In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is often a good idea to distinguish between the entities and issues which will respond favorably or not; the extent of the response; whether straightforward or not.
Blunt clarifications will provide an effective road map — however, remember that a question asked can provide the wrong type of information to the recipient of the question, and so one must always be careful.
Where possible, however, it is a good idea to be clear on a road map. Thus, by way of example, take the following: The doctors who will be asked to provide medical narrative reports — will they be supportive? To what extent will they be supportive? The agency which will be receiving the Federal Disability Retirement application (assuming that the Federal or Postal employee has not been separated from Federal Service for more than 31 days) — how will they react if they are informed now, as opposed to when the application is submitted? Will they respond in a negative, reactionary manner, or will the supervisors and chain of command show some empathy and be supportive during the process?
It is best to be able to gauge the level of support, be able to determine the people who will be favorable, etc. In the end, of course, it is the medical condition which will determine the plan and course of one’s actions, because the impact of one’s medical conditions upon the ability/inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job may compel the Federal or Postal worker to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. But it is a good thing to know the “road map” and the people along the way, whether supportive, neutral, or negative, in the preparation, formulating and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire