In the midst of a crisis, when the security of the mundane is replaced by the turmoil of fears, “what ifs”, pain, intrusive nightmares, suicidal ideations, profound fatigue, and the uncertainty of one’s future, questions begin to haunt and abound, enveloping decisions of past moments, reevaluation of present concerns, and furrowing eyebrows for an anxious anticipation of possible events to come.
Medical conditions have a tendency to interrupt present plans, and to degrade the list of priorities once thought to be of significance, or even of any relevance. But all things must be kept in their proper perspective. Balance of thought, and prudence of action, should always be paramount.
For Federal and Postal employees who are confronted with a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability/inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job, and therefore one’s livelihood and capacity to survive in this increasingly difficult economic climate, the prospect of being unable to perform one’s Federal or Postal job is a daunting challenge which must be faced.
One’s agency can rarely be relied upon to exhibit any lengthy period of empathy; jobs and tasks left undone constitute a basis for termination. As such, preparing to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, is a consideration the Federal or Postal employee must evaluate early on. It is the one who begins to take those initial, prudent steps, who may later be able to answer those universal questions emanating from fear of the future, such as: What was it all for? It is for securing one’s future, and to be able to retain one’s place in this often disjointed universe of bureaucratic morass.
Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit accorded to all Federal and Postal employees who have the minimum eligibility requirements met (for FERS, 18 months of Federal Service; for CSRS, 5 years — normally a “given”); and it is precisely that which is offered, which should be accessed when the need arises; and when applied for, perhaps to answer those questions engendered by the trauma of the moment.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire