The Benefits You Can Get on Federal Disability Retirement

Mar 25, 2024

the benefits of Federal Disability Retirement

Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit available to federal employees who become injured or ill and can no longer perform all the primary duties of their job. While it can be difficult to be approved for, Federal Disability Retirement offers many benefits that can make life much easier for those dealing with a medical condition.

Monthly Payments

If you’re approved for Federal Disability Retirement, you’ll receive regular annuity payments based on your years of service and your high-3 average salary, which is the highest average basic pay you earned during any three consecutive years of service. Estimate how much your monthly payment could be with our annuity chart. 

Health and Life Insurance

If you’re approved for Federal Disability Retirement you can typically keep your health and life insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program. Watch our 5-minute Insurance Q&A for more information.

Opportunity for New Income

Yes, you can work in the private sector after you start receiving Federal Disability Retirement benefits. You can earn up to 80% of your former federal position’s current salary, which allows you to supplement your income while acknowledging your limited capacity to work because of your disability. It’s a balance designed to encourage productivity and self-sufficiency, when possible, without leaving you in a financially tough spot. Learn more about how much you can make while on Federal Disability Retirement. 

Family Support

Support for your family beyond monthly payments, continued insurance, and the ability to find a new job is also available in the form of a survivor annuity. This means if you pass away, your eligible family members can continue to receive a portion of your Federal Disability Retirement payments. 

Creditable years of service

One of the best benefits of Federal Disability Retirement is that all the years you receive a disability annuity will count toward your years of creditable service when your annuity is recalculated at age 62. For example, if you’re approved for Federal Disability Retirement at age 40 and you have 12 years of service under your belt, you’ll continue to gain credible years of service toward your regular retirement until age 62. That means an extra 22 years towards your retirement annuity calculation, bringing your total to 34 years of service. That sounds a lot better than 12!

Additional Benefits

  • Cost of Living Adjustments: You will be eligible to receive COLA’s 12 months after you begin receiving your Federal Disability Retirement annuity payments.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance: OPM allows you to receive SSDI and Federal Disability Retirement at the same time, however, there will be an offset. If you are approved for both, your FDR payments will be reduced by the amount of your SSDI payments in the first year. Starting in the second year and continuing until you reach age 62, your FDR payments will be reduced by 60% of your SSDI payment.
  • Workers’ Compensation benefits: The only benefit form OWCP you can receive at the same time as Federal Disability Retirement is a Schedule Award.
  • VA Disability: If you have any VA rating, you can receive that at the same time as Federal Disability Retirement.


This benefit can completely change your future, giving you and your family the financial security and peace of mind you deserve.

Harris Federal has helped over 8,000 federal employees apply for this benefit, and we are passionate about getting you the benefits you deserve. Schedule a FREE consultation to learn more.

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