Social Security and FERS disability


Q. I am 53 years old and filed for Social Security Disability and FERS Disability retirement at age 39 and 6 months in 2001. I was approved for both SSD and FERS Disability simultaneously. I left the Postal Service in 2001 with just under 14 years service. If at some point I am no longer considered eligible for Social Security Disability, what happens to my FERS disability? A. There are two different sets of rules that govern these benefits. You were approved for FERS disability retirement because you were found to be unable to provide useful and efficient service in the job you were holding or one at the same grade and pay for which you were qualified. You were approved for SSDI because you were found to be disabled for all gainful employment. Therefore the loss of SSDI wouldn’t automatically cause your disability retirement benefit to be terminated. I would depend on whether OPM determined that you had recovered from the disability that led to their approving you for disability retirement.


About Author

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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