Early Out for Federal Employees with Disabilities: Indicators

They are the flashing lights to warn others of actions about to be taken; or, they can be “clues” which allow for a preview of things yet to occur.  Retrospectively, we are all experts at identifying them; prospectively, many of us ignore or are otherwise oblivious to them, despite their obvious presence.

When we perform a forensic analysis in looking back, we will often realize that there were, indeed, many indicators which should have forewarned us of the impending troubles.  While no one likes to play Monday-night quarterbacking (actually, we all love doing it; we just like to pretend as to its involuntary necessity), such forensic analysis is a useful tool in apprising ourselves of the things which we missed.  But when an event in life occurs only once, or we only have one shot at something, no amount of retrospective analysis is going to be helpful.

Medical conditions have that characteristic — of indicators or signs which should have warned us of future problems, of which we dismissively ignored in hopes that the warnings — and the future substantive troubles — would simply go away.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is also like that — while you have 3 Stages in order to get approved (the 4th Stage being an irrelevant one because there is no quorum on the MSPB Board), you normally only have this “one-shot” at obtaining an approval.  Because of this, it is important to consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and make sure that all of the “indicators” are taken into account before you make that proverbial “right turn” into the future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

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

 

Postal & Federal Employees Disability Retirement: The Obituaries

Why are they published, and who reads them?  Is it when a person reaches a certain age and wants a sense of security that death and age are relative issues — that there is not a necessary connection between the two?  Was mortality ever questioned?

When we come across an octogenarian’s obituary, we may merely marvel at such longevity and perhaps with some admiration declare, “At least he lived a long life”; but when we view a young person’s description on the next page, we wonder with sadness at the suddenness of it all.  Was it necessary or inevitable?  How must the parents feel —for that is the horror of every parent, is it not, to bury one’s child before one’s self?

Obituaries provide some level of comfort — of a final testament and declaration to the world that seemingly never cared; on a practical level, to provide whatever social or legal notice to surviving beneficiaries; and as a reminder to us all that life should be celebrated and not mourned — at least for those still living.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from ill health and where health becomes a daily reminder that there are some things in life which are not worth sacrificing, reading the obituaries should jar one into realizing that being a sacrificial lamb at the altar of a Federal Agency or the Postal Service is never a worthwhile goal.  If your health is deteriorating and you have a medical condition which prevents you from performing all of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job, it may be time to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

In the end, you do not want to read your own obituary and shake your head saying, “Too young, too foolish, too late.”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire