Disability retirement


Q. I am a retired FERS employee — 59 years old, with 25 years of federal service. I retired two years ago under VERA VSIP. My employer (Defense Department) was reducing the workforce due to budget cuts and abolished my job.

I paid into Social Security for 42 years. I have some health issues and am considering applying for Social Security disability. My question is: Will Social Security disability retirement affect my FERS annuity?

A. If you were approved for SSDI, it would have no affect on your non-disability FERS annuity.


About Author

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


  1. Robert Schneider on

    Is there anything in black and white that verifies that your non-disability (normal) FERS annuity will not be affected if you apply for social security disability?
    I have read OPM’s website and cannot find anything addressing this subject.
    The only thing it addresses, is if you have FERS disability retirement and then claim social security disability.

    • You can’t find anything because there isn’t anything. Laws, regulations and guidance simply state what is not what isn’t. They say what will happen if you apply for disability retirement and Social Security disability. They don’t say anything about what happens if you retire and then apply for Social Security disability benefits because your retirement benefit wouldn’t be affected.

  2. My husband retired in 12/2016 He has been receiving his FERS non disability annuity plus the special annuity until he turns 62 which was a few days ago. He was also just approved for SSDI and will receive a lump sum for all of 2017. Will this lump sum affect the special annuity since is dies have an earning limit?

  3. Age 59 collecting FERS annuity and supplement (until 62). Should I be awarded SSDI, would that effect the supplement at all (reduce, cancel, etc.) ?

  4. As far as collecting FERS annuity and supplement (until 62) then being awarded awarded SSDI 2 years after discontinued service retirement and not having effect on the special retirement supplement (reduce, cancel, etc.) is there documentation for this with OPM ? I would like to see it in print and keep a copy of it just in case.

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