In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, it is — as has been previously stated ad nauseum in the past — a process which, once completed and filed, requires the enduring virtue of patience.
During the waiting period, it is natural for the Federal or Postal employee to experience the anxiety and angst of awaiting the decision from the Office of Personnel Management. Whether continuing to work in a limited, light duty capacity; remaining and waiting it out on LWOP; using up all of one’s accrued sick leave; working at a temporary assignment; or working a job in the private sector to make ends meet; whatever one’s status, there is little one can do during the long waiting period with OPM.
Calling them will not necessarily evoke a helpful response, but calling just to “check on the status” will often calm one’s fears and anxieties, exacerbated over time because of the sense of isolation and disquietude created by the wasteland period of waiting.
One rule to follow, however: when contacting the Office of Personnel Management, it is best not to try and “gauge” the response of the reviewing “specialist” or “Claims Representative” (or whatever other euphemism of self-identity the person may ascribe to), whether in tone, words or verbal references. Whether an initial denial or an approval, the status of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application should be ascertained only upon the receipt, in hand, of the actual decision.
Don’t count those chickens before they hatch. Indeed, don’t even count the eggs; wait until the receipt in hand of the documentary evidence showing an approval or a denial.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire