Filing for a Federal Disability Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is a step which admits of a stark reality: One’s medical condition has come to a point of irreversible deterioration, such that the impact upon one’s ability to continue in one’s chosen career now manifests itself to a degree which can no longer be concealed.
Interludes of distractions in life — whether a holiday, a period of inclement weather; perhaps a child’s sports event; or even watching the Olympics on television with one’s family; all such distractions allowed for needed interruptions and delays in facing the harsh reality of one’s situation, and each such delay allowed for procrastination and avoidance of the issues. But at some point, the decision has to be made, and when one runs out of such welcome distractions, the pragmatic steps in order to successfully file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits must be systematically considered.
How and when to approach one’s treating doctor to garner the necessary support; the timing of informing one’s agency; a careful study of the factual and legal criteria necessary to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS; obtaining legal advice, guidance and representation; the time involved; the costs involved; making the adjustments for one’s future, etc.
Life’s distractions are small pockets of delights; but when the distractions detract from making important decisions, it is time to reconsider the prioritization matrix upon which one’s foundation is built.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire