OPM Disability under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset: Beyond the Disequilibrium of Life

Finding a balanced life after a disabling injury or medical condition with OPM Disability Retirement benefits

One can describe, in positive terms, the negative aspects of a thing, as in, “X is y,” etc. Or, as in the case often represented by Maimonides’ Negative Theology, one can elucidate by negation of perceived phenomena, leaving the subtraction of present realities to the imagination of the void.

Some may contend that the latter methodology of descriptive narrative adds nothing to knowledge; for, it is a negation of that which we know, and as King Lear reminded Cordelia, “Nothing will come of nothing:  speak again.”  But there is something beyond the nothingness of negation, is there not?  To negate is to expose the loss of something, the extracting and revealing of that which once was, became detached, and left as a void to be filled.

Thus can life present a semblance of equilibrium, where balance of family, work, community and value of living provides a coherence of a teleology of sorts; and when such coordination of essence in the core of one’s being gets out of whack (the term being of a very technical nature, used in esoteric philosophical discourse, as in, “He whacked away at the pages of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit”), there is a foreboding sense of loss and dispiritedness (again, the negation of a positive attribute).

Medical conditions tend to exonerate the negative theology of life.  Often, it is a subtraction beyond the chronic pain and debilitating nature of the medical condition itself.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the issue is often how, and to what extent, a persuasive description of one’s medical condition can purport to effectively represent the chronic and severe nature of one’s medical condition.

Some would contend that such an endeavor is nigh impossible to do; for, as the negation of equilibrium is the disequilibrium of life, so the mere subtraction of what we do and could do, does not necessarily present an accurate picture of one’s life.  And that is what is required, is it not?  Words have meaning; descriptive negations presume a context of knowledge already existent.

For the Federal and Postal employee who must present a compelling Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the conundrum of attempting to adequately describe one’s medical condition, its impact upon one’s ability to perform the essential elements of one’s job, and the further pervasive effect upon one’s personal life, is a conundrum of epic proportions.

To engage in negative theology in the descriptive delineation on SF 3112A is to presume a context which is not yet there; and to describe the disequilibrium brought upon the Federal or Postal employee resulting from a medical condition, is to encounter the wall that separates between words, meanings, and the true experiences of life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Medical Retirement: Soulful Windows

Plato’s well-known quote that the eyes are the windows to one’s soul, presupposes the capacity of the “other” subject observing the individual, to make judgments, determinations and analytical conclusions.  It is thus the subject becoming the object and prey.  Medical conditions often have a capacity to do just that.

There is something perverse in human nature, where the herd instinct of ganging upon the weak is somehow justified, and even applauded.  Weakness is a vice; revealing it, a sin; acting it out, a mortal failure.  Vulnerabilities and the manifestation of such open wounds require sensitivities beyond the human capability of present evolutionary tendencies; in that respect, perhaps man is merely a beast with synthetic garments worn merely to hide the superficial appearance of civility.

But it is the eyes which reveal; and even with sunglasses and averted looks, it is those pair of windows to one’s soul which bring forth the vulnerability of one’s position.  That’s why there are laws which protect, as civilization comes to recognize that in a civil society, the social contract must extend beyond the state of nature where only the strong survive, and to accord some semblance of protection for everyone.

Thus, another quote from Plato:  that moral individuals need not the guidance of laws to act accordingly, while evil will search out and find ways to get around them.

Federal Disability Retirement and the entire compendium of laws protecting disabled individuals, and people with medical conditions which need accommodations, all represent the window to the soul of a society.  Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit available to all Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers who are under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, with minimum requirements for eligibility, and mandated documentary standards of proof which must meet the preponderance of the evidence test.

It is a recognition that when a Federal or Postal employee suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, and accommodation efforts have failed, that a civil society which has progressed beyond the original state of nature, must reflect a capacity of sensitivity beyond the herd instinct.

That does not mean, however, that such originality of human nature does not residually reside in individual human beings; rather, it is the reflection of the greater window to the soul of a society.  Filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Federal Disability Retirement is an administrative process and bureaucratic procedure which must be fought for, and aggressively pursued, if one wants to have a life beyond the herd of Federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service.

As windows can be open and closed, so the window to the soul of a civilized society must be carefully observed, and opened with deliberate intent and accuracy of purpose.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire