Federal Employment Disability Retirement Benefits: At Least…

At least I have my dog; at least we all have each other; at least it wasn’t a complete loss; at least I have my health….  Is it because of the base-line of life’s fortunes that we may maintain our sanity and allow for hope to thrive?  And if we were to ever lose the “at least” — is that when life becomes too unbearable to withstand, or will we simply find another replacement “at least”?

Take the following hypothetical: A tornado or other natural disaster destroys a home; everything is lost; the person who survived stands with his or her dog and says to the reporter, “At least I survived”.  The next moment, the survivor suffers a heart attack and is bedridden for the rest of his remaining days.  Once the “at least” was taken away, was there a replacement?  Is the final “at least” the one which goes thus: “At least I am still alive”?  And when that is taken away and silence follows, is that the answer to the question: Is there anything beyond the last “at least”?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the question of “at least” is an important one.  For, when the medical condition strikes, the “at least” question is not: “At least I still have my health”, but might rather be, “At least I still have my job”.

It is the latter concern — when the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job — that may lead to consideration in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, ultimately leading to the further “at least” declaration: “At least I have my Federal Disability Retirement annuity.”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire