Federal Employee Disability Retirement System: Musical Chairs

Do you remember the fun of it — perhaps in elementary school or beyond?  The shrieking laugher; the methodology used; the adaptation for caution; the guarding of the few remaining chairs; the inevitable clash of 2 people trying to fit into one chair; the disappointment of elimination; and just the pure fun of it all.

Perhaps, in this day of political correctness, the game is no longer played, as inclusivity is the popular theme over elimination and exclusivity.  Yet, reality and the harsh lessons of the “real” world more than supports the metaphor of musical chairs.  It is a lesson well-learned — of life as a moment of music which suddenly ceases, and a decision must be quickly made that might alter the course of your life: To be a “part” of something, or to be forced to abandon it and to move on to something else.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the “music” of continuing in one’s Federal or Postal career has stopped and can no longer continue, and where “elimination” from the missing chair no longer available to continue in one’s career is forcing a decision to seek a seat in one’s life somewhere else, consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Elimination in the game of musical chairs is one thing; termination in the Federal Sector or the Postal Service — either because you can no longer perform your job, or from “excessive absences” or a similar reason, is a valid basis to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  It might be a good idea to make some decisions before the music stops, and to get a head start in the game of real-life musical chairs.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Unshared Responsibility

It is an oxymoron of sorts: For, by the very definition of each of the two words, the opposite should necessarily be implied.  Responsibilities, by their very nature, especially in the context of a village, a society, or a nation, are shared by all; and thus to declare the existence of an “unshared responsibility” — when responsibilities by their very nature require a shared nature — is a form of self-contradiction.  Failure to share the responsibility that is ours to engage is common where society no longer knows its own neighbors.

That is the essence of a disappearing village — where we know longer know each other, remain detached and merely retain the outer facade of being a society with common interests.  Do you know your next door neighbor?  Do you even care to?  Yet, we have thousands of “friends” on Facebook, but barely know, or care, about the person living just across the street.

The Office is no different.  One day a coworker files for Federal Disability Retirement benefits and we are “surprised”.  We didn’t know that the person even had a medical condition.  The Supervisor didn’t know.  The Human Resource Office didn’t care to know.  No one at the agency cared to know.  That is often the reality, unfortunately, and the greater — sadder — reality is that those who should have known didn’t care to take the time to know.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and where confidentiality of the process is critical because of the unshared responsibility of the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service, consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, lest the unshared responsibility of confidential matters may potential leak to the uninterested ear that awaits hungrily for the gossip of unspoken mouths.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Treading Life

We don’t often think of it in those terms; but, in fact, that is how most of us live.  Like the meek swimmer who does not want to drown, we merely tread water — sometimes calmly, often with a sense of desperation; and too often, with a fear that results in a frenzied struggle.  We invent euphemisms for that: Keeping out “heads above water”; Not drowning; “Sink or swim”; “Like being on the Titanic”; and other similar statements emanating from water-based fears.

We tread life like we tread water; just to survive, never taking the chance to swim in this direction or that; and when finally fatigue sets in to remind us that going nowhere is tantamount to waiting to be drowned, we are so weary from so much time and effort to keep afloat that we can no longer muster the energy to even swim to the edge of the pool in order to hang on or lift ourselves out.  And when those unexpected tugs, tides and tidal waves suddenly appear, we thrash about and forget the basics of how to even float, allowing the vicissitudes of life’s mishaps to determine the course of our lives, the quality of how we live and the manner of who we are.

Medical conditions have a way of doing that — of making us forget how to even swim.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal Worker from performing one of more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Treading Life is what we are often forced to do; drowning in life’s problems is what we are too often faced with; swimming with a purposeful destination is what we need to do —and that is the purpose of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Seeking

Isn’t that the condition for life?  That we continually engage in the very human act of seeking, whether for personal growth or professional aptitude; but it is always that constant need to know, to expand, to cross borders and extend beyond the invisible ceiling or barrier that is placed from our birthright to explore and to seek.

Seeking is a hallmark of human behavior; it is the constant seeking that keeps us reinvigorated, alive, instilled with hope and painted with the colors of future dreams. Without seeking, we become staid, unadventurous, static and timid; the world becomes threatening because we have stopped and stunted our own growth potential.  Seeking is always coupled with hope; hope, often seen with future aspirations; and when the seeking stops, it is normally a symptom of a disease which destroys hopes and aspirations.

Medical conditions often undermine the human desire to seek; for, the disease that destroys and disrupts is the same which diminishes one’s hopes and aspirations.

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, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits becomes an important next step in order to regain that human desire for seeking — for one’s future and one’s hopes and aspirations.

Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to move beyond the morass of struggling daily to maintain a Federal position when it has become clear that one’s future is no longer compatible with the Federal or Postal job one holds.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Night wanderings

Ever open your eyes in the middle of the night and, instead of falling quickly back to sleep, allow for the eyes to wander across the silent room where others are still and asleep — the dog on the floor (or perhaps curled at the foot of the bed where human warmth has gathered for the pure comfort serving the creature) and the partner beside; the quiet glow of the digital numbers in bold red reflection; the pictures on the walls — though you “know” what they depict, the shadows hide them, and yet you believe you “see” them because familiarity arouses the imagination even in darkness; and the squeezing sense of silence so overpowering that you wonder about the universe at large and who, like yourself, is awakened by silence itself?

It is in those moments that, just before the panic of realization sets in that tomorrow is just a few hours away, we realize that mortality is a condition we must face; that the child’s imagination cannot revisit yesterday’s remorse; and the saddest of all truisms: For the most part, this is a cruel and uncaring universe.  Where do such thoughts originate?  Is it just the dream-world when sleep battles with sanity and one’s night wanderings will not suppress the bustle of the day’s meanderings?

Perhaps clarity comes in the wake of slumber’s twilight; whatever the phenomenon, night wanderings bring one into the netherworld of the “in-between”, where reality is not quite recognized and a dream is not ever fulfilled.  That is the type of experience that the Federal and Postal worker experiences when confronted with a medical condition that impacts one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position: not quite in the reality of the world’s harshness, not yet tested by the Agency’s or Postal Service’s full force of cruelty and uncaring.

Will they put me on a PIP?  Will they require a “Fitness for Duty” evaluation?  What happens when my FMLA is exhausted?  Will the agency just cut me off?

It becomes clear at some point that the Federal Agency and the Postal Service are not there as a friend or colleague looking out for your bests interests, and that you must initiate the process of looking out for yourself by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be ultimately submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether you are under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Those night wanderings often have the advantage of giving clarity to a reality beset with the quietude of pure silence, but then morning arrives and the clash of the day’s reality awakens within us the cruelty of the world around.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Something happened

Beyond a mundane declaration of befuddlement, it is also the title of a novel by Joseph Heller — his second novel published some 13 years after the successful first one that most people remember him by:  Catch-22.

It lacks the surrealism of the first novel; the absurdity of tragic events unfolding distinguishable from the logical and sequential manner in which we see the world, turned upside down by images of madness countering the reality of the insanity around.  The genre of the absurd — depicted in such movies as “Life is Beautiful” and in works such as Catch-22 — attempts to unveil the underlying insanity beneath the veneer of a world acting as if normalcy abounds.

Other movies that attempt to portray the absurd might include Sophie’s Choice, where the main character (played by Meryl Streep) keeps going back to the comfort of her insane boyfriend because that is the more comfortable reality she knows, having survived the insanity of the Nazi death camps.

But long before the genre of the absurd came to the fore, there was the brilliant short story by Cynthia Ozick entitled, The Shawl, which has been noted for bringing out the horrors of the holocaust through a medium — the short story — that captures the essence of absurdity and the surreal in a mere few dozen pages.  The story is a small bundle that reverberates so powerfully that it overshadows any subsequent attempts at depicting life’s absurdity.

Catch-22 elevated the absurd to a consciousness that brought further self-awareness of the unreality of the real — the Vietnam War — and tried to unravel the insanity amidst a world that tried to explain the event as something logical and sane.

Something Happened —  a book about a character who engages in a rambling stream of consciousness about his childhood, job and family — is perhaps more emblematic about the life most of us live:  seemingly logical, yet interspersed with events, reminiscences and memories that are faulty at best, and far from perfect.  The title itself shows a greater awareness of our befuddlement — of not knowing “what” happened, only that it did, and the inability to control the events that impact our lives.

Medical conditions tend to be of that nature — of an event that we have no control over, and yet, we are aware of its “happening”.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have come to realize that something happened — a medical condition; a chronic illness that simply will not go away; a traumatic event that has had residual consequences which are continuing to impact; whatever the “something”, the “happened” part still resides.

Such recognition of the “something” will often necessitate the further recognition that it is now time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in order to secure a future that is presently uncertain.

Consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in getting Federal and Postal employees Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and take the necessary steps to ensure that the “something” that “happened” is not one more tragedy in this tragic-comic stream of consciousness we call “life”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement from OPM: The restorative morning

That is the purpose of sleep, is it not?  Or so we anthropomorphically attribute.  Is that the only reason for the somnolence that overwhelms, the snore that momentarily suspends in the air and pauses for people to smile, to be horrified or laugh because of the incongruence of the sound that shatters the quietude of twilight? Do humans sleep more soundly than other species? Is it really necessary to maintain a certain spectrum of that “rapid eye movement” (REM), or to be in a deep slumber, a state of subconscious quietude, etc., in order to attain that level of restorative sleep such that the morning itself is declaratively managed with rest and a sense of calm?

The restorative morning is that which follows a good night’s sleep; it is when the body is energized, the mind is ready to pounce with an excessive amount of acuity barely containable, and the combination of a night’s rest with boundless determination overcomes the previous period’s fatigue and exhaustion from the stresses of the day.

Do other species require sound sleep?  Or, did evolution favor the animal that can sleep, yet be awoken in response to an instinctual drive to survive, such that the mere bending of a blade of grass a hundred yards away will awaken with an alarm ready to defend and fight, or whisk away in flight?

It is the lack of it that creates that level of profound fatigue that goes beyond mere tiredness or exhaustion.  Modernity requires restorative sleep precisely because so much of our workforce engages in cognitive-intensive employment that places great stresses not just upon the physical capacity of the human animal, but upon the mental/psychological — stresses that pound away with untold and unmeasurable harm on a daily, consistent and progressively deteriorating manner.  Did nature and evolution factor in the way that we live in modernity?  Likely, not.

In Nature, there are no restorative mornings — only the calm that pervades and hides the predatory instincts and the ongoing battles that go on daily, minute-by-minute in this unforgiving universe of predators and prey; and so it is that we have created a reflection of that life-and-death struggle in this modern world we live in.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who struggle with profound fatigue, loss of any semblance of restorative sleep, and unrepentant diminishment of focus, concentration and the capacity to maintain an acuity of mind, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sleep Disorders are not just a constant reminder of the stresses that impact us in this high-tech world, but is also a basis in which to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement, when profound fatigue sets in and non-restorative sleep impacts one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s cognitive-intensive job.  Whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, it may be time to consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire