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Federal Disability Retirement: OPM and OWCP Benefits

Federal Disability Retirement: OPM and OWCP Benefits

Many individuals that are currently receiving OWCP wage loss compensation and/or a schedule award ask us whether they can simultaneously receive disability compensation from OWCP and federal disability retirement from OPM at the same time.

You cannot receive wage loss compensation from OWCP and federal disability retirement payments from OPM at the same time. Deciding which benefit to choose is a decision that is meant for another post, and involves considerations of whether or not you will be able to return to work, personal income considerations, likelihood of full or partial recovery, etc.

You can, however, receive a schedule award from OWCP at the same time as you are receiving federal disability retirement from OPM.

Why the difference? Because a schedule award and wage loss compensation compensate for different losses. Wage loss compensation from OWCP compensates you, partially, for the loss of your wages while you recover from an on-the-job injury. Federal disability retirement is a benefit when you cannot return to work due to a medical condition. Thus, it is logically inconsistent to collect both OWCP wage loss compensation and a federal disability retirement annuity from OPM at the same time. A schedule award on the other hand, compensates you for loss of use of a body part, and thus is not compensating you for the same loss as federal disability retirement annuity from OPM.

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.

The Law Office of Eric Pines represents Federal employees under FERS or CSRS in their applications for federal disability retirement to OPM. If an application for federal disability retirement is denied, the Firm represents Federal employees under both FERS and CSRS in their MSPB appeals of denials of federal disability retirement applications by OPM.

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 have questions about federal disability retirement under FERS or CSRS, or OPM’s denial of your applications for federal disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, contact an MSPB attorney at the Law Office of Eric Pines to schedule a telephone consultation.