Reflections on Federal Disability Retirement this Independence Weekend

Each country has a symbolic date for celebrating independence; that historic marker which represents the freeing of a populace from the chains of tyranny.  Some may view it as an anachronism, and in such a mindset, it is merely another day off from the daily toil of work. Others, with half-hearted attempts at joining the revelry of the occasion, may actually convince themselves of the celebratory relevance of the extended weekend.

How does one keep alive the historic importance of past markers?  As veterans of past wars begin to decrease in number, so the present fervor of an event parallels the diminishing stature of the occasion.  Why is World War II more prominently featured than the “Great War” some mere decades preceding; and what of the cost of the Civil War?  As living memories fade, so the pages of history remain kept on dusty bookshelves left for college professors and their students to ponder. In the end, relevance of an event must be personalized; that is how connections are made.

For Federal and Postal Workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition itself becomes a tyranny of dependence, it is precisely that marker which separates one from confinement which reveals a revelatory relevance to the greater world.  Filing for Federal Disability Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is an option available to all Federal and Postal employees who seek to become independent from the chains of turmoil and turbulence caused by one’s medical condition and the exacerbation of such conditions upon one’s Federal or Postal position.

Independence day is often a marker of historical significance, but it must always relate at the personal level for each individual. Otherwise, it remains merely an extension of another weekend.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The Pruning Mechanism

It is one of life’s anomalies that plants flourish and thrive with targeted pruning; too much dismembering, and the sap of life can wither; too little, and the nutrients required for new growth will be diverted to wasted areas of decay, thereby allowing for greater susceptibility to disease. As animals cannot regenerate new appendages (with some variable exceptions), so pruning of limbs is not recommended. But the term itself can imply metaphorical contents — of leaving behind and cutting off ties which harm; of terminating associations which contribute to the decline of one’s health.

The complexity of medical conditions will often bring to the fore questions of causation and exacerbations; and while stress is an inherent factor in almost every employment arena, and further, is not normally recommended in a Federal Disability Retirement application to be focused upon (see previous articles on work-place stress resulting in “situational disabilities“, which can defeat a Federal Disability Retirement application), nevertheless, it is an issue which any Federal or Postal employee contemplating preparing, formulating and filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits, should consider carefully, seriously, and with deliberate intent.

It is ultimately the U.S. Office of Personnel Management which reviews, approves or denies all Federal Disability Retirement applications for Federal and Postal employees under FERS or CSRS; thus, unless one works for OPM, it is an agency separate from one’s own employing agency.

It is that agency — one’s own — which always must be considered for “pruning”. For, while the central issue in all Federal Disability Retirement applications is the nexus, or “bridge”, between one’s medical condition and the essential elements of one’s job; still, it is often a prudent thought to consider that “burning” one’s bridge is the penultimate act leading to a fruitful “pruning” — a mechanism sought in a metaphorical manner, to redirect life’s nutrients into more productive tissues for the future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Restorative Sleep & a New Day

For whatever evolutionary reasons, the necessity of sleep is apparent to anyone who lacks it.  On just a basic level of understanding, one assumes that the extent and level of daily activities results in the corresponding necessity of one’s sleep pattern; but one sees certain individuals do next to nothing, who seem to need a vast amount of sleep, and conversely, those who expend a tremendous level of energy who seem to thrive on minimal periods of somnolence.

The necessity of sleeping is a given; when interrupted patterns occur, and identifiable sleep disorders intervene, including insomnia and sleep apnea, then we begin to recognize the differentiation between mere ‘sleep’ and the concept of ‘restorative sleep’.  The former is simply the state that one finds one in; it is the latter which is the more meaningful state.

Whether because of chronic pain which, throughout the period of attempted sleep, interrupts the pattern of relief sought through sleep; or severe psychiatric conditions which require lengthy periods of quietude; mere sleeping does not necessarily result in the state sought — of restorative sleep, in order to wake up to a “new day”.  Without that level of restorative sleep, the human mind and body is unable to perform at the peak level which must be attained, in order to thrive in the technologically challenging work environment of modern day.

For the Federal and Postal Worker who must face such a challenge daily, where one’s medical condition begins to impact the ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, consideration must be given to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Whether under FERS or CSRS, Federal Disability Retirement allows for the Federal or Postal Worker to enter into a period of interlude in order to attain that sought-after restorative sleep.

The respite from the turmoil of work and responsibilities is often the recipe needed, and until the Federal or Postal Worker acknowledges the need, that proverbial “new day” may never arrive, and one may find that sleep is not a friend of the night, but an adversary to be battled within the darkness of one’s mind.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Life’s Strata

In geology and archaeology, the term strata refers to layers of sedimentary rock, soil, etc., which provides for identifiable characteristics distinct from previous and subsequent layers, such that time periods and markers can be established and differentiated.  From it evolved the discipline of stratigraphy.

