CSRS & FERS Medical Disability Retirement: The Universe of the Possible (Part II of II)

When avenues are closed off, the human psyche tends to shut down; and when grounds manifest fertile regeneration and bountiful splendor, the endless state of the possible opens like the gaping eyes of a child in excitable wonderment.  That is why internet companies attempt to artificially recreate atmospheres of creativity and prior glory days of unbounded imaginations.  But whether simulating a couch plopped in one’s basement or garage, and making it appear as if the environment is similar to those past dawns of tinkering with one’s imagination in the unheated, primitive conditions of one’s youth, is questionable.

For the Federal and Postal employee who is faced initially with a medical condition, such that the medical condition impacts one’s ability to continue in the vocation and career choice of one’s following, the limitations which the present condition places upon one’s future often seems daunting.

But there are options available.

Federal Disability Retirement allows for those options to open up; for, once the Federal or Postal employee obtains an approval for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, that (now former) Federal or Postal employee may go out into the private sector and earn up to 80% of what one’s former position currently pays, on top of the Federal Disability annuity. Many start their own businesses; others perform consultative work or work part time, thereby controlling the stresses and the extent of activity able to be tolerated within the restrictions of one’s medical conditions.

The avenue of the possible can only reopen once you recognize the reality of the probable; and in order to tap into the fertile imaginations of a brighter future, the roadblocks once observed must be moved in order to travel down the path of viable alternative routes.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

1 thought on “CSRS & FERS Medical Disability Retirement: The Universe of the Possible (Part II of II)

  1. Mike

    Hello, I have researched everywhere to find information regarding the 80% earning capacity rule, after receiving disability retirement. Even CFR 831.1209 is vague. What I cannot seem to find the answer to, is when OPM says “current base pay” of your former position ( mine was with USPS), does that mean the entry level grade/step, or the current pay for the grade/step of which I retired? My last personnel action issued from 2002, shows PS-4/Step I, at a base salary of $35,940. According to postalwork.net, the salary for my retiring grade/step is now $50,819. Which of these figures applies when calculating the 80% rule? I know the best policy is to just be careful, but this is a pretty big difference in numbers, and I would really like to know which figure if either is used for the calculation, because I may have gone over the limit this year, if the lesser of the two figures is the one used for the calculation. Thank you!

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