Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: The arbitrary life

Some would counter that it is a mere tautology; for, life itself is arbitrary, and the very definition of arbitrariness consumes the conceptual construct of living.  Thus does the subject subsume the predicate, and vice versa; or, in this case, the adjective and the noun.  But of course it all depends upon how we define both the adjective and the noun.

Do we mean by “arbitrary” that things just happen without a cause, and that there is no “Grand Designer” that intervenes as in the old Greek plays where the expectation of a deus ex machina would always appear to make everything “right”; or merely that we didn’t know, were unaware, and simply the alteration of life’s sequence of anticipated events appeared suddenly and unexpectedly?  And of “life”, do we mean in general, or a specific incident, carved out with special significance, from all of the other sequential and incremental compendium of events that aggregate the entirety of one’s consciousness of that which constitutes the “history” of a living being?

Those who believe in an omnipotent being, of course, cannot concurrently hold that life itself is an arbitrary phenomena, unless by that one means merely that one cannot have the same omniscient perspective as the Grand Designer of Fate.  If arbitrariness is meant to encompass randomness, and that the universe is a mere series of unanticipated events, then the question becomes:  Is it the lack of anticipation, or the randomness of events that constitutes the bulk of arbitrariness?

For, the human capacity to anticipate events unfolding is fairly unlimited.  Yes, it takes time, study, research, effort of cognitive insight, etc., in order to engage a process of anticipatory predictability, but that is a price one has to pay in order to subvert the anxiety of the unexpected.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from an arbitrary trauma of life — another way of describing an unexpected medical condition (for, who in his right mind “expects” a medical condition, unless one is a statistician or a pessimist of the highest order?) — it may be time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Yes, this too will possess some components of the arbitrary life — as in whether the Federal or Postal employee’s Federal Disability Retirement application will be approved or not; but such arbitrariness can be somewhat controlled by seeking and following the advice of an attorney who specializes in such matters.

For, in the end, part of the solution in tackling the arbitrary life is to anticipate the random events that are unexpected, by controlling those peripheral and tangential issues that increase the odds of predictability.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement: Refurbishing the emptiness of existence

It is not quite like fixing up the living room, rearranging the furniture in the family room, or even remodeling the bathroom; for, in the end, the soul that feeds upon the emptiness of existence must needs be replenished with things beyond mere material goods; it must be sustained by the worth and value of that “something” transcending gold, emeralds or even the riches of self-satisfying egocentric accumulations of treasures beyond.

The refurbishing of the emptiness of existence hits upon each of us at some time during our short and brutish presence upon this world; and for some, it is the coldness of responses received that dismays and often destroys.  We can rearrange the furniture on the deck of the proverbial sinking ship, but the cold reality still remains when that foreboding sense of solitary loneliness continues to overwhelm us.

Existence is a reality that we had no voice about; emptiness is a choice that comes about through failings of our own, as when others have determined that friendship, kinship, affinity and affection are not worth pursuing — at least, not with you.

We have a lifetime to foster human relationships, and yet, sadly, most of us keep burning the bridges that have been constructed, severing ties that once bonded one another and set out to destroy any shadows that follow upon the warmth of human linkage.  We like to “remake” ourselves; to “win”, to “defeat”, to be the victor in all worthwhile endeavors.  Then, at the end of life’s work in progress, what are we left with?  Emptiness and loneliness.  Was it all worthwhile?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have this sense of it all — that a medical condition has pervaded, has impacted and prevented you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job duties — it may be time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

It may come at the very moment when you feel as if you need to refurbish the emptiness of existence or, more likely, it is because the medical condition that is overwhelming you has forced the issue.  Often, when life appears to need rearranging, it is the other guy who is in the process of refurbishing his or her emptiness of existence, and it has nothing to do with you; you need to do what needs to be done because others will not recognize the value and worth that you have all along been working so fervently to create and maintain.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The vibrancy factor

There is much talk these days about energy, vibrancy, health and stamina; what defines it, that which best represents it, and to whom we attribute the importance of superficial concerns.  This is an age of appearances, and it has been now for many decades.  We still hear talk about the disjunctive opinions embracing the first televised debates between Kennedy and Nixon – how, for those who viewed it, the former “looked good” and the latter appeared “drawn and shady”, with dark shadows under shifty eyes in contrast to the well-tanned presentation of the former.

For those who didn’t have access to a television, or otherwise sat forlornly in a corner pub sipping the froth and listening somewhat distractedly, the voices emitted from the trusty radio transmission evoked a different opinion and perspective:  Nixon won the debate, and Kennedy sounded less confident, less knowledgeable on the substantive issues.  So, who was right (note the past tense, as most who were old enough to pass such monumental judgments have already entered through the corridors of Dante’s Circle)?  Or, is the judgment of “right” versus whatever other categorization one may presume, of irrelevance, and it is all a pot of bosh left to subjective opinions cascading down waterfalls of opinionated tropes?

There is, in the end, a vibrancy factor which we all care about, whether or not it shows, or to what television personality we may attribute such sustained bursts of energetically deplorable innuendoes.  “Charisma” was associated with the Kennedy presidency (likely imparted by the conspirators and inner circle of advisors and political hacks), and the entrails of Nixon’s later administration became an emblem of who we are today (yes, he must be turning in his grave when comparing notes with today’s standards as to what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors resulting in insinuations of impeachability).

For the rest of us, however, the vibrancy factor is a very simple matter:  Do we live life with a liveliness of hope, or dread each day with the burden of despair?  That simple bifurcation defines most of us.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition burdens and drags, and depletes and destroys – the choices are fairly simply and straightforward:  Stay, walk away with nothing, or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

The first of the tripartite is rarely a true option if Federal Disability Retirement is being contemplated because of a medical condition; the second, barely to be considered because of the time already invested and the question of one’s future stability is asked; and so the Federal or Postal employee suffering 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, must ask and consider the viability of the “third option” – Federal Disability Retirement.

For, in the end, the vibrancy factor rules us all, whether because we attribute self-worth and society’s superficial concerns to the advent of television or not; “vibrancy” has to do with life itself, and the innate charisma of a soul battered and pushed about, but rarely beaten until life’s loss of vibrancy takes its ultimate toll.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: Deprogramming a Preconditioned Approach

The preconditioned attitude of the general public is that, if X has a medical condition, then such medical condition, by the very nature of the condition itself, will either entitle one to benefits, or not.  Such an approach is what one is conditioned to expect — that by the very nature of the medical condition itself, means that it will either lead to, or not lead to, a specified result.  This viewpoint and approach is based upon a definitional standard, where the very essence of what it means to suffer from X already predetermines whether one is eligible and entitled to benefit Y.

Social Security assumes such an approach.  To some extent, so does OWCP, because the Department of Labor is willing to pay a certain amount of compensation based upon a predetermined calculus of a percentage rating, for loss of limb, loss of use, loss of functional capacity, etc.

This is why Federal and Postal employees who first contemplate preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, will attempt to tie the fact of having a medical condition with the question, “Does this qualify me for Federal Disability Retirement benefits?”  But that is the wrong paradigm to use in asking the question.  For, eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM is not based upon a definitional ascription of a medical condition; rather, it is that “third element” — the connection between X and Y, X representing the medical condition and Y standing for the positional duties which the Federal or Postal employee must engage.

In many respects, Federal Disability Retirement answers the philosophical question which David Hume asked:  Is there a necessary connection between cause and effect?  For Federal Disability Retirement purposes, the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Of August Reminders

As an adjective, the accent is placed upon the second syllable, and recalls of supreme dignity and grandeur, with images of a Roman Centurion with his breastplate shining in the full sun of power and prestige.  As a noun, it is the doldrums of the eighth month, but where a breath of coolness always invades and reminds us of the possibilities, and of the coming winter still to arrive.

The inflection upon the first syllable makes all the difference; yet, the word remains the same, and only the harkening echo of a meaning concealed by mere intonation of voice.  What reminds of possibilities yet to be revealed?  Do smells, sounds and memories of potentialities unseen but foretold by parents, uncles and relatives, of the limitless anticipation of a world still before us?  Or of that cool respite, when the heat of summer turns suddenly a winter’s reminder, and allows us to bask in the sweat of our own memories, when toil was but a lazy dream in the midst of shadows by the stream’s edge?

There are times in life when possibilities seem endless, and the potentiality for happiness, joy, and sheer pleasure are limitless but for the darkness of our inner essences; when childhood memories once granted the wishes of a butterfly’s dream, and love was still the scent of flowers yet blooming in the valley below. But life tends to intrude and intercede; interruptions of august dreams in the doldrums of August nights; but for us, dreams are the escape from the reality of today, where tomorrow only brings sorrows but for lonely nights where the unity of solitude interrupts the daily grind of reality.

We never could precisely pinpoint when childhood ended; only, that adulthood “is”, and forever was.  Those summer dreams when the first kiss awoke our inner stirrings; when innocence was lost forever; and, somehow, we grew up with august reminders in those lazy August days when the fireflies died, and darkness enveloped the universe of possibilities.  There will still be days when we believe in ourselves; but as lives pass by, we watch and listen, and rarely see.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who feel the heat of summer’s suffocating dawns, those few days when the blast of reminders come our way, we relish and believe that the August doldrums are now behind us, only to realized that the days ahead will still embrace the sweat and toil of endless streams of treadmill repetitions.

When a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal worker’s positional duties, it is time to harken back to the days when august thoughts pervaded, and leave behind the August doldrums of sweat-filled concerns.  Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the best option left as a reminder that August is the month of possibilities yet unfulfilled, and where august thoughts must emphasize the syllable following the doldrums of past reflections.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire