Perhaps the hardest part about deciding to file for disability retirement benefits from the OPM is knowing when it is time to retire. We get calls from hundreds of federal employees every week and while many of them know that they can’t keep doing their job on a full duty basis, they have a very difficult time walking away.
Federal disability retirement is often the last resort. Most federal employees that we come into contact with love their jobs and had every intention to continue to work there until they reached their full retirement age. A disease of injury that has hijacked their career is not only a surprise, but also goes against everything that they had hoped for. Many try to stay in their current jobs too long and work against their doctors’ restrictions and recommendations. It is understandable because these people love what they do for a living. However, it can be damaging to their long term health and leave them in a worse financial position.
You see, while supervisors and the employing agency applaud the mindset of the “good soldier” who fights on even when they are not healthy, in the end the only one who ends up paying the price is the employee themselves. Continuing to put your body through an adverse health risk and exposing yourself to added perils are not constructive to your overall well being. Whether the medical condition is purely physical, or if there is a mental health element involved, following your doctor’s advice is often the most advantageous to you, the employee.
We have spent a lot of time on this blog, and on this website, teaching you about the eligibility requirements of federal disability retirement, but understanding when it’s time to go can be the hardest part of your decision. Many people don’t want to be labeled as “disabled.” It may not be good for their mental makeup to think about spending the rest of their lives sitting on the couch. Well the good news is that filing for disability retirement benefits doesn’t mean any of that. It simply means that you can’t keep doing that particular job. You can be employed anywhere in the private sector and earn an income on top of what you receive from the Office of Personnel Management. Don’t let your stigma cause you to make an unwise decision about your health.
Remember to listen to your body, and your doctor. If you have any type of medical condition that keeps you from fully completing the essential functions of your job, it may be time to explore your rights. Call Harris Federal Law Firm, today to learn more about your options.