FERS annuity and Social Security disability


Q I retired voluntarily from Federal Employees Retirement System on July 31, 2009, for health reasons with plans to change to FERS disability later. I was told by the Office of Personnel Management that there would be no benefit for me to file for FERS disability since I retired voluntarily. I applied for Social Security disability and was approved on April 23, 2010, with benefits beginning in December 2009 (I was found to be disabled on June 10, 2009). Do I still have to return the supplement from August 2009 to November 2009? Also, can I receive Social Security disability without filing for FERS disability? If there is no benefit to changing FERS to disability, I would like to have just Social Security disability and my regular FERS annuity.

A: Because you were already eligible for an immediate unreduced annuity and were eligible for the special retirement supplement, your retirement benefit would have been equal to or greater than what you would have received if you had retired on disability. Now that you’ve been approved for Social Security disability benefits, you will be able to receive them and your 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. Doug Brandt on

    Hello Mr. Jones, I read your response above. Can I get some clarification? If a person retires voluntarily (health issues) at age 60 and is receiving the regular FERS Annuity PLUS the SUPPLEMENT, will that person also be able to collect SSDI (if SS approves) at the same time? At first I thought the answer would be ‘No’, but then I was reminded that the FERS SUPPLEMENT is not from Social Security. The Supplement is instead from FERS as a ‘retirement benefit’ (which has nothing to do with a disability). Therefore, getting that would not disqualify a person from collecting SSDI if they could not work. Please verify this. Thank you! Doug

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