OPM Disability Retirement: The Problematic Loss of Confidence

Confidence is an ethereal character trait; in some ways, it is self-perpetuating, as success relies upon it, and feeds it, which in turn reinforces any lack thereof.  At once fleeting but full, the loss of it can be devastating.

For some, a mere look of doubt or suspicion from others can undermine the fullness of possession one may have had of it just a moment before; for others, whether lack of competence or never having had any reason for possession of it appears to matter not, and like self-esteem in the generation of modernity and “me”, a complete void of accomplishments seems not to overturn those who accumulate an abundance of it.  But weakness or negation from outside sources can be the final straw in undermining that sensitive sense of self, and a medical condition which attacks the body, mind and psyche of an individual can be devastating.

Thus, when the Federal or Postal employee who has confidently strode throughout a long and satisfying career, whose performance has raised eyebrows of accolades beyond mere efforts of competence, and where performance reviews have always included adjectives and superlatives searched out beyond mere templates previously applied with thoughtless automation, the introduction of a medical condition into the life of such a Federal or Postal employee can be like the Martian Chronicles revealing the strangeness of alien cultures clashing in a battle of titans heard beyond the roar of civilizations long lost and forgotten.

Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who struggle with this, resist the necessity of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, precisely because the disbelief is overwhelming that, somehow, this loss of what was once taken for granted, could possibly be.  But as “possibility” includes the building of concrete structures in thin air, whereas “probability” involves the hard computation of one’s life and “reality-living” in a harsh and uncaring universe, so the Federal or Postal employee must take into account that past foundations of accomplishments may not uphold the confidence once shared and held by a Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service.

Confidence, indeed, is like the golden dust sprinkled sparingly by the fluttering angels of yesteryear; and today is a dawn of dying expectations, where the harsh realities of a medical condition must be faced with a freshness of purpose, reserved for that fight which may require one’s presence on a day in future pasts, unforseen and as of yet unfought.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal and Postal Workers: “Why?”


The ability to question is perhaps the highest form of consciousness.  Without it, the next level of any narrative form would cease, and no prompting of a search for an answer will develop.

That is why effective trial work — from persuasive direct examinations to devastating cross-examinations, guided by pointedly-prepared questioning — requires thoughtfulness and contemplated direction.  Some questions, however, become avenues for paralysis.  They may, for a time, help to ease the troubles of one’s soul, but they are ultimately unanswerable ones which cannot be comprehended in the limited universe of one’s mind.

Thus, when a Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition asks the question,”Why?” — it is legitimate, but one which may not have an adequate answer.  One must instead progress to a more pragmatic question: What to do about it. Where to go from here.  The “why” may need to be left aside, for another time, during a more contemplative period of recuperation.

For Federal and Postal workers, time itself can be a critical factor, and in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, because the bureaucratic process itself is a long and complicated one, it may be of benefit to set aside some questions, and instead focus upon the pragmatic questions which set one upon a path of purposive direction.

The height of man’s consciousness may be the result of evolutionary factors, but the most fundamental of questions should begin with that primitive foundation of all: self-preservation.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Always Prepare for the Eventuality

The “cut and dry”, “slam-dunk”, “no possibility of denial” case rarely exists.  In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, the approaching attitude of humility, caution and scrupulous care for detail should always dominate, and any attitude that one’s Federal Disability Retirement application should be treated as a “given” will often backfire.  

Such an attitude, however, should be distinguished from one of confidence.  

If one has properly prepared one’s case, with scrutiny of detail, meticulous compilation of medical evidence, technical application of legal citations and attention to creating the nexus between one’s medical conditions and the positional duties of one’s job, then the Federal or Postal employee should be confident that the Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS or CSRS, will be approved, whether at the Initial Stage of the administrative process, at the Reconsideration Stage of the process (both at the Office of Personnel Management), or at the “legal” forums — the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Petition for Full Review, or the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

What is always important throughout the process — whether with an attitude of confidence, humility, or even arrogance — is to prepare the foundation for each stage, with an eye towards the next stage.

Thus, careful preparation — of thoughtful and concise legal citations and arguments — are not necessarily for the “present” stage, but always for the future.  For, everything that one does in life should always contain an ingredient of preparation for the future, and for a future eventuality; preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS is no different.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire