OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Treading Life

We don’t often think of it in those terms; but, in fact, that is how most of us live.  Like the meek swimmer who does not want to drown, we merely tread water — sometimes calmly, often with a sense of desperation; and too often, with a fear that results in a frenzied struggle.  We invent euphemisms for that: Keeping out “heads above water”; Not drowning; “Sink or swim”; “Like being on the Titanic”; and other similar statements emanating from water-based fears.

We tread life like we tread water; just to survive, never taking the chance to swim in this direction or that; and when finally fatigue sets in to remind us that going nowhere is tantamount to waiting to be drowned, we are so weary from so much time and effort to keep afloat that we can no longer muster the energy to even swim to the edge of the pool in order to hang on or lift ourselves out.  And when those unexpected tugs, tides and tidal waves suddenly appear, we thrash about and forget the basics of how to even float, allowing the vicissitudes of life’s mishaps to determine the course of our lives, the quality of how we live and the manner of who we are.

Medical conditions have a way of doing that — of making us forget how to even swim.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal Worker from performing one of more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Treading Life is what we are often forced to do; drowning in life’s problems is what we are too often faced with; swimming with a purposeful destination is what we need to do —and that is the purpose of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Sufficiency Test

Sufficiency” is a funny word; like other subjective experiences, one often doesn’t know when it has been satisfied, but one nevertheless knows when it has not.  Like spectrums which reveal a range, sufficiency is a point of satisfaction which is recognized to have been met only after the point of sufficiency has been passed.

What constitutes “passing” the sufficiency test?  If someone has been kidnapped and a ransom note has been received, demanding payment for the safe return of the individual, is there an amount less than the demanded amount which would be “sufficient” to satisfy the kidnapper’s demands?  Can a platoon be “sufficiently” prepared for a combat mission, although not completely combat-ready?  Can percentages be applied which establishes meeting the criteria for sufficiency, at all times and in all instances, which can be applied as having met the sufficiency test?

Say a person says, “It is 80% done — sufficient for the purposes?”  Would this apply in painting a room, building a house or constructing a bridge?  Say that a bridge has been built 80%, and the last 20% is the part of the end where there remains a gap where suddenly the bridge ends with a missing piece where the gap exists such that a vehicle traveling would crash down a 100-foot drop to a tragic end — do we still say that the bridge was sufficiently built?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers who are intending on filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the issue of sufficiency takes on an important role: What constitutes sufficient medical evidence and how is the unspoken sufficiency test met?

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to make sure that the Sufficiency Test will be met. In doing so, you may prevent a leisurely drive over a bridge only 80% finished, and be provided an alternative route in order to help you arrive at your destination in a sufficiently safe and efficient manner.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Return to Who I Am

We all take on different roles — whether as a parent, a husband, a wife; of assuming the role each day of a supervisor, a worker, a doctor, lawyer, etc. The underlying “substratum” of the “I” is presumed to remain the same throughout, but there may be a difference in the character posed, the personality posited or the tone, tonality and tenor of a voice, inflection, the way you talk, etc.

Perhaps, on a “Take your child to work day” you bring along your son or daughter and he or she watches you work in a particular role. Afterwards, does the child think to himself — or express him or herself to you or some third person — and say: “Gee, Mom [or Dad] sure acts differently at the office.”

Actors and actresses take on a “double-role” of sorts, don’t they? They not only have to take on the role of a character, whether in a play or a part in a filmed venue, but moreover, to “become” someone other than the person Who I Am.

Is there a difference between “Assuming the role of an Accountant” and “Playing the role of an Accountant”? Certainly, the former must have some credentials — perhaps as a C.P.A. or some “financial consultant certificate”, or some degree in accounting — whereas the latter only has to “act like” he or she has merited such a status. And the clients who come to the former — they are presumably “real” people whose financial problems or quandaries are “real” as well, whereas in the “acting’ role, they are not real, per se, but are also assuming the role of a part for the sake of an audience.

In either and both cases — whether of being “real” or “acting” in a role — the person to whom one “returns to” is someone who is the substratum: For the child, it is “Mommy” or “Daddy”; for the spouse, it is the husband or wife who “went-to-work-and-is-now-home”; and for the life-long friend from childhood days, it may be “Oh, that’s Dan who works as such-and-such, but who is good ol’ Dan always and forever.” But whatever role one assumes in life, whenever he or she returns to that person “Who I am”, does he or she ever return as the same person, or is there always a slight difference?

For, whatever the experience encountered in the “role” one plays, doesn’t it always change the person such that the person to whom one returns to can never be quite the same as before?

That is what happens with the Federal or Postal employee who needs to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits — Yes, the point of trying to overcome a medical condition is so that one can “return to who I am”; but in reality, that will never happen, precisely because the medical condition and the experience of enduring the medical condition has changed the person forever.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Task of Forgetting

Leisure activities are the tasks of forgetting; it is to engage in them precisely in order to become distracted from our work-a-day universe and replenish our “batteries” in order to go back into the fray of battle.  Battle-worn soldiers need the time away from the constant stresses of perilous missions in order to regain a sense of balance and perspective; and the lioness with her cubs sees the value of play in preparing them for the more serious ordeal of hunting for survival.

The task of forgetting is how we entertain ourselves — of reading a novel by forgetting about the reality of our lives; of watching a television show or movie and forgetting about the troubles central to our lives; of playing a video game or participating in crowd gatherings in order to watch a sport being played, or even in the direct engagement of a sport; these, and many others, require the task of forgetting in order to become a participant.

A medical condition, however, denies the task of forgetting.  That is why medical conditions are so inherently exhausting; they remain as a constant reminder of our mortality and frailty, and deny the access to needed rest and restorative peace.  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, filing for Federal Disability Retirement should be an option to be considered, if only to attain the capacity to again engage in the task of forgetting.

The chronic nature of a medical condition is what often fatigues; and as the inability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job begins to fester and overwhelm, it may be time to consult with an attorney who is experienced in Federal Disability Retirement Law in an effort to reacquire the capacity to engage in the task of forgetting.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire