You are on the right track. I understand the Postal Service is hard to deal with in these issues; and unless you have the union or a supervisor helping you, it can be difficult.
It is easier if you can find a vacancy in the location you wish to move to. If you are on temporary assignment, it may be easier to work into a permanent position.
They are more likely to allow you to become permanent from a temporary assignment than an outright transer. This is especially true if you make yourself a valuable member of the team.
If there is no vacancy, once you are there, try to find some one who is willing to switch locations. .I do not know how strong your union is, but if you are a member, and I am sure you are, then ask a union rep if they can help to effect the transfer.
You will have to prove your hardship, so be sure to have any medical statements all ready prepared by the doctor.
your HR department should have the process and procedures for you.
If this is not the information you are looking for, be sure to let me know.
How closely does your unit adhere to federal employee guidelines?
Thank you for your additional information. I was hoping you would confirm the OPM.
The OPM directive for hardship transfers are focused on compelling consideration of employee requests for hardship transfers based on the employee's health, but for family member health. THe policies allow them to use family member health as a consideration, but do not compel it.
In addition the OPM consideration of hardship transfers is not a point of law, except to the extent that if you show discrimination in the process, you may have recourse.
So it is not law, but directed policy.
I approach this from that perspective, because I have to think: what is it you can legally do.
Since this is discretionary, there is nothing you can do legally to compel or force them to provide an earlier decision.
The following discussion of hardship transfers is taken from the OPM:
Hardship transfers can be requested by employees that are experiencing personal problems at their current duty station. There are many reasons that people request hardship transfers; to care for sick parents; lack of medical facilities at your location for specific treatments for you or your family members; to get closer to your children after a divorce when your ex spouse has custody; and any number of other reasons that create an undue hardship on you or your family.
The key to successfully transferring to another position is professionally packaging your federal style resume. You must tailor your work histories and KSAs to the job announcement or position's required duties and qualifications that you are targeting. Use the all new 10th edition of The Book of U.S. Government Jobs to take you step-by-step through analyzing the job announcement to writing your work histories and KSAs. You can also hire a professional resume writing service to assist you if desired.
The procedure is similar to the IPP process except that you must describe the hardship in your cover letter. Prepare a cover letter requesting the hardship transfer along with an application (OF-612, federal resume, or SF-171) and give it to your immediate supervisor. Include the desired duty location in the cover letter, job series and grade of the position at the new location, and a copy of your training history. Your supervisor will forward it to the next level of management with his/her recommendation.
There must be a position available or an anticipated vacancy at the new location for the request to be considered. Check with your Human Resource department for your agency's hardship transfer procedures. Each agency has written policies that describe the process in detail.
I am not familiar with the U.S.P.S. to know if you use KSA or OF/SF forms.
However, from additional research the principles are the same.
in my opinion, in order to a decision sooner or a desicion on the draw down, you would need to convince them of the urgency of your case.