FEDweek

How Earnings Affect a Disability Benefit

If you are a disability annuitant under age 60 and considering returning to work, the Office of Personnel Management may find that you have recovered from your disability, if:

• you are reemployed on a permanent basis in a position equivalent in grade and pay to the position from which you retired; or

• you are reemployed subject to medical and physical qualification standards equivalent to those of the position from which you retired.

The pay of the position in which you are reemployed, prior to the offset of annuity, will be included as earnings in determining whether you are restored to earning capacity and your annuity must stop.

Receipt of, or continued entitlement to receive, full or partial injury compensation benefits from the Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ compensation during reemployment, when those benefits are based on the same injury or medical condition that is the basis for OPM’s award of disability retirement, is considered conclusive evidence (unless there is contravening medical evidence) that you have not recovered from your disability.

If you are age 60 or over, your annuity cannot be stopped because of your earnings, and OPM can find that you are recovered only if you request to be found recovered.

A disability annuity may be reinstated when your reemployment ends if:

• you have not reached age 62,

• you were reemployed more than one year after you separated for disability retirement,

• your reemployment lasted less than one year, and your disability has recurred, or your earnings capacity falls below the 80 percent limitation.