There must be a connection between the voluntary military service and the declared national emergency Image: iama_sing/Shutterstock.com

There are limits to the “differential pay” that makes up for the difference between the military pay of a federal employee on active military duty as a Reservist and the person’s federal salary, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Case No. 2021-2280 before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit involved an SSA employee who was activated to military duty with the Army Reserve for five months but who was denied the differential pay on grounds that he was serving voluntary active duty. When he challenged that denial to the MSPB, a hearing officer ruled that the pay applies only to a call to order under certain conditions or “during a war or national emergency.”

On appeal, he argued that he qualified because a national emergency has been in effect since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. However, the court cited a prior case in which it rejected a similar argument that it said “would have entitled differential pay to every federal employee ordered to duty since September 11, 2001, regardless of the nature of their service.”

“There must be a connection between the voluntary military service and the declared national emergency,” it held. As in the prior case, the employee “has not alleged any connection between his service and the declared national emergency other than a temporal overlap between his activation and the declared national emergency” which “is not enough” to meet the law’s standard.

OPM Sets Standards for FEHB, New Postal-Only Health Program in 2025

Report: Discipline at DHS Varies by Supervisory Status

Chances of Shutdown Increase as Congress Recesses

OPM Sets Policies on Contraceptive Coverage, Other Issues in FEHB Program

Report Shows Upswing in Work at Older Ages

Report Updates Status of Changes to Security Clearance Processes

See also,

Deposits to Capture Credit for Military Service

Marriage and Your Federal Employee Benefits

The Best Reason to Have a Roth Account (Even if You Think You Don’t Need It)

What Happens to Sick Leave at Retirement

Earning, Accumulating and Using Sick Leave in the Federal Government

What TSP Millionaires Do That Others Don’t

Calculator: See Your Annuity Estimate!

2023 Federal Employees Handbook