OWCP and Social Security

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Q: I am a 66-year-old U.S. Postal Service employee who was born in 1944. I had planned to retire with 15 years of service this month; I thought that I would have recovered from on-the-job injuries by this time. I had already signed up for Social Security to begin on my 66th birthday (this month), but now my doctor says he needs to do more surgery on both arms before he will release me at maximum medical improvement. Also, I keep hearing that a voluntary early retirement is on the way and want to wait a little while to see.

Can I receive payments from Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and Social Security at the same time? I know that 15 years of my Social Security benefits come from my USPS employment, but what about the other 35 years?

A: Nothing prevents you from receiving both your workers’ compensation payments and a Social Security benefit. Because you have already reached your full retirement age under Social Security, you may earn OWCP benefits without a reduction in you Social Security benefit.

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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

3 Comments

  1. The Postal Service doesn’t provide Social Security benefits. Only the Social Security Administration can do that. So, are you receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or a regular CSRS or FERS retirement annuity?

  2. I retired from the Postal Service in June 2006 due to medical and health issues for my military career and also due to a back injury I sustained while working for the postal service. I was approved social security in 2009. With the understanding, that I had (CA-1) documentation of my back injury with the postal service, my claim was never approved by the workers comp until 2013….seven (7) years into my disability retirement. With this being said, I retained the services of 2 different attorneys, the 1st attorney charged me about 13,000.00 but my OWCP case was never approved. My 2nd attorney did win my case but charged me 4000.00 for a settlement of about $19,000.00 in 2013. The Social Security Office has sent me a letter to offset the amount of funds I received from this settlement. My question is: Can Scheduled Award payments be offset.

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