Always remember that Federal Disability Retirement under FERS or CSRS must be looked at for “the long term”. Even after one obtains and secures the benefits under Federal Disability Retirement (annuity, health insurance, etc.), one must always be vigilant in protecting the benefit — for you can always be selected randomly to answer a Medical Questionnaire. I often tell my clients after securing an approval for his or her Federal Disability Retirement benefits, that now that you have it, you will never lose it unless you are “stupid”. By “stupid”, I do not mean that it is impossible to lose it; only that you must be either recklessly careless, or thoughtless, in losing the benefit.
There are different ways of losing the benefits received under Federal Disability Retirement: the two most commons ways are — making more than the allowable 80% of what your former job currently pays or failing to properly answer the Medical Questionnaire. The former needs constant and careful planning when you get a job; the latter requires that you carefully monitor the answers provided by your treating doctor. Whichever the case may be, it is important to take any correspondence received from the Office of Personnel Management seriously — whether before, during, or after the process of obtaining Federal Disability Retirement under FERS or CSRS.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire