Q: I’ve been on the rolls of Office of Workers Compensation Program for a few years. Before I was accepted on OWCP, I received disability retirements benefits from the Office of Personnel Management (for about four months) because my disability retirement was approved from the U.S. Postal Service before it was from OWCP. Being on OWCP is a neverending nightmare. I’ve had the inspector general harass me saying I could be indicted for making false statements on my 1032 that needs to be filled out each year. Three years ago two of the doctors I see stated I could or should start work in a self-employed status only (I guess the IG office didn’t know this; however, OWCP did). This is because of the medical condition I have and the doctors feel it best I be in an environment where I can control my symptoms. Long story short, how will OPM determine what wage I should receive? Will it keep it where it was when I was on disability retirement the first time or revaluate it with the date I decide? I called OPM about this and was not given a good enough answer to make that kind of choice. I have 19 years of federal service and am 45 years old.
A: If your OWCP benefits cease, your disability annuity will be based on your years of service and high-3 on the date you left government, increased by any retiree cost-of-living adjustments that occurred after than date. Because you were a FERS employee, your annuity would be offset by a percentage of any Social Security disability benefit to which you might be entitled. To be eligible for a Social Security disability benefit, you would have to be disabled for any gainful employment. Based on what you’ve written, you wouldn’t be eligible for one; therefore your annuity wouldn’t be offset.
— Reg Jones