Federal and Postal employees who are contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, face a formidable task both in terms of legal hurdles and administrative, bureaucratic glitches — not the least of which is in facing the daily battle with the medical condition itself.
Aside from requesting an accommodation from the agency, then being granted some cosmetic work refinements which probably do not constitute a legally viable (or even practically defensible) responsiveness; or of being offered an alternative part-time position which, if taken, will have dire calculation consequences in determining the average of one’s highest-3 consecutive years of service for annuity computation purposes; or more to the point — remaining in the full-time position but working only part-time and taking LWOP the remainder of the time, such decisions can be pragmatic ones which may be arrived at by the Federal Disability Retirement applicant as merely a choice which cannot be avoided, but one which should be embraced with full knowledge of the consequences.
For example, the problem with working one day a week is that such work constitutes only 20% of pay for the Federal or Postal employee who has filed for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. Yet, at the time of an approval of a Federal Disability Retirement application by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, OPM will pay back-pay for the first year of annuity, at 60%. But if one has been working part-time during the entire process, no back-pay will be forthcoming precisely because such back-pay is paid only to the “last day of pay” — which would have been the previous week for that part-timer.
Further, the difference between what was part-time work-paid (20%) and what Federal Disability Retirement back-pay will give (60% for the first year) is one of 40% lost forever.
In practical terms, it may well be that working part-time throughout the Federal Disability Retirement process and the long bureaucratic wait was a necessity which could not be avoided; but it is nevertheless something which should be done with full disclosure and knowledge, so that there are no surprises in the end.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Filed under: Accommodation and Light Duty | Tagged: an important issue that may cost you tens of thousands of dollars after getting your fers disability retirement approved, applying for federal disability, back pay in federal disability retirement, civil service disability retirement, disability retirement at the USPS, disability severance pay for furlough public employees, disabled federal employees on furlough and the future lower 'high three' disability calculation, extended lwop while waiting for opm disability approval, federal employee disability, federal employee disability retroactive payments, federal employee part-time status because of an illnes or injury, FERS Disability, fers disability and working part-time because of medical conditions, fers disability part time, fers disability retroactive, figuring out retroactive payments from last day worked with the federal government, financial considerations before you even apply for fers disability retirement, formal postal worker working part-time while on opm disability, how do I get federal workers comp disability?, how do people live while filing for federal disability retirement?, how much money opm disability retirement pays?, how to calculate annuity payments under fers disability retirement, how to medically retire from civil service, if approved for federal or postal disability retirement will they back pay me?, in part-time work and workers comp while waiting for a decision from opm, is working part-time an accommodation in opm disability law?, it may be a temporary survival issue but at least you must know how part-time work while waiting for an opm decision may affect your federal disability retirement benefits, law firm representing clients in opm disability law all across america, OPM disability application tips and strategies, OPM disability lawyer, opm disability retroactive pay, part-time employment for opm disability annuitants, Post Office disability, Postal Service disability, pragmatic financial consideration before filing for fers disability, questions about back pay after your opm disability application is approved, statutory requirements in OPM disability law, using donated leave before federal disability retirement, using lwop while waiting for fers disability retirement, using sick leave during federal employment, USPS Disability, when part-time work may work against the federal disability retirement applicant, will I receive back pay from the time I was qualified for opm disability?, will the opm back pay me all these months I was on disability?, Working part-time during the decision waiting period may cost you thousands of dollars in benefits -- you have just been warned! | Leave a comment »