OPM Disability Retirement: The labyrinth of human psychology

Daedalus, in Greek mythology, constructed the complex maze for King Minos of Crete; it is reported that the multicursal patterns were so elaborate that even the designer himself could barely find a pathway out.  That is, indeed, reflective of the complexity of human beings.  Cynics are quick to dismiss our own species as predictable, untalented in any specific category but only in general terms; boastful beyond a simpleton’s ego and successful in self-promotion and propagation only because it is too lazy to do otherwise.

Repetition, the need for habituation of purpose, and forever seeking a quietude of reflective pastures in solitary reserve, the human animal both and at once can be definitionally reduced as a mere afterthought in the Animal Kingdom, yet cunning in its predatory mastermind in a universe otherwise devoid of sophistication.

Human begins are nothing if not complex; and the psychology of humanity in the linear history of conflicts, wars, greed and hatred of group behavior, only touches upon the depths of a labyrinth that even Daedalus would not have been able to figure out.  And yet we try; and despite our best attempts, the moment humanity deems to have declared the discovery concluded and forever ensconced in determined coordinates, whether as genetic material established with certitude or some mythology of a variation of a Freudian narrative, Man pauses for a moment, then surprises to turn upside down the paradigm of conventional explanations of behavior.  It is only the hermit who, within an iconic security of an ivory-tower observatory, can issue declarative narratives establishing uncontested truths of unequivocal certitudes.

The rest of us who must interact and maneuver through the unmapped waters of societal upheavals, are left to daily hiccups of unpredictable encounters with fellow human beings.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must — in addition to dealing with mercurial managers and unpredictable outbursts from supervisors, coworkers and unnamed (and unnamable) agency heads — “deal” with a medical condition, such that the illness or injury results in an inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties at the U.S. Postal Service or the Federal agency, the daily encounters will often quickly take their toll through exhaustion and profound fatigue beyond mere tiredness from a rough day’s work.  You become “pigeonholed” as that “unproductive employee”, and thereby reduced to a category, a name, a label and a farce.

But the labyrinth of human psychology can never be constrained within the convenient categorization denounced by fiat; the complexity may become repressed, but like the boiling pot gurgling to explode, will remain simmering in the quietude of suppressed restraints.  Then, and probably long past and overdue, it is time to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  It is the only and best option available, lest the unpredictable and complex labyrinth of human psychology boil over into an uncanny cavern of a despairing tidal wave yet to be revealed.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Service Disability Retirement: Differing Legal Criteria

Similar benefits, at the State, Local, Private levels, and at the Federal level, each contain differing legal criteria for eligibility. Thus, for instance, Social Security Disability benefits require one set of standards of eligibility; private disability insurance policies require a different set of standards; and state disability benefits often differ from state to state.  This is of course true of Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS and CSRS — where the legal standard of eligibility is different from Social Security, Worker’s Comp, and State or private disability criteria.

Often, a question is asked whether a medical narrative report which is prepared for submission to the Office of Personnel Management can be used for submission for other “similar” benefits.  The short answer is, “It all depends”, but the long answer is that, in most cases, one must be very cautious.  When I represent a Federal or Postal employee under FERS or CSRS, one of the first steps in preparing a viable case is to request of the treating doctors a detailed medical narrative report.  One must understand that the treating doctor has, generally speaking, next to no idea as to the legal criteria that must be met under FERS or CSRS.  Furthermore, the treating doctor has no legal knowledge as to the differences between private disability insurance policies, State, Social Security, OWCP or FERS & CSRS.  It is the job of the Attorney to make sure and guide the treating doctors as to the criteria which must be met as to the particular and specialized field for which the medical narrative is being prepared.  This must be done with care, and with detailed guidance.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire