Social Security disability for CSRS employee


Q. I am 58 years old with 35 years’ service and I am eligible for optional civil service retirement. After I retire, can I apply for Social Security disability benefits ? I have had some serious health conditions and my CSRS annuity will not be enough for us to live on. I have credit for 64 Social Security quarters from other jobs I have had.

A. Yes, you could apply for Social Security disability benefits; however, the criteria for Social Security disability benefits are much higher than those for retirement under CSRS or FERS. To be approved for them, you would have to be found so disabled that you were incapable of any gainful employment.


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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

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