Federal and Postal Disability Retirement annuitants under FERS were required to file for SSDI as part of the process. Most Federal and Postal employees who filed for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, never obtain an approval for SSDI. This is natural, of course, and is part of the overall “framework” of the interaction between FERS Disability Retirement benefits and SSDI. FERS Disability Retirement (as well as CSRS Disability Retirement) encourages Federal and Postal Workers to become employed in the private sector, and to become “productive” (translation: continue to pay more taxes) in some other area of employment.
Because Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS does not pay a great amount (60% of the average of one’s highest three consecutive years the first year under FERS, and 40% thereafter; a different computation methodology for CSRS employees, who are becoming rarer each year), the paradigm and plan of the Federal payment system for Disability Retirement annuitants had an implicit public policy approach of “encouraging” all such annuitants to find other employment. Unless, of course, in addition to the FERS Disability Retirement annuity, one became entitled to SSDI payments, in which case the “cap” for income from other employment becomes much, much lower. Many considerations should be thoughtfully approached when filing for SSDI, including plans for future employment. Otherwise, some problems may be encountered if the annuitant receives both FERS Disability Retirement benefits, SSDI, and exceeds the cap from other employment. More to Follow.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire