Because the administrative process of preparing, formulating, and filing — then waiting for a decision — a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, can take several months for the Initial Stage of the bureaucratic procedure alone, it is important to plan ahead for the future.
New Year’s eve, for Federal and Postal employees contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, is merely a reminder that another year has passed. For those waiting for a decision from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is another indicator of the frustrating wait which the potential Federal or Postal annuitant has been through, is going through, and must still endure. And this is only for the “First Stage” of the process.
The waiting time is extended if the Federal Disability Retirement application is denied at the First Stage, and must be appealed to the Second Stage of the process, or what is identified as the Reconsideration Stage of the process. Then, of course, if it is denied by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management at the Second Stage, one has a right to appeal the case to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.
Waiting is a necessary part of the administrative, bureaucratic process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. Filing soon after one has recognized that one’s medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, is the only “cure” for the long wait. As with everything else, it is better to get in ahead of the line, and have someone help you with the process.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire