Federal Worker Disability Retirement: Oh, but That Youthful Sense of Invincibility

In the beginning, that sense of potentiality was seemingly endless; while the actual constraints, whether based upon one’s own educational or intellectual limitations, or perhaps that proverbial glass ceiling of nepotism, favoritism, or exclusivity of previously-formed bonds and relationships; but ignorance can indeed be blissful, and youthful vigor and enthusiasm makes up for that lack of reality-based experience which transforms us all into crusty old men of cynical negations floating in a universe of perverse ill-will.

The world was full of hope and opportunity, and nothing could stop that bundle of positive energy, naive anticipation, and future-oriented and exhaustive optimism. Even health was of no concern.  Disabilities?  Nary a thought.  Inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job?  Not to be considered, for youthful vigor and unbounded energy could not contain the late hours and extra, unpaid dedication reflecting loyalty and meticulousness of purpose.

But at some point the reality of the human condition prevails upon us all, and the limitations of the human body, the frailty of one’s psyche after years of abuse, deliberate attacks and unfettered stresses — they take their toll. Time marches unperturbed, but the response of the human body, mind and soul is one of deterioration and decay.

Did that youth consider what benefits were part of the compensation package? Not initially. But later, Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, can become an important discovery for those who are beset with a medical condition which prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.

It applies to all Federal and Postal employees, whether under FERS or CSRS, and is ultimately decided upon by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  While such considerations may not have been thought of in one’s youth, such naive indiscretions are fortunately forgivable, and despite such thoughtlessness, the availability remains for all Federal and Postal employees to consider the option of Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Change

Change is an inevitability. It is peculiar, isn’t it?  It can be either a transitive or intransitive verb; and, as used here, a noun.   The vicissitudes of life; the daily fluidity of events; fullness of being, the word-picture of a cornucopia, with its brimming abundance of fruits fresh and full of festive florescence of fanciful flavors (yes, the alliteration itself is intentional; it is meant to provide a contrast between change and similarity; of the poetic effect of same or similar consonants, but each with a different word; on the other hand, to apply the term “poetic” may be overstating it).  But of course change can mean grief; of death or illness in a family; of broken hearts and homes; of lost dreams and overwhelming hopelessness; as well as hopeful and future-oriented – of engagements, of young people with bright futures (despite the present economy).  Does one deal with the changes of change differently?  A static life is a change – it is, by definition, a life without change, motionless, inert, life-less; but as with all things, a static life could only have meaning in contrast to its opposite – a life of constant or chronic upheaval.  For the Christian, the age-old grumble has always been:  why the excitement over the prodigal son; why shouldn’t the same focus and attention be placed upon the “other”, forgotten son – the one who stood outside in anger and contempt as the party was being thrown for the sinner?   Entrepreneurs and thrill-seekers, from weekend parachuting, bungee jumping, even couch potatoes yelling and screaming for the “home team” (or some such mental affiliation, such as one’s second cousin thrice removed who went to Notre Dame just after World War II)  — the adrenalin stream of “change”, in contrast to the quietude of a rock garden where the drama of transformation occurs with the evaporation of the single droplet of morning dew upon the green moss clinging to the pock-marked boulder in a vast sea of pebbles.  We live in times of change; the internet is touted as the great technological change of our times; the young have no memory but for the “now”;  time was when a letter was composed for both form and content; the letter writer took great pains to ponder before putting pen to paper, for the wrong thought, wrong word, might mean starting over again.  The ‘delete’ button, the ‘cut’, ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ buttons were yet to be invented.  The arrival of a letter meant great excitement; a change occurred, and with anticipation one carefully pried the edge of the pasted flap until the forefinger could fit just inside the envelope, then slide across the top to feel the paper crimp, give, resist,  tear; open the letter; the careful craftsmanship of the written word, ink on paper, describing emotions, facts, events, a compendium thrown together to create a world contained within the four corners of the pages of a letter; yet, of events which may have happened days, weeks, perhaps months ago; for the letter took time to be delivered. Care was not only in the crafting; whether months later, or a letter lost for decades, the joy of a letter was eternal.  For careful craftsmanship was meant for the eternal.   Contrast that to today:  email, fax, internet, cell phone, IM, text messaging.  Carefully crafted?  News from afar?  Changes?  Is there even time to change?  Does anyone know someone anymore?   Time was when change meant a contrast between the constant and the event; death was a part of life; a child was born at home, and perhaps died before his fruition of life was actualized, but again, at home; and grandpa and grandma were to one day die in the care of a family; but now we live in a world where change itself is the constant; and so it goes.