I am sometimes pleasantly surprised at Supervisors — ones who actually recognize that an individual filing for FERS Disability Retirement does so out of necessity, and not out of any personal or professional spite against the Supervisor or the Agency, and that the proper response to convey is one of support, empathy, and cooperation, without needing to compromise the goal and mission of the Agency. Further, I am taken aback by the unprofessional and utterly unhelpful attitude of many Human Resources personnel in the processing of a Federal Disability Retirement application.
Too often, the H.R. person finds it his or her mission in life to be an obstacle to the smooth processing of an OPM Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS. Yet, the law is clear (though not to many of the H.R. Departments at various agencies): it is the Office of Personnel Management which has the sole legal authority to make a positive or negative determination on a Federal Disability Retirement application; at the agency level, the role of the Human Resources person is to try and expedite and efficiently process the disability retirement application. Hopefully, those who have the positional designation of “Human Resources” will come to realize what it all actually means: he or she is supposed to be a “resource” (a positive one, for that matter) with a “human” emphasis.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire