Why do some Federal Agencies (and the Postal Service) act in non-supportive, negative ways, while others go out of their way to support their employees? The answer to such a question essentially is as complex (or simplistic) as individuals themselves; for agencies are made up of individuals, and the reaction of an agency is often a reflection of the individuals who lead the agencies.
When it comes to an employee filing for Federal Disability Retirement, this is often important to understand, because while Agencies (i.e., supervisors) cannot ultimately block a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, they can sometimes make the process more difficult for the applicant, by engaging in certain tactics (e.g., placing a person on AWOL as opposed to LWOP; delaying the writing of a Supervisor’s Statement; the H.R. Department being obstructionist, etc.)
In dealing with an Agency, it is important to remain courteous, but not weak; professional, but not a “pushover”. Further, it is important, where possible, to have an attorney deal with the Supervisor or the H.R. Department as a “buffer” between the Applicant and the Agency, to de-personalize the process. When Agency Supervisor’s take things personally, problems arise. It is as if all of the pent-up angers of accumulated personal slights come roaring to the forefront. One should always try and avoid such personalization of the process, and allow for the smooth transition of the employee to becoming a Federal Disability Retiree.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire