If a former Federal or Postal employee receives both FERS Disability Retirement annuity, as well as SSDI (with the proper offset), and finds a job, makes sufficient income to exceed the cap for SSDI — to the extent that Social Security finds that he or she is no longer “entitled” to SSDI benefits and suspends SSDI payments: will the Office of Personnel Management recalculate the FERS Disability Retirement and reinstate the amount which was previously offset, to restore the full FERS Disability Retirement annuity? The answer: A number of recent cases have resulted in a “No”. Petitions and Appeals are in the works.
The reasoning and rationale of the Office of Personnel Management is that, because the individual is still “entitled” to SSDI benefits, but the benefits have merely been “suspended”, therefore the FERS Disability Retirement annuity is still offset by the “entitled” amount, not by what is actually received. Pending the outcome of any Petitions for Review and Appeals to the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Federal and Postal Disability Retirement annuitants must be careful in deciding whether or not to actually pursue SSDI. If one is planning to work at another job, with a reasonable expectation of exceeding Social Security’s cap for employment income, the fact that if one is restored to earning capacity, one’s FERS Disability Retirement may not be allowed to be recalculated to make up for the lost offset, should be taken into consideration.
Sincerely, Robert R. McGill, Esquire