The problem with “what if” scenarios is that they rely upon fear. What if I file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the agency then removes me? What if I file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and OWCP decides to send me to a Second-Opinion doctor and begins the process of trying to get me off of their rolls?
Fear and the anticipation of unknown future events is often the trigger-mechanism to prevent a person from acting. The fallacy of making decisions based upon such fear factors, however, is an obvious one: The agency can begin the process of removal with or without the Federal or Postal employee filing for Federal Disability Retirement (because of one’s medical conditions, his or her attendance, overuse of sick leave, less than full performance of duties, etc., is normally quite obvious to the agency already, anyway); OWCP can send the Federal or Postal employee to a second-opinion doctor or cut off benefits arbitrarily with or without the Federal employee filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; and in general terms, “what if” scenarios can occur even if the event in question is never pursued.
Fear is the factor which bullies, totalitarian regimes, and Federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service relies upon. Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is merely the great equalizer against the fear factor. That which can happen regardless of a triggering event, will occur anyway; so the logical conclusion should be to decide to file for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits in order to acquire the “safety-net” against the future possibility (and probability) of adverse actions which the Agency is already likely contemplating.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
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