Disability retirement benefit


Q. I was receiving my OPM disability annuity at 60 percent, but it was just reduced to 40 percent, which I was told happens after 12 months.  However, I haven’t been approved for Social Security yet, and my attorney is appealing the denial. Will I be restored back to 60 percent until I receive my Social Security?

A. No, you won’t. The law is clear. For the first 12 months, a disability retiree receives 60 percent of his high-3 minus 100 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. After 12 months and up to age 62, he receives 40 percent of his high-3, minus 60 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. The change from 60 percent to 40 percent is automatic and irreversible.


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. My cousin-in-law was diagnosed of Dementia while actively working for Federal in 2012. She was let go of her job due to this illness after more than 15 years of service. She was then 55 years old and now she will be turning 59 on Dec 12, 2015. Unfortunately, her illness progressed as she now lives in a nursing facility where she can no longer function physically or even recognize anyone. She never received benefit from her work (FERS) though she’s been qualified for Social Sec Ben. Husband has the power of attorney on her behalf but declared he never received any benefit from Fed. When I became aware of it, I asked for any paperwork he has and I noticed that there was an incomplete “Applicant’s Statement of Disability”. Husband can’t remember any of these so I am doing a research for them. My question for the husband would be, is it too late for him to submit to OPM the request for Disability Retirement for the wife? Please advice. Thank you.

  2. Thank you very much Mr. Reg Jones. In fact I am on my way now to visit the family so I could have their paperwork get started. I downloaded the forms already and I truly appreciate your response and may God bless you in your blog. Thank you as well to your subscribers. Indeed, you’re a great help to the community. Be blessed always.

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