FERS and Social Security disability overpayments


Q. I receive a FERS annuity. If I receive Social Security disability, I understand I lose 60 percent of that pay until I’m 62. Will FERS go back however many months and make me pay back the difference for those months of retroactive pay from Social Security? In other words, if I collect six months of retroactive pay from Social Security do I owe FERS 60 percent of my annuity that I received for those six months?

A. If your approval for Social Security disability benefits is retroactive, you will owe whatever you were overpaid in your FERS disability annuity. Usually, the repayment is handled by the Social Security Administration reducing the amount of the benefit it pays you until the debt to OPM is paid.


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. Question: I am a FERS Retiree, I recently received 100% disability from VA, and was finally awarded disability from Social Security.

    I would like to know how if any will the Social Security Disability affect my FERS annuity. – Note this is not FERS disability, but Social Security.
    Thank you

    • Karen Mamalakis on

      I retired FERS April 29, 2016 at age 56 with 33 years of service. After taxes and insurance my annuity is $1590….. Included in my annuity is a $695 SRS payment until I reach 62. I was just approved for SSDI. Will they take this $695 to the backpay date of Oct 2016? Will I keep the total annuity or lose it? How will my SSDI affect my regular FERS annuity please? Thank you in Advance.

      • Because you didn’t retire on disability, your approval for SSDI won’t have any affect on your FERS annuity. Further, you won’t owe anything to anybody.

  2. I’m am receiving social security disability. Now I’m applying for FERS retirement. Will it affect my FERS annuity?

    • No, it won’t unless you apply for disability retirement. If you do, your Social Security disability benefit would be reduced.

  3. I have been on Federal Disability Retirement since April 2011. I just received a Partially Favourable decision on my SSDI appeal. My SSDI onset date was set for Oct 2012. So pretty much I’ve been receiving overpayments for 4 years from OPM. As I understand it, Social Security will handle the reimbursement and OPM will reduce my monthly check by 60% of the monthly SSDI award. My question is when I talk to the SSA about the reimbursement… 1. When the payment plan is set up, is there interest charged on the remaining balance? 2. Is there a minimum payment/deduction I can choose ($100.00)? 3. Is there a maximum time limit for repayments (5,6, or 7 years?) 4. Can the payment/deduction be adjusted if I need to?

  4. I retired as a Firefighter at 54 as I hurt my back and couldn’t do the job any more. I had a choice and took my regular annuity instead of the disability retirement. I was covered by CSRS offset. I was just approved for Social Security Disability. How wI’ll that affect my annuity I’m now 57?

    • At age 62, your CSRS annuity will be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit you earned while a CSRS Offset employee. To find out how that Social Security benefit will interact with your Social Security disability payments, you’ll have to call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

      • So the Social Security Disability payments are not affected and do I need to report the Social Security disability to OPM?

      • So the Social Security Disability payments are not affected now? do I need to report the Social Security disability to OPM?

  5. Thanks for helping us with your educated answers!

    I’m currently receiving FERS Disability and still working on SSA DIB at the Hearing level. Is there any legal way to avoid or side step around the offset?

    • Assuming that you’re asking about the over-payment, with rare exception the general answer is no. While tight financial circumstances might allow you to repay over time, only bankruptcy could allow it to be waved

Leave A Reply