Disability and Social Security


Q. If you apply for disability retirement under FERS and Disability with Social Security as required, and Social Security denies you, will your FERS annuity still reduced by what you are supposed to get from Social Security anyway?

A. Denial of your application for Social Security disability benefits won’t have any affect on your FERS disability benefit. However, you need to understand the rules governing that benefit. For the first 12 months you’d get 60 percent of your high-3. After the first 12 months, you’d get 40 percent of your high-3. When you reached age 62, your benefit would be converted to a regular FERS annuity. That annuity would be calculated as if you had worked to age 62, and would be increased by any FERS COLAs payable from the time you went on disability to age 62..


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.


    • Here’s the formula:
      .01 x your high-3 x your years and full months of service
      Your high-3 is the average of your highest three consecutive years of basic pay.

  1. If granted disability retirement can you still have health insurance and what happens if you die prior to 62 with benefits and annuity for surviving spouse?

    • Being approved for disability retirement would have no affect on your entitlement to continue your health insurance. Nor would it affect your spouse’s entitlement to a survivor annuity is you were to die.

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