Often, the most difficult decision to make is the decision to act itself. Where careers are about to end; where financial impact and unforeseen consequences (as Adam Smith once stated) may ensue; where deteriorating professional and personal relationships have progressively exploded; the daily stresses of the modern world refuse to provide for the necessary time often needed to recuperate, become rehabilitated, and slowly heal from a chronic and intractable medical condition. For, that is often what is needed — time. Medical conditions are peculiar events; surgery, medication regimens, therapy (physical or cognitive), require that one ingredient which the modern world cannot provide — time.
For Federal and Postal employees who are suffering from a medical condition which lasts for a minimum of 12 months, there is the option of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS. While there is certainly a formidable “pay in cut” (Federal Disability Retirement benefits provide an annuity of 60% of the average of one’s highest 3 consecutive years of pay for the first year, then 40% every year thereafter), what the disability annuity does provide for is the time for rehabilitative recuperation, whether physical, cognitive or psychiatric.
In deciding the avenue of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, often the most difficult decision to make is the decision to act. Once that major “life-decision” is made, the mechanical aspects of acting will naturally fall into place. It is the act of deciding which is the first act of all; thereafter, the play will naturally proceed.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire