OPM Disability Retirement: Confirmation of Worth

Recognizing the value of Federal employees with medical conditions

Diamonds demand it and markets survive by it; investments grow or shrink according to assessed worth, and relationships are maintained by the relative perspective of individuals entangled.  Worth, or the value of a thing, is determined in a capitalist society as a result of increase in demand, and scarcity of supply.

But what of the worth of an individual, as opposed to an inanimate object?  Do we treat it in the same manner?  Should it be?

When first the concept of “human capital” was introduced to the lexicon of capitalist verbiage, it was meant to convey the value of workers in a society consumed by material wealth; but over time, one could argue that the very introduction of such a concept on an equal footing with valuation of goods and services, only resulted in demeaning and dehumanizing the uniqueness of each individual.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s job, that very concept of the equality of value between one’s humanness and the worth of services provided, is all too real.

Suddenly, it becomes apparent and self-evident that the two are inextricably entangled:  One’s worth as a human being cannot be separated from the value of the work provided.  The compound concept of “human” and “capital” are inseparably linked, like siamese twins sharing a vital organ, never to be surgically extricated, forever compartmentalized into a conceptual embrace of blissful togetherness.  But that is precisely the time when the value of the individual should be recognized, apart from the worth of the services provided.

A medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, should be valued independently, until the medical condition can be resolved.  But as agencies fail to do this, so the Federal or Postal worker has an option to maintain his or her dignity throughout the process:  to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

As value is a relative concept, so the confirmation of worth is relative to the capital investment which a society is willing to put up with; and the confirmation of the worth of an individual should always be paramount in viewing the pinnacle of human essence, as above the primates of an evolutionary yesteryear, and just below the angels gently strumming the harps on a morning when the breeze whistles a tune of hope.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Explosions of Reality, Containers of Fantasy

Disability benefits for employees in the Federal Government

It is often the converse; as reality is that which constitutes the universe of the knowable, it is that which is contained and determinably set within the parameters of perception; likewise, we normally consider fantasy as that which cannot be contained, and therefore is unstable and likened to a detonated delinquency of diverted desires.

But in limited situations, of lost hope, where youth and the vigor of expectations yet unfulfilled, and anticipated future strivings are cut short by the tragedy of circumstances unexpected and of sudden termination unrealized, it is the very disintegration and deterioration of reality which constitutes the tragedy, and its mirror image of dreams unfulfilled.

Medical conditions tend to do that; at whatever age, whether in youth or near retirement, when expectations are bluntly severed and dreams are cancelled like plane reservations where the empty seat of an awaiting corridor on a tarmac in the stillness of a foggy night merely reveals a void and vacuity of that which might have been; it is the aggregate of life, its dreams and hopes, which reveal the true nature of value and worth.

For Federal and Postal employees 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 positional duties of the Federal or Postal position occupied, the need to cut short a promising career in the Federal sector constitutes an explosion of reality and a containment of dreams.

Suddenly, that project must be delayed; the expected promotion must be forgotten; that planned vacation must be canceled; the 3-day weekend with family and friends must be shelved.  Reality need not be the grandeur of paradigms, just as one’s fantasy of the utopia of one’s dreams need not include gnomes and pots of gold.

Federal Disability Retirement benefits may not seem like the granting of the singular wish one may hope for, but it is a benefit offered to all Federal and Postal employees, whether one is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, and must be proven at either the administrative level at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, or at the quasi-judicial forum of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.  It is a benefit which allows for the important recuperative period of gaining back control of one’s life, by pushing a “reset” button and re-ordering one’s priorities in life.

It may well be that having a debilitating medical condition constitutes a metaphorical explosion of one’s reality, resulting in the containment of one’s fantasy; but the greater tragedy would be if the circumstances of one’s life explodes one’s fantasy and dreams for the future, with the consequence of containing forever the reality of one’s life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire