One of the frustrating aspects of the entire administrative process entitled, “Federal Disability Retirement” — of the whole of the engagement in preparing, formulating and filing, and then of waiting for an answer from the Office of Personnel Management — is the issue of “deadlines” imposed by the regulations, statutes and rules. For one thing, it seems to be a unilateral imposition: a one way street required by the Office of Personnel Management, with no requirement of deadlines of responsive timelines for the Agency, the Office of Personnel Management, or the Federal Government in general.
Thus, the 1-year statute of limitations for filing; the 30-days within which to file a Request for Reconsideration; the 30-days within which to file an appeal from a denial of a Reconsideration Request to the Merit Systems Protection Board; the time to file an appeal to the Full Board for a Petition for Review; the time requirement to file an appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals — all of these are statutory impositions and restrictions upon the Federal or Postal employee.
Yet, where is the timeline imposed upon the Agency, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the MSPB, the Federal Courts, or the Federal Government in general? It seems that the requirement of waiting and being patient is all upon the individual Federal or Postal employee, without any obligatory ancillary or concomitant requirement placed upon the agency — specifically, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in providing a responsive decision to a Federal Disability Retirement Application, whether under FERS or CSRS.
While all of this is true, and it may well be “unfair” in a general sense, it is merely a fact of life which must be lived with. As the famous author, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., famously stated in referring to the multiple absurdities of life, “So it goes…”
Robert R. McGill, Esquire