Q. I am a 49-year-old, 27-year employee postmaster who is a FERS employee and is in the process of completing disability paperwork and Social Security disability paperwork. There is also a Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offer out there that I need to make a decision on by Nov. 29. If I take the VERA and I’m approved for my disability retirement by the Office of Personnel Management, can I change my retirement to the disability retirement? Also, if I take the VERA, can I still qualify for disability Social Security benefits?
A. If you are approved for disability retirement, you will automatically be switched to that. Taking early retirement wouldn’t have any effect of your right to receive Social Security disability benefits if you were qualified for them.