Until the economy begins to significantly expand in order to allow for a greater increase of the workforce, those who are on FERS or CSRS Disability Retirement often consider aggressively pursuing Social Security Disability benefits.
While the standard of proof is higher, where the concept of “total disability” is much more applicable (pragmatic interpretation: the medical condition presents a quantifying impact upon a greater area of one’s life activities, and not merely upon the essential elements of one’s job), the problem with SSDI benefits is that it limits the Federal and Postal employee from making outside income beyond about a thousand dollars per month.
Without SSDI, of course, a former Federal or Postal worker who is receiving Disability Retirement benefits through the Office of Personnel Management, can earn up to 80% of what one’s former (Postal or non-Postal Federal) job currently pays. And, with the ability to retain one’s health insurance benefits, life insurance, etc., the Federal Disability Retirement annuitant can be an attractive labor force for companies who are trying to contain costs and expenses.
This is a highly competitive economy, with companies being proactively selective and discriminating in their hiring practices. For the Federal or Postal employee preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, many options remain open, and advantages to be taken. Yes, the medical condition itself is a “negative” which forces one to leave the Federal workforce; but once FERS or CSRS disability retirement benefits are approved, there are many positive decisions to make.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire