The transition from being a Federal or Postal employee to one of a disability retirement annuitant will inevitably spawn questions — not only concerning the process itself, but the impact, response, reaction and collateral events with which an Agency will engage the Federal or Postal employee.
The process itself can never be entered into, or participated in, within a vacuum. Preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is a complex decision, and one which involves so many facets — impact upon one’s economic circumstances; the transition to a different career or vocation; the severing of ties to coworkers and supervisors; a change in the way one lives one’s life, etc.
Thus, it is not merely a matter of filing paperwork; it is not just a recognition that one has a medical condition such that you cannot any longer perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, although that is also a large part of it. Rather, it involves the emotion, mental, and physical toil and turmoil of “change”. And, indeed, change itself is a stress; change of any sort means an end of something, and a beginning of something else.
It is often that “something else” — the unknown of the future, which represents and greatest fear and challenge. But the question one is left with is often: What choices and alternatives do I have? Once that question is asked, the road through Federal Disability Retirement often takes an easier path.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire