Interim payments are made to retirees after federal disability retirement is approved, but before the final calculations have been made. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) uses Interim Payments as an attempt to get a disabled annuitant at least some money as quickly as possible.
It is not the full or correct amount that the annuitant can expect for the remaining portion of their retirement benefits, but rather an estimate that is generally around 80% of what they will eventually get from the OPM.
The OPM interim payments are often incorrect amounts (both too high and too low) and the OPM is entitled to collect any over-payment amount from the annuitant, regardless of fault. That is why it is important to understand what your estimated benefits are going to be, and to try to save a small portion of your payments in case of an over-payment.
Remember, even if it was not your fault, the OPM is entitled to recoup any over-payment by garnishing future payments! So be aware and if your payments seem a little higher than you were expecting, they probably are. Every retiree has appeal rights in an over payment situation, but it is difficult for most annuitants to understand and not a guarantee that you will win and be allowed to keep the over-payment dollars.
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