At first, it begins with survival for another day; then, upon a realization that “another day” will merely bring forth a multitude of subsequent such days, the goalposts are moved to allow for several months. Once the realization hits you that the medical condition will not merely subside or disappear, and continuation in a present mode of existence is simply not a feasible option, then the perspective as to one’s career must by necessity change. Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, finally becomes an option.
Thereafter, the goal is to outlast the waiting line at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — to get through the First Stage of the process, and if necessary (and a denial is obtained instead of the approval at the initial stage), the second, Reconsideration Stage. There are multiple stages beyond the administrative stages, of course, but whatever are the administrative and bureaucratic procedures which must be undergone, the goal is to get the approval letter from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
And what happens when that goal is achieved?
One finally recognizes that all such goals were merely intermediate in nature, and it is at that point that one realizes that, upon an approval of a Federal Disability Retirement application from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the true goal is to live one’s life after separation from the Federal agency — separation in an administrative sense, certainly, but more importantly, in terms of time and medical recuperation.
Health, some financial security; a peace of mind; and a time of recuperative peace; there is indeed a life after.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire