Federal and postal employees sign a “compensation package” when they become employees of the Federal Government or the U.S. Postal Service. Regardless of the Federal Government agency for which a person works, a Federal Government employee or the The US Postal Service falls under one of two basic systems: FERS, an acronym for “Federal Employee Retirement Systems,” essentially those employees first hired after December 31, 1983; o CSRS, which stands for “Civil Service Retirement System,” those employees prior to 1983. There are some “crossovers” intertwined, called “CSRS compensation,” etc., but for our purposes in discussing federal disability retirement benefits, it is sufficient simply to identify the two main generic designations.
Whether under FERS, CSRS, or CSRS compensation, every federal and postal employee has multiple benefits when they become an employee of a federal agency or the US Postal Service: salary; health insurance options; life insurance options; contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP); FECA Rights (Federal Employees Compensation Act) – essentially, the Federal Workers’ Compensation Form; and federal disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.
Of course, when a person is first employed by the Federal Government or the US Postal Service, it is rare that much attention is paid to the latter two “benefits” as part of the total compensation package. Because how many employees would ask their potential employers about the laws governing the employee benefits available if injured on the job, or more rarely, the benefits allowed if a person becomes medically unable to perform one or more of the essentials? From his job? ?
However, it becomes of great importance when a medical condition begins to affect a person’s ability to perform the job for which they were hired, with the Federal Government or the US Postal Service. In that case, what one does not knowIt can actually hurt you. Since you only have one (1) year from the time you separate from Federal Service to apply for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, it is important to know your rights. Also, because it is not your agency that determines whether or not you are eligible for federal disability, but the Office of Personnel Management that reviews and determines whether or not you are approved or disapproved, it is important to have adequate legal representation to secure your financial future.
There are multiple issues that govern the preparation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement Application, including: completing the appropriate and necessary Standard Forms; the collection of adequate medical documentation to meet the statutory eligibility criteria and demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that you are eligible; citation of the corresponding legal authorities to persuade the Personnel Administration Office that it meets the necessary criteria; and overcome any objections related to “reasonable accommodations” that the Federal Agency or the US Postal Service often allege, and which can create one of the many obstacles in the way of obtaining federal disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.