Author Topic: Federal (Civilian) Disability Retirement?  (Read 1296 times)

MyCircus, MyMonkeys

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Federal (Civilian) Disability Retirement?
« on: April 04, 2018, 09:32:36 AM »
Hi, I was hoping someone in the Forum would have some knowledge about this type of retirement. Or, maybe know someone who has gone through the process?

I've recently been diagnosed, and started medication 6 months ago. The medication causes heavy sedation, trouble with word recall, foggy brain, distractedness, poor memory, and I keep forgetting things that I've always done with no problem (as an example, I regularly forget to take off my seat belt, or take the keys out of the ignition). Forgetting things I've always done is the worst aspect for me. Its difficult to explain why I'm not able to do work that I previously excelled at. Even now, I can perform complex tasks and document what I did very well; I just can't do it consistently. Some of my work problems can be attributed to my medication. But, the memory problems would be worse if I was taking the full amount recommended (divided doses to maintain consistent level in blood), because I can't divide my dose (it knocks me out, and I have to work....). Not taking my medication results in disaster (at work, at home, emotionally, financially), so that's not possible.

I'm worried my supervisor will try to begin the process (PiP leading to termination). I've successfully performed for over 8 years, but am not now. My job is very detail oriented, and I'm struggling with performing at minimum successful standards. Like, I can provide the finished product that meets expectations, but I make a ton of mistakes along the way (too much for an experienced employee). I know that, and I'm working on finding a medication balance that is good for me, and lets me live a normal life (that includes work).

I'm wondering if, instead of being fired, I could pursue this option? My illness I believe would qualify. And I think my boss and higher ups would agree that I can't do my job (I think I could in the future, but that's not relevant to how my boss views me now). There is no other job I can be transferred into that is equivalent (we are an odd agency) to my classification/pay rate. So, I may need to pursue disability retirement. Aside from losing my job, I won't be able to contribute to the TSP anymore (biggest downfall, I think), and my pay will be 40% of what I make now (not a bad number for my area though). But I will be able to keep my health insurance, and receive a deferred pension when I'm eligible (it will just be much smaller, since my high three won't be including raises (COLA and step) for the next 17-22 years).

I'm looking for anyone's experiences with Disability retirement. How painful was the process, how long did it take, what type of evidence (if any) you are required to provide, etc. I think this may be my only option, but I'm worried that if will be difficult. I believe my superiors would be happy to lose me (i'm dragging down the budgeted hours for everything), but I worry that there will be a bias, because my illness is mental. I don't appear broken, so I must not be.

Anyone out there with knowledge about this?  Thanks for reading!


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