It is an anomaly, a contradiction, and sometimes even a bit of hypocrisy. Often, it is definitionally bifurcated and described in metaphorical terms, as such: You win the small battles, but lose the greater war. You hide the pain, slough off with a shrug the days you had to take off; and when asked by coworkers how your weekend was, you respond with vague statements which fill the pablum of meaninglessness with volumes of words without substance of content.
Of psychiatric symptoms, you mask them well, resisting treatment, hiding the days of despondency and tear-filled panic attacks, going out into the hallway or staying in the bathroom until the sweaty hands can be washed with cold water or the wrenching paralysis can be calmed. Then, there comes a critical point where it can no longer be hidden; the private battles boil over into public symptomatologies; further advance cannot be had.
What to do? For the Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, and who needs to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the problem comes about because you have been “winning” all of this time — great performance reviews, maybe even awards and accolades.
But by “winning”, you are losing — both in terms of your health, as well as any evidence of deficiencies in performance. And so OPM will look at that and say, “You’ve been able to do your job, so what’s the problem, here?”
Consult with a disability attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin to formulate the foundation which turns about the “win to lose” approach to a “win to win” or even “lose to win” progress forward.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.