Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Riddance of the debasing alloy

It is always that minor impurity which devalues the whole; “but for” the element identified as an invasive component, the rest would constitute the purity of perfections.  It is how we point fingers and bemoan the state of our own affairs; and how we make of a peripheral inconsequence the centrality of our problems.

The evil that we identify as the foundational source of a problem is merely the canard for justification, and in the end, we don’t want it to go away, but to remain as fodder to fester as the legitimate basis of an illegitimate claim.  But when it is a pervasive impurity, attached to the very essence of the composite aggregate, how do you get rid of it in the first place?  Precision by surgical selection is an impossibility; to excise it is to kill the whole, as it touches upon a vital organ which cannot be separated from the rest and residue.

In the universe of metallurgy, it is the composite attachment, interaction and interchange between various alloys which form the basis of the science itself; each possesses a characteristic unique for its particular element, yet often share traits of similarities which allows for the technician to ply the trade of forming aggregations of multiple differences into a singularity comprised by many.

In the parallel universe of people, societies, civilizations and empires, that reflection of strength through unity of diversity is merely where artifice reflects the reality of nature.  But when destructive criticism by pointing fingers at a misidentified source of impurity becomes the basis of a movement to change, then the crumbling nature of the whole begins to infect the fragile nature of each individual component, especially where independence from the other is no longer possible or practical.  In the end, riddance of the debasing alloy may not be possible, and it is often too little too late to even bother attempting a surgical separation without doing harm to the whole.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, however, the impurity of the singular alloy can be identified as the job itself.  It is “the job”, the position, the craft which once formed the basis of a productive “career”, but is now the impurity which harms and debases.  No longer something to look forward to, but reduced to another of the stresses of life, a surgical excision becomes necessary, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, becomes a necessity in and of itself, in order for the rest, residue and remainder to survive.

The choice to separate the “impurity” should not be a difficult one; and while riddance of the truly debasing alloy — the medical condition itself — may not be possible for the Federal or Postal employee suffering from a chronic medical condition, at least the “other” impurities of identified stresses may be circumspectly curtailed and separated, by the mere act of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Time to Make the Decision (Part 2)

The medical condition known as “Fibromyalgia” is analogous to the manner in which Federal and Postal employees approach the decision-making process in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS & CSRS.  Let me explain:  Fibromyalgia, as the Office of Personnel Management often likes to characterize, often manifests itself with chronic and diffuse pain which “waxes and wanes” — meaning, in simple terms, that there are good days and bad days; days when the pain is unbearable, excruciating and debilitating; and days when one can “manage” the extent of the pain and mental dysfunction and confusion. With that context, the Office of Personnel Management often tries to argue that it is not “so bad” as to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS & CSRS. 

By analogy, people with all sorts of medical conditions — from physically debilitating neck and back pain; from Orthopaedic injuries, arthritis, chronic pain, visual impairment, etc.; to psychiatric disabilities of Major Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, PTSD — some days, one can seem to manage the disability; on other days, one cannot get through the day, let alone perform the essential elements of one’s job.  But deep down, one knows that one cannot continue forever on the same course.  To continue is to slowly wither away by a thousand cuts, one cut at a time, one cut per day.  And so, just as the Office of Personnel Management is plainly wrong (for Fibromyalgia is a chronic and debilitating medical condition which clearly qualifies for disability retirement), so the person who procrastinates in making the decision to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS & CSRS is simply waiting for the inevitable.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire