CSRS Disability Retirement vs. Workers' Compensation


Q. I am eligible for both CSRS Disability Retirement and Workers’ Compensation; therefore, I have the right to choose benefits from either.  I am receiving workers’ compensation.  I am 64.  Although medical evidence and evaluations, including second opinion examinations, show that I will never be able to work in any capacity (this has been the case for many years), OWCP does not consider me to be totally disabled according to its definition.  If I return to CSRS disability annuity, will my retirement still be considered “disability retirement”?  I know that I no longer have to provide annual medical reports; but I was told recently by an “expert” in OPM disability retirement and OWCP matters that after age 62, my retirement would not be a “disability retirement”.  OWCP is compensating me for certain medical bills.  Will OPM continue to compensate me for work related medical bills if I return to their rolls?

A. If you left workers compensation and moved to the CSRS disability retirement rolls, you’d be a disability retiree. FERS disability retirees are the only ones that are moved off the disability rolls and onto the retirement rolls when their annuities are recomputed at age 62. CSRS disability retirements aren’t recomputed.

OPM doesn’t compensate anyone for work related medical bills. If you are enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, any bills you might have would be handled through your carrier and treated the same as if you were a regular retiree.


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.

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