Human Resources departments within agencies are set up in order to perform a multitude of services for the employees who comprise the agency itself, and to that extent, the originating idea which constitutes the founding purpose is a noble one.
For whatever reason, however, the foundational principles in the course of an evolving department will often get muddled and lost; the driving principle behind a concept merely gets in the way of a paycheck; the employees for whom the department was founded become the “problem” and an adversarial relationship between the H.R. Department and its employees arises.
If that is the case in any particular Agency which the Federal or Postal employee finds him or herself in, then one must step into the arena of conflict with caution. For, if the Federal or Postal employee is filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, and that employee has not yet been separated from Federal Service or, if separated, not for more than thirty one (31) days, then the Federal Disability Retirement application must be filed through the agency’s Human Resources department in order for them to complete their portion of the Federal Disability Retirement packet. As such, the H.R. Department can be an obstacle, or at least a hindering force, in delaying the process.
Battles fought over issues in a Federal Disability Retirement application should be selectively chosen. Remember, it is the “war” that needs to be won — not with the Agency, but with the Office of Personnel Management. And the “war” is comprised of multiple “battles”, and losing one here or there but winning the wider war is what counts in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire