The “process reality” of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under either FERS or CSRS is a completely different kind of reality — a parallel universe that continues on regardless of whether or not one enters into such a world. That is why it is often a shock for Federal and Postal workers who enter into such a foreign process reality.
When a Federal or Postal worker is engaged in the “work world”, the process reality involves and entails goal-oriented accomplishments, daily tasks to be completed, career goals to be defined, interactions with coworkers and supervisors to be handled in diplomatic manners, etc.
When a medical condition intervenes, however, the process reality of the work world suddenly changes — and changes traumatically and dramatically. Suddenly, coworkers and supervisors view you differently; career goals are replaced with fear and trepidation for the future; daily tasks are seen as hurdles to overcome; work becomes a trial of daily pain. On top of it all, the process reality of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS — with all of the surrounding laws, statutes, case-laws and procedural complications — becomes the new reality. It is a reality which encompasses bureaucratic hurdles and pitfalls, but one which must be confronted. While most Federal or Postal employees have little choice but to enter such a parallel process reality when the need arises, it is nevertheless a difficult reality to face, and little can be done to prepare in advance for it.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire