Windfall and disability pay


Q: I received a federal disability pension in 1991. I retrained and was able to work until 2004, when the same condition worsened. I applied for Social Security disability benefits and received them beginning in 2008. I just received a notice that the federal civil service disability pension is considered a windfall. A calculation will be made with the windfall rule to reduce my Social Security disability. Is this discrimination against the disabled? Is there a way I can fight or protest this situation?

A: Apparently you are subject to the windfall elimination provision, which applies to the Social Security benefit of anyone receiving an annuity, in whole or part, from a retirement system in which he didn’t pay Social Security taxes and has fewer that 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security. Visit the Social Security Administration website’s WEP section for more information.


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

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