Vacations are a necessary part of the modern world; the stress of work, the burn-out factor, the recognition that the constant treadmill of daily toil, all serve to tear down and destroy the motivational underpinnings of every worker. It is a temporary respite; a time of rejuvenation and, hopefully, more than merely an opportunity to complete chores which otherwise are left undone. It is also a time of reflection and assessment.
For those preparing, formulating, and contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, vacations often merely illustrate the intractable nature of one’s medical condition, and the absolute necessity to change one’s course in life. The chronic nature of a medical condition, by its nature of progressively deteriorating one’s body or mind, reveals itself when a vacation is taken: the shortness of the time period of the vacation serves to emphasize the seriousness of the medical condition; the medical condition itself manifests the fact that a week, a couple of weeks, or even a month, are not long enough to contend with the progressively deteriorating nature of the disability or chronic condition.
Time for reflection allows a person to face the reality of an impending occurrence. That is often a good thing. One of the criteria which must be met in a Federal Disability Retirement application is that the medical condition must last for a minimum of 12 months. One does not have to wait for the 12 months; one does not have to be unemployed or on LWOP for 12 months. Rather, the prognosis for the medical condition is such that the condition must prevent one from being able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job for a minimum of 12 months.
On a vacation, the Federal or Postal employee will often recognize that time is short. Reflection is a positive thing; necessary changes, upon reflection, often become exposed, and it is often a time when the coalescence of three factors comes about: thought, words, then action. It is the latter of the three which determines the course of a positive future.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
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