There are multiple reasons why a Federal or Postal employee might wait to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS until the last minute — waiting because __________ (anyone may fill in the blank). Whatever the reason, if the time has come to file, and there are only a couple of weeks left, then it is time to stop looking for various reasons why any further time should be wasted in order to file for the benefit. Yes, a Federal Disability Retirement case can be prepared within a couple of weeks and filed. Will it be the best packet? Probably not. Can the packet be supplemented later on? Yes, if it is prepared in a certain way to allow for some flexibility. Just remember, however, that if the deadline for filing passes, then there is absolutely no chance at obtaining the benefit. A Statute of Limitations is just that — once it has come and gone, one is legally precluded from ever filing in the future. One must file on time; otherwise, no amount of supplementation of the original packet will be allowed. And, by the way, do not rely upon any “exceptions” to the Statute of Limitations. Reliance on a long-shot is rarely the wisest thing to do.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire