OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Consider the Alternatives

In making any decision, it is always important that one consider the alternatives available.  It is the decision made in isolation — of contending with thoughts, fears and misinformation within a vacuum of not knowing — that often results in disastrous decisions made without consulting and considering the alternatives available.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the choices are often stark and clear: Stay at a job or career which is no longer sustainable, and where the Agency will increasingly harass and punitively initiate actions in an effort to remove you; resign and walk away with nothing; or, in the best alternative available, file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Sometimes, of course, the “unexpected” alternative can occur: For example, a person who has filed for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is offered a reassignment that is both acceptable and accommodating to one’s medical condition, and continuation in the Federal Workforce is thus possible.  In most instances, however, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is “The” alternative, and the only viable one available, but even such an alternative must be considered carefully in light of the existing laws, the potentiality for problems to be encountered, and the resistance met by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for the multiple and varied reasons that OPM bases its denials upon.

Considering the alternatives is not just a matter of whether and when to file, but to be cognizant of the difficulties ahead in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; and in order to do that, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: A Wound Unhealed

They can remain hidden for a time.  If kept clean, it can even be contained.  If of a psychiatric nature, it will likely manifest itself under certain circumstances; and, of course, stress can play a major role in its exacerbation and magnification.  A wound unhealed can fester and worsen; and the deteriorating nature of its state of non-attendance can become chronic and debilitating.  A wound unhealed; it can be ignored for a time, concealed and even allowed to remain — at least for a limited period.  But then others begin to notice it; it becomes an interference; it continues to expand and intrude.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition — like a wound unhealed — such that the medical condition begins to interfere with one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to take the path of healing and consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to attend to the growing, expanding condition that continues to gnaw and fester. The alternative is to continue to allow for it to remain unhealed, until that time when it becomes an emergency.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Albatross

The reference is likely outdated.  One doesn’t hear of the phrase, anymore, that “X is like an albatross around my neck.”  If it is referenced at all, one is likely to witness everyone standing around within earshot to whip out their smartphones and Google it, to find: Literally a large sea bird.

The phrase alludes to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in which a sailor who shoots a friendly albatross is forced to wear its carcass around his neck as punishment.  But who reads Coleridge, anymore, leaving aside poetry as a genre outmoded in an age where entertainment and leisure must by necessity be at the click of a button or within the scrolling universe of a Smartphone?

The antiquated reference is an allusion (as opposed to an “illusion”) — you know, the poet’s attempt at painting a word picture of something else by referencing a certain concept; i.e., that literary device banned in SATs now because it became too difficult a subject to bear — is of something that brings about bad luck, or of negative consequences resulting from something we have done or an event which has caused things to turn against us.

Medical conditions can become an albatross around our necks; as our health progressively declines, it becomes a greater weight and burden because of the impact it has upon our ability to work.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from the albatross of a medical condition, it may be time to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

When one’s medical condition becomes an albatross which begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, whether as an allusion or an illusion that the medical condition will resolve itself, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes a necessity beyond the poet’s representation; it becomes a reality which must be attended to.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Attorney