Postal and Federal Disability Retirement: A Directionless Travelogue

Traveling without knowing where one is, is perhaps the foundation of being “lost”; to compound such a problematic situation would be to also not even know where one is going.  The choices provided in this modern age reveals that information does not constitute wisdom or intelligent choice; for, if the converse were true, as society now possesses a vast vault of information, we would consider ourselves at the height of intellectual acuity.  Have you ever looked through various travelogues?  Brochures, commercial proposals, travel agents — the more one reads, the more confusing it gets.  

As with everything and anything in life, preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management first, and foremost, requires a sense of direction.  But where does one obtain such a sense?  Certainly not from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — as they are the agency which will scrutinize and review a Federal Disability Retirement application, to obtain information from them would be like asking the proverbial fox how best to guard a henhouse.  Yes, sometimes studying one’s “enemy” is beneficial, but in this case, a regurgitation of the law, as interpreted by OPM, will not provide a sense of direction.  

The key in a Federal Disability Retirement case is to first accept and acknowledge that the Federal or Postal employee has come to a point in his or her life where some action is needed.  Once that is established, the next step is to search for the travelogue which will be most effective in getting the Federal or Postal employee from the present location, to the destination of a successful outcome.

Any other travelogue is merely an attempt to sell a dream; and while dreams are nice to have, they are best enjoyed within the security of a good night’s sleep, which comes from knowing where one is, where one needs to go, and how to get there.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: Blunt Clarifications

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is often a good idea to distinguish between the entities and issues which will respond favorably or not; the extent of the response; whether straightforward or not.  

Blunt clarifications will provide an effective road map — however, remember that a question asked can provide the wrong type of information to the recipient of the question, and so one must always be careful.  

Where possible, however, it is a good idea to be clear on a road map.  Thus, by way of example, take the following:  The doctors who will be asked to provide medical narrative reports — will they be supportive?  To what extent will they be supportive?  The agency which will be receiving the Federal Disability Retirement application (assuming that the Federal or Postal employee has not been separated from Federal Service for more than 31 days) —  how will they react if they are informed now, as opposed to when the application is submitted?  Will they respond in a negative, reactionary manner, or will the supervisors and chain of command show some empathy and be supportive during the process?  

It is best to be able to gauge the level of support, be able to determine the people who will be favorable, etc.  In the end, of course, it is the medical condition which will determine the plan and course of one’s actions, because the impact of one’s medical conditions upon the ability/inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job may compel the Federal or Postal worker to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  But it is a good thing to know the “road map” and the people along the way, whether supportive, neutral, or negative, in the preparation, formulating and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire