Medical Retirement for Federal & Postal Workers: Faulty Choices

Of course, we all make them; the issue is one of containment, not of avoiding them altogether.  For, the corollary can be equally faulty:  Of indecision until and unless all conditions for perfection can be met.  In other words, the thwarted view that waits until everything is perfect: The perfect life; the perfect marriage; the perfect career; the perfect choice.  To wait for perfection is in and of itself an imperfect choice based upon a faulty choice; it is to let an unattainable end dominate an otherwise attainable goal.

But at what point does one determine that?  Yes, while not all of the information has been ascertained, and perhaps not all conditions met; nevertheless, will we proceed in doing X as opposed to Not-X and take the chance?  That is where “judgment” comes into play — of having the wisdom to make decisions based upon the available resources tapped.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer 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, faulty choices at the beginning of the process can have negative consequences foreseen and unforeseen.  The key is to limit the faulty choices, and the option to seek counsel and guidance is often the first choice in reaching an attainable goal of success.

In pursuing Federal Disability Retirement benefits, seek the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law; to do so is to limit faulty choices, and that is often the key for a successful outcome in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The Suspect

Newspaper stories are replete with articles involving scams, dishonesty and crimes of financial improprieties; that is not surprising, given the nature of what constitutes “newsworthiness”.  Fraudulent claims involving disability applications are trumpeted loudly to reveal the disintegration of a system requiring structural integrity.  Of course, no one makes the distinction that such claims of fraud almost always involves the “other” disability system, and not the option available to Federal and Postal employees through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS.

Just as all politicians are lumped together, so the aggregation and broad-painted brushing of anyone receiving a “disability” annuity is to be expected.  But Federal Disability Retirement is a different animal from the “other” disability system, and with good cause:

First, Federal and Postal employees do not file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits until and unless it becomes a necessary option to take.  The general public cannot have it both ways: on the one hand, they complain that Federal and Postal employees have it “easy” with their Federal or Postal jobs; on the other hand, they grumble that receipt of Federal Disability Retirement benefits is taken advantage of by unscrupulous Federal and Postal employees. But if the employment itself is so easy, why would the Federal or Postal Worker take a lesser income by filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits?  The fact is that most Federal and Postal employees work hard, and well beyond their rate of compensation, in furthering the mission of their agency or department; and filing for Federal Disability Retirement is the furthest thing from the mindset of a Federal or Postal employee.

Second, because of the reduction of income accorded by an approved Federal Disability Retirement, many Federal and Postal employees must go out and seek employment in the private sector.  Yes, they can continue to receive the disability annuity so long as they remain under 80% of what the former Federal or Postal position currently pays; and yes, the combination of both the annuity and the employment income can aggregately comprise more than what the former Federal or Postal position was paying; but that is the very attractiveness and intelligence of the incentivized system. It encourages the Federal and Postal Worker to remain productive, and to “pay back” into the system. In essence, it is a self-paying enterprise.

And, Third, because Federal Disability Retirement recognizes that the disability is tied to a particular kind of job, there is very little room for abuse within the system.  One is encouraged to remain productive, and such an incentive allows for the system to remain economically viable.

In these difficult economic times, people are often afraid of considering filing for “disability” benefits; but for Federal and Postal employees who have given their time, life and (often) health in the pursuance of an agency’s mission, being treated like a “suspect” in a broadly-painted indictment is not only unfair, but reprehensible.  The Federal and Postal Worker has nothing to be ashamed about, and the fact that the general public may harbor some hidden resentments during these trying economic times, is merely a reflection upon the often petty nature of humanity, and not a true gauge of the work ethic of Federal and Postal employees throughout the country.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: To File or Not to File

The famous Shakespearean refrain is from Hamlet’s soliloquy, and concerns the choices of one’s life, of comparative analysis of meaning, value and purpose; but ultimately it is a question of choices — akin to Camus’ evocative essay in The Myth of Sisyphus.  Choices are what confront us daily; and some, unless we opt to proactively pursue the right path, are lost forever.

For the Federal or Postal Worker who has been separated from Federal Service, the angst of filing often prevents them from choosing.  But with a legal Statute of Limitations barring the Federal or Postal worker from filing after one (1) year of being separated from Federal Service, it is at a minimum important to file, than not to, in order to preserve the right to potential eligibility of benefits.

Not to file within the deadline bars the Federal and Postal employee from ever making an argument, ever seeing whether one is eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS; by filing within the deadline of one (1) year, one can always likely supplement one’s case, make further arguments, reinforce one’s case after the deadline; but if one fails to file within the statutory deadline, then one is silenced forever.

The choice of Hamlet is indeed a stark one, and one which Camus reiterated as one of “why” in facing the existential reality of survival; for Federal and Postal workers who face a statutorily-imposed potential for being barred forever, a similar encounter with reality must be faced:  to file or not to file.  Only the former choice makes sense, while the latter option propels one into the great void of nothingness and nihilism — a state of non-existence which one should never choose.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Determining to File

Sometimes, in coming to a decision to prepare, formulate and file a Federal Disability Retirement application from the Office of Personnel Management, either under FERS or CSRS, the determination to file is made based upon external forces, circumstances and issues either beyond one’s control or, if they were once within reasonable constraints, have become unleashed.  

Thus, when a PIP is imposed upon the employee, or an injured Federal or disabled Postal employee is presented with a Proposal to Removal based upon unacceptable attendance, excessive use of LWOP, etc., then such external circumstances have essentially “forced” one to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.  

It matters not whether the Federal or Postal employee has a “legitimate” medical condition; the legitimacy of the medical condition is precisely what has resulted in the Agency action, and whether such external circumstance may be deemed “unfair”, “unreasonable”, “lacking of compassion”, or any other negative theology of human action one may ascribe — the time has come to prepare, formulate and file a Federal Disability Retirement application.  

In the best of all worlds, a deliberative process of preparing one’s finances, considering all of the options, rationally constructing the foundational steps to gather all of the information necessary before determining that it is time to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits — all of these should come into play.  

But we rarely live in the best of worlds; this is an imperfect world full of imperfect individuals; and, as such, the determination to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS may well come to fruition based upon external, unreasonable, and uncontrollable circumstances.  As the old dictum goes:  That’s life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire