I find that the initial step in filing for Federal Disability Retirement is the most difficult step for people to take. It is often a psychological block. I have spoken on this issue in the past. For a Federal or Postal worker, especially in these constrained economic times where the job market outside of the Federal Sector appears restrictive, at best, the pressure of one’s medical conditions and the impact upon one’s job, results in an anxiousness when it comes to filing for federal disability retirement under FERS or CSRS. Certainly, it is a significant pay cut. Certainly, it is a worry that — although one may be able to make up to 80% of what one’s (former) Federal salary currently pays — it may be that the private sector may not offer the opportunities to make up the difference in the pay cut. Yet, the choices are often stark and untenable; for, at some point, it becomes clear that one’s medical conditions prevents one from performing the essential elements of the job.
As such, the only and best choice is to move forward: in fact, even in this economy, creativity will be rewarded. Private companies actually find independent contractors who carry his or her own health insurance a plus; part-time work is offered more readily in a bad economy precisely because it allows for companies to obtain necessary work and skills without having to pay the “extra” benefits. The initial step is the most difficult; after stepping beyond the difficulty, Federal and Postal workers who obtain disability retirement benefits find that there is a different and better future — even in this economy.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire