Social Security Disability penalty and OWCP benefits


Q. I am a former federal employee of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. I had 10 years of service when I sustained a work-related injury on federal status. This injury caused me to lose my military membership and then I was involuntarily separated from my federal job as well.

I was in the CSR retirement program when I was terminated and elected Office of Workers’ Compensation Program benefits although I was accepted for CSRS disability retirement. I accepted OWCP because I would receive military loss pay as well.  I was then put in a loss of wage earning capacity program on a permanent partial disability with OWCP.

I have worked in the private sector for the past 22 years and I was recently accepted for Social Security Disability. When my benefits were calculated, they were reduced 80 percent. SSDI stated I can not be enrolled in OWCP benefits without taking a reduction from SSDI.

Is there some type of provision which will allow me to collect SSDI full benefits, as they are basing my income on a job I lost in the federal sector 23 years ago?  I feel this is unfair and I was told by SSDI it’s the law whether they agree with it or not.

A. Unfortunately for you, it is the law.


About Author

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

Leave A Reply