Medical Retirement for Federal Workers: August, Vacations, & OPM

August is traditionally a time of vacations; a period of respite, before the onset of school and the busy schedules of parents.  Government offices slow down, and with the coinciding impact of furloughs mandated through automatic imposition, delays in work and accomplishment of cases become incrementally evident, like reverberations from the slow moan of an earthquake.

The lazy slapping waves mixed with the taste of sea salt may lull the vacationer into an isolated sense of calm and quietude; but for the Federal or Postal worker suffering from a medical condition, who is contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, or who is in the midst of the process of formulating one’s case, or for those who have already filed and are merely anxiously awaiting a decision — that time of temporary rejuvenation is a needed escape, despite never being able to fully separate oneself from the medical condition which impacts one’s life.

That is the strange phenomena of a medical condition — unless it has been a lifelong condition, it is a part of one’s existence and being which only constitutes a minor percentage of the entirety of one’s lifetime; yet, it often consumes the greater portion of one’s thoughts, actions and ruminations, and undermines that time of leisure known popularly as a “vacation“.

Medical conditions are a reality to be dealt with; vacations are optional times of leisure; and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is a choice which allows for a combination of the two:  a time of respite in order to become rehabilitated, and to recuperate in order to deal with the reality of a medical condition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Medical Conditions & the Holidays

Part of the problem for the Federal or Postal employee who is contemplating preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is the vicious cycle of work, attending to the medical conditions, attempting to recuperate, being exhausted and profoundly fatigued because of the need to work, compounded and exacerbated by the worry and anxiety of securing one’s economic and financial future.  

Further, the “Holidays”, as this time of year is identified, can further complicate matters, because of the need to appear joyful and festive, thankful and at peace.  Medical conditions have a way of epitomizing the present reality of one’s condition, and the traditional obligation of festivities and family gatherings can often complicate matters.  

During this time, however, it is best to recognize that the administrative process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits cannot be accomplished, if only because the Federal Government essential becomes non-operational during the next couple of weeks.  Given that, it is best to approach the entire process as being a suspended time for everyone, and to temporarily set aside the worries, anxieties and need to accomplish or be productive.  Use it to recuperate.  There is always the coming New Year.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Holiday Slowdown

The time between the 20th of December until the beginning of the following year has traditionally been a slowing down period, and Federal and Postal Workers who are preparing, formulating or filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, or awaiting a decision from the Office of Personnel Management so that they can make future plans, present choices, and put their past behind them in order to move on to the next phase of their lives, must accept the period of respite.  

It is always better to complete a Federal Disability Retirement packet properly, over doing it quickly; and choice of timing is important in submitting a completed Federal Disability Retirement application.  Of course, preparatory work can be done during the slow-down period, but submitting anything to the Office of Personnel Management, or to one’s Agency, during this traditionally slow time, is counterproductive.  

What often happens is that the paperwork merely sits in a pile, unattended to, and the normal rule of “first in, first out” never seems to apply.  In fact, the opposite is true:  the mail which comes in first, sits on someone’s desk, and other mail which comes in later is piled on top of the mail which came first.  When the H.R. Specialist or the OPM Representative begins to sort through the stack of mail after the new year, the “later” mail is attended to first, and the one which was first in order to finally sifted through in the last order of sequence.  

Waiting for the 2-week period to pass before aggressively pursuing one’s Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS or CSRS, is a wiser application of one’s time, effort, and options.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire