OPM Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Imperfect Lives

Bringing up the very concept itself implies that the opposite exists: That of “perfect” lives.  We perhaps attribute the existence of such; perhaps it is the same line of thought processes which persuades us by the Ontological argument for the existence of God: God is that than which nothing greater can be thought of; To exist is greater than not to exist; therefore, God must by necessity exist.  The corollary argument which persuades us of the existence of a “perfect” life would then be: The perfect life is a life which erases all imperfections; perfection is better than its opposite; therefore there must by necessity exist perfect lives.

Yet, does reality indicate the existence of perfect lives?  Certainly, its opposite is true: imperfect lives being all around us, including our own, we then assume that there must be other, similarly imperfect lives.  Yet, while perfection is a non-relative term (it cannot be dependent upon a comparison to other terms, but is the paragon of all things not imperfect), its antonym — imperfection — can be.  Thus, X’s life may be less perfect than Y’s, and Z’s life may be less perfect than Y’s but better than X’s.  Can we ever say that X’s life is “more perfect” than X’s or Y’s?  Doesn’t “more perfect” necessarily imply imperfection and thus cannot approach a definitional plateau of “more”?

The plain fact is that all of our lives are imperfect, and perfection is an unreachable goal, and perhaps even undefinable.  For, who can define perfection of a life which fails to ever meet such a standard, and given the sins of human frailty, can it ever be achieved?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, the time may be ripe to admit and acknowledge that “perfection” is a standard which can never be met, and to try and maintain that appearance of perfection is an unrealistic goal.  Medical conditions have a way of humbling us; and as we keep struggling to maintain an appearance of perfection, what we are doing is failing to acknowledge that such a standard is a harmful, detrimental one.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is an admission of our imperfection; consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is a step towards acting upon that admission — that, try as we might, we live imperfect lives, and that’s okay; for, to err is human, and to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is to admit to being human.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Coherent Story

What makes it so, and when it isn’t, can anything make up for its lack in order to bring it around?

The historical myth of the early days of moviemaking is that the audience needed to be shown certain fundamental scenes in order to prevent any confusion and loss of interest — i.e., to start a scene with a character entering or exiting a doorway in order to “set the scene” of coherence, etc.  Otherwise, people were caught wondering how a character arrived at a certain place to begin with, and became distracted from engaging in the fantasyland of a fictional world in watching a movie.

Whether or not this is true — and there are some who doubt this, given that novels and short stories have always allowed for scenes, conversations and topics to jump from place to place without “reinventing the proverbial wheel” — nevertheless, every story hinges upon parts which make up a coherent whole.

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 coherent story must be formulated, narrated and conveyed in a manner which is both true, valid and persuasive.  Moreover, it must “fit into” the rules, regulations and statutory authorities which govern Federal Disability Retirement eligibility criteria.  How to tell “one’s story” on SF 3112A, the Applicant’s Statement of Disability, is critical in formulating a successful strategy in the proper preparation and submission of a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to begin to tell your “coherent story” — the one that will captivate the “audience” at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Return to Who I Am

We all take on different roles — whether as a parent, a husband, a wife; of assuming the role each day of a supervisor, a worker, a doctor, lawyer, etc. The underlying “substratum” of the “I” is presumed to remain the same throughout, but there may be a difference in the character posed, the personality posited or the tone, tonality and tenor of a voice, inflection, the way you talk, etc.

Perhaps, on a “Take your child to work day” you bring along your son or daughter and he or she watches you work in a particular role. Afterwards, does the child think to himself — or express him or herself to you or some third person — and say: “Gee, Mom [or Dad] sure acts differently at the office.”

Actors and actresses take on a “double-role” of sorts, don’t they? They not only have to take on the role of a character, whether in a play or a part in a filmed venue, but moreover, to “become” someone other than the person Who I Am.

Is there a difference between “Assuming the role of an Accountant” and “Playing the role of an Accountant”? Certainly, the former must have some credentials — perhaps as a C.P.A. or some “financial consultant certificate”, or some degree in accounting — whereas the latter only has to “act like” he or she has merited such a status. And the clients who come to the former — they are presumably “real” people whose financial problems or quandaries are “real” as well, whereas in the “acting’ role, they are not real, per se, but are also assuming the role of a part for the sake of an audience.

