Stories now abound concerning the backlog at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; and as has been often stated by the undersigned lawyer, if the old adage that “patience is a virtue” is truly a truism, then Federal and Postal employees must indeed be the most virtuous of individuals in any given society, because the long wait in order to obtain a decision — favorable or otherwise (and, if the latter, then at least the Federal or Postal worker can assert his or his reconsideration or appeal rights in the matter) — on a Federal/Postal Disability Retirement application certainly tests the outer limits of one’s moral character.
The inverse emotional reaction to the moral character of virtue, is the expression of frustration. Such an expression is the release of irritation, anger, and an overwhelming sense of angst at a system and administrative procedure which follows no rules, acknowledges no time lines, and concedes no boundaries of what a “reasonable” length of time would be defined as.
Then, of course, one always hears of “stories” about individual X who filed and got a decision within a month of a case being assigned; or that individual Y who had to go into bankruptcy while waiting for OPM to make a decision. It is best to refrain from comparative analyses; such stories, in whatever form and to what extent of truth is contained, will only increase the level of frustration, and further test the moral fibre of virtue.
While there is no single answer to the long waiting period which OPM has imposed upon the disability retirement process, this much is true: Approvals are being issued; decisions are being made on a daily basis; it is simply a matter of time. Thus, in preparing, formulating and applying for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management this period of waiting must be “factored in”. But when such factoring has occurred, the actual period of waiting is indeed a frustrating part of the administrative process.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer