FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement for Federal and USPS Workers: Incrementalism

Gradual decline or ascendancy is a concept which is difficult to grasp, precisely because one’s training to render judgements is based upon viewing an object or issue in its entirety.  Darwinian evolution is a paradigm based upon minute, incrementally selective alterations, imperceptible in any slice of time, but which slowly and progressively alters the genetic make-up of a species.  The question of consciousness and the Cartesian mind-body problem also involves the idea that, beyond the compilation of complexities inherent in the human brain, there is something more in existence than merely the physical in the wholeness of man.

Such concepts are also applicable in the administrative process of a Federal Disability Retirement claim submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS.  For, on the one hand, the very reason why many Federal or Postal workers remain in the position at their agency is precisely because of incrementalism — in progressive decline, or in hopes of ascendancy.

Often, medical conditions are characterized by a gradual decline, increasingly debilitating, and imperceptibly deteriorating over time.  If one views one’s medical condition at the beginning of the year, then again at the end of the same year, the progression may well be noticeable; but on any given day, because of the incremental nature of the disease, one may perceive the condition as merely static.

Conversely, the hope of ascendancy — that “tomorrow brings a new day” — is likely an evolutionary paradigm built into human nature for survival benefits.  But the reality is that most people who suffer from chronic and progressively deteriorating medical conditions need to reach a period of rehabilitative rest in order to get better.

Recognition of the subtle but insidious nature of incrementalism is vital to survival.  It may be time to consider thinking about filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS before it is “too late”; for, while time passes in gradual ascendancy, the deterioration and decline of the human body and mind waits not for a better tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Disability Retirement: From Language to Pragmatic, Substantive & Sequential Steps

The leap from words-to-actions constitutes a milestone of advancement; otherwise, if left in the world of Wittgensteinian language games, where all one does is talk incessantly without “doing” anything, then one merely remains in a universe of one’s own creation.

We all know people “like that” — of talking, talking big, and talking non-stop; and as the talk continues, the world leaves such people behind.  Dreams are paradigms for the wide-eyed youth to search, attempt to strive towards, and to have the incentive to “reach for the stars”; but the reality of the world must also become a stark admixture in order for dreams to be interpreted into actuality.

The young basketball player who dreams of stardom in the NBA cannot reach such a goal unless he practices daily, relentlessly, and at the expense of many leisure and other activities.  It is ultimately the pragmatic steps which must be taken, which represent progress of sorts from a logical, sequential standpoint:  From A to B.

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the undersigned attorney is often confronted with:  “I requested the forms from my agency, but I have no idea how to fill them out.”  Forms simplify processes, but they, too, are a composite of a jumble of words — on paper, in written form [sic].

Beyond mere words, in order to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, one must have a tactical and strategic plan — of how to meet the legal test of “preponderance of the evidence“; of how to gather and obtain the proper medical documentation; and how to create the “nexus” between one’s medical condition and the positional duties which one occupies and from which one will be filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The world of language is one of beauty, but of an artifice of creation in man’s universe; it is the way of pragmatism which must be embraced, in order to be successful in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement for Federal and USPS Workers: Vacations

Vacations are a necessary part of the modern world; the stress of work, the burn-out factor, the recognition that the constant treadmill of daily toil, all serve to tear down and destroy the motivational underpinnings of every worker.  It is a temporary respite; a time of rejuvenation and, hopefully, more than merely an opportunity to complete chores which otherwise are left undone.  It is also a time of reflection and assessment.

For those preparing, formulating, and contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, vacations often merely illustrate the intractable nature of one’s medical condition, and the absolute necessity to change one’s course in life.  The chronic nature of a medical condition, by its nature of progressively deteriorating one’s body or mind, reveals itself when a vacation is taken:  the shortness of the time period of the vacation serves to emphasize the seriousness of the medical condition; the medical condition itself manifests the fact that a week, a couple of weeks, or even a month, are not long enough to contend with the progressively deteriorating nature of the disability or chronic condition.

Time for reflection allows a person to face the reality of an impending occurrence.  That is often a good thing.  One of the criteria which must be met in a Federal Disability Retirement application is that the medical condition must last for a minimum of 12 months.  One does not have to wait for the 12 months; one does not have to be unemployed or on LWOP for 12 months.  Rather, the prognosis for the medical condition is such that the condition must prevent one from being able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job for a minimum of 12 months.

