Q: I am a federal law enforcement officer (10 years+), and was injured at work. As a result of my injury, I may have to accept a medical retirement. I have not bought back my military service time. Is there any benefit to buying my military time back if I receive a medical retirement? Also, what happens to my TSP? What happens to my federal health insurance? Will I receive my Social Security immediately?
A: Because you are covered by FERS, if you apply for disability retirement you will also have to apply for Social Security disability benefits, otherwise your case won’t be processed by OPM. If you were approved for FERS disability retirement, for the first 12 months you would receive 60 percent of your high-3 minus 100 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. After the first year, you’d receive 40 percent of your high-3 minus 60 percent of any Social Security disability benefit. If your disability continued to age 62, you would receive the annuity you would have gotten if you hadn’t been disabled, increased by any cost-of-living increases that took effect while you were on disability retirement. Making a deposit for your active duty service would come into play when your annuity was recomputed, because it would add to your years of service. It would also count for length of service and annuity computation purposes when you applied for regular retirement. Your TSP account will remain open and you may continue to manage the money for as long as you like.