Ultimately, before the Federal or Postal Worker considers filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a number of factors need to be considered, including (but not limited to) the following: Can I last until regular retirement? Will continuation in the job result in further deterioration of my health? Will my absenteeism or subpar performance result in adverse actions being initiated, including imposition of leave restrictions, a PIP, further disciplinary measures such as a suspension, or ultimately a removal? Is waiting going to make things any better? Do I have a doctor who will support my Federal Disability Retirement application sufficiently?
The history of most applicants who are filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, is replete with unanswered questions and issues ignored or unaddressed. But when the convergence of a medical condition with a Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service comes to fruition, the clash and collision between appearance and performance will often force the questions to be answered.
Waiting for things to occur will normally not solve the historical problem; being proactive, directly confronting undesirable questions, and taking the necessary steps to secure one’s future — these are the foundational steps necessary for a successful Federal Disability Retirement application, and the key to age-old questions which harken back to the problem of history, so that history may not repeat itself.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire