Q: I am potentially facing a medical disability retirement because of a heart condition under NFPA 1582. I am 33 years old and have both previous active duty Air Force fire (six+ years) and currently am an Army GS civilian (seven years). If I do go out on medical retirement, will I be able to collect my Social Security supplement right away or at all down the road? Should I buy my military time back even though I may be separating later this year? Can I buy military time back after I go out on disability? Can I withdrawal from my TSP if I am on medical disability retirement without penalties? Can I contribute to my TSP still if I am on medical disability retirement?
A: As a FERS employee, you will need to apply for disability retirement through your agency and with the Social Security Administration on your own, in case you are eligible for a Social Security disability benefit. If approved for disability retirement, for the 12 months you’d receive 60 percent of your high-3 minus 100 percent of any Social Security disability annuity. After the first year and until age 62, you’d receive 40 percent of your high-3 minus 60 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. If you are still disabled, at age 62 your disability annuity would be converted to a regular annuity. No special retirement supplement would be payable; however, your disability annuity would be increased by any annual cost-of-living adjustments. If you want to make a deposit for your years of military service, you would have to do so before you retired. However, as you’ve seen, doing so would have no affect on your disability annuity. It would, however, increase the amount of your annuity at age 62.