Workers' comp vs. disability retirement


Q. I have been on workers’ compensation since December 2010. I had back surgery in May 2011 and had another this spring. I am going to fill out the Office of Personnel Management paperwork for medical disability retirement and want to suspend that benefit and remain on workers’ comp because it’s more advantageous. Once I convert to OPM retirement, will the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs still be responsible for my medical needs and medication, or do all OWCP benefits stop? I have nine years of federal service and do have Federal Employees Health Benefits, but I’m not sure how much more of OWCP I can deal with.

A. Once you have converted to FERS disability, OWCP’s responsibility for your medical and medication needs ends.


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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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