FERS Disability: What May Put the Brakes on Your Claim?

by | Nov 27, 2015

Last Updated March 14, 2024
FERS Disability

There are some instances where your Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) disability claim may be terminated. Here are a few reasons why, and what you can do to  restore your benefits.

Nobody likes having things taken away from them. Unfortunately, even after receiving FERS disability benefits, there are some instances where you could stop receiving your FERS annuity payments. If this happens, seek guidance immediately from an experienced federal disability benefits counselor. You may need representation to help you restore your benefits.

4 Keys Reasons Why You May Stop Receiving Your FERS Disability Benefits

1) Medical Recovery

If you recover from your disability, you may no longer qualify for disability benefits. After one year, your disability may be re-evaluated, and may continue to be evaluated on a yearly basis, unless the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has already determined your disability to be permanent. You will have to undergo these annual evaluations until you reach the age of 60. If it is ruled that you have recovered from your condition, then you will stop receiving benefits one year later.

2) Federal Reemployment as Recovery

Though you may work in the private sector and still receive disability retirement payments, your benefits will be terminated if you are reemployed by the federal government. The position must be full time, permanent and at the same grade level or higher than you held when you became disabled. The government will consider you ineligible for disability retirement if you are able to re-enter the federal workforce in a comparable position. Your benefits will stop one month after the finding of employment is made.

3) You Want to Terminate Your FERS Disability Benefits

You always have the option to terminate your FERS disability benefits on your own accord; however, your decision will only be honored if you are mentally competent. If you do choose to discontinue your benefits, then they will terminate one year after the request is made.

4) Restoration of Earning Capacity

If you continue to work in the private sector or as an entrepreneur, you cannot make more than 80 percent of the salary you were making as a federal employee. If you earn more than 80 percent  of what you were making when you retired, then your earning capacity will be considered restored, and your disability benefits will be terminated. Your disability benefits will cease on June 30 of the next calendar year.

Restoring Your FERS Disability Benefits After Termination

If you were disabled and your disability benefits were terminated due to one of the above reasons, you may restore your benefits if you meet the eligibility requirements. You must be under the age of 62, and you will have to provide evidence that your medical condition exists or has worsened since it was deemed as recovered.If OPM determines that you are again eligible for disability retirement benefits, then your annuity will resume at a time depending on the manner in which your coverage was terminated.If you were deemed medically recovered or if you were reemployed as a federal worker, then your annuity will resume after a medical exam provides evidence that your disability has worsened or recurred. If your benefits were terminated because you exceeded the eighty percent earning capacity, then your annuity rights will return on January 1 of the following year.

Retroactive Pay

You will receive retroactive pay to the point where the disability was again determined; however, OPM will offset your retroactive retirement annuity payments by any income that you were earning during that time period. In other words, you will not receive double pay.

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