Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The Past Upon Present

The guru dressed in flowing white garb may claim that the past is a fiction; those various “self-help” books will often declare that time is merely a continuum where we can only control that which is in the immediacy of our presence; and various philosophers have stated that the relativity of time must always be seen from the perspective of the “now”.

There is no doubt, however, that in the practical work-world, the past remains within the purview of haunting consequences.  Whether of youthful indiscretions or a darker past of substantial historical relevance more than a mere raising of one’s eyebrow, past performance is often used as an indicator of present behavior and conduct.  If a person has been convicted of embezzlement, does one consider that past in hiring practices for positions of responsibility — especially where money is involved?

Those who wave off the relevance of such considerations simply do not live in the real world.  We cannot avoid our past anymore than others will ignore it.  And so it is in Federal Disability Retirement Law, where the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will often place undue weight upon Performance Appraisals, cash bonus issues and whether there have been any deficiencies in performance, conduct or attendance in assessing and evaluating a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before initiating a process where your past may not be your best friend or, even if it is, whether you may yet be stabbed in the back — metaphorically speaking, of course.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Albatross

The reference is likely outdated.  One doesn’t hear of the phrase, anymore, that “X is like an albatross around my neck.”  If it is referenced at all, one is likely to witness everyone standing around within earshot to whip out their smartphones and Google it, to find: Literally a large sea bird.

The phrase alludes to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in which a sailor who shoots a friendly albatross is forced to wear its carcass around his neck as punishment.  But who reads Coleridge, anymore, leaving aside poetry as a genre outmoded in an age where entertainment and leisure must by necessity be at the click of a button or within the scrolling universe of a Smartphone?

The antiquated reference is an allusion (as opposed to an “illusion”) — you know, the poet’s attempt at painting a word picture of something else by referencing a certain concept; i.e., that literary device banned in SATs now because it became too difficult a subject to bear — is of something that brings about bad luck, or of negative consequences resulting from something we have done or an event which has caused things to turn against us.

Medical conditions can become an albatross around our necks; as our health progressively declines, it becomes a greater weight and burden because of the impact it has upon our ability to work.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from the albatross of a medical condition, it may be time to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

When one’s medical condition becomes an albatross which begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, whether as an allusion or an illusion that the medical condition will resolve itself, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes a necessity beyond the poet’s representation; it becomes a reality which must be attended to.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Attorney

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: That Moment of Opening

Whether of a book, a secret or a personal relationship, there is always that moment of opening.

The pause of anticipation before the reading of the first word of a novel announced to be a masterpiece of literary discourse; or of a secret, long lost and hidden in the family closet, now to be revealed where eyes and ears pierce with trembling knowledge that one’s self-identity may never be the same once the revelation has been heard; or of a relationship that suddenly takes on a serious tone, where once friendship may have been the placard of ease and comfort, but when that moment of opening emphasizes an intimacy that creates a bridge beyond a mere casual acquaintanceship.

There is that moment of opening; and whether we punctuate it with a declarative, “Aha!” — or perhaps a quiet fluttering of a heart’s murmur, or even a quickening of one’s breathing; and then it is over and past.

Revelations of any kind come to us like the door that was once locked but is suddenly a passageway once the right key is discovered; or is forced open with a blunt kick or pried open slowly but with persistent cunning; and then the other side of midnight reveals that which we once thought was closed to us, remained a mystery, until that very moment of opening.

Suffering; medical conditions; even a realization that things must change in our lives — they all happen upon a moment of opening.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who struggle to continue in careers that can no longer be maintained because of a medical condition that prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job — it is often upon that moment of opening that a decision must finally be made about preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Don’t, however, let that crucial moment of opening suddenly close by allowing too much time to lapse, where conditions worsen to a point of creating a crisis.  Filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits requires careful planning and thoughtful strategies.  Consult with an experienced FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, preferably at the moment of opening where the pathway of realization meets the dawn of recognition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Changing Lives

The phrase can have multiple meanings, depending upon the emphasis given to the words.  On the one hand, it can imply an affirmative, active meaning — of some individual or organization implementing steps in order to alter the course of another’s life.

In this sense, it may be that a problem has been identified — for example, higher rate of drug addiction in a community; increase in crime rates; an intersection with a greater incidence of traffic accidents, etc. As a result of an identified problem, a person, group or entity goes about “doing something” about it — i.e., petitioning the city council to put a traffic light at the intersection; forming a community-watch program to reduce the crime rate; intervening and educating the community about drug addition, etc. Thus, the phrase “changing lives” in this sense can be characterized as an “active” involvement where X is impacting upon Y.

