Disability retirement, Social Security and SRS

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Q. I am 50 with 28 years of service. I work for the Postal Service under FERS. I make $53,000 per year. Can you tell me how much I would get if I retire on disability? Will that affect my supplement amount if I retire before minimum retirement age?

A. First things first. If you apply for FERS disability retirement, you must also apply for Social Security disability benefits. If you don’t, the Office of Personnel Management won’t process your application.

If approved for FERS disability retirement, for the first 12 months, you’d receive an annuity that equaled 60 percent of your high-3 minus 100 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. From then until age 62, you’d receive 40 percent of your high-3 minus 60 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. Assuming that you are still disabled, at age 62, your disability annuity would be converted to a regular FERS annuity.

At no point along the way would you be eligible for the special retirement supplement. No one who retires on disability is eligible for the SRS.

Note: Social Security disability benefits are coordinated with earned Social Security benefits. To find out how they interact, call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 and talk to one of their benefits specialists.

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