Can I Work Once I Am Approved For Federal Disability Retirement?

Mar 6, 2013

Disabled federal employee changing work to private sector

Many federal employees get stuck with this question: Can I work once I am approved for federal disability retirement?

Federal Disability Retirement is an essential benefit, but it is certainly less than the employee is used to earning. However, this shouldn’t discourage employees from pursuing the benefit, especially if their options at work are running out. In many cases, Federal Disability Retirement serves as the best way to carry forward an employee’s hard earned benefits continuing in their current job becomes untenable due to medical conditions.

The Bright Side: Opportunities to Work the Private Sector

Here’s the good news: Any federal employee approved for Federal Disability Retirement can work in the private sector, provided the job aligns with their medical restrictions.

Changing Lanes in Work: Disability Benefits Don’t Spell the End of Your Career

Such a provision can greatly help employees in making decisions. Filing for disability benefits doesn’t end the employee’s career, it is simply a change in the direction. Many federal employees work a different job, or start a business that is less demanding in the area that employee struggles currently.

A postal worker may struggle with carrying the mail because of a knee condition. But that doesn’t stop the employee from starting a business designing websites, or working in sales, or any number of other occupations that don’t require the same strain on the knee itself.

There are countless other examples of how a federal employee can qualify for and receive Federal Disability Retirement benefits and then continue to work in another job while collecting the benefits.

Earnings Limit and Administrative Recovery: A Closer Look

However, there is an earnings limit. Federal employees must report to the OPM if their earnings exceed 80% of their federal job’s current salary. This is known as an Administrative Recovery. We will delve deeper into this topic in an upcoming article.

The Bottom Line: Understand Your Options and Make Informed Decisions

Understanding these nuances can help federal employees make informed decisions about their future. Remember, Federal Disability Retirement doesn’t mark the end of your career; instead, it opens up new avenues for you to explore while ensuring you reap the benefits of your hard work.

If you are looking to apply for Federal Disability Retirement, you don’t want to do it alone! We have experience helping over 8,000 federal employees apply for this life changing benefit. Schedule a FREE consultation today to see if you qualify.

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