I have had far too many calls by individuals who were complacent with being on OWCP/DOL temporary total disability compensation. The old adage, “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse”, is still generally true. It is the responsibility of the Postal employee to file for USPS Disability retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS in a timely fashion — within one (1) year of being separated from the Postal Service. The fact that an individual is on the rolls of Worker’s Comp, receiving Worker’s Comp, receiving a scheduled award, going through rehabilitation or job retraining does not protect or extend the Statute of Limitations of 1 year. Many people become separated from service without being properly notified. A hint: If you all of a sudden stop receiving those “Zero-balance” pay checks, chances are, you have been terminated & separated from service. The burden is on the Federal employee to keep on top of things: ask for your PS Form 50, or SF-50, whichever the case may be; call the Post Office or processing center on a regular basis to make sure that you are still on the rolls of the Agency. If you have been separated from the US Postal Service, a personnel action should have been initiated. From that moment — when you have been separated from Federal Service — you have one — I emphasize and reiterate — ONE YEAR from the date of separation from the USPS to file for disability retirement benefits.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire