Legal Representation on Federal Disability Retirement Claims: The Bionic Future

Futuristic novels and foretelling of inventive creativity reveal an aspect of humankind in multiple forms:  imagination transcending time, but coupled with fear and angst which is often the fodder for science fiction and impending technological anxieties. They constitute, of course, the flip side of a singular coin:  fear on the one hand, and imagination fed by the fear, on the other.

From Alvin Toffler’s works, to George Orwell’s expressed concerns about technology and totalitarianism, the genre of future-telling is not limited to prophets and self-described preachers of doom.  During the 70s, with a concluded war having brought back innovative ways of replacing limbs and disfigured personalities, the idea of bionic components melded with human flesh gained popularity with a television series accounting for the cost of such creativity, with a follow-up series starring a woman who engaged in feats which occurred not only in slow motion, but within an irritating background noise reminding us of the obvious of what was happening before our very eyes.

But the future is always slightly behind us; what we think foretells of our angst and fears is often within our midst, already.  From shoulder replacement surgeries, to new hips, new knees and transplants of organs throughout our bodies, the old prosthetic devices which Captain Hook once wore have become sophisticated models of human form. If only Steve Jobs was still alive and the CEO of such creations, we would all be living and talking Apples.

For Federal employees, and especially U.S. Postal employees who engage in repetitive work of self-harming overuse of limbs and other extremities, there comes a point when the need for bionic technology is suggested for transference of pain and growing debilitation.  Federal Disability Retirement benefits will normally allow for continuation of health insurance coverage, once the Federal or Postal employee becomes a Disability Retiree or annuitant, which is an important component of the benefit.

Federal Disability Retirement, or otherwise known as OPM Medical Retirement, or sometimes as FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement, is a benefit available for all Federal and Postal employees who meet minimum Federal Service requirements, and is filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Often, through work which further deteriorates a physical condition, the repetition and overuse of man’s anatomy requires replacement and bionic transplantation.  Such bionic melding, however, normally does not allow for continuation in the same line of work, and that is where Federal Disability Retirement is often the answer to the loss of one’s ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties.

For, in the end, the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman were not merely television shows for entertainment purposes; they were the future, told with angst and fear, of a time transcending the present and foretelling of a society where technology and human flesh would meld to become a new man for a bold age — an age which has now come to fruition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Plantar Fasciitis, Rotator Cuff, Extremity Injuries, etc.

In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, it is often the case that Federal and Postal workers (and the general population) tend to “pigeonhole” medical conditions, injuries and disabilities.  Certain medical conditions are considered “causally related” to certain types of jobs, and this type of relational categorization is often true in Worker’s Compensation claims, or other benefits sought in other areas of law. 

Thus, Plantar Fasciitis is often closely associated with Postal Workers who must remain on their feet throughout the day; Rotator Cuff injuries are often associated with the repetitive physical use of upper extremities; Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, Cervical, Lumbar & Thoracic pain, degenerative disc disease, etc., are all categorized and pigeonholed into physical types of jobs.  Yet, chronic pain of one’s extremities, joints, musculature, etc. can often severely impact more sedentary types of jobs, precisely because of the high distractability of such chronicity of pain.  Additionally, one often overlooks the excessive amount of repetitive “micro-movements” one engages in while on a computer — of the thousands of dexterous manipulations of the fingers and the concomitant engagement of the shoulder muscles, etc., in the very act of typing on a keyboard. 

Pigeonholing a medical condition to a specific type of job is a dangerous endeavor of dismissing a viable Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS and CSRS.  Careful thought and consideration should be given for each medical condition, especially when attempting to ignore the impediment it is causing in performing the essential elements of one’s job does not make the pain go away.  “Out of sight” does not mean “out of mind”, especially when dealing with pain and the underlying medical condition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire