By Reg Jones
May 21st, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I am 58 and have 23 years of service with the IRS. Two items I have yet to see specifically addressed on the special retirement supplement are: Will my FERS retirement benefits be reduced or lower in any way if I draw the SRS? Also, the amount of the SRS is fixed on the day it is first calculated and isn’t increased by cost-of-living adjustments. Is the non-SRS portion of a FERS employee’s retirement pay still subject to cost-of-living adjustments when the employee is drawing the SRS?
May 15th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. In 2004, I resigned as a GS-0132 with 17 years of federal service. In 2009, I started drawing Social Security disability.
I am 57. I did not withdraw my retirement when I separated. Can I draw my FERS retirement early based on my Social Security disability, or will I have to wait until I am 62 to begin drawing it?
May 15th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I am a 67-year-old military retiree. I retired in 1988 with 21 years of active-duty service. I draw a 40 percent VA disability, although I have three more claims, which may increase my percentage. I am also employed by the FAA as an FG-13, step 2 with five years of service. I am considering buying back my 21 years of active-duty service using a payment plan.
Because of using a payment plan, I won’t have the 21 years bought back until approximately one year before my planned retirement from the FAA.
1) Will I continue to draw my military retirement pay while making payments until I retire from the FAA, at which time I would forfeit my military retirement pay and draw my FERS retirement?
2) Once I’ve bought back my military time and I retire from the FAA under FERS, will my VA disability be affected?
May 14th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. The requirements for Social Security disability are much higher than for FERS disability retirement, so what happens to FERS if you are approved by OPM but denied by the Social Security Administration? Can you still receive your FERS disability retirement? Must you continue to reapply with SSA regularly? I have 15 years in FERS and am only 42.
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 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. Having retired in 1995 with 20 years of active-duty service in the Air Force with a 40 percent VA work-connected disability, I’m a FERS employee as of April 2000, and I intend to retire in January 2018. I’m considering buying back my military time; once my deposit has been paid in full, and I retire from FERS with a combined 37 years of creditable service, will I keep my monthly VA amount? Lastly, while I’d be forgoing my AF pension, will other privileges remain intact?
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. 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?
Q. I’m a 100 percent disabled veteran, effective April 2008, with war-incurred injuries.
In 2010, I applied for disability retirement while working for the Postal Service with 14 years of service and did not buy back my military time.
The Office of Personnel Management calculated my high-3 on my postal salary alone. Should they not have calculated my Veterans Affairs Department compensation income from 2008, since it was a war-incurred injury that led me to retire? Is there a statue that protects vets who have war-incurred injuries? And does OPM allow special compensation for this matter?
Q. I am a veteran of the armed forces and a civilian federal firefighter of Hawaii and have about 13 years government time under FERS.
While on duty in 2010, we were in route in the fire engine and an oncoming vehicle lost control and collided with the fire engine, causing substantial injuries to myself and the crew. The majority of the kinetic energy was absorbed by me because the point of impact was where I was seated.
I sustained injuries to my lumbar area in my lower back and injuries to my left limb, for which I’ve undergone a major back surgery, countless doctors’ visits and therapies, etc. I am still recovering from the injuries and presently on modified light duty at four hours a day, five days a week. I was on total disability for about 2 years and noticed that my retirement investment into my Thrift Savings Plan was at a freeze or standstill, where an injured employee could not invest into their TSP while on leave without pay. I also noticed that while on total disability, an injured employee goes into LWOP status, which human resources said affects your within-grade increases to where you are not entitled to move up in step increases.
Is there a new law that helps with retirement benefits for workers hurt on the job? After intensive research, I stumbled across an article by Stephen Barr dated Oct. 10, 2003, informing that President Bush signed legislation that will help make up any shortfall in retirement benefits for federal employees who are disabled or injured while on the job. It mentions the new law will change the way a federal employee’s benefits are calculated during a disability by increasing the pension benefit provided under FERS to cover any shortfall.
Is there also any new law or standard act that helps with entitlements for step increases for workers hurt on the job? Ever since I was injured on the job in 2010, and because of the injuries I sustained I was on total disability in LWOP status not by choice, the opportunity to move up in step increase passed me over twice. As co-workers who were hired the same day as me moved up in step increase, I was denied. Can you advise?
Q. I retired from CSRS on disability. I have my 40 quarters. My wife is retired from Social Security. Can I draw from her account at age 62?
Q. I retired in 2006 under CSRS as an air traffic controller. I had 33 years of government service between the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration. I started receiving Social Security disability payments this month. I receive a periodic statement from the Social Security Administration stating what my benefits are and how much I would receive each month. The statement showed $1,200 a month. I receive $705 a month instead. I’ve earned enough credits working prior to and after my CSRS career. Why am I penalized when I have earned both benefits in my opinion?
March 27th, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I was an air traffic controller. My Federal Aviation Administration hire date was Sept. 30, 1990. I was terminated March 8 — 261 days from being eligible for retirement because I lost my medical. My 50th birthday is Nov. 24. I have over 22 years of “good time” and five years of military time, which I bought back, for a total of 27 years of government service. The FAA says I can file for a disability retirement, but otherwise I am entitled to nothing. Can this be right? Even if I get the disability retirement, it will be less than what I would have received at age 50.
March 22nd, 2013 | Uncategorized
Q. I was injured in a severe motor vehicle accident and unable (because of doctor’s orders) to return to work. The agency sent me a letter stating that I should return to work and violate the restrictions, apply for FERS disability, or be terminated. I chose to apply for FERS disability and was denied, and now the agency is in the process of terminating me. I am still under doctor’s restrictions. I am over age 50 and have 21 years of combined service: 16.5 military, which I bought back, and seven civil service if they count my leave without pay (six if not). Will I be entitled to discontinued service retirement?