Federal Worker Disability Retirement: 3-Day Holidays

3-Day Holiday Weekends are wonderful inventions which allow for regeneration and refreshment.  For some, it is merely interpreted as an excuse to have some time off, barely acknowledging the identified, designated day of celebration, and engaging in no particular activity which could or would be deemed as recognizing the memorialized day for its unique or particular significance.  

For others, whether it represents a wasteful day of non-productivity, or whether the significance of the celebrated day is missed or not, it nevertheless allows for an extra day of recuperation, whether for psychiatric or physical medical conditions.  For the Federal or Postal employee who is considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, the 3-Day weekend is a time for attempting to regroup in order to slog through another week.  

The advantage, or course, is that there is not only an extended time off from the daily stresses and arduous activities of work; beyond that, the subsequent work week is shortened, so that the following weekend arrives quicker.  But that type of focus and attention to time needed for recuperative relief in and of itself reveals a self-evident principle:  

If one has arrived at a point where a 3-Day Weekend is “needed” as conceptually distinguished from “enjoyed”, then it is probably time to consider preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Postal and Federal Disability Retirement: The Friday Syndrome

Fridays constitute the day of victory for the Federal or Postal worker (unless, of course, the Postal Worker is scheduled for Saturday, or the Federal Worker is taking his or her work home) who is struggling to survive another week.  

It is the end of the work cycle, and the beginning of the recuperative cycle in order to muster, gather and preserve enough energy over the coming weekend, in order to begin anew another week of the work cycle.  It is the “Friday Syndrome” — suffered by thousands of Federal and Postal employees who have a medical condition which prevents them from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, but because of family obligations, financial considerations and a sheer sense of self-worth, the enduring struggle of the human narrative to continue to work perseveres.  

Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS — sometimes identified as “OPM Medical Retirement”, “Federal Disability Retirement”, or “Federal Medical Retirement” — is a benefit which constitutes one leg of the entirety of the compensation package for every Federal or Postal worker who is suffering from a medical condition which has, or will, last for at least 12 months, and impacts one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.  

It is there precisely to attend to the growing problem of the Friday Syndrome — of the enduring pain and debilitating nature of the medical condition; the sick leave restrictions which have been placed on the Federal or Postal employee; the potential for being placed on a PIP; the threat of termination; the suspicion that the Supervisor and co-workers are whispering conspiratorially behind your back; the constant nit-picking of everything that the Federal or Postal worker is doing; the stresses of work and workplace harassment with little or no empathy for the struggle to maintain a life and to endure through the exacerbating medical conditions — these are the characteristics of the Friday Syndrome.  

It may be time to consider tapping into the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement, in order to put a stop to the Friday Syndrome.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Awareness after a Respite

Memorial Day weekend, like other extended weekends, provide for a temporary respite, where an interval and delay from returning to work provides for some relief in order to recuperate.  Yet, for those Federal and Postal employees contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, the temporary nature of the respite becomes apparent as there is an increasingly shortened period of return, such that the ratio between “rest” and “benefits of rest” become increasingly and progressively disproportionate.  

As one’s chronic and intractable medical conditions require a greater amount of rest, the benefits returned as a result of such rest become less and less apparent.  Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit which is available to all Federal and Postal employees who prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he or she is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.  

One must prove one’s eligibility, and to that extent, it is not an “entitlement” but a benefit that must be accessed.  If the benefit and rate of return through rest on weekends and evenings becomes disproportionately and exponentially overshadowed by the need for such times of respite because of one’s medical conditions, then it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.  

It is precisely why the benefit is available — in order for the Federal or Postal employee to obtain the benefit which will be most beneficial of all:  an extended period of time for recuperation, commonly known as “rest”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Workers: The Weekend Recuperator

Is the weekend merely the intervening time in which to recuperate from your chronic medical conditions in order to drag yourself into work?  Is Friday the day which “releases” the pent-up exhaustion and profound fatigue as the body attempts to tolerate the fifth day before the intervening weekend?  It is indeed amazing how the body (and the mind) can tolerate the palliative attempts to regenerate itself as it suffers through a chronic and often progressively deteriorating medical condition.  

While the Office of Personnel Management systematically argues that pain is a subjective condition and persistently (but wrongly) makes the conceptual distinction between “objective” medical evidence as opposed to “subjective” medical evidence, the fact is that pain is a physiological mechanism in which the body is trying to “inform” the pain recipient that something is wrong, and that something needs to be attended to.  

Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS is a benefit in which a Federal or Postal Worker can receive a base annuity, in order to allow the pain and chronic medical condition to begin to repair itself.  Under the law, the medical condition must last a minimum of 12 months — and, indeed, it will take that, and many more years for most people, in order to recuperate.  The present period of weekends used to recuperate is never enough.  The body and pain receptors are speaking.  The Federal and Postal employees are receiving such “messages” for a reason.  It is time to listen.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire