Often, there is a collective sigh of relief once a Federal Disability Retirement application is approved, such that the newly designated and identified Federal Disability Retiree or “annuitant” forgets that, just as it was important to be scrupulously vigilant in attempting to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits, so it is just as essential to remain attentive in maintaining and retaining the benefit itself.
Thus, the Federal Disability Retirement annuitant should presumptively expect to be selected in the future to answer a Medical Questionnaire. Such presumption of receipt will enable the former Federal or Postal Worker to keep the necessary focus, and thus the benefit. It will often come every 2 years or so, if at all, and will request an update of the status of the medical condition, the prognosis, and whether the annuitant has recovered sufficiently to return to one’s former job, or any similar job that the Federal Disability Retirement annuitant worked at previously.
It is therefore important to continue to foster, maintain or establish anew the doctor-patient relationship, such that if and when a Medical Questionnaire is received, the entire process does not become an unforeseen emergency. Preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits required a significant investment of one’s energy, time, savings, and attention; vigilance in continuing to retain such a benefit deserves no less.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire