The recent changes in the federal government’s budget and subsequent sequester have raised many questions. With numerous federal employees facing mandatory shutdowns and furloughs, the question arises, “Is my employment still secure?”
The Sequester? Modified Duty Employees and Financial Cuts
While no one really knows what is going to happen in the government, it does give the federal employees with medical conditions a chance to look at their future employment with the federal government. Historically, during financial cutbacks, the government often targets modified duty employees. The government views those positions as non-essential and a place to save money but reducing the force.
Early Retirement Offers: VER’s and RIF’s
At times, initiatives such as Voluntary Early Retirement (VER) or Reduction in Force (RIF) are introduced to encourage older employees towards early retirement. Occasionally, cash incentives are offered to those who opt for an ‘early out’.
Evaluating Your Options: Early Retirement vs. Federal Disability Retirement
While early retirement may seem appealing, especially for those in good health, it’s essential to consider your options if you have a medical condition or are assigned a modified duty job. In these cases, exploring your rights to federal disability retirement before opting for early retirement is crucial. Why? Simply put, a federal disability retirement usually offers more money than an early out.
Advantages of FERS Disability Benefits
Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) disability benefits allow you to work in a non-federal job and earn an income while receiving a higher pension rate than a regular or early retirement provides. This simply means that it is wise to explore a potential disability retirement before automatically taking an early out.
Navigating Your Choices in Light of the Sequester: Consult a Federal Disability Attorney
There are many ways to approach the process. Some federal employees may be able to elect to take the early retirement, while still applying for the disability benefits. A consultation with a good federal disability attorney is recommended before taking this route as it may not apply to every federal employee.
We understand how scary it can be with the latest alterations in the federal government’s budget, coupled with the ensuing sequester.
We want to make sure that you have all of the information available to be sure that you make the best decision for your future. At Harris Federal Law Firm, we aim to provide all the necessary information to help you make the best decision for your future. If you are on modified duty, light or limited, call Harris Federal Law Firm, for your FREE consultation about federal disability retirement.