Medical Retirement for Federal Workers: Time, Expectation & Patience

Time is the basis and essence of frustration.  Often, in becoming involved in the administrative process and procedure of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, the “time factor” is the part which concerns the Federal or Postal employee most.  

During the initial stages of the process, where a certain level of activity is experienced — of requesting the medical documentation and narrative reports from the doctors; of formulating the Applicant’s Statement of Disability (SF 3112A); of submitting the preliminary application through the Agency (or, if separated from Federal Service for more than 31 days, to file it directly with the Office of Personnel Management in Boyers, PA); and then receiving a CSA Number from the Office of Personnel Management, then…the wait.  Activity is the fodder which satisfies time; frustration with time is the chasm between expectation and reality; where there is inactivity, waiting without a specified end in sight is what frustrates most individuals. With the Office of Personnel Management, the greatest difficulty is now in gauging that “end-point”, because OPM continually falls behind in their estimate of time for decision-making.  

The process is a frustrating one; inactivity without an end only exponentially magnifies such frustration.  Ultimately, however, there is no other choice but to wait; for the Office of Personnel Management is the singular arbiter of the decision-making process in Federal Disability Retirement claims.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Early Retirement for Disabled Federal Workers: A Different Process Reality

The “process reality” of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under either FERS or CSRS is a completely different kind of reality — a parallel universe that continues on regardless of whether or not one enters into such a world.  That is why it is often a shock for Federal and Postal workers who enter into such a foreign process reality.  

When a Federal or Postal worker is engaged in the “work world”, the process reality involves and entails goal-oriented accomplishments, daily tasks to be completed, career goals to be defined, interactions with coworkers and supervisors to be handled in diplomatic manners, etc.  

When a medical condition intervenes, however, the process reality of the work world suddenly changes — and changes traumatically and dramatically.  Suddenly, coworkers and supervisors view you differently; career goals are replaced with fear and trepidation for the future; daily tasks are seen as hurdles to overcome; work becomes a trial of daily pain.  On top of it all, the process reality of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS — with all of the surrounding laws, statutes, case-laws and procedural complications — becomes the new reality.  It is a reality which encompasses bureaucratic hurdles and pitfalls, but one which must be confronted.  While most Federal or Postal employees have little choice but to enter such a parallel process reality when the need arises, it is nevertheless a difficult reality to face, and little can be done to prepare in advance for it.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire