Q. I retired in 2006 under CSRS as an air traffic controller. I had 33 years of government service between the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration. I started receiving Social Security disability payments this month. I receive a periodic statement from the Social Security Administration stating what my benefits are and how much I would receive each month. The statement showed $1,200 a month. I receive $705 a month instead. I’ve earned enough credits working prior to and after my CSRS career. Why am I penalized when I have earned both benefits in my opinion?
A. Your Social Security disability benefit was reduced because you are receiving an annuity from CSRS, a retirement system where you didn’t pay Social Security taxes. The windfall elimination provision reduces — but doesn’t eliminate that benefit — for anyone who has fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. For more information about the WEP and how it works, go to http://ssa.gov/pubs/10045.pdf.