Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. Attorneys at Law

SSD benefits and interaction with federal employee programs

Social Security programs, like the federal program that offers disability benefits, are a resource those who are qualified should make use of. The program exists to help people who are at a disadvantage due to injury or illness that makes it difficult or impossible to get or hold a job and thus earn a living wage. While it has specific, and some would describe them as rigid, regulations, the rules are in place to ensure the people who need SSD benefits receive them. Those who are eligible for SSD benefits may also qualify to receive other types of benefits too.

That's what a lot of Mobile residents aren't aware of. Most figure that SSD benefits are the end-all-be-all of help for the disabled, but that isn't necessarily true. There are other government programs that exist and not only that, but some were designed to work with SSD benefits in order to ensure that the benefit program works for those who need it. The civil service retirement programs, like FERS under CSRS, are meant to interact with Social Security disability programs and it can mean an influx of resources from both programs. Not everyone is eligible for both programs, however, some are.

Specifically those that qualify would be federal employees who become disabled during their federal career. Notably, Social Security Disability is stricter in it's regulation than is CSRS so while one may not have been made aware of the potential benefits of CSRS they may actually be easier to obtain, especially if you are approved for SSD benefits. Depending in which area a person works, they could become eligible anywhere as quickly as 18 months of service or 5 years for non-FERS employees. With thousands of federal employees scattered around the nation, they may not realize the financial benefits that could be attained due to their disability.

For those who are not federal employees, these programs need not apply. However, it isn't unheard of to hear about SSD benefits interacting with other benefits a person might be entitled to depending on their personal situation. Financial help can come from other places like workers' comp or even a personal injury suit if it is believed negligence was a factor when you were injured on the job. A disability does not have to occur due to an injury on the job to be eligible for SSD benefits, however.

Source: fedweek.com, "Retirement & Financial Planning Report," Sep. 7, 2017

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