Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Federal Workers' Compensation

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.

Here is a forum for members to share and exchange experiences regarding to workers' compensation related issues.


To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.
Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
Stephan  
#1 Posted : Friday, February 14, 2014 9:06:55 PM(UTC)
Stephan

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/26/2011(UTC)
Posts: 169

Thanks: 24 times
Was thanked: 6 time(s) in 5 post(s)
I am posting in both DR and OWCP forums in hopes that someone can help me with understanding SSDI calculations. In this case while receiving OWCP benefits.

Can anyone break it down? For ease of understanding, can we use a high salary of $100,000? And receiving 75% of salary ($75,000).

Thank you in advance for helping me understand the result of these calculations.

Stephan

edalder  
#2 Posted : Saturday, February 15, 2014 1:23:47 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/9/2001(UTC)
Posts: 2,343

Thanks: 2 times
Was thanked: 189 time(s) in 164 post(s)
Your combined monthly benefits from both SSA and OWCP can not exceed 80% of your pre-disability earnings. If it does, SSA reduces its benefits to get to that 80% cap. Just using your example, you would receive $5000 per year from SSA.

SSA determines your pre-disability earnings by looking at your earnings history under SSA. If your earnings in 2013 were lower because your work injury occurred that year, then it will look at your yearly 2012 earnings.

Your current salary as reflected on your SF (PS) 50 or which OPM might use as part of your "high three" is not relevant to SSA. Of course, if you were a GS employee, unless you got a step increase, your actual earnings over the past few years have probably been relatively flat.
Kivi
GoHuskers  
#3 Posted : Saturday, February 15, 2014 1:46:56 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 666

Was thanked: 124 time(s) in 99 post(s)
I'll try to give a simple explanation of how it works. Under the law, the total of your SSDI and WC benefits cannot initially exceed 80% of what is called the average current earnings (ACE), and when necessary SSA will reduce the amount of the SSDI they pay so that the total payable does not exceed that limit. The most common way to calculate the ACE is to take the covered FICA earnings from the highest year of the year you became disabled and the 5 prior years, divide by 12, round down to the dollar and multiply by 80%. For example, if your highest yearly FICA earnings were $100,000, that would be $8333.33/mo, rounded down to 8333, and 80% of that would be $6666.40. If your monthly OWCP payment was already higher than that, no SSDI would be payable. Otherwise, SSA will reduce the amount of the SSDI so that the sum of it and the OWCP payment equals $6666.40. If your yearly OWCP payments equal $75,000 per your example, that would be $6250/mo. In that case, SSA could only pay 416.40/mo to not exceed the limit of 6666.40. So, if your regular monthly SSDI was calculated to be, say, $2000 that would mean SSA would hold back (offset) $1583.60 of it.

Now if you want to know how SSA calculates their initial unreduced SSDI benefit, that is a little too complicated to explain here.

There are 2 other things to keep in mind regarding how SSA does their offset computations. First, SSA uses the gross OWCP amount, before any deductions. Secondly, OWCP pays every 4 weeks, but SSA uses a monthly amount for their offset computation. To convert the 28 day OWCP payment to a monthly amount, it is multiplied by 13/12 (based on there being approximately 4 1/3 weeks in a month).

Hope that helps.

Edit - Guess edalder posted his reply just as I started composing mine. Also, I notice you worded the question differently in the Disability Retirement forum. It is important to make the distinction of whether you are receiving OWCP benefits or a FERS disability benefit. The replies in this forum are based on the receipt of OWCP workers compensation benefits. FERS disability benefits are a completely different animal. GSBS's reply in the other forum addresses how FERS disability benefits are affected by SSDI. GoHuskers2014-02-15 10:00:59
Snowed  
#4 Posted : Saturday, February 15, 2014 3:00:57 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/1/2009(UTC)
Posts: 2,064

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 18 time(s) in 18 post(s)
Potentially SS wages used are much higher as SSA uses your full pay including overtime as well as earnings from other jobs and OWCP uses basic pay at the time of injury.
March for Justice!
Stephan  
#5 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2014 3:13:16 AM(UTC)
Stephan

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/26/2011(UTC)
Posts: 169

Thanks: 24 times
Was thanked: 6 time(s) in 5 post(s)

Thank you all very much for your breakdown info. It's really helpful.

I read somewhere that if I don't receive the SSDI approval,
then as a result of having ZERO INCOME, my SSA calculation will START TO DWINDLE between now and the time I reach 62. Such that, when my regular Social Security is calculated at age 62, it will be lowered or lessened due to the $0 years after I became disabled.

Can anyone confirm THIS IS TRUE??

I am currently OWCP , approved FERS DR (elected to have it suspended while on OWCP), Applied for SSDI (awaiting determination) if this makes any difference in helping to answer my question.

Thank you!
Stephan2014-02-21 11:18:53
GoHuskers  
#6 Posted : Friday, February 21, 2014 3:56:33 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 666

Was thanked: 124 time(s) in 99 post(s)
If you are not approved for SS disability, SSA will use the highest 35 years of earnings, indexed for increases in the average wage base, to calculate the average indexed monthly wage that serves as the basis for the calculation of the SS retirement benefit. If any of the years used in the calculation have zero covered wages (wages subject to FICA), that is going to drag down the average indexed monthly wage and thus decrease the benefit amount ultimately received.

Now if you are approved for SS disability, the years used in the computation will be less than 35, with the actual number depending on your age at the time you are found disabled. The establishment of entitlement to disability benefits also puts a "freeze" on your SS record, which in essence protects the amount of your future retirement benefit so that the years of zero earnings while entitled to disability benefits do not adversely affect you.
Stephan  
#7 Posted : Saturday, February 22, 2014 11:26:31 PM(UTC)
Stephan

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/26/2011(UTC)
Posts: 169

Thanks: 24 times
Was thanked: 6 time(s) in 5 post(s)
GOHUSKERS!!! I don't know what your "specialty/vocation" is, but your answers are extremely detailed and extremely helpful as a result.

Thank you for caring to take the time -- a tremendous (added) help to all of us!

Even if I end up getting $50 a month (or whatever), I am going to continue the pain-steaking SSDI process to protect the years I worked!

Thanks for both of your very detailed responses to this post!

GoHuskers  
#8 Posted : Sunday, February 23, 2014 2:00:40 PM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 666

Was thanked: 124 time(s) in 99 post(s)
No problem. I worked for SSA for over 36 years (now retired) and as part of my duties was heavily engaged in the areas of benefit computations and workers' compensation offset. I'm glad to share what I can.   
Stephan  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, February 25, 2014 10:28:23 PM(UTC)
Stephan

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/26/2011(UTC)
Posts: 169

Thanks: 24 times
Was thanked: 6 time(s) in 5 post(s)
VERY HELPFUL -- Thanks!
swimmingly  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, February 26, 2014 12:28:01 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/26/2013(UTC)
Posts: 228

Thanks: 18 times
Was thanked: 14 time(s) in 11 post(s)
I guess I need to ask, I've been on owcp/lwec an also approved for DR FROM OPM. I'm getting OCWP, should I elect DR from OPM so when I turn 62 I'll get more??? Thanks
GoHuskers  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, February 26, 2014 2:14:58 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 666

Was thanked: 124 time(s) in 99 post(s)
Hard to answer without a lot more info. Are you FERS or CSRS? If FERS, were you approved for SSA Disability? If not, will you qualify for SSA retirement?
swimmingly  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, February 26, 2014 4:40:29 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/26/2013(UTC)
Posts: 228

Thanks: 18 times
Was thanked: 14 time(s) in 11 post(s)
I'm FERS- I never thought about going for SSI however I will tomorrow. OPM approved my disability retirement in 2001, OWCPaccepted my claim in 2001 as well… I fought like hell for 6 years stating I could work however after filing a MSPB claim, I know have the USPS saying "I can't supervise or be supervised", It's on the world wide web since 2009 and I haven't be able to land a job yet. A basic back ground check and I'm toast.. So, would SSI look at the fact that OPM,DOL/OWCP and the USPS data and approve SSI?? I can't see SSI saying no those agencies are lying???
GoHuskers  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:56:46 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 666

Was thanked: 124 time(s) in 99 post(s)
"I've been on owcp/lwec an also approved for DR FROM OPM. I'm getting OCWP, should I elect DR from OPM so when I turn 62 I'll get more???"

After the additional information provided, I'm not sure I understand the question, and will defer to someone with more expertise regarding FERS disability retirement to answer it.

In regards to filing for SS disability at this date, any application for S disability has a maximum retroactivity of 12 months, so if you filed tomorrow the earliest month you could get benefits for is February 2013. Your SSDI would potentially be subject to the workers compensation offset provisions if you continue to receive WC from OWCP. How the offset is computed was explained earlier in this thread. If you switched over to a FERS disability retirement, the SSDI would not be offset, but the FERS DIB would be reduced by a percentage of the SSDI. You'd need to run the numbers for your unique situation to determine which scenario works best for you. If you are approved for SSDI, you would qualify for Medicare after 24 months of entitlement.

Regarding your last question, SSA has a more stringent requirement for disability than OPM (see http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify4.htm for more info) and will independently evaluate the medical evidence to determine if that standard is met.
swimmingly  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, February 26, 2014 9:13:35 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/26/2013(UTC)
Posts: 228

Thanks: 18 times
Was thanked: 14 time(s) in 11 post(s)
Thanks, GOHuskers… I really dislike being on OWCP
INXORTE  
#15 Posted : Wednesday, May 8, 2019 6:23:39 AM(UTC)
INXORTE

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/21/2018(UTC)
Posts: 2
Man
United States

Thanks: 3 times
I have a question about a child receiving SSDI based on her mother's SS account.

Her mother, a federal employee was approved an OWCP claim after she was approved her SSDI resulting in an overpayment. SSA is stating that both the child and the dependent received an overpayment.

In my example, the mother's SSA-1099 box 3 (benefits paid in the year) is 10,000.00 same as box 5 (net benefits pain in the year).

In the description of amount in box 3 it breaks down the amount on 3

- Paid by check 2000
- Adjustment for OWCP compensation 8,000.
Total benefits = 10,000

My Q:

The child's SSDI should be calculated based on her mother's total SSDI benefit or on the amount SSA is paying her mother when they do the 80% calculation?

Thanks,

INXORTE
GoHuskers  
#16 Posted : Wednesday, May 8, 2019 9:04:25 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 666

Was thanked: 124 time(s) in 99 post(s)
When an individual entitled to SSDI is also receiving workers' compensation benefits, such as those paid by OWCP, all benefits being paid on that account, which would include benefits paid to a spouse and/or child, are potentially subject to offset. In fact, the benefits to the spouse or child will be offset before the benefit of the disabled worker. Here is a simplified example of how it works.

Let's say the monthly SSDI benefit before offset is $2000 and the benefit to the child is 50% of that, or $1000, for total monthly benefits of $3000 prior to offset. By law the total amount of SSDI and WC received can not initially exceed 80% of what SSA calculates as the Average Current Earnings (ACE). That is normally 1/12 of the year of highest earnings in the year the individual became disabled and the 5 previous years. If the highest yearly earnings in that period was $48,000 then 80% of that would by $38,400 and dividing that by 12 gives an 80% ACE of $3,200. Now, let's say the OWCP payment equals $3,000 per month. Since the total payment is limited to $3,200 per month SSA would reduce the amount of SSDI actually paid to only $200 per month. They would withhold the entirety of the child's benefit and all but $200 of the benefit to the disabled individual.

That is why in a situation such as you describe the mother still received a portion of her SSDI benefit and the benefit to the child was completely offset by the OWCP payments the mother received.
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
INXORTE on 5/8/2019(UTC)
INXORTE  
#17 Posted : Thursday, May 9, 2019 4:30:54 AM(UTC)
INXORTE

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/21/2018(UTC)
Posts: 2
Man
United States

Thanks: 3 times
If you have an overpayment with the SSA for SSDI, Is there a way to reduce the amount of the debt? Can I use my TSP to pay for the debt? What other options of payment I have that would not affect my credit? Thank you.
edalder  
#18 Posted : Thursday, May 9, 2019 10:19:46 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/9/2001(UTC)
Posts: 2,343

Thanks: 2 times
Was thanked: 189 time(s) in 164 post(s)
SSA has a complicated process for its overpayments. If it would be a genuine hardship for you to pay back the overpayment and you were deemed without fault in the creation of the overpayment, you might be able to get it waived and not have to pay back any of it. Waivers are hard to get, however. You have to need all of your current income to meet ordinary and necessary living expenses for yourself and your family and you cannot have a "resource base" above a certain rather low limit. Certain assets are exempt, such as you residence (unless you live in a mansion), but many full time career Federal employees (or retirees) would have a hard time qualifying for a waiver.

If you continue to receive SSDI, even at a reduced rate, but do not meet the criteria for a waiver, you may be able to propose a monthly repayment plan to SSA. Ideally, the monthly repayment amount would allow the overpayment to be fully collected via a monthly deduction from your ongoing SSDI benefits. Ideally, the monthly amount you propose to repay should repay the full overpayment amount within three years, but that one may not be possible if the overpayment is large. Interest likely will be charged, but compared to borrowing from a commercial lender, the interest rate likely will be far less. The interest rate is based on some obscure T-Bill rate, but if you borrow from elsewhere, you likely will be paying an interest rate that is above 10%. No T-Bill rate is that high.

You can use any funds available to you to repay the overpayment. However, if you withdraw from your TSP, you will owe taxes on the withdrawal and perhaps an early withdrawal penalty as well. I am assuming that you are not working, so taking a loan from your TSP likely isn't an option, Whether withdrawing from your TSP makes financial sense or not, is not something that we can tell you. You will have to "run the numbers" for yourself. If you do withdraw from your TSP, you do permanently deplete the funds that would otherwise have been available to you when do intend to retire as well forfiet opportunities for growth that might have occurred had you left that money there until you did intend to retire.
Kivi
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
INXORTE on 5/9/2019(UTC)
GoHuskers  
#19 Posted : Thursday, May 9, 2019 6:52:59 PM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 666

Was thanked: 124 time(s) in 99 post(s)
One correction to edalder's otherwise excellent response. SSA has never charged interest on overpayments of benefits due, so you do not need to worry about that. Also, if you do ask SSA to recover the overpayment by withholding only part of the SSDI benefit payable over a period of time, while they do prefer to collect it within 36 months there is usually some flexibility and they may be willing to extend it past 36 months.

You should have received a small booklet with the overpayment letter, which should itself have explained your appeal rights. Be sure you contact SSA within the specified time limits if you do want to request some type of relief.
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
INXORTE on 5/9/2019(UTC)
Rss Feed  Atom Feed
Users browsing this topic
Guest
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.


This page was generated in 0.569 seconds.