OPM Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: The compromised life

We all make them, though we deny it.  Iconoclasts scorn it; the extremes of either side scoff at it; and, in the end, it reflects the reality of who we are, how we live, and by what vaunted principles we purportedly possess.

On a theoretical level, it is easy to remain the stalwart – that singular entity standing on principle and commitment.  The one who has never experienced war – to express beliefs of “courage”, “unwavering loyalty” and blind bravery declared in wrappings of the flag and national identity.  Or of fidelity and traditional values despite personal shortcomings of multiple marital infidelities and 3 or 4 marriages, with the devastation of a trail of longing children with a hole in each heart, wishing that principles could be exchanged for a single memory of playing catch on a summer’s day.

If you are sequestered whether by wealth or capacity to ignore, it is easy to shout out principles; but, then, when the test of life intrudes, the failings of reality reconstitute an extraordinary hypothetical into a quivering crumbling of an ordinary person.

Ordinariness is certainly rarely looked upon as the paradigm to follow, and the argument often goes:  You never want to dumb down deviancy (Moynihan’s famous phrase extrapolated from a generation or two ago, lost forever by events of social and cultural turmoil hence), and so, even if no one actually lives like the pinnacle of beautiful thoughts and voices stated by writers, essayists and politicians (who themselves bifurcate “personal conduct” from the espoused rhetoric emitted from hollow mouths with a dead-panned look of seriousness), the common masses are admonished by rebukes of being responsible for the “cultural rot” that dissipates throughout.

Reality has a way of compromising the apex of beautiful words, paragraphs, pages and entire narratives of a singular life.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition may be preventing the Federal or Postal worker from being able to perform all of the essential elements of the position occupied, the concept of a compromised life is now a reality.  For, the sequential perspective of what is expected – of continuing until retirement age a career fulfilled, with regular promotions and deserved merit pay – may need to be ‘adjusted’ in accordance with the reality of life’s impositions.

Having a compromised life and accepting the compromises of life’s misgivings is not a sin, nor a diminution of one’s principled belief-system; instead, in preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is merely a recognition that theoretical foundations were always meant to be modified, and those speechifying vanguards of social commentators never meant the fulfillment of their own words, anyway, and it was always the compromised life that reflected the reality of the boorish insistence that we were angels and gods unknown.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Substantive vacuity

Another oxymoron, of sorts.  There are many of them in life, and the longer we live, the greater recognition we purport to identify.  People often say things and don’t mean it; or, such declarative niceties are meaninglessly bandied about because there is never any intention of follow-up or fulfilling of statements made.  We all know of people like that – commitments made with words, but no actions to follow; promises allegedly posited, with failed remembrances later on; or, misunderstandings on your part, and never theirs.

When did words become so meaningless?  Was it when the national debt soared beyond the proportional number of lawyers graduated from unknown law schools and the pendulum began to swing towards that abyss of linguistic elasticity upon the President’s quibbling with the meaning of a verb in a scandal and cover-up leading to impeachment?

Or, did the pinnacle of time when substance was king become a bottomless pit of mindless vacuity when Smartphones were introduced into the fray of conversation-stoppers, where once we had to rack our neurological cells to remember whether it was Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds who beat out Babe Ruth’s home run lead, and in what year, and whether being on steroids made it count or not – now, replaced by Google or some app that only two generations hence can figure out how to download and use?

Once upon a time, substance meant the essence of a person – whether by moral fortitude, steadfastness in faith or belief, or by quiet feats accomplished but never spoken about in polite company; and vacuity was relegated to braggarts and unfaithful husbands, when emptiness of societal discourse combined to free a man to declare that the Beatles were greater than Beethoven, and somehow it was imaginable that the words of Dylan could win a Nobel Prize, despite such accolades being the frenzied rebuttal of a generation who could fathom a purist’s discontent.

Uneducated boors possessed substantive vacuity; and so does the Federal Agency and the U.S. Postal Service that fails to try and accommodate the Federal or Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition results in the necessity to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

This is, indeed, a strange, strange world, and when a Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker comes to a point of needing to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the concept of substantive vacuity comes to the fore because, after all, we are dealing with a bureaucratic nightmare in the form of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management – a behemoth among juggernauts, wrapped in the conundrum of a puzzled but substantive vacuity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: False Positives

We demand that a “retest” be done, to ensure that the result did not have the opposite effect.  It is a linguistic conundrum that the affirmative means its negative; for, in medicine, a “positive” result is the worst of news, whereas in most every other context, it is a welcomed declarative.  But because it is a result which is not embraced with delight, we ask that it be further verified in the event that the “positive” is a false one, and we want it instead to not be a true one, and thus ask for a retest in order to see whether the second one will result in a true negative, which is the opposite of a true positive in hopes that the first positive result is a false one.

Are there such similar circumstances in daily life, apart from the medical field, where we received results of false positives?  The latter term in the phrase is misleading, precisely because laudatory declaratives are normally welcoming additions; yet, combined with the former word that essentially negates the latter, it is an oxymoron of sorts and is thus relegated to a defined field in the medical arena.

But false positive do rear their ugly heads now and again; in employment, where awards and exuberant encouragement are provided with nary a compensatory incentive, giving the impression that the company recognizes the employee as a valued asset, all the while withholding that most coveted of advancements – the “raise”.

That is surely a “false positive” that needs to be retested.

Or, of loyalty seemingly accorded by a Federal agency or the U.S. Postal worker, so long as productivity is met and the “mission of the agency” is placed on a priority basis, where long and uncompensated hours, both in physical presence and cognitive input when exhaustion from work, worries and problem solving overwhelm and consecrate; but when it really “counts”, does the concept of loyalty allow for bilateralism, or was it merely a one-way street:  Your loyalty to the Federal Agency or the Postal Service, in return for a false positive?

Is filing a Federal Disability Retirement application considered a “false positive”?  Or even in an inverted sense – it is “positive” because it is a benefit which is available when (often) all other options have failed; it is purportedly “false” because it means giving up one’s career and being presented with a future with less income.

But it can also possess an inverted meaning –  of a false positive because it is an a recognition that the medical condition has come to a point where an admission must be made:  the falsity of hope in relying upon the Federal Agency or U.S. Postal Service to reward one’s undiminished loyalty these many years and decades, would result in an accommodation of the medical condition, combined with a sense of positive outlook for the future because of this past reliance.

No – unfortunately, such a false positive would surely have to be retested, and the result would be that, yes, the false positive of having the ability to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is indeed a true positive that is there to be accessed.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire