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How FERS Disability Impacts Work Eligibility

Federal employees with a mental or physical disability that prevent them from being "useful and efficient" in their current job position may be eligible for certain federal disability benefits through the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). This program supports and protects disabled federal employees who may not be able to perform their job efficiently due to an ongoing medical condition.

Disability Requirements and Benefits of FERS

In order to qualify for FERS, the individual must have worked as a federal civilian or postal employee for a minimum of 18 months. Additionally, employers must prove that they tried to accommodate your disability in the workplace.

According to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), FERS benefits are dependent on your age, and there are several factors that determine earning considerations.

Earning considerations include:

  • The average of your highest paying three years of federal work.
  • For individuals over 62 years old or those eligible for voluntary retirement, they will receive approximately one percent of their three-year average for each year of federal employment.
  • For those that also qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI), the amount obtained from FERS will be reduced by the amount of their benefit for the first year, and then by 60 percent every year following that.

Can You Work While on FERS Disability?

While receiving FERS disability benefits, individuals cannot keep their federal employment status due to them proving that they are not capable of performing their job responsibilities. However, they can work in the private sector as long as they don't earn more than 80 percent of their federal salary.

Speak to an Attorney Today

If you need assistance applying for FERS disability or your disability request was denied, our attorneys can help protect your rights. At The Law Firm of John P. Mahoney, Esq., Attorneys at Law, PLLC, our caring federal employment law firm has the skills to help you obtain your desired outcome. If you've already been denied benefits, our team will help you effectively navigate the appeal process, or if you're ready to file for federal disability retirement benefits, we can help you get started.

Contact our attorneys for a consultation today by calling us at (202) 759-7780. We can help you can understand your options so you can make informed legal decisions.