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

 

Postal & Federal Worker Disability Retirement: Moving to the Next

Next what? This is a nation which is known for constantly moving to the next — whatever.  Other countries build upon a series of yesterdays, slowly, methodically, accumulating knowledge from past wisdom, building a culture, cultivating traditions, finding sacred solace in silent offerings to the past.

Our nation is one of abandonment, replacement — of moving to the next news cycle, the newest fad, the most recent money-making scheme and the next popular star, designer, show, Broadway hit, sports celebrity or what have you.  It is always going to the next, moving forward, never looking back at the human detritus left by the roadside of a speedway without limits.

Never mind that half of the population is depressed, medicated, left to fend for themselves and unable to cope with the fast-paced rate of a society without empathy.  Always, moving to the next.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, “moving to the next” is not an option insofar as the “next” constitutes the next mission-oriented duties of a Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service.  Instead, if the “next” is the need to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, contact a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and move to the next phase of your life as a Federal Disability Retiree.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Employee Disability Retirement: Failures

When ascribed to a task or a project, it all depends upon how it is characterized.  When identified or closely associated with an individual, we tend to be harsher judges — especially when it involves our own participation.  Perhaps there is a simple, even “objective” definition which encapsulates the concept of failure: Of merely not achieving that which was expected.

If we work with that definition, then the focal point would be upon our own expectations, and perhaps we simply needed to adjust them to a more realistic perspective.  Then again, such an approach would merely be a circular tautology, and there would never be any failures — i.e., every time a failure occurred, we could just say, “Oh, we expected that”, and every time our expectations were not met, we would say, “Oh, we changed our expectations, so it is no longer a failure”.  But clearly, that does not reflect reality, and there are truly times when failure does occur.

In the end, what is important is to recognize that our expectations — both of ourselves and of outcomes in reality — cannot always be met, precisely because there are other intervening factors that may account for the prevention of meeting them.

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, it is important to recognize that the intervening factor of the medical condition itself is what prevents you from meeting that expectation of reaching full retirement, and that is why Federal Disability Retirement benefits are there to assert.

It is not a “failure” to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; rather, our expectations concerning our own health intervened in the meantime, and we have to adjust to accommodate — not a failure, but of human frailty.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The Meaning of Incompatibility

We hear the word often — used in conjunction with “irreconcilable differences” (in a divorce proceeding), or perhaps in an electrical engineering context where voltages and circuitry are “incompatible” with this or that mainframe, or some similar language game involving technical issues which don’t work well together.

It is a peculiar word; stated in a certain way or tone of voice, it is a declaration of finality, as in, “Nope!  These two [blanks] are incompatible!”  And ascribed to human beings?  How about: “Jane and Joe were married for 20 years.  They have separated and are going to get a divorce because they are no longer compatible”.  Does the phrase, “no longer compatible” mean the same thing as being “incompatible”?  Can two people, like two components of some mechanical processes, become “incompatible” when previously they were not?  Are people like widgets where parts can be irreplaceable in one instance, but are no longer so in the next?

It is, as well, a legal term.  In the field of Federal Disability Retirement Law, incompatibility is the “fourth” criteria that can be met if the first three (deficiency in performance, conduct or attendance) cannot be satisfied in a Federal Disability Retirement case.  Some medical conditions cannot so easily be described in terms of a 1-to-1 ratio between a medical condition and an essential element of one’s Federal or Postal job that cannot be met.

In their aggregate and totality, the compendium of medical conditions may have come to a critical juncture where they are no longer compatible (i.e., incompatible) with continuation or retention in the Federal Service, and that is when filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM becomes a necessary function of one’s future goals and plans.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: The Weekend Warrior

It is always interesting how words expand over time, and how conceptual constructs and meanings extend beyond the elasticity of roots and origins, like the rubber band which can be stretched further than the critical juncture of the snapping limits.  Reference to the “weekend warrior” was once limited to the military reservist who — during the week, a mere civilian like the rest of us — on weekends would don a uniform and act like a career soldier.

Somehow, the delimited conceptual construct extended to non-military personnel, as in: Anyone who engages in some form of strenuous exercise or activity, then beyond that to: Everyone who does anything of any nature on weekends different from the rest of the week.

Perhaps a decade or so ago, if a person referred to someone else as a “Weekend Warrior”, it was meant and understood that such a person was a military reservist who went away on weekends to fulfill his military commitments.  Then, perhaps more recently, such a reference was presumed by many that, well, X played softball or climbed mountains, or rode a bicycle beyond a leisure activity until, today, it might mean that X considers himself a Weekend Warrior if he gets up off the couch to go down to McDonald’s for a milkshake.

The problem with the malleability of words is that, once they get beyond the origin of their roots, not only does meaning expand, but they also lose much of their meaningfulness.  For, the Weekend Warrior now refers to the Federal or Postal employee who struggles every weekend to just get enough rest in order to make it back to work on Monday.  The sadness of such a state is that such a struggle deflates not the meaning of the word, but of the meaningfulness of work and life itself.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must become Weekend Warriors by simply resting up in order to maintain one’s health in order to struggle back to work during the week, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider what the true meaning is as to what it should mean: Of a Weekend Warrior who can once again use the weekends for its intended purpose: Of a Warrior on Weekends, and not to recuperate from weak ends.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: Maintaining the Fakery

Is it like a bakery, or perhaps some other manufacturing facility where things are made?  In some sense, perhaps; but it is not the “making” of it, but of maintaining it.

To a great extent, we all have a feeling of fakery — that we are not as competent as others believe us to be; that our outer appearance of confidence, boldness, knowledge and positive attitude do not reflect our inner sense of insecurity, tentativeness and lack of certainty.  Are there people in this world where the “inner” self actually reflects the “outer”?  Or, are we all beset with being a quivering ball of showmanship — like the famous actor who falls apart before every show but somehow regains his composure and acts like a star every time?

Maintaining the fakery is what is required daily; some are better at it than others; still other thrive by it; and the few detritus of human beings who cannot abide in it, fall apart and admit to being unable to maintain it any longer.

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, maintaining the fakery is an essential part of the medical condition itself: Of trying to keep up one’s performance level; trying to hide the symptoms of the medical condition; trying to maintain the level of attendance and hide the debilitating effects of the medical condition itself, etc.

But fakery can only deceive for a limited amount of time; and when the truth begins to seep out, it may be time to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest maintaining the fakery leads to the greater truth about yourself, that in the meantime your health is what is being sacrificed upon the altar of truth.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire