FERS Disability Retirement

How many federal employees suffer from injury, illness or old war wounds, inherited traits that can build to make working difficult to impossible.  Each month, many fed employees tell me they work under these conditions, many times in secret, because the income is needed.  I get it, so maybe this article can help someone that may be in pain to do the right thing.

Let’s do this in a Q&A format:

Q: “How long must I work for the federal government to qualify for a disability retirement?”

A:   18 Months.

Q: What amount of disability income could I expect?

A: If you are a FERS and retired disabled:

  • 60% of your working salary year one.
  • 40% of your working salary year two, which would continue until age 62, wherein your regular retirement would kick in.

Q: “Does my injury need to be related to my job?”

A: No.

Q: “How long must my disability persist to qualify?”

A: one year.

Q: “What if I do not want to retire, can I request a different job?”

A: Yes, request a transfer:

Even for current employees, the government follows a strict hiring process, so switching to your new job series may not be a fast process.

  1. Select a New Job Series. …
  2. Review Vacancy Announcements. …
  3. Meet Job Requirements. …
  4. Submit Applications.

You may apply for Modified Duty, which may be OK for a temporary disability, but can bring risks of a lay off when the needs disappear.

Q: “Is the FERS Disability Social Security disability?  If not, can I receive both?”

A: The FERS disability retirement income is not the same as Social Security disabled income.  You will, in fact, be required to apply for Social Security Disability, and if granted by SS, your FERS retirement will be ‘Off-Set’, so you will not profit by drawing two separate incomes.

The FERS disability retirement is not dependent on the award of the Social Security Disability Income.

If you are receiving any VA benefits, the VA benefits will remain unaffected.

Q: “Can I receive Workers Comp and FERS disability at the same time?”

A: No.  if you are awarded the FERS disability, you will place the FERS on a HOLD STATUS until Workers Comp has run out.

Q: “If I am drawing a FERS Disability Retirement, am I prevented from working in private industry?”

A: No, if you are not aggravating the condition, causing the disability to run longer (if in the event of a temporary disability)

Q: “I know I must prove my disability, but for how long?”

A: Initially, of course your will need to prove medically, the nature and extend of the disability.  If medically obvious, your file will likely be rousingly, but if your injury or condition is not easily provable, look forward to a constant review until your full retirement arrives.

Share this article:


Upcoming Tele-Seminars

Thursday, December 14th
Noon – 12:45 p.m.

Thursday, December 28th
Noon – 12:45 p.m.

Order your custom retirement report

Our free “14-page report” will illustrate your stand-alone & combined Pension, Social Security and TSP options & other income for any age & time you select.

We're here to help you retire comfortably and securely. Partner with us to prepare for your future.

Connect with a Federal Employee Benefit Planner