A Comparison of FECA & Disability Retirement
The Federal Employees Compensation Act, which is a compensation plan to help employees who are incapacitated due to illness or injury, is entirely different from the disability retirement plan. The federal employee must fulfill some certain conditions to be qualified for the compensation benefits. An example is that he or she must be considered too disabled to partake in daily work activities as a result of an injury sustained at work. The responsibility of the OPM is to determine if the injury is work-related or not.
It is important to understand that federal disability retirement and compensation benefits cannot be paid at the same time. The decision to choose the most suitable plan for yourself lies with you and your survivors. If you are receiving compensation payments, your disability retirement benefits will be deferred but can only be activated if the value of your compensation plan is below the value of the annuity benefit or stops. Another factor that can enable you to receive both benefits at the same time is the holding of a schedule award which stipulates that you have lost a body part as a result of the injury.
In some cases, you can have access to retirement benefits when you do not receive compensation benefits. For example, retirement benefits can be paid to a former spouse if there is a court order but he or she is not entitled to compensation benefits in this case. Moreover, if a man or woman who has lost his or her spouse to death remarries before he or she attains the age of 55 and that marriage ends, there might be a reinstatement of the retirement benefit if the survivor has not been paid a refund of the retirement contributions. In other cases, there may never be a reinstatement of compensation benefits. If you are rendered incapacitated as a result of a job-related injury or sickness but lose your life to causes unconnected to the injury, your survivors will not earn any compensation benefits but may be eligible for the CSRS survivor benefits.
If you are unmarried and do not have a partner or kids who are qualified for benefits, there would be no payment of monthly survivor annuity benefits. In this scenario, your survivors will receive a lump-sum of your retirement contributions according to the order of preference discussed above.
If you have inquiries regarding disability, be sure to reach out to a financial professional to have your questions answered.