Federal Disability Retirement Law: Causality

Worker’s Comp requires it; Social Security disregards it; and OPM Disability Retirement shifts the issue into a different arena.  “Causality” encapsulates the relationship between two or more events, where one is thought to result from another, or put a different way, where “responsibility” for a given effect is attributed to a prior conditional occurrence fulfilled as sufficient to warrant as being the “cause” of that event.

In a Federal OWCP case, administered through the Department of Labor, one must prove that the injury or medical condition was “caused” as a workplace incident or occurrence, such that the “event” occurred or was somehow connected to the employment itself.

For Social Security Disability cases, causation is normally not an issue, since the basis for eligibility is not concerned with any singular event, but rather, whether the person filing for Social Security Disability benefits meets a standard definition of being “totally disabled” from gainful employment.

For Federal OPM Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the issue is not one of causation, but rather, the relationship between one’s medical condition and the attributable impact upon one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.

Thus, there is, in a different sense, a case of causality to be made, but the relationship between A and B has shifted, where it matters not “how” it occurred, but rather, “whether” the medical condition prevents (causes) one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.

In the end, causation in a Federal/Postal Disability Retirement application is irrelevant in the traditional sense that one normally accepts, but the shifting focus of causality is important to keep in mind in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from the USPS and Other Government Agencies: Construction

Meaning and value are attached to building, and watching the construction of end-products resulting from an assembly-line of incremental, almost imperceptible progression of composite aggregations of artistry.  To build, and to witness the progress of effort expended, is to reveal advancement and accomplishment; and so the evidence of our cleverness is determined by the accumulation of that stuff which represents and constitutes a lifetime of endeavors.

We add children to our family, and watch them grow; we are satisfied when bank accounts enlarge; puppies become dogs; houses are built; office spaces are rearranged and furnished; the empty space is filled.  We witness the building of things, and it is the completion of that which we construct that provides for satisfaction and value upon the end product, before we go on to the next, and the next.

But what of human value?  Is the pinnacle death, or some intermediate vortex where the progression on a graph reaches an apex, then trends downward towards a demise?  Can we analogize the construction of an inert object and extrapolate an anthropomorphic value in comparison with a person’s life? Medical conditions and their interruptive characteristics have a tendency to suddenly bring questions encapsulating value, meaning and futility to the fore.  One can spend a lifetime building, only to watch the fruits of such labor become diminished, or destroyed, through the intervening unexpectedness of a medical condition.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits by the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker is often viewed as a stop-gap measure which fends off the tides of change. Change is unfortunately an inevitability of life.   For the Federal and Postal worker who has spent a lifetime building for the Federal Sector, who suddenly finds that a medical condition prevents him or her from performing all of the essential elements of one’s job, and must therefore face (a) resignation, (b) termination, or (c) the alternative option — whatever that may be; it is the last of the three options which possesses the potential for future construction.

Federal OPM Disability Retirement is the option available for all Federal and Postal workers who meet the minimum time and age criteria, in the effort to stem the downward spiral of a dismantling effect upon a lifetime of value, meaning, and teleological progression of building and construction.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire