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Disability Retirement


The federal government allows employees who are unable to work to retire under a disability retirement. It is in the best interest of both employees and the federal government for employees to remain gainfully employed in their current grade or pay level, as long as they can provide useful and efficient service without endangering themselves, others or government property.
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limpy1  
#1 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2019 8:39:52 AM(UTC)
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Well my book finally came. They never took out my back owed fehb. Including the extra months I am being billed for after my letter stating it was cancelled, with all the fees from the collection agency. I never got any forms for any fehb. It all says no deductions. I would like to at least pick up a dental plan. All this stress has caused me to grind my teeth in my sleep and destroyed them with no extra money to see a Dentist. They also withheld a huge son for Uncle Sam.
I am curious why my basic monthly amount they are sending now with my SSDI is almost $200 less than it stated my original amount determined was. That is if I add my Medicare b to the total I would get if not paying it.
I am expecting a 10 grand garnishment on this amount from the collection agency for my 1 year of health insurance they are after. (6000 plus their fees) It is actually 14 months they billed me for that they won't correct. Plus now owing a huge amount to state tax. Leaves me with enough to get the utilities and house caught up and not much more. I have been out of work for 4 years to boot.
Is the tax liability spread into the 4 year period or is it counted as all earned this year? I wonder if I can deduct the 10 grand to the treasury as it was health insurance or medical expenses.
GSBS  
#2 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2019 9:49:39 AM(UTC)
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They can't Garnish funds from your Annuity under the law. Although your post is really hard to read you should only be responsible for your co premiums for the period in question. I paid so much Tax and Penalties that it wiped out my TSP. I understand there is a way to distribute the tax due over a longer time period, see your tax professional. I'm pretty sure you can pick up a supplemental Dental plan. Your annuity probably went down from the first year rate paid at 60% and now you are on 40%, minus 60% of your SSDI. Again I don't know whether to congratulate you or reinforce my ongoing advice there's a good chance OPM will screw you if you are not in touch with the person working on your finalization if anticipating problems
limpy1  
#3 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2019 11:33:25 AM(UTC)
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You seemed to do a good job, sorry for the confusion. I thought opm paid the outstanding fehb that you owed. My employer carried them while in LWOP. They were sent to collections because I had no income to pay it. I received a letter from my employer saying they were cancelled on X date yet the bill from my employer sent to collections and I requested a copy of, is for months beyond that date. I can't get my employer to correct it. The collection fees are close to 50% more than my initial bill so adding months on added up. As I've mentioned here before my SSDI is garnished monthly for it.
My initial blue book benefit says XXXX.XX. A second date, 1 year later says my benefit is XXXX.XX About 1000.00 less than a year earlier. A third date 5 months later it drops significantly. That third date is when my SSDI back payments started. It then has a fourth date where it increased $3.00, a fifth where it went up $19, and a sixth date in 2018 where it went up $19 again and that is what it says I will still receive.
If I take 40% of my SSDI payment now (I included Medicare b and my fehb garnishment for awarded total) and subtract it from their 2nd figure 1 year after date of disability, which I assume it dropped to 40%, I am close to $200 less monthly than they are sending me if that makes sense.
Sofedup  
#4 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2019 12:00:49 PM(UTC)
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Limpy1. Congrats on the forward progress tho. It’s a step in the right direction. I just got a CSA # 2-1/2 months ago so it’s going to be a looooooong battle here. Hoping a decision by Xmas.
GSBS  
#5 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2019 12:05:00 PM(UTC)
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Its somewhat clearer, still though there should be no collections effort against you as it is an illegal debt. Did you even use your FEHB during this period and were you ever able to voice this concern with OPM before your Blue book came? I wanted to say I might be wrong on Government debts which can be garnished. Any corrections of this collections mess should be handled by OPM
gembarok  
#6 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2019 12:35:58 PM(UTC)
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Greetings,

You just have way to much going on there that I can't follow you either. Admittedly, I am too lazy to go back and read all your old posts to help you figure it out. The best advice I can give is to sit down, write your questions out, and then get on the phone with OPM. We just don't have people who understand this stuff well enough available to us. I can't remember if you have a lawyer helping you or not... but they SHOULD be able to explain it to you. The collections being done by your insurer doesn't sound like someone under the FEHB program. Was it a non-federal plan? Because OPM wouldn't authorize payment to them if that is the case. Not understanding how your SSDI is garnished... there must be a court order for that I thought. Second, you probably will want a CPA. I am pretty sure you can put in amended tax returns and that will help lessen the burden.

I imagine the reason you have multiple dates is due to COLA increases. The first being your reduced annuity to 40% of 60%, etc. Good luck.

S/
K
Calicocat  
#7 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2019 3:28:43 PM(UTC)
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Limpy that sounds very complicated. I was told how much my annuity would be by the case worker who I first talked to in February. I did the math and it was correct for the 40% of my FERS annuity and 60% reduction related to my SSDI payments. My FEHB was terminated the month after I was let go. I couldn’t afford the premiums. Since I’m going on Medicare, I’m not reinstating FEHB.

Did you get backpay in one payment? I hope it helped to get you some relief.

American*Spirit  
#8 Posted : Monday, July 8, 2019 11:50:39 PM(UTC)
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Congratulations on you finally getting some funds.

I Also had my FEHB sent to collections. It didnt appear to be a private collection agency, but government contracted. If it's a government debt, they can garnish OPM annuity. I retired under early out, so I was getting an annuity prior to being approved for disability retirement. It was reduced a few hundred dollar per month because of what I owed. I also had negative annual leave balance. They garnished that also. each month a little coming out of my retirement annuity. I just let them have it that way. Once it goes into collection, interest, penalties stop. At tax time, I had enough of a refund to pay them back. Didnt have to take care of it, the IRS had the lien on anything government debt. and just went ahead and sent the entire funds to the agency. Done.

Limpy1. If there are no deductions for dental being taken out, open season is coming in November. Dental and vision are optional and you can sign up then. While employed, we could opt in one year out the next if we didnt need or want it. However, with OPM, I wouldnt chance that game, just leave it alone once you get it.

Edited by user Monday, July 8, 2019 11:52:10 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Sofedup  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 3:10:54 AM(UTC)
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Here’s a question. From the very week I went on LWOP I paid my FEHB premiums every 5 pay periods by way of invoice directly to Eagan MN. This went on for the entire year I was on LWOP till I was separated. After that point I bought my health insurance on the marketplace. When finalization occurs will the FEHB be restored to when I last paid for FEHB with those invoices?, or to a different point? I also need to know if they refund premiums you paid on the marketplace because paying for double coverage is BS. Thanks to anyone who has been in this situation where they paid the FEHB while they were on LWOP until separated.
Calicocat  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 8:59:20 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Sofedup Go to Quoted Post
Here’s a question. From the very week I went on LWOP I paid my FEHB premiums every 5 pay periods by way of invoice directly to Eagan MN. This went on for the entire year I was on LWOP till I was separated. After that point I bought my health insurance on the marketplace. When finalization occurs will the FEHB be restored to when I last paid for FEHB with those invoices?, or to a different point? I also need to know if they refund premiums you paid on the marketplace because paying for double coverage is BS. Thanks to anyone who has been in this situation where they paid the FEHB while they were on LWOP until separated.


If you are deemed eligible to continue your FEHB, you will have a choice of what date you want to pick up coverage. You can choose retro coverage to the day it terminated or to start when you begin receiving your annuity. They will NOT reimburse you for marketplace coverage. You are only eligible for reimbursement if you elected to continue coverage (TCC) and had paid the full premium out of pocket.
thanks 1 user thanked Calicocat for this useful post.
GSBS on 7/9/2019(UTC)
Sofedup  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 10:11:44 AM(UTC)
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Thank you calicocat. Since I was on lwop over 365 days, and wasn’t separated yet I didn’t qualify for TCC. If they had separated me before LWOP 365 I would have been in a much better place. It sounds like I am just going to be eating the expensive as hell marketplace premiums, and have them reinstate my FEHB premiums going forward, (approval date im assuming). What a mess. If anyone has a reference of where this is in writing I would sure appreciate it. Thanks.
limpy1  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 4:47:13 PM(UTC)
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I am in the same boat as American*Spirit. Because it is a federal debt they can take anything and everything. I have been collecting SSDI for over a year and a half while waiting for my OPM decision and they are garnishing it every month. I received a call from the federal collector who informed me I was in default and needed to send more. She threatened me with taxes and insisted I had more coming in to send them but I didn't. I don't do taxes because I didn't pull in enough. She insisted the 15% they were garnishing from SSDI was not enough and I needed to send her more now. Not kidding.

The confusion I caused I believe is the over billing. I was billed for health insurance for months beyond the 365 days in LWOP. I was sent a letter saying it was cancelled due to non-payment and the 365 day rule. Yet they sent the federal collector a bill saying I owed for health insurance for more than two months longer than the date they cancelled it. I tried calling fehb and my Employer's HR but they won't correct it to the date it actually ended. I hope that makes sense.

Because it was for fehb, I was under the impression OPM would reimburse my Employer for the health insurance I owed while in LWOP waiting for my decision. I guess not. I'll expect the treasury collection agency to also garnish my monthly OPM deposit or accounts I guess.

As far as dental, I thought we had to pick up immediately any fehb or we'd lose the right. I carried health, dental, and life while working. My blue book states no deductions for anything. I was never contacted or asked about any fehb.
Calicocat  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 6:47:52 PM(UTC)
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This is the letter I received from OPM regarding FEHB reinstatement.

I hope this helps clarify the process.


We have determined that the health benefits enrollment you had as an employee may be continued during your retirement. However, this enrollment was terminated by your agency on xxxxxxx This letter is to give you an opportunity to reinstate your Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) enrollment.

Because your former agency terminated your enrollment on xxxxxxx you have not been covered by a FEHB plan since that date. Therefore, you have a choice of dates to select as the effective date to reinstate your health insurance coverage. Please choose the option which best meets your needs. You can request that OPM -

(1) Reinstate your enrollment beginning with the date of your current month’s payment (OPM is currently working on the month of July).

(2) Reinstate your enrollment effective with your annuity commencing date, xxxxxxxx Insurance carriers will usually honor claims going back to this date, but please check with your carrier to be sure.

(3) Reinstate your enrollment effective with the first of the month of the previous year, 1/1/2018. Insurance carriers will usually honor claims going back to this date, but please check with your carrier to be sure.

You can choose the health benefits plan that best suits your needs or you can elect to re-enroll in your last listed health benefits plan:
_____________________________________


If you have enrolled in a FEHB Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) enrollment through your employing agency, you may be eligible to receive a refund of premiums paid for any period of dual coverage up to 18-month eligibility period. If you are currently under TCC, you CANNOT change into a new plan. You must remain with the FEHB plan you are with under TCC and then change it during open season. We will notify the agency which maintains your TCC enrollment of the transfer-in effective date of your FEHB enrollment and provide
Calicocat  
#14 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 7:02:23 PM(UTC)
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Limpy I am so horrified that you were left in this position. It’s cruel and heartless. I hope you’re able to get some legal counsel.

You’re in my prayers.
GSBS  
#15 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 7:31:05 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Calicocat Go to Quoted Post

This is the letter I received from OPM regarding FEHB reinstatement.

I hope this helps clarify the process.


We have determined that the health benefits enrollment you had as an employee may be continued during your retirement. However, this enrollment was terminated by your agency on xxxxxxx This letter is to give you an opportunity to reinstate your Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) enrollment.

Because your former agency terminated your enrollment on xxxxxxx you have not been covered by a FEHB plan since that date. Therefore, you have a choice of dates to select as the effective date to reinstate your health insurance coverage. Please choose the option which best meets your needs. You can request that OPM -

(1) Reinstate your enrollment beginning with the date of your current month’s payment (OPM is currently working on the month of July).

(2) Reinstate your enrollment effective with your annuity commencing date, xxxxxxxx Insurance carriers will usually honor claims going back to this date, but please check with your carrier to be sure.

(3) Reinstate your enrollment effective with the first of the month of the previous year, 1/1/2018. Insurance carriers will usually honor claims going back to this date, but please check with your carrier to be sure.

You can choose the health benefits plan that best suits your needs or you can elect to re-enroll in your last listed health benefits plan:
_____________________________________


If you have enrolled in a FEHB Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) enrollment through your employing agency, you may be eligible to receive a refund of premiums paid for any period of dual coverage up to 18-month eligibility period. If you are currently under TCC, you CANNOT change into a new plan. You must remain with the FEHB plan you are with under TCC and then change it during open season. We will notify the agency which maintains your TCC enrollment of the transfer-in effective date of your FEHB enrollment and provide
That is priceless and a form I've never seen although aware of those options for those offered these options. In my case my 'Specialist' wanted to charge $10.000 extra for unused coverage for a terminated plan which OPM changed to Family Coverage and I don't have a family. I was aware this was going to happen as I got a Family BCBS card and thought it was funny. No options were discussed with me, the worker didn't want to deal with the FEHB mistake and I made it clear I would just need to have her work done again, that was the last time she ever took my call.

Edited by user Tuesday, July 9, 2019 7:42:09 PM(UTC)  | Reason: '

limpy1  
#16 Posted : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 7:49:59 PM(UTC)
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How funny. I guess. One of us gets a form to make an election, another gets charged for months of coverage they didn't have, and a family that didn't exist, and I never was given any info or options. Someone needs to get these people on the same page. I would think your payments are right around the corner Calicocat. We were both put on expedited processing near the same time. I hope yours is soon as well.
gembarok  
#17 Posted : Wednesday, July 10, 2019 3:31:26 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: limpy1 Go to Quoted Post
As far as dental, I thought we had to pick up immediately any fehb or we'd lose the right. I carried health, dental, and life while working. My blue book states no deductions for anything. I was never contacted or asked about any fehb.


Greetings,

Take a look at your form SF3107 you should have submitted. It is the "Application for Immediate Retirement." They don't tell us how important this form is and we tend to forget about it after waiting years for approval. When we apply for FERS DR, we think that common sense would dictate that on approval, OPM will contact us with a congratulation and a review of our elections... but they don't. They just use the data on this form. But this form is your argument if OPM made an error.

S/
K
Sofedup  
#18 Posted : Wednesday, July 10, 2019 5:42:42 AM(UTC)
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Calicocat, thank you so much for that. I took a screenshot of the post to save it for future reference. It’s scary to think that there is no consistency from one persons DR processing to another.
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