Federal Employees with Disabilities: The History of Our Lives

Few of use consider the history of our lives — its place, relevance, context and significance.  There are those who are historical beings — of politicians; those involved in major crimes; a singular, spectacular event; or of a blip in history which may deserve a footnote in a biography or narrative which is soon forgotten upon becoming delisted from the New York Times Bestseller columns.

Whether of an integral paragraph or a side note, we have a place in the minds of relatives, friends, some acquaintances and even, sometimes, strangers we encounter but forget.  In a self-centered society like ours, many more have puffed themselves up to such an extent that they actually worry about their “legacy” — of what some will say about them after they are departed and what will they think when all is said and done?

The history of our lives is a complex one — told at dinner tables, at Thanksgiving and other gatherings where conversations begin and taper off, tidbits of questions and answers begin and falter — “What ever happened to Uncle X?”  “Do you remember the time when…?”  And then, of course, there is the haunting memory of one’s self about one’s self, and the fear of mortality combined with a desire to be remembered.  Perhaps it is memory alone which allows for the eternal; and so long as there are those who remain who recall a vestige of a life mostly forgotten, we continue to live on in our own misbegotten sense of immortality.

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 or career, the history of one’s life must often be narrated in response to SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.  How much of one’s life must be revealed; to what extent; of what details and how far back — these will sometimes play a crucial role in determining the validity, viability and efficacy of a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and discuss the viability of a Federal Disability Retirement application, including the history of lives which otherwise are left to the unmarked tombstones overgrown with wildflowers left unattended.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: When we were very young

It triggers an image, does it not?  Of teddy bears and honey buckets; of an innocent time before the concerns of adulthood?  It is not until the 38th poem in the original book that Pooh is introduced to us; and how pervasive he remains in the consciousness of childhood’s delights.  It evokes memories even where there are none, of a time awash in innocence, of happier days when the concerns of the world had yet to touch us, and when the biggest trouble to consider was to be stung by a bee for raiding their honey.

“When we were very young” — and what comes after?  Is the next line a description of brightness and joy, or of a history better left in closet where skeletons lay quietly in crumpled heaps of tinkering pasts?  When did youth end — at the encounter with the harshness of the adult’s life when worries about tomorrow began to invade the carefree innocence of yesterday’s moonlit caverns of laughter and delight?  Is the phrase, “When we were very young,” the beginning of a sentence that provokes such delight, or the end of a paragraph that is left as the last page to a tragic novel?  As in: This bad memory and that tragedy-better-left-forgotten, but of course that was all when we were very young.

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, the bifurcation of life often begins and ends with the medical condition itself.  For, “before” the medical condition, there was productivity, a future ahead and the past to delight in; and “after” the medical condition, there appears only misery and problems.  It is like the division which is prompted by the clause, “When we were very young” — only, with a medical condition, nothing that follows can delight the senses.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often the necessary next sentence that must follow, and while Christopher Robin may still remain in the joyful memories of our past, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is best left to an experienced attorney, lest the raided cupboard full of honey leads to legal problems down the road when dealing with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employees Disability Retirement Systems (FERS/CSRS): Of the parsimonious panderer

Somehow, merely doing your work just isn’t good enough; allies must be accumulated; alliances must be forged; outsiders, enemies and loners must be harassed, intimidated and crucified; suspicion is always cast upon the forces of neutrality, and homage paid is the quid pro quo of worldly advantage.

We tend to think that the manner in which prison systems naturally tend towards animalistic behavior of fiefdoms, savagery and community of gangs merely reflects a sociological consequence of a passing academic interest, without recognizing that the same applies in our daily lives.  One cannot merely go to work, do an excellent job and mind one’s own business; there are always dark forces beyond, awaiting and lurking, conniving to entrap and ensnare.

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who begins to suffer from a medical condition, such that the Federal or Postal employee must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the magnification and exponential pressure of prior failures in becoming “one of us” begins to manifest itself in so many ways.

For the Federal or Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition where the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties with the U.S. Postal Service or the Federal agency, two problems begin to surface:  First, dealing with the medical condition itself; and Second, dealing with management, supervisors, and even fellow coworkers.

It is an unfortunate truism that pandering not only works, but works too well; and if, in the course of one’s career, one has been parsimonious in the arena of pandering to others, the price to be paid is often the harshness of refusing to join and pay the membership of the panderer’s club.

But, then, the price for possessing integrity has always been the wounded pride of the lying predator, and when the parsimonious panderer awakens the abyss of human conscience by having a need for sympathy or empathy, the herd mentality of the world around will surely respond in ways predictable, by devouring the likes of a wounded prey such as the Federal or Postal employee who needs to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Plans, purposes and pivoting positions

The first in the series indicates the human endeavor of imagination and creativity, unique sets of binary forecasts projecting into a beautification of one’s future; the second, the qualitative and substantive core which motivates and impels the preceding characteristic and transforms it from mere ethereal musings into a concretized formulation of action; and the final element of the tripartite aggregate represents the capacity and ability of a person to remain adaptable, malleable, ready to take into consideration new data and conform appropriately, such that the originating plan is never abandoned but merely evolved into a pragmatic reflection, yet driven by the underlying impetus based upon strength and character.

It is the last of the three which is often the most difficult in this society of rigidity and unforgiving iconoclasm.  Bureaucracy does that to people, as the Leviathan of administrative growth and conformity to identity of purpose leaves little room for imagination and creativity.  We like to fool ourselves by pointing to the vast number of books published, or to “new plays” being produced off-and-on-Broadway; or to the innovations attained and announced in the world of technology, medicine and legal precedent, then pat ourselves on the back with self-praise and delusional despair.  But reality confronts us otherwise in the daily encounters with ordinary people.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties with the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, the direct conflict with the ways of repetition and customary machinations of administrative malfeasance come to the fore.

Agencies rarely, if ever, desire to accommodate; they do not see the value of retaining Federal employees who have served with dedication, honor and reliability for these many years; and, instead, are willing to forego the minimal alterations to workplace requirements and engage in a termination fight in order to retain its mindless inscrutability.  Plans are meant to be changed — and for the Federal or Postal worker, the entrance of a medical condition, whether physical, psychiatric, or a combination of both, should so alter the plans.

Purposes can be adaptable — and so they should, when the medical condition enters the equation.  And those pivoting positions first learned in playing the game of basketball?  They teach us the valuable lessons not only to elude the opposition, but in order to gain the advantage of a position of strength where weakness was once thought to prevail.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire