FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Careful Planning

Is there any other type?  Do we ever plan, but do it carelessly?  Or, is it a redundancy to ascribe any planning as being “careful”?  Another question, of course, is the manner in which we determine the basis of such planning; i.e., is it only a retrospective judgment that is made after the fact?  In other words, do we ascribe the designated title of “careful planning” only after things have gone smoothly, and that of “careless planning” when things have not?

When the boss pats you on the shoulder and says, “Good job” and you turn and smugly respond, “Well, it’s just a matter of careful planning,” is such a response appropriate only because things had turned well?  And when it does not, do you just say: “Well, despite careful planning, there were some unforeseen circumstances that arose and all we can do is to counter them as best we can”?

There is, of course, such an animal as “careless planning” — where one has engaged in the motions of planning a future course of events, but has not taken the time to think it through, plan alternative avenues for “handling a potential conflict”, or otherwise did not meticulously prepare for the upsides and downsides of potential difficulties.  And that is the key, isn’t it — to consider the options, take into account the possibilities, and to plan accordingly?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, careful planning in the preparation, formulation and submission of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is a “must”.

We all engage in retrospective confirmation of our actions, and the single telling factor of careful planning in a Federal Disability Retirement application is when you receive an “approval” from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Of course, when dealing with a Federal bureaucracy, a denial does not necessarily mean that careful planning was not engaged in, but merely that further planning and careful consideration must be given in order to battle with, and prevail, against OPM.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to formulate the plans which will be most effective in obtaining your disability retirement benefits from OPM.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire