Medical Retirement for Federal Workers: Testing a Relationship

If the advent of a crisis is a true test of a relationship, then the satisfaction of an ongoing need in response to the crisis is the harbinger of sincerity.  Testing the relationship is often the secondary trauma one must experience in life; for, the feeling of isolation which often accompanies a crisis — that sense that no one else can fully understand the experience; that others, while empathetic words of condolences may be uttered, can always seek the refuge of their comfortable zones of privacy and go on with their lives — is further exacerbated by the island of singularity which one recognizes in the face of finding one’s self in the the human condition of crisis.

For the Federal and Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, such that the chronicity and progressive decline of that medical condition impacts one’s ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, the testing of relationships must necessarily occur.  The test of that doctor-patient relationship, to see whether and to what extent one’s longstanding treating doctor will support the need for Federal Disability Retirement; the test of the worker-to-coworker relationship; the employer-employee relationship; they all become tested, to observe their elasticity, their durability, and their sincerity.

Fortunately, it is not one’s own agency which makes a determination on a Federal Disability Retirement application, but rather, a separate, independent agency — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  But one’s own agency is required to complete certain portions of a Federal Disability Retirement application, and those required parts will also be a partial test.  For the Federal and Postal employee who must endure the crisis of a medical condition, Federal Disability Retirement is a process which will test many things — not the least of which will involve who were and are one’s true friends.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement for Federal and USPS Workers: Timing

Once the decision has been made to prepare, formulate, and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, the Federal or Postal Worker will often want to “time” the event of filing with the agency.

While this is certainly “do-able”, one must take into account that there is very little control, if any, as to the ultimate timing event:  The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is backlogged at every stage of the process — at the intake point in Boyers, Pennsylvania; in assigning a Case Worker to begin “handling” the claim (whatever that may mean); to actually reviewing, analyzing and evaluating the submitted Federal Disability Retirement packet; to making an actual decision, rendering the decision, and mailing out the decision-letter itself.

Thus, whether for personal or professional reasons — some (or most) Federal Workers are so dedicated as to have a desire to complete projects, make sure that certain responsibilities are delegated properly, etc. —  it is perfectly acceptable for Federal Disability Retirement packets which are prepared and ready to be filed, to be temporarily held or suspended for a timing reason, so long as medical reports and records do not become stale.

Further, in some cases it may take a period of months in order to develop the case fully, where the treating physician may need to order additional tests, try other palliative means of treatment, etc.

Whatever the reasons may be, there is nothing wrong with attempting to “time” the submission with the agency, so long as the Federal or Postal Worker understands that there is no such thing as timing the event with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Worker Disability Retirement: Not all Agencies are Equal

No names will be named.  Not for purposes of “protecting the innocent”, because it is doubtful that there are any innocent entities, anyway.  Rather, the knowledge that there are some agencies which are worse than others, is widespread knowledge, anyway; and, indeed, if the agencies are “outed”, it would merely be a redundancy to name them.

There are Agencies which, when the name is spoken, it sends shivers down one’s spine, because of the mean spiritedness, the uncooperative attitude, and the sheer incompetency of the Human Resources Department which is designated to process a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Then, there are agencies where the H.R. Department — no matter who in the department is contacted — goes out of their way to assist throughout the entire process. They understand the traumatic nature of a Federal or Postal employee filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS. They realize that the designation, “Human” and “Resources” and “Department”, when taken collectively, means that it is the point where employees come to in order to obtain assistance, to engage in a process which may be very personal, and that the resources sought after require the understanding and compassion of individuals.

Ponder that for a moment — that one’s job may entail, as part of the “essential elements of one’s job” — a showing of understanding and compassion.  Imagine that.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire