It is always a hard decision to file for disability retirement benefits. Aside from the psychological anguish which must be confronted (feelings of worthlessness or devaluation of one’s worth because we live in a society which places a high value upon productivity, work, and output & competence in our jobs, despite our giving lip-service to “family”, “relationships” and “community”), the potential disability retirement applicant must also make pragmatic decisions based upon a variegated spectrum of financial, professional, family & economic circumstances. Such foundational, decision-making factors could include: one’s medical conditions (obviously); the type of job one is in; whether a disability retirement annuity is sufficient or even realistic; whether the job market outside of the federal sector is promising enough to allow for making up to 80% of what one’s job currently pays, in addition to the disability annuity; whether a parti-time position or partial income added to the disability annuity will be enough; whether one’s supervisor & agency will be “going after” you for performance, conduct, or excessive absences, and if so, how soon; and many other factors.
It is always a trying time. Consideration in filing for disability retirement benefits must be based upon a deliberative methodology, based upon serious consideration of multiple factors. In basing a decision to file for disability retirement, it is best to do it right before considering doing it at all. As such, consultation with an attorney who is an expert in the area of Federal Disability Retirement laws can be an invaluable source of information in making the “right” decision.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire