Social Security disability and CSRS retirement


Q. I started getting Postal Service and Social Security disability in 1994. I am in CSRS Offset, not FERS.

I started a job, and they stopped my Social Security disability because my earnings were substantial. I am 65.

I applied for Social Security, since I will be 66 in July. My Social Security is 30 percent less than I received under Social Security disability. The clerk at Social Security said they had been paying me too much disability each month, but since it had been more than four years since the error on their part, they would not try to recover the overpayment. My problem is I am not able to do the job; my disability has caused me to get two warnings that I am underperforming. I am close to being fired. Since I have a ticket to work, my Social Security disability can be restarted without my having to reapply. Do you know if they will start me at my old amount without the 30 percent reduction?

A. Here’s the correct answer: As a CSRS Offset employee, when you retired on disability and were approved for a Social Security disability benefit, your CSRS disability annuity should have been reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. The offset should have been applied on the first day of the month during which you were entitled to CSRS disability retirement and disability benefits under Social Security. You are fortunate that the Social Security Administration waived the overpayment. However, nothing you can do will alter the requirement that your CSRS annuity be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. It’s 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

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