The fact that we can actually study dirt and debris and glean meaning from it is exceptional in what we do in life; but on the other hand, it should not be surprising, given the extent of such debris and layers of rot which we allow to form upon our own lives on a daily basis.  We rarely even notice how much dirt we allow to accumulate; then, at the end of the day, we look at our hands and realize how dirty they are, and proceed to wash them without thought.

But what of the strata of human debris?

Of traumas and psychological harms which we allow to press upon us, leaving aside the toxic physical fractures which we ignore until it requires emergency surgery.  Medical conditions will sometimes occur suddenly; often, however, they result upon the incremental cumulative impact from repetitive laying of stresses, both physical and psychological.  And like the strata studied in geology and archaeological expeditions, in retrospective reflection, there are clearly identifiable markers during a specific time period of our lives.

For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from medical conditions such that the medical conditions, whether physical, psychiatric or emotional, impact and prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is important to consider the option of Federal Disability Retirement.

Federal Disability Retirement benefits, filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS or CSRS, may allow for the next strata of life to be identifiably distinct from the previous layer, and therefore allow for the stratigrapher to engage in the true study of relevance:  an improvement in the human condition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Power Outages

Power outages resulting from an ice storm are humbling experiences; it reveals the extent of how dependent we are upon electricity and how interconnected everything is.

For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition, of course, such an experience is one which is daily felt through the deterioration of one’s health:  the interconnected dependency upon the power source of one’s body.  The steady decline of power and vibrancy is what the Federal and Postal worker has relied upon for so many years — for work, family, career and livelihood.  When that main switch begins to fray, all of the ancillary dependencies begin to suffer.  When the impact of that “power outage” results in one’s inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job, it is time for repair and troubleshooting.

Preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is a means to an end; the means require recognition of the need; the end is to reinvigorate the power source.

May this winter of 2014 begin to thaw out and allow for such rejuvenation.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Workers: For What Do We Expend Our Lives?

Expenditures can be extracted in a monetary sense; but one can also expend effort, emotions and cognitive exertion, too.  We think too narrowly in terms of financial gain or loss, but in every transaction, there is a cost to be paid in terms of human extraction.

The ultimate question, then, within the context of so much busyness and activity, comes down to a fundamental issue:  For what reason?

Heidegger sought always the question of Being, and noted that most of human activity is merely an excuse to avoid the ultimate issue of our own mortality, and the question posed herein is a close cousin of such a foundational inquiry.  Is it for a momentary respite of quietude?  Is it for a flash of a manic moment?  Does happiness constitute a pause in an otherwise dreary existence?  Is it all worth it to receive a hug from one’s child, or a kind word from a stranger, or the warmth of tongue from a puppy asking for your attention?

There is poetry in life, and moments of incremental advances of worthwhile sketches;  but if one merely lives for the negation of X, then one should consider a change in direction or course.  For example, if happiness is defined by a temporary escape from pain, then one’s life is bundled up by the negation of a negative (remember one’s math days — of two negatives equalling a positive?).

For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition, such that life has become a treadmill of daily pain and medical turmoil, and where weekends and days off are merely expended to recover from the weeks and months of physical trials, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS.

For what does one live?  Surely not for the condescending feedback from a bureaucracy or agency; it must be for more than that.  Otherwise, the price paid far exceeds the benefit received. Federal Disability Retirement is an option available for all Federal and Postal employees who have at least 18 months of Federal Service.

Let not life be a question of avoiding one’s mortality; or, for that matter, to allow for life’s expenditures to exceed the value of the product purchased.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

Federal Disability Retirement: When the Violin Stops Playing

Self-flagellation is an activity which we all engage in; for, there is always a discovered virtue in being a depicted character worthy of empathy and kind concern.  In movies, television, and in the imaginative creativity stirred in one’s mind through effective novels and novellas, such a character may evoke a background music filled with the mournful sound of a solo violin.

In real life, however, the harshness of quietude lacking in any musical repertoire leaves only the silence of reality in a scene of perpetual encounters with a negation of rectitude; the fact is, music soothes the soul, and enhances the scenes we create, but in real life, the world around us imposes its reality over which we have very little control, for the most part, in directing either the factual circumstances or the orchestra in the background.

For the Federal or Postal Worker who is suffering from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the reality of the impact of one’s medical condition is something which was never requested, never created, nor likely anticipated.

It is simply an “is” which must be dealt with, as in most unexpected encounters with modern life.  There is no background music, no violin repertoire to soothe the feelings of the Federal or Postal Worker; only hard choices to make.

Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal Worker is under FERS or CSRS, and so long as the Federal or Postal Worker has a minimum of 18 months of creditable service, such an option may be a viable one to attain.

As for the mournful sound of a solo violin, it plays only to those who become lost in a world of make-believe; but when the scene ends, we are left with the quiescence of the harsh reality which surrounds us.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire