In preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the Office of Personnel Management, there is always the question of costs involved — of the time frame it takes to get from point A (the initiation of the process) to point B (the conclusion of the process — but more importantly, the receipt of actual payment from the Federal Treasury for one’s disability retirement); of being on LWOP for so long; using one’s savings; etc.
However, one needs to also take into account the “relative” cost for the long-term — such as the slow and progressive deterioration of one’s health if one continues to work at a job which is clearly exacerbating and progressively impacting one’s medical conditions.
Consider, for instance, the cost of early retirement as opposed to being on OPM Disability Retirement, where the number of years that a person is on Federal Disability Retirement counts toward the total number of years of Federal Service, such that when FERS Disability Retirement is converted to “regular retirement” at age 62, those years on Federal Disability Retirement are calculated into the total number of years of Federal Service — and thus the cost of not taking that into account, especially if one lives for many, many years thereafter.
Also, consider the cost of having a Federal Disability Retirement application be denied at the First Stage, and thereby necessitating going to the Second, Reconsideration Stage, or the third stage, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and beyond. Going through the whole process can take many months and even years.
Thus, the definition and conceptual meaning of “cost” can be relative, and can be viewed in terms which go beyond the immediacy of one’s monetary resources.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Federal Disability Retirement Expert