of 56. I failed my physical fitness test requirement due to a knee injury. I’m fully capable of doing my federal job during the week, just not able to pass the military physical fitness requirements. I was told that due to my age and years in federal service (human resources called in the 75 rule), I will not be able to file for disability claim. What are my options?
Q. I retired with federal disability in 2002. I had 18 years of FERS service. I was denied for Social Security disability. When my benefit is recomputed at age 62, will the new amount be greater or lesser?
Q. I am 59 years old. I receive a CSRS disability annuity from service with the Postal Service. When I turn 62, I will also qualify for a Social Security annuity. Will I still receive my CSRS disability annuity at that point? Will I have the option of postponing taking my Social Security?
Q. I retired on CSRS disability from the Postal Service in 1989. I had already worked and paid in all my quarters to draw my Social Security before I started working for the federal government. Will or can my Social Security check be offset by the Offset Law that was passed in 1986? I have been told it would not be.
Q. My brother retired under FERS disability because he was in need of a kidney and liver transplant. He has since received both organs and is now able to work again. Can he return to work for the federal government again? If so, what benefits will he have to give up?
Q. I will turn age 62 on Aug. 29. I have 4½ years on my FERS disability with 24½ years of service. Will FERS automatically recompute this, or do I have to notify them of my pending birthday? Also, since my birthday is on the 29th day of the month, I read that FERS would retire me out not on my birthday but on the day before I turn age 62, which would be Aug. 28?
I know how to figure all of this according to my high-3 year earnings. However, the part that I cannot compute on my own is what my salary would be at time of retirement since I would be retired out due to disability at age 62 as if I never left federal service.
Q. Is there an advantage to taking a disability retirement vs. a regular voluntary retirement? I am a 60-year-old Postal Service employee under CSRS with 38 years of service. My doctor agrees that I can no longer perform my job and will back me if I go for disability, but is it better financially one way or the other?
Q. I am eligible to retire from the Postal Service under CSRS with 37 years of service at age 57. My husband retired on disability from the Postal Service and took out the survivor annuity for me. When I retire and start receiving an annuity, if my husband should die, will I also receive the survivor benefit from my husband and my own retirement check?
Q. I am under CSRS and 53 years and 10 months old. My full voluntary retirement age is 55 (I would have 33 years in). I’m considering applying for disability retirement but want to be sure I understand all of the ramifications. These are the things I think I understand to be true. Please correct me if I’m wrong:
* A disability annuity would be calculated as if I were to take an early-out, but the age reduction wouldn’t apply.
* Disability eligibility must be “recertified” annually until age 60 is reached.
* On CSRS, a disability retirement doesn’t convert to a regular retirement at 62 like it does on FERS. It just becomes a permanent disability.
If I’m on disability and at an annual re-examination (prior to age 60) and I’m determined to no longer be disabled ,can I just apply/transition into my regular retirement if I’ve reached 55? If so, what would the effective date of my regular retirement be? Is it the date I come off of disability, or does it revert back to the date that I went on disability?
If my condition has improved and I can no longer be certified as disabled, is my employer required to allow me to return to work?
Q. My ex-husband took a CSRS disability retirement two years ago after 33 years and 10 months of service. He will be 55 years old in December. Does his disability retirement automatically convert to regular retirement on his birthday?
Q. I retired in January 2000 as a DK 0200/GS4-7 on disability. I am trying to find out what the current salary would be so I can figure exactly what I can make per year at a job now?
Q. I retired with a disability CSRS retirement at age 52 with 33.3 years of service. I was on workers’ compensation for a bit, switched to a disability retirement and went back to school and started a new career. At age 56, I became earnings restored and was sent paperwork to apply for an immediate retirement. I did and my gross monthly annuity was reduced by $150 per month. The only answer I can get from the Office of Personnel Management is that they are calculated differently. Am I being penalized for retiring early on disability? Should it be calculated with 33.3 years at age 55?
Q. As a Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controller, if I am medically retired with 18 (good) years but did not get to the required 20, when I reach age 62, will my 18 years be paid at 1.7 percent and not 1 percent?