Q. If a federal employee is eligible for retirement under both FERS and Social Security disability, can that employee, once retired, still work and earn up to $1,000 or $1,100 per month (whatever the maximum is), which is what an SSDI recipient may earn without jeopardizing his or her SSDI benefits?
A. While you could earn up to 80 percent of the current salary for the position you left and still receive your FERS disability annuity, the rules for SSDI are much different. To qualify for that, you have to be unable to perform any substantial gainful activity. You’d have to check with the Social Security Administration to find out what their definition of substantial would be.