Disability retirement


Q. I have 40 years as a civil engineer under CSRS retirement. I have an on-the-job injury that has left me with a right hand, arm and shoulder disability. Which retirement is the better choice: regular or medical?

A. Because you have over 22 years of CSRS service, if your application for disability retirement was approved the amount you’d receive would be the same as a regular earned benefit. And you’d receive the latter without the hassle of applying for disability retirement.


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. Retired disability and now age 60 after 23 years under FERS. Will I ever receive full retirement since they take out a percentage for social security?

    • Social Security taxes are only paid by those who have wages from earnings or self employment, not retirees. So I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Moving on, your disability annuity will end at age 62 when it is converted to a regular retirement. To do that, your actual service will be added to the time you spent on the disability rolls and multiplied by 1.1 percent. That figure will be multiplied by your high-3 salary on the day you went on the disability rolls, increased by all FERS COLAs payable from that time to the present.

  2. If you apply for disability retirement under FERS and Disability with Social Security as required, and Social Security denies you will your FERS annuity still reduced by what you are supposed to get from Social Security anyway? Will it be disallowed? If not, will you have to payback the monies that were provided by FERS until you were approved?

      • When you are finally approved,do you have to pay back part of what you received from FERS during he time it took for the approval because it would be a windfall, to receive both payments?

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