Medical Retirement Benefits for Federal & Postal Workers: Expectations versus Reality

The dawn of the American century arrived sometime after the First World War.  America’s entrance into the world stage; its dominance in influencing culture, economics, politics and social upheavals cannot be ignored.  At home, too, kids were brought up with a view that expectations were limitless; that everyone could achieve anything and everything so long as you put your heart, mind and soul into it.

The reality, of course, is quite different.  For, the fantasy of expectations fails to take into account individual limitations, whether in the arena of creativity, intelligence, circumstances or just plain luck.

We taught our kids the false pablum that in America, everything is possible for everyone, and thus do we have the reality-check upon millennials and others that, NO, not everything is possible, and sometimes you have to accept the plain fact that reality imposes a check upon your expectations: You cannot win at everything; you cannot succeed at every crazy venture; you are not always going to come in first; and, in fact, you may not even be given a pat on the back just because you show up.

Medical conditions, likewise, provide a reality check.  We are not all of us triathletes; our bodies are, indeed, vulnerable; and though we may think we are a species which can multitask better than other specialized animals (i.e., the predator cats are good at chasing and killing; the falcon at zeroing in upon its prey, etc. — but the human animal, though not the best at any one thing, is good enough at a multitude of different tasks), there is a limit as to how much we can do before the stress and anxiety of becoming overwhelmed sets in.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition has given you the reality check against expectations of continued employment with your Federal Agency or the Postal Service, contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of initiating the preparation, formulation and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application — where you are finally recognizing that there is a substantive distinction to be made between expectations and reality.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS Medical Retirement from the OPM: The Strategy

Is it always necessary to possess one?  Must one always have to be able to articulate it before moving forward?

How would you respond and react if, say, you were in the military and about to embark on a major mission, and your platoon leader turns and says to you, “Now, this is a dangerous mission and we have to do it, even though we don’t really have a strategy as to how we will go about accomplishing the mission.”  Would such a statement empower you with confidence?

Or, would you smirk quietly and whisper to the person next to you, “Wow, that’s a confidence builder!”

Or to a child who one day declares, “I’m going to be a billionaire!”  Would you suppose that such a declaration is without a strategy because of the age and youthful exuberance exhibiting folly?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is important to have a strategy — a thoughtful, sequential plan of how to go about preparing the application; what legal arguments to formulate; when to file.

Contact a Federal Disability Lawyer to discuss the further particulars of your case — one who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law exclusively.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: The Bridge to Nowhere

It is a metaphor which evokes images of hopelessness and futility, if such images can indeed be captured at all.  Whether of an attitude, a perspective or the existential reality of one’s personal circumstances, the question is, Why was the bridge to nowhere built to begin with?  There it stands, in mid-construction, suspended but unfinished, not leading to anywhere, not going in any particular direction, not coming from any place known.

It is often how we feel in the middle of our lives.  One has only to sit in a cafe, by a window, and watch the midday rush of people coming and going, seemingly with purpose, appearing with decisiveness, until you catch the gaze of someone passing — a knowing look, a pause, a hesitation; and at that moment of illumination, the stranger and you both know that the constant, ant-like activity is merely a whirl of coming and going upon a bridge to nowhere.

The furious pace of life; of rushing to get to work, working, then rushing to get home within a factory of people uncaring and unaware.  Then, when calamity hits — a medical condition that interrupts, intercedes and imposes its existence upon you — suddenly the routine of ferocious activity finds meaning in the very meaninglessness felt the moment before.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal job because of a medical condition, the sense that one is driving upon a bridge to nowhere is common and troubling.  Of course one’s health should be a priority; and of course work, the “mission” of the Federal agency and the harassment that is initiated without empathy or understanding — all of that stuff should be secondary and subordinated to taking care of one’s health.

Filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is the recognition that the bridge to nowhere will not take you anywhere, and it is in order to regain that insight of meaningfulness that it is important to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application in order to focus upon the importance of priorities shoved aside — like one’s health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Structural Problem

It is what we never want to hear, and fear most:  that statement from an “expert” who informs us that it is a “structural problem“.  Not cosmetic; not superficial; not unessential; but that word, concept and image which goes to the very heart and foundation of the damage:  the center of the universe.  When the damage occurs there, and the rotting vein of progressive deterioration touches upon that central nervous system, then it becomes “structural”, and all of the rest may come falling down in a sudden dustheap of crumpled carcasses.

So long as it involves only the peripheral concerns, we keep telling ourselves that it doesn’t matter, that the foundation is still solid and they are mere extremities of lesser concern.  We do that with pain and other irritants of life.  And with medical conditions that don’t double us over or completely debilitate us.  So long as there remains a semblance of structural integrity left, one can go on and continue without regard to the symptoms which become telltale signs of impending doom.

For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who has arrived at the point of finality where one can no longer just venture forward, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes the best remaining option.

We wait because it is in the very nature and essence of procrastination that the inevitability of ignorance, neglect, disregard and sidestepping can delay the confrontation with that which we fear to know, refuse to acknowledge, and take comfort in detracting from the encounter with the truth of established verifiability.  As with science, the flat earth, and the view from a geocentric universe, no one wants to be told that there is a structural problem.

Too often, the Federal and Postal employee who finally comes to a point of needing to admit that preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether one is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is and has become a necessity because he or she has worked until the last straw was placed on the back of the proverbial camel.

Medical conditions announce harbingers of events to come, by symptoms calling for attention and attentiveness.  While the news from the architect that the problem is a “structural” one may not be welcome, it was always an indicator that the inevitable was on the fast-track of necessity and predictability; we just turned our heads aside in hopes of another day.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Medical Retirement: Soulful Windows

Plato’s well-known quote that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, presupposes the capacity of the “other” subject observing the individual, to make judgments, determinations and analytical conclusions.  It is thus the subject becoming the object and prey.  Medical conditions often have a capacity to do just that.

There is something perverse in human nature, where the herd instinct of ganging upon the weak is somehow justified, and even applauded.  Weakness is a vice; revealing it, a sin; acting it out, a mortal failure.  Vulnerabilities and the manifestation of such open wounds require sensitivities beyond the human capability of present evolutionary tendencies; in that respect, perhaps man is merely a beast with synthetic garments worn merely to hide the superficial appearance of civility.

But it is the eyes which reveal; and even with sunglasses and averted looks, it is those pair of windows to one’s soul which bring forth the vulnerability of one’s position.  That’s why there are laws which protect, as civilization comes to recognize that in a civil society, the social contract must extend beyond the state of nature where only the strong survive, and to accord some semblance of protection for everyone.

Thus, another quote from Plato:  that moral individuals need not the guidance of laws to act accordingly, while evil will search out and find ways to get around them.

Federal Disability Retirement and the entire compendium of laws protecting disabled individuals, and people with medical conditions which need accommodations, all represent the window to the soul of a society.  Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit available to all Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers who are under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, with minimum requirements for eligibility, and mandated documentary standards of proof which must meet the preponderance of the evidence test.

It is a recognition that when a Federal or Postal employee suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, and accommodation efforts have failed, that a civil society which has progressed beyond the original state of nature, must reflect a capacity of sensitivity beyond the herd instinct.

That does not mean, however, that such originality of human nature does not residually reside in individual human beings; rather, it is the reflection of the greater window to the soul of a society.  Filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Federal Disability Retirement is an administrative process and bureaucratic procedure which must be fought for, and aggressively pursued, if one wants to have a life beyond the herd of Federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service.

As windows can be open and closed, so the window to the soul of a civilized society must be carefully observed, and opened with deliberate intent and accuracy of purpose.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire