The tragedies befall frequently enough to make some correlative conclusions; of the athlete who fell short of the finish line; of the one who wanted to just make it one last time, only to become severely injured prior to completing the task; and others who become debilitated within the last 50 yards, or within the parameters of being “within reach” of the end. This is likened to the Federal or Postal employee who has only a couple of years before full retirement.
To the extent that a Federal Disability Retirement application takes on average 8 – 10 months to obtain (from the start of the process of gathering the medical reports, records, etc., until a decision from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management), the question often becomes whether it is worthwhile filing for OPM Disability Retirement when one has come so close to the finish line.
Each case must be assessed and evaluated with the particular facts peculiar and unique to it; but questions of intelligent assessment should be applied, in order to reach an algorithm of rational conclusions: When I reach the end (or, “if I…”), will my health be preserved enough such that I can enjoy retirement? Is the reason why I am contemplating Federal Disability Retirement now, because I have in fact already reached the crucial flashpoint where I am no longer able to continue performing the essential elements of my job? Is there a possibility that I will not in fact be able to endure the remaining X-number of years left before I reach full retirement?
Questions prompt answers; answers, even if preliminary and tentative, begin the process of further questioning; and so the circle of questions and answers begin to guide and resolve the issues which trouble the soul.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
February 22nd, 2013