Working while retired on disability


Q.  I am a 40-year-old veteran (40 percent disabled) and former Postal Service employee who was disability retired from the USPS in April 2003. I was denied Social Security and never reapplied. What are the regulations as far as me seeking employment?  What I receive in monthly payments are not enough. Also, I need to find out about my basic life insurance or do I still have that life insurance after being retired?

A.  While there are no restrictions on your being employed while on disability retirement, if your earnings from wages or self employment exceed 80 percent of the current rate of base pay for the position from which you retired, your annuity will be discontinued. It can only be restored if your earnings subsequently fall below that level.

 Assuming that you had Basic insurance coverage under the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program when you retired and elected to keep that coverage in retirement, premiums will have been taken out of your monthly annuity and will continue to be taken out until you reach age 62. At that point, unless you elected to keep a higher percentage of coverage, the face value of your Basic insurance will decline at a rate of 2 percent per month until it reaches 25 percent.

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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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