On a vacation, the Federal or Postal employee will often recognize that time is short.  Reflection is a positive thing; necessary changes, upon reflection, often become exposed, and it is often a time when the coalescence of three factors comes about:  thought, words, then action.  It is the latter of the three which determines the course of a positive future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Disability Retirement: Returning to the Boredom of Health

Everyone desires to attain a path of certainties, where life has a rhythm of regularity, predictability and consistency.  We often complain of a life of boredom, but there is a distinction to be made between “being bored” and having what some would consider a “boring existence”.

One need only encounter a life-threatening emergency, or a crisis impacting self, family members or friends — or a serious medical condition.  Then, one yearns for those “boring” days of yore, when living a daily existence of merely being pain-free, when one could bend, reach, turn, twist, pick up a cup of coffee — without a thought of invasive and excruciating pain; of a time when focusing upon a task did not require one’s utmost energy and stamina; where the intrusion of nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks did not paralyze one’s totality of being.  Living a boring life for those encountering the “excitement” of a medical condition, as opposed to “being bored”, found a consistency of a rhythm of certainty.

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is the goal of the Federal or Postal employee to enter into a period of a recuperative universe, in order to get back to the days of a boring existence.  Boredom is not necessarily a negative thing; indeed, when one is beset with a medical condition which prevents one from performing the essential elements of one’s job, the very notion that one’s prior existence of health was somehow less than exciting, is a puzzle to those who have lost their health.

Federal Disability Retirement is a chance to attain the boring life of yore; preparing properly the application for submission; formulating it effectively; and filing it to attain the goal of returning to that former self, is a consideration worth making.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Life after Disability Retirement

The focus upon the “now”, of course, can not be avoided; for the “now” constitutes the present circumstances, the period of preparing, formulating or filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; where the medical condition impacts and prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job; where the severity, chronicity and extent of the persistent pain, the overwhelming psychiatric infringement upon one’s ability to focus, concentrate, etc.; or where the ability to have the sustained stamina and daily energy has been depleted to such an experiential phenomena that the very “now” is all that one can focus upon.

There is, however, indeed a life after Federal Disability Retirement, and as much of the administrative process of obtaining the benefit is a long and arduous waiting period, it is beneficial to consider what will happen, what one will do, can do, etc., once an approval is obtained from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Remember, in being approved for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, one can go out and earn up to 80% of what one’s former salary pays currently.

Further, this is not OWCP — where, if one is receiving temporary total disability compensation, you cannot work at all (there are some minor exceptions under FECA/OWCP rules, such as if you were working at another part-time position of a different nature prior to the accepted date of injury, you may be allowed to continue to work that “other” job, etc.).  Nor is this SSDI, where there is a severe cap on the limit of what one may earn (although, if one is getting FERS Disability Retirement concurrently with SSDI, then there is an offset between the two).

The period of waiting can be a fertile time of preparation for life after an approval.  Or, such future plans can be placed on temporary hold for purposes of using the time for recuperative rest.  In any event, the “now” is merely a passing time of fleeting moments, as a cherry blossom withering in the early morning dew as the sun begins to rise.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: The Jump from Theory to Application

Language is an anomaly; as an intermediate tool, it can spur action; as a direct means of causation, it can have an immediate impact (as in argumentation and persuasive rhetoric), or merely appear to do so.  We all know of people who incessantly talk; of things planned; of goals dreamed of; and when one sees such grandiose narratives in a child, it reflects admiration because of the motivating factor and the positive effects of language-to-world connection for the future.  But when an adult speaks without the correlative productivity of real-world application, one begins to wonder.

The beauty of language can be in the very spoken word; yet, language without application can merely result in beauty to be admired, but subject to withering over time, and a deterioration which ultimately concludes in waste.

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, there is the danger of procrastination, of allowing for the “talking” about filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, to dominate the actual preparation and practical steps to take. Because medical conditions are subjective in its penultimate sense — i.e., while it is “real”, it is possessed by the subject to whom it impacts — the very act of “talking about it” can create a false impression that something is being done in the very act of talking.

In the modern age, where updating one’s Facebook is considered a substantive accomplishment in life, one can deceive one’s self by talking about filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM.  But there is a difference and a distinction between “talking about X” and “doing X”.  And when the collision between language and the real world come into contact, through (for example) agency termination proceedings, refusal to allow for any further LWOP, or other agency actions, then the conceptual distinction between theory and applicability becomes pronounced, and sometime irreversibly so.

There is a time for thought, reflection and words; there is also a time for action; and the chasm between the two should never be confused.  When the time comes to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM, thoughtfulness needs to convert to actionable steps of pragmatism.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire