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Federal Disability Retirement: Administrative Judge reduces OPM schedule for repayment of overpaid disability retirement benefit

Federal Disability Retirement: Administrative Judge reduces OPM schedule for repayment of overpaid disability retirement benefits.

Earlier, I posted about the process to seek waiver (or reduction of repayment schedule) of an overpayment of retirement benefits.

To give you an idea how this works in reality, I thought I’d break down a recent MSPB Initial Decision (San Francisco Regional Office, October 2008).

In that case, the Appellant received an overpayment of retirement benefits. She had applied, and was granted, disability retirement from OPM in 2004. It took until 2007 for her to receive Social Security Disability payments. In the interim, OPM continued to pay her disability retirement annuity without the mandatory reduction for Social Security disability payments received. When the Appellant received a lump sum payment from Social Security, she failed to hold-back the portion that was owed to OPM for overpayment of her annuity.

In her appeal, the Administrative Judge found, correctly, that the Appellant should have held back the over-payment. However, the Administrative Judge also found that the Appellant was entitled to reduction in the OPM proposed repayment schedule.

The Judge reduced the Appellant’s monthly income of $4,407by her expenses – OPM did not dispute $3,159 in expenses. (Shockingly, OPM did dispute her monthly grocery bill of $691 and a monthly clothing allotment of $155 – someone at OPM needs to leave work early and go to the supermarket or the mall – those expenses seem pretty darned reasonable to me). The AJ found that the Appellant’s expenses were reasonable, and therefore, she was entitled to a reduction in OPM’s proposed repayment plan.

In any event, the AJ found that the Appellant had only liquid assets to support monthly payments of $10 – rather than OPM’s proposed monthly payments of $158.68 per month.

No post on this website is legal advice, is meant to be legal advice, and certainly does not serve as a substitute for legal advice. Information is power, and we are providing this information to give you, the federal employee, with some power. This information is not widely or easily accessible to Federal Employees.

It is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals to discuss the facts and law of your particular case.

If you find yourself in a situation where OPM is claiming that you were overpaid retirement benefits, and would like to challenge OPM’s calculations of the overpayment or the waiver amount to the MSPB, contact an MSPB attorney at the Law Office of Eric L. Pines, PLLC, to schedule a telephone consultation.