Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: The old man

There is a recognition — born of the enlightenment period in American History referred to merely as “The Sixties” — when a cultural adage was created, which went something like: “Age is not the sequence of years, but of a state of mind”.  Yes, those “Sixties” will one day be looked upon by historians and cultural commentators as that likened to “The Renaissance”, or “The Dark Ages”, or perhaps some other hiccup of historical divisions that bifurcates the “before” and “after” of enlightenment, tumultuous alterations and societal-tectonic shifts of some significance.

The Old Man (without the appendage of “and the Sea”, a reference obviously to the classic novel by Hemingway, who somewhat embodied the end of a Pre-Sixties era where machismo, big-game hunting and the “strong, silent type” was replaced with “sensitivity”, environmental protection and therapeutic sharing) is still regarded by an archetype of sticking to old ways, becoming intractable and clinging to conservatism in thought and actions.

Perhaps that is natural — as one degenerates upon a progressive scale of a downward turn, as on a scale of molecular deterioration leading to eventual decay and death — in that vicissitudes of major proportions can only be tolerated well by the young.  Yet, there is a truth to that old “Sixties adage”, that one’s attitude towards life in general, responsiveness to stimuli and new experiences, is always important in countering the staid phenomena of old age and becoming old.

Medical conditions, of course, can change everything — all at once.  If of physical ailments, one can feel like a young person in a cocoon of ancient origins or, if beset with psychiatric conditions, the disorienting phenomena of psychological trauma can leave one aged while locked into a young body.

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 Federal or Postal job, it often feels like “the old man (or woman)” has arrived before his or her time.  We tend to focus too much upon historical shifts of tectonic proportions, when what really matters is the individual and the compelling narrative of singular lives.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may not have any great cultural impact upon history’s retrospective purview, but for the individual Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is as important to prepare and formulate an effective OPM Disability Retirement packet as if one is entering a great tectonic shift.

A Federal Disability Retirement application is a significant event in the life of every Federal and Postal employee, and consultation with an attorney is a near “must” in order to get it prepared properly and efficiently.  As for “The Old Man (or Woman)” that one is afraid of being tagged as because it is time to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM — leave that up to the cultural and historical commentators; it is individual lives that matter, and not the footnotes which are forgotten within the morass of vague historical references.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Information: Bumps along the road

On any trip or travel, how many bumps are felt or experienced along the road?  Many are imperceptible; some are noticeable; a few may be jarring to the effect that it jolts one from the automatic-consciousness-mode of how most people remain while driving.  But what impact does the entirety of the aggregate have upon both the vehicle being driven and the individual sitting behind the wheel?

Take first those almost-imperceptible bumps — what effect do they have, over the life of a car, upon all of the parts, bolts, springs, complex computer systems, etc.?

We know that, over time, stresses and metal fatigue over many trips and upon thousands of miles of travel can result in the sudden breakup of an airplane engine, or when a catastrophic event suddenly occurs where a car stops running or a plane crumbles in mid-flight, we come to the realization that the aggregate of imperceptible bumps can, over time, cumulatively have the effect of a single jarring event.

The fact that they are ‘imperceptible’ doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, nor that they have no impact; rather, it is just that we do not perceive them.  That is the old Berkeley problem in existential philosophical discourse, is it not?  Of the following: Do mountains exist on the far side of the moon despite the fact that we do not see them?  Does perception equal existence, or merely one’s perspective upon an opinion concerning such existence?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates the effective preparation, formulation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the bumps along the road in the complex administrative morass of a Federal Disability Retirement process will be many and sometimes overwhelming.

Some of the proverbial ‘bumps’ may be minor and merely irritating; others, looming large and difficult to conquer.  To ensure that the ‘ride’ is smooth and relatively trouble-free, you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the bumps along the road result in a jarring decision of denial issued by OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Government Employment: Amoebic Devolutions

What if the telltale signs are there, but we cannot, or are unwilling to, recognize them?  Perhaps the forward progress has already stopped, and we are in the throes of having reversed course without knowing, and that the innate genetic material by which Darwinian advancement promised a glowing epicenter of continual advancement, has in fact turned around, and we are witnessing the march towards a regressive, amoebic devolution?

Maybe we have already reached that penultimate pinnacle of a paradigmatic precipice, and the discovery of our technological prowess has already peaked, to where humanity’s U-turn is characterized by the behaviors we exhibit towards each other, to institutions we once beheld, and of reflections in misty ponds where our own images can no longer be discerned with clarity of teleological purpose, but where childhood dreams were once of fluttering butterflies, colorful not just in flights of fancy but in the twilight moon of castaway days, when goblins, elvin creatures and hobbits of yore delighted the human soul with imaginations beyond mere cravings of fantasies, but of that time when the breath of peaceful solitude cast shadows beyond the cavernous dangers where ogres lie?

Certainly, one can make a forceful argument that, If X constitutes the highest achievement of Man, then Y must be an indicator that the deconstructionism of civilization has already begun the process of devolving further into the abyss of decadence of soul.  Is this all there is in life?

Once, in days of Roman legions and civilizations expanding with the quickened pace of cultural upheavals, the dawn of man’s hope and the pinnacle of invention, the arts and the Renaissance of Timeless beauty brushed across the canvas of humankind, and revealed the inner sanctity of an empty religiosity.  There are no more principles worth dying for; and that is precisely why people blow themselves up.  There are no causes valued; and that is why despair pervades throughout.  Are those two candidates the best we can offer?

