Waiting until the last possible moment to start the process to file for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS or CSRS may be commendable from the Agency’s viewpoint — but is it smart? If you are a Federal or Postal employee with multiple years of service, and you believe that because you gave your life, your blood, your sweat, tears, and even your firstborn, that therefore you will receive what I often term as “bilateral loyalty” (i.e., an expectation of receipt of loyalty from your agency for having given your undying loyalty to them throughout the years), you might want to reconsider.
If you are exhausting all of your sick leave, using your annual leave, dipping into your TSP in order to “hope” that you will recover from your continuing medical condition, then come to a point where you need to file for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS or CSRS, then come to realize that you must survive for 6 – 8 months, or even longer, and pay an attorney, pay for medical reports, and _______ (here, you may fill in the space yourself), then you may need to re-think the entirety of the process, the time it takes, etc. Most people know, very early on, whether or not he or she has a medical condition which will last for a minimum of 12 months. The time to start planning for the future is now. As a famous football coach once quipped, “The future is now.”
Robert R. McGill
Federal Disability Attorney