OPM Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: Not as Before

Before what?  That is the natural response.  We tend to bifurcate our lives into segments which are palatable and comprehensible; of a time before X happened, and then our present existence after X; before we had children, and after; before we became married, and after; before some traumatic incident, and sometime thereafter, etc.  The present “I” is never the same as “before”, and one could even say that truthfully about every minute, every hour and every millisecond of a distinction between the “I” in the current state and the “I” of a past state of being.

Whether on a physical, cellular level where genetic structures alter and decay even by the minute; or on a cognitive level where new information, additional data is being processed by our brains every moment of our lives.  We are not as before; we are constantly changing; and like the river which Heraclitus identified an analogy for human existence, so the vicissitudes of the world surrounding impacts us daily such that we are not as before.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the likely bifurcating event is the medical condition itself.  No, you may not be the same as before, and it is that identifiable change which forms the basis for eligibility of a Federal Disability Retirement benefit under FERS.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider applying for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; for, not only are you not as before, but likewise, your Federal Agency or the Postal facility are viewing your work and future not as before, as well.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Changing Lives

The phrase can have multiple meanings, depending upon the emphasis given to the words.  On the one hand, it can imply an affirmative, active meaning — of some individual or organization implementing steps in order to alter the course of another’s life.

In this sense, it may be that a problem has been identified — for example, higher rate of drug addiction in a community; increase in crime rates; an intersection with a greater incidence of traffic accidents, etc. As a result of an identified problem, a person, group or entity goes about “doing something” about it — i.e., petitioning the city council to put a traffic light at the intersection; forming a community-watch program to reduce the crime rate; intervening and educating the community about drug addition, etc. Thus, the phrase “changing lives” in this sense can be characterized as an “active” involvement where X is impacting upon Y.

In another sense, it can remain inactive — as a passive onlooker who recognizes that there are alterations occurring in the lives of individuals.  Every day, changes occur in the lives of everyone about.  One may quip that such a manner of meaning is rather inconsequential, inasmuch as it is a given that lives must by necessity change and encounter adaptations every day; for, it is a tautology to include in a single breath the terms “life” and “change”, just as it is a redundancy to refer to the weather without admitting vicissitude.

Changing lives is to be presumed.  Life’s daily turmoils require it; it is an inevitability which cannot be avoided.  The greater question is: How do we respond to the changes?

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, the issue about changing lives can take on a third meaning — that one’s life, career and employment status must by necessity undergo an alteration and modification.

The changes wrought are forced by an uninvited force — the medical condition — and the circumstances which mandate change cannot be controlled — of the inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s position with the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.  How the Federal employee responds to this necessary change is where the relevant next step takes on greater consequences of potential harm.  What you don’t know in the changing life may harm you, and that is why consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law prior to initiating those next steps in changing lives, is important.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: The Uncommon Step

Thinking” is an activity which is presumed to be common within our species, but uncommon among others.  Procreation and the mechanical aspects involved are considered “common” for all species, yet in each instance is generally considered to be unique and uncommon, which is perhaps why we seek privacy when engaging in such acts.

Similarly, other acts which are common enough — of using the bathroom, taking a bath, hugging a dog, brushing one’s teeth — all common enough, and yet somehow we prefer a semblance of cloaked seclusion instead of the open display like holiday window dressings to attract customers.  Does shame play a part in modernity, anymore?

Where movies once refused to reveal to the public the uncommon proclivities of everyday lives, they now saturate and justify the prurient as mere fetishes more common than acknowledged.  Is that why shame is no longer a characteristic of culture’s understudy?  Is the human blush extinct because the common that once was subsumed within the privacy of daily lives has become so uncommonly common such that we no longer need the privacy of cloaked seclusion in order to feel such common tinges of regret?  And what about that uncommon step of admitting to one’s self that the human condition requires something beyond the common course of action?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows for continuation in one’s Federal or Postal job, taking the uncommon step of preparing and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often likened to an admission that one’s Federal or Postal career is over.

Perhaps there is even a sense of “shame” or “remorse” — of how things might have been or wishful thoughts of regret.  Never let the uncommon step stop you from doing what is necessary; for, in the end, foolishness is the refusal to take the uncommon step when commonsense dictates that the uncommon step is the path towards a more common existence.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire