Timing the preparation and submission, and ultimate separation/retirement from Federal Service in getting Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS is rarely a method of precision; it is closer to art than it is to science. That is because there is the “human” element involved — of when does the medical condition reach its critical point where one cannot withstand the daily and chronic pain; is the doctor ready to support the Federal Disability Retirement application; is the Agency sympathetic or suspicious; can the reduced finances be worked out for a livable standard of living; will the future allow for all of the elements to coalesce?
There are many, many such human elements which must come into play. All too often, however, the “right time” for contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is simply determined by external circumstances, such as reaching a critical point in one’s medical condition such that there is simply no other choice left, as opposed to being able to rationally and calmly make an affirmative decision for one’s future. Whatever may be the particular and peculiar circumstances of a given Federal or Postal employee, the time to consider preparing a Federal disability retirement application must be a decision made by each individual, based upon that individual’s unique circumstances.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire