For a federal employee, reaching the point where he or she has determined that they are medically unable to continue working is difficult to say the least. To complicate matters, simply reaching that point is just the beginning of the necessary planning. There are many different options covering what comes next in the decision-making process. Before you reach the point of deciding whether to resign from your position or to ask your agency to remove you, it is usually wise to exhaust all of your leave options.
There are three basic leave types/options:
- Paid Leave (Sick, Vacation, or Donated)
- Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Leave Without Pay (LWOP)
Each type of leave will be summarized in a two-part blog series. This blog will discuss paid leave. Part two discusses Family & Medical Leave Act leave and leave without pay (LWOP) leave, which you can read here.
Paid leave (also known as “paid time off”) is one of the many benefits provided to federal workers. The two most common types of paid time off are sick leave and vacation leave. A federal employee typically earns a set amount of paid leave hours throughout the year. Once the worker can no longer perform his or her job, it is usually best to use up their accumulated paid leave. The obvious benefit of using all of your paid leave is that you are able to receive a regular paycheck for as long as you have paid leave.
While there is a limit to how much paid leave a federal employee can earn, some agencies also provide another excellent leave benefit known as the Voluntary Leave Bank program. Most simply, the voluntary leave bank program allows participating workers to donate their own personal leave into the general agency leave bank for the use of their fellow participants experiencing personal or familial medical emergencies. Each agency establishes their program with their own specific requirements and participants are typically required to donate a predetermined amount of leave to be eligible to join the program. The voluntary leave bank provides the participating disabled worker with extra financial security during a very challenging time.
Make sure that you are familiar with your agency’s paid leave policies and rules before you make any plans to go on paid leave. Please see my next blog for my discussion concerning unpaid leave options: FMLA and LWOP.
FERS Disability Retirement Legal Representation in Maryland
The disability attorneys of Andalman & Flynn work tirelessly to represent and guide our clients through the complex FERS disability retirement (FDR) application process. If you or someone you know needs legal representation on an FDR matter, please do not hesitate to contact the Andalman & Flynn disability team for a free consultation today at (301) 563-6685.
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