OPM Disability Retirement: The Vicious Cycle of Psychiatric Conditions

The paradigm and general assumption of those who are not suffering from a chronic medical condition, especially of a psychiatric component — whether of severe Major Depression, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, or possessing characteristics of paranoia and suicidal ideations — is one of, “What’s the big deal?”

If you are going to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, then why hasn’t the paperwork been done?  Why haven’t you gotten the medical reports (as if doctors just drop everything for their patients and fill out forms, etc.)?

Those who are not in the same shoes as a person who suffers from psychiatric medical conditions, fail to understand the vicious cycle — of the impact of the medical condition itself, upon the very ability to proceed in a productive manner.  Yet, the puzzling question is:  If X could behave and produce in the same manner as non-X, would he/she be filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits to begin with?

The vicious cycle of a person beset with psychiatric conditions involves the paralysis of behavior and the ability to create and produce.  Unfortunately, the world around us fails to understand or have the requisite empathy for such behavior.  To get out of the cycle of paralysis, the sufferer of psychiatric medical conditions will often need the advice and legal assistance of someone who can guide, prompt and implement.

The world is an uncaring system of rules and regulations; empathy and understanding, unfortunately, are not written into the law of life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Workers: The Wrong Approach of Not Losing

Both in sports and in politics, the sure-fire way of ensuring a negative outcome is to play not to lose.  Similarly, in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is a logical sequence of events and issues to tackle.

While it is important to become “informed”, and to have a peripheral eye towards potential future problems (indeed, the undersigned author has written numerous articles about building foundational blocks to prevent future issues from becoming obstacles; and of concretizing potential red flags and addressing them before they become actual roadblocks to a successful outcome, etc.), it is also important to maintain a “present” perspective, and to keep the logical sequence of the mechanical aspects of preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement case at hand.

Once the decision is made to go forward, the multiplicity of complex components of putting together a Federal Disability Retirement application can derail an attempt if every inch of minutiae is ruminated over. Move forward with what one has, and do it with a goal of a successful outcome.

Disability Retirement under FERS or CSRS needs to be approached, first and foremost, in its most basic components:  A medical condition (the doctor’s narrative report); the applicant’s statement of disability; the bridge between the two.  Everything else is a complexity which encapsulates details which, while important, must remain on the periphery and lend supportive contact to the central issues of the case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire