All of the work which goes into preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS becomes a nullity unless the deadline for filing the application has been met.
Remember the fundamental rule: While there are certain restrictions on amending or adding to a Federal Disability Retirement application once it has been filed (i.e., one cannot add a new medical condition beyond what has been stated in the Applicant’s Statement of Disability — but there is always some flexibility in arguing whether or not additional medical documentation which one later supplements merely expounds upon previously-identified medical conditions or symptoms, as opposed to “adding” a “new” medical condition), one cannot even begin to make an argument about a particular medical condition, its impact upon a particular job and ability to work at a job, etc., unless and until one has met the foundational statutory prerequisite of timely filing. One is estopped from making any argument at all unless one first files, and files within one (1) year of being separated from Federal Service.
Thus, remember the basic rule: If the time is fast approaching, file first. Further arguments may be made later, but one cannot make any arguments at all, unless the Federal or Postal worker files the Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS in a timely manner.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire