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

 

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