In either and both cases — whether of being “real” or “acting” in a role — the person to whom one “returns to” is someone who is the substratum: For the child, it is “Mommy” or “Daddy”; for the spouse, it is the husband or wife who “went-to-work-and-is-now-home”; and for the life-long friend from childhood days, it may be “Oh, that’s Dan who works as such-and-such, but who is good ol’ Dan always and forever.” But whatever role one assumes in life, whenever he or she returns to that person “Who I am”, does he or she ever return as the same person, or is there always a slight difference?

For, whatever the experience encountered in the “role” one plays, doesn’t it always change the person such that the person to whom one returns to can never be quite the same as before?

That is what happens with the Federal or Postal employee who needs to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits — Yes, the point of trying to overcome a medical condition is so that one can “return to who I am”; but in reality, that will never happen, precisely because the medical condition and the experience of enduring the medical condition has changed the person forever.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: The Uncommon Step

Thinking” is an activity which is presumed to be common within our species, but uncommon among others.  Procreation and the mechanical aspects involved are considered “common” for all species, yet in each instance is generally considered to be unique and uncommon, which is perhaps why we seek privacy when engaging in such acts.

Similarly, other acts which are common enough — of using the bathroom, taking a bath, hugging a dog, brushing one’s teeth — all common enough, and yet somehow we prefer a semblance of cloaked seclusion instead of the open display like holiday window dressings to attract customers.  Does shame play a part in modernity, anymore?

Where movies once refused to reveal to the public the uncommon proclivities of everyday lives, they now saturate and justify the prurient as mere fetishes more common than acknowledged.  Is that why shame is no longer a characteristic of culture’s understudy?  Is the human blush extinct because the common that once was subsumed within the privacy of daily lives has become so uncommonly common such that we no longer need the privacy of cloaked seclusion in order to feel such common tinges of regret?  And what about that uncommon step of admitting to one’s self that the human condition requires something beyond the common course of action?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows for continuation in one’s Federal or Postal job, taking the uncommon step of preparing and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often likened to an admission that one’s Federal or Postal career is over.

Perhaps there is even a sense of “shame” or “remorse” — of how things might have been or wishful thoughts of regret.  Never let the uncommon step stop you from doing what is necessary; for, in the end, foolishness is the refusal to take the uncommon step when commonsense dictates that the uncommon step is the path towards a more common existence.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: The Inconsequential

In the annals of history, most of us remain as the inconsequential.  Not even a footnote, nor even a passing reference, we are lumped into generations of third-person subjects unnamed and faceless.  We might read, for instance, that during the “Sixties” or “Seventies” (or beyond), this group of people or that community of individuals did X or participated in Y, and we might say to ourselves, “Oh, that is a reference to my generation”.  Yet, as an individual, it is rare to be identified by name.

History always fails to recognize the inconsequential; except, perhaps, by memory of relatives and faded photographs barely remembered in gatherings where old folks once chattered about this or that person whose absence emphasizes the starkness of the inconsequential.

Is that what many of us fear?  Not just about being ignored; and perhaps not even of leaving this world without a mark of recollection; but of being one of the inconsequential within a mass populace of unknown graves, unmarked but for those faded memories of vestiges in whispered conversations once echoing down the forgotten chambers of time.

And of that place where we toiled for a decade or more — where so much time was spent, so much effort and expenditure of labor: The workplace.  Once we are gone, will we even be remembered?  Will a fellow worker say, years hence, “Oh, remember that guy who…?”

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 fear of becoming one of the “inconsequential” is often what makes the Federal or Postal worker pause before considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

But just remember this: There is life after work, and whatever “consequential” work you believe you contributed to the Federal Agency or the Postal Service, there is nothing that cannot be replaced, and the greater consequence of failing to attend to one’s health is what makes for the inconsequential to loom larger with greater consequences down the road.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire