There is, of course, the limited process of issues impacting a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS or CSRS — of the actual paperwork; of obtaining and completing the forms which are required by the Office of Personnel Management, etc.
Then, there is the larger, more expansive issues which directly impact the Federal or Postal worker who is undergoing the multitude of life’s curve balls — the medical condition itself, along with enduring and attempting to overcome the symptoms; the reaction of the Agency to attendance problems, FMLA issues, PIP actions, potential (or actual) removal issues; OWCP issues which arise in the course of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; suspension and adverse actions by the Agency; potential termination of health benefits; whether such health benefits will be reinstated after a Federal Disability Retirement application has been approved; and all of the ancillary issues which come up in the course of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
Then, there is the long wait in all phases of the application — in the preparatory stage; while in the hands of the Agency; then, even after it arrives at the Office of Personnel Management, there are multiple stages of waiting periods before a decision is finally made.
Can all of the questions concerning all of the multiple issues be answered and satisfactorily attended to? Many of the questions, of course, are ancillary to a Federal Disability Retirement. Not every question can be answered immediately; some must run its course and be allowed to resolve itself.
Throughout the more expansive process, the focus must be upon getting the Federal Disability Retirement application approved. Otherwise, if the focus keeps getting sidetracked by the ancillary issues, the central issue will never be resolved.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire