Just wanted to give an update with my wife's situation. Since my post in August, my wife has received an injection in her right eye (the worse of her two eyes) One month after the injection, there was no improvement from the procedure. As her eyes have gotten worse, we were referred to University of Iowa by her Dr. They are one of the leading researchers in the country for her condition.
After our first visit in December, the Doctors at U of I confirmed that she has macular telangiectasia (mactel) Unfortunately, very little information is known about the cause and there is no cure. Dr's gave my wife some medication to try for 90 days and advised her to get new glasses to help with her visual acquity. Her eye test during the visit was 20/50 in her left eye and 20/100 in her right eye. The local opthomatrist was able to correct her vision to 20/30 in the left and 20/50 in the right. So, she was happy to see things more clearly.
We had our 90 day followup visit last week. Unfortunately, the drugs do not appear to have helped. Her vision test shows that her eyes have worsened to 20/40 in her left eye and 20/60 in her right over the past 3 months. This visit was with the Dr that is involved with the MacTel Project, which is a collaboration of Dr's from around the world. He reiterated that there is no cure for this disease and the current drug has seen mixed results. The MacTel project only has 80 patients between the U.S. and England involved in the study. He suggested continuing with the drug for another 90 days and return for another checkup.
I was able to find U.S. Post Office vision requirements for her job. Employees must have one eye corrected to 20/40 or better and the worse eye can be no worse than 20/200. With the current decline of her vision, we are concerned that her next visit may show that her vision is moved beyond that range and would be unable to fit the perameters of the job description.
I am wondering if we should start the Fers Disability process now? We are still concerned that management may try to find any reason possible to fire her, once they find out about the filing. Is this something we should worry about? or will she be protected either way?
At her current rate of decline, she may also become eligible for SSD in a couple of years. But, I know we have to file either way in regards to Fers Dis. (SSD requires both eyes to be worse than 20/200 to be eligible)
We are trying to estimate what the deductions will be from her Fers Disability Check. Is it a percentage based on your tax bracket? (15%) or a set amount?
Sorry for the long post, but we have so many questions and so few places to go for answers.