For those FERS Disability Retirement annuitants who are/were concurrently receiving SSDI benefits, and have gone out to earn more income — there is good news.
In the past, if you exceeded the allowable income-ceiling, you would lose your SSDI benefits because you engaged in substantial gainful activity. With no longer receiving SSDI benefits, the FERS annuitant would go to OPM and request that the Disability Retirement annuity be “recalculated“, because he/she is no longer receiving the SSDI offset amount.
In the past, OPM has consistently (and now, wrongly, it turns out) argued that, because such an individual continues to remain “entitled” to SSDI benefits (even though he/she is not receiving any such benefits), that therefore OPM is not required to recalculate the FERS disability retirement annuity upwards for the benefit of the FERS individual.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit just issued the opinion in Stephenson v. OPM, Case #2012-3074, in which they have clearly and unequivocally stated that OPM’s interpretation of the law has been in error. When a FERS disability retirement annuitant loses his or her SSDI benefits for engaging in substantial gainful activity, OPM must recalculate the FERS disability retirement benefit.
I argued the case in early December; the Court issued its precedent-setting opinion in just over a month. This is indeed a major victory for FERS annuitants. You can now take this case and wave it at OPM and demand that your disability retirement annuity be recalculated — in your favor.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Filed under: Federal Disability Judge-Made Decisions Quoted, FERS Disability, OPM Disability & SSA Social Security Disability Benefits, OPM Disability Process - 5th Stage: Federal Circuit Court of Appeals | Tagged: OPM disability retirement, CSRS disability retirement, FERS disability retirement, Postal disability, federal disability retirement, OPM First Stage Disability Application, USPS disability retirement, attorney representing federal employees, postal service disability retirement, federal disability law blog, legal representation for injured federal workers, fers disability and social security disability insurance ssdi, offset between social security and opm disability, fdr and ssdi offset or interaction, postal and social security disability, disability retirement for federal employees, representing federal employees from any us government agency, fers retirement social security, accepting opm disability clients all across america, law firm representing clients in opm disability law all across america, opm disability retirement offsets, offset, opm ssdi offset, opm social security, opm disability benefits offsets with other benefits, federal offset disability annuitant, the latest information on the ssdi and opm disability offset, opm's unfair handling of former ssdi recipients, disabled federal employees applying for ssdi, opm's strange policies with former ssdi recipients, beware of opm's policies before appealing ssdi denial, what happens when you are you are no longer ssdi recipient, the upsetting opm/ssdi offset, the opm's refusal to reinstate full opm disability retirement | 7 Comments »