In another sense, it can remain inactive — as a passive onlooker who recognizes that there are alterations occurring in the lives of individuals.  Every day, changes occur in the lives of everyone about.  One may quip that such a manner of meaning is rather inconsequential, inasmuch as it is a given that lives must by necessity change and encounter adaptations every day; for, it is a tautology to include in a single breath the terms “life” and “change”, just as it is a redundancy to refer to the weather without admitting vicissitude.

Changing lives is to be presumed.  Life’s daily turmoils require it; it is an inevitability which cannot be avoided.  The greater question is: How do we respond to the changes?

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 issue about changing lives can take on a third meaning — that one’s life, career and employment status must by necessity undergo an alteration and modification.

The changes wrought are forced by an uninvited force — the medical condition — and the circumstances which mandate change cannot be controlled — of the inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s position with the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.  How the Federal employee responds to this necessary change is where the relevant next step takes on greater consequences of potential harm.  What you don’t know in the changing life may harm you, and that is why consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law prior to initiating those next steps in changing lives, is important.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Forgotten Lives

Is it the memory that retains importance, or the fear that erasure leads to irrelevance that motivates us to prevent forgotten lives?  Does imprint upon history — whether in a footnote or an “honorable mention” in the epitaph of an unvisited tombstone — mean so much?  Does a reference in a Wikipedia listing count as a counter to a life lived in anonymity?

Most of us accept that we will not leave behind a greater imprint upon history’s rising trash heap of honorable mentions; and, except for dinner conversations amidst family gatherings, where someone might bring up a story that begins with, “Hey, remember when Uncle X was with us, the time when…” — we are left to memories forever fading and references served only by the ivy that grows over graveyards left unattended.

How important is it to maintain a semblance of relevance in a world where the 15-second timeframe of fame and one’s forever-statement of contribution to society keeps getting shortened because of the need to move on to the next and more titillating cause of excitement?

One wonders whether a person clings to doing something merely in order to avoid erasure from existence from the memories of those engaged.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition impacts the Federal or Postal employee’s ability and capacity to continue working in the chosen field in the Federal or Postal sector of employment, the issue of making a decision to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS is often inextricably tied to the emotional upheaval of forgotten lives.

When one’s purpose and motivation for daily living is so intertwined with one’s career, work and the daily relevance of a mission yet to be accomplished, it is a difficult step to take, to recognize that one’s contribution to society may be coming to an end, resulting in forgotten lives and erasure from relevance.

But always remember that priorities must always be assigned, and the priority of one’s health comes before any fear of an honorable mention in a Wikipedia footnote, and just as there is life after a career with the Federal government, so it is also true that history is replete with the unnamed and unmentioned contributions of forgotten lives forever extinguished.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement under FERS: Adopting an Adaptive Plan

Most of us barely have one; and when we do, we quickly forget about it and move on, satisfied that —by the mere declaration of having one — we need not implement it or follow it rigorously beyond the mere possession of it.

The old Soviet Union (do we remember what the abbreviation, “U.S.S.R.” stood for?) had 5 and 10 year plans, and when the stated goals were not met, they simply cooked the books and declared that they were well ahead of the declared plans, and so the satellite nations under the rubric of the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” nodded its approval and genuflected to the Soviet Central Planning Committee (for, you couldn’t have a plan unless there were multiple committees to make those plans) and were grateful for the plans even though their populace were starving, despite the declared success of all of that planning.

Battlefield officers rely upon them; although, in recent years, because war is no longer fought by armies planning an attack upon other armies, the need for adopting an adaptive plan has become a survival necessity.  Life itself rarely follows a plan; most of the time, one’s day is consumed by just trying to survive.

When a medical condition hits us, of course, then all of the planning in the world — from a retrospective and myopic viewpoint — didn’t amount to much.  What is the plan, then, for a Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform his or her job because of the medical conditions that prevent one from doing so?

The Federal Disability Retirement “plan” is to allow for a Federal or Postal employee to file for OPM Medical Retirement benefits under FERS, so that the Federal employee can medically retire, focus upon one’s health and still, hopefully, enter the workforce in the near or mid-future and continue to contribute, all the while receiving a disability retirement annuity.  Now, that sounds like adopting an adaptive plan where interruption of a life plan allows for some grace beyond lack of planning.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire