Disability retirement


Q. I am under CSRS and 53 years and 10 months old. My full voluntary retirement age is 55 (I would have 33 years in). I’m considering applying for disability retirement but want to be sure I understand all of the ramifications. These are the things I think I understand to be true. Please correct me if I’m wrong:

* A disability annuity would be calculated as if I were to take an early-out, but the age reduction wouldn’t apply.

* Disability eligibility must be “recertified” annually until age 60 is reached.

* On CSRS, a disability retirement doesn’t convert to a regular retirement at 62 like it does on FERS. It just becomes a permanent disability.

If I’m on disability and at an annual re-examination (prior to age 60) and I’m determined to no longer be disabled ,can I just apply/transition into my regular retirement if I’ve reached 55? If so, what would the effective date of my regular retirement be? Is it the date I come off of disability, or does it revert back to the date that I went on disability?

If my condition has improved and I can no longer be certified as disabled, is my employer required to allow me to return to work?

A. The things you understand to be true are true. As to your questions, if you no longer qualify for disability retirement, your annuity would end one year from the date of the exam on which the Office of Personnel Management relied to determine that you had recovered from your disability. You would be converted to a regular retirement under the rules governing early retirement. That annuity would be begin on the date after your disability retirement ended.

If you recovered from your disability retirement and didn’t want to retire, you would be eligible for priority referral. Your agency wouldn’t be required to offer you your former job or any other position. You would have to apply for any vacancies in your own or other agencies.


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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