Do we treat our spouses as we would our best friend, before we discard the years of shared belongings like so many dishrags we fling down the garbage chute?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, in addition to the harassment, difficulties and intimidations felt at work, it is often an agonizing decision to make — to take that initial step in order to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

For, the tripartite compartmentalization of one’s life must coalesce in order to advance:  Recognition that the “status quo” cannot continue; a medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal positional duties; the ability and capacity to amass and prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that all of the eligibility criteria for OPM Disability Retirement benefits are met.

And of the amoebic devolution?

That march in the midst of time cannot be stopped, any more than the harassment, intimidation and workplace hostility can be set aside; and as the latter is probably an indication of the former, it is best to accept the reverberating laughter of the gods who look coyishly down upon the caverns of that hell we create, and wink at them from afar with the knowledge that we may well join them in the greatest farce we have staged — that of Man’s capacity to live in his own excrement while delusionally opining on how cultivated he believes himself to be.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: The script of life

Seeking out the pathways of precognition by consulting with the ancient oracles, was merely that same attempt.  Prediction and foreknowledge were the precursors of script writing; as the former failed to provide an advantageous statistical weighting, so the shift to a more pragmatic approach reflects the recognition that the gods provided no greater insight than mere chance, and so we’d better get on with life and attempt to control fate, destiny and the travesties of life’s lottery by writing the narrative ourselves.

Thus do economic systems of varying control mechanisms arise, where socialism and fascism, state-run artifices constructed to ensure prevention of extremes, thereby comforting us from the worst nightmares and fears born of childhood insecurities.

Virtual reality is safer than real reality; staring into a smartphone and chasing figments of imaginative characters and ghosts that exude cuteness in violent but funny ways, are all preferable to facing the harshness of daily living.  We may not know when we will capture the prize, but the script has been written so that it becomes settled law as to whether.  Reality shows may sometimes surprise, but the unexpected itself is easily anticipated; that is part of the deal, and there is not much art in it after all.

Shakespeare’s quote comes from his play, As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII:  “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”

Such was the surrender to fate, now replaced by inane self-help books which purportedly boosts one’s self-confidence, makes one look like a Reality T.V. personality, and allegedly creates wealthy patrons of us all.  All throughout, we seek merely to obtain a copy of the script of life so that we can practice our parts, and not have to think about what must be done.  We seek predictability when the world offers chance; beg for mercy, when all there appears is savagery; and fall prey to the oracles of modernity, when even the ancients failed to deliver.

In the sphere of Federal and Postal employees, of course, it is the medical condition itself which was never asked to be included in that script of life.  It is one of those “curve-balls” which happens to the other guy, and never to us; or so we always played our part to live by.  But when it occurs, and life presents the unpredictable in a chaotic universe of harsh reality, we are asked to simply “deal with it”, and so we must.

For the Federal or Postal employee whose medical condition begins to impact and prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Postal or Federal positional duties, the script which must be ad-libbed is the part where decisions concerning the future must be engaged.  Should I file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits?  When should the process be started?  Is it ever too late?  Is the Federal Disability Retirement application filed with my agency, or with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management?  Should I consult with an attorney?

These questions, and many more, even the ancient oracles would not have been able to answer.  The undeniable fact is, that the script of life rarely is written to reflect the reality of life’s harshness; it simply “is”, and must be acted upon according to what is given, even when consulting with the high priest or priestess of the ancient oracles provides only silence and an impervious unresponsiveness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Hardship Retirement under FERS or CSRS: Life’s Patchwork

Repetition and regularity provides a semblance of orderliness; somehow, patterns in life remain relevant to sanity and stability, and it is the disordered patchwork which creates havoc for want of consistency.  There are those who seek regularity, and are criticized for embracing boredom; then, the one who constantly lives on the edge, where being fired and not knowing the future of tomorrow is handled with a mere shrug and an attitude of libertine disregard.

Most of us live in the middle of extremes; that is why, in reading Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, no extent of profundity is discovered; the median between two extremes is what most of us naturally seek, anyway.  And we appropriate a sense of comfort and security by presuming that others are somewhat like us; to that extent, Kant is probably right in his philosophical belief that we impose structure and order into a universe which is essentially chaotic, in an effort to maintain an internal phenomenology of coherence and comprehension.

Every now and again, however, interrupting forces disrupt the quietude of life’s fortune, and misgivings begin to define those territories we thought had already been conquered, where the savages had been beaten down and the goblins had all been captured.  How we manage crisis; what manner of internal fortitude becomes tested; and what mettle of essence to which we may succumb; these are all questions which we would rather avoid.

It is the contending dialectical forces that are represented by the “Peter Principle” as opposed to the “Dilbert Principle“, by which most of us must endure; where, the former is quickly dampened by cynicism of actual experience, and the latter is always confirmed daily by encounters with a surrealism called “life”.  Life is, indeed, a patchwork of sorts; of different people, coming from a variety of experiences — and yet boringly similar and predictable.  Eccentricities have already been tested and stamped out, contained, restrained and trained into oblivion through the system called, “the public schools” — where uniqueness of thought is curtailed via the pecking order of peer pressure and standardized testing.

Then, of course, there is the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker — caught in a bureaucracy in which competency and creativity are rarely acknowledged as the avenue for advancement in an administratively hostile universe.  When the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker suddenly finds himself or herself facing the dilemma of a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from continuing in a chosen career because it prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties — then, it is time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

For, in the end, life’s patchwork must by necessity and self-definition reflect the complexity of the world around us; yes, we seek out the “middle ground” — that boring stability of repetitive humdrum of life — while recognizing that the extremes are there for a reason; and while it may not be for us, it exists and always presents a threat.  The key is to avoid it, or even depart from it; as escapism allows only for momentary gratification, and the pattern of life’s patchwork must be sought in the future discourse of our collective sighs.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire