Federal & Postal Disability Retirement under FERS: Performance, Conduct or Attendance

Those are the 3 areas which the U.S. Office of Personnel Management looks closely at when evaluating a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS — “performance”, “conduct” and “attendance”.  There is a 4th criteria — that of “incompatibility” — but that issue is normally applied when a medical condition manifests itself as being inconsistent with the positional requirements of a job.

Performance” is determined objectively by whether one has fully met annual performance evaluations/ratings; “conduct” concerns any record of adverse proceedings initiated by the Agency or the Postal Service, including written warnings, reprimands, on or off-duty allegations of misconduct, charges and/or convictions; and “attendance” deficiencies are determined by the remaining level of accrued leave, whether of SL, AL or use of LWOP and the exhaustion of accrual.

These — OPM has determined — comprise a more “objective” basis upon which a Federal Disability Retirement application is determined.  Of course, one’s medical condition is further evaluated based upon the severity, type and category of the medical condition itself, as well.

When considering filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits, ask yourself the question, “Do I have any deficiencies in performance, conduct or attendance?”  Next, Are there objective factors that can show definitively that I am no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of my job?

Having a supportive doctor is crucial in a Federal Disability Retirement case, but other indicators as well can be used in arguing in favor of one’s case, and objective indicators can make the difference between success or failure in all cases reviewed and evaluated by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an experienced Attorney who specializes in Federal & Postal Disability Retirement Law to determine the viability of your case; for, in the end, it is the presentation of objective factors which will win your case, and not your “feelings” as to whether you can do your job or not.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: A Thousand Cuts

It is the classic question which allegedly reveals something about a person’s inner psyche: Of whether you would rather die from a thousand cuts, or quickly and instantaneously?  Of course, the third option is never allowed within the hypothetical, because to include it would defeat the whole purpose of the question: Of continuing to live, or even of a “middle” ground, where it is not quite a thousand cuts and not nearly immediately.

But implicit in the “thousand cuts” alternative contains the hope of surviving, anyway, doesn’t it?  For, presumably to inflict a thousand slashes implies that it would take a considerable amount of time, as well as agony, torturous pain and unimaginable cruelty imposed; but it is time of which we seek in order to have any chance of survival, isn’t it?

Time is what we seek; that tomorrow may be different from today; that a future beyond the apparent corner may be a destiny yet unknown; that, without tomorrow, there would be no flame of hope, and it is that flame — however weak, flickering or susceptible to extinguishment at any moment — that we guard because the looming shadows await to overwhelm and dominate, like the lurking stranger behind the facade patiently awaiting to pounce once the flame dies.

We can endure much, and the time of agony can be withstood so long as there is some hope for tomorrow; and it is when tomorrow offers no hope that then we might ruefully mourn the choices we made in suffering through the thousand cuts.

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 job, the endurance suffered can be liked to the torturous spectacle of being cut a thousand times.  Perhaps Federal Disability Retirement is that very flame of hope that will keep you going.

Consult with a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and seek that goal of maintaining the flicker; for, without it, the tomorrow we live for may be extinguished by the other alternatives unimagined.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement from the OPM: Loss of Perfection

Is the human species the only one on earth that holds within it a paradigm of perfection?

That is, of course, the argument used by Medieval Scholastics in arguing for the existence of an omniscient being — that, in order for an imperfect being to possess and have the very idea of perfection, there must by logical necessity exist an objective Being who manifests the characteristics of perfection.

This is a much-simplified version of the Scholastic Philosophers — one such example being St. Anselm’s Ontological Argument for the Existence of God, which begins with the rather confusing linguistic pretzel of: God is that than which nothing greater can be thought of….  Such linguistic complexity makes one pause and consider the conceptual conundrum of defining an X which is beyond the thought process within one’s capacity, but that is, indeed, the major premise in the syllogistic proposal.

The minor premise, of course, is the statement posited in an offhand, understated way: That “to exist” is greater than “not to exist” — and how many of us would deny such a self-evident proposal?

And the conclusion that would follow naturally is that, because existence is self-evidently better than not to exist, therefore that than which nothing greater can be thought of must by logical consequence “exist”. Beyond the simple positing of such a syllogism, however, is the problematic follow-up that has beset our society and modernity — of perfection’s damaging residue upon a society which demands nothing less than perfection.  Or, rather, in today’s universe, it is the appearance of perfection that matters, and the destructive effect of such bosh.

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, the loss of the appearance of perfection will mean that the Federal Agency or the Postal Service will begin to (if it hasn’t already) punish, harass and demean; for, one of the greatest sins since Eve’s misdeed and Adam’s deficiency is of being mortal, of showing vulnerability and revealing weakness; in other words, one’s appearance of perfection has been shattered.

That is when preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes a necessity — for, the other syllogism for Federal employees and Postal workers suffering from a medical condition is thus: Imperfection is a reality of life; health conditions are an inevitability for most; Therefore, filing for Federal Disability Retirement is the next logical step.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: That promising future

One doesn’t have to have been that “golden boy” to have an inkling of a promising future; there just needed to be some hope, and a taste of success.  Perhaps you came from a background where expectations were low; where higher education was a mere afterthought and nothing beyond an exclamation of gibberish and fantasy.

Was success defined by negation?  That if you didn’t do X, avoided Y and prevented Z, you were considered an anomaly and deemed as one of those who “made it”?

Yet, you exceeded; perhaps night school; whatever the cost, of however the pathway, that promising future that was never guaranteed, rarely spoken of and deliberately left silent but in the fertile imagination of a seeming dream; and the expectation of negation was met and exceeded, precisely because the goal post was never set within sight of grasping, but a mere filament that failed to light any hope of a promising future.

Yet, reality has a tendency to quash the daydreams of even butterflies, and a medical condition can alter forever the course of time and tenacity.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who once thought that a career under FERS meant a promising future for the duration of one’s life, and who never expected to be saddled with a medical condition that created a circumstance of negation, consider filing for FERS Disability Retirement.  Medical conditions tend to become that negation of hope, when in fact it may merely be an alteration of course.  Perhaps that promising future was too narrow a vision.  Maybe a change of mindset is all that is required.

Federal Disability Retirement is merely a recognition that there is an incompatibility between the medical condition suffered and the type of job one is in.  It does not mean that you cannot work; in fact, you are allowed to make up to 80% of what your former Federal position (“former” because, upon winning an approval of a FERS Disability Retirement claim from OPM, you are then separated from Federal Service) currently pays, and still continue to receive the Federal Disability Retirement annuity.

Just remember that the “promising career” was never defined by naysayers or those who lacked belief; it was always defined by your own drive, and for Federal and Postal employees whose once-promising career became curtailed by a medical condition, the “promising” part of conjunction can still be in the future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Employee Disability Retirement: The inner voice

It is always the private conversation that is the most dangerous and unpredictable; for, the voices within are unknown to the surrounding conversations without amidst the public domain, and are most persuasive precisely because the multiple participants come down to a single voice: The “I” or “me” of the inner ego.

The soliloquy is a theatrical device which allows for the audience in a play to hear the “inner” thoughts of a character on stage; sometimes, the actor will stand aside while other characters on stage act “as if” they do not notice the separate thoughts being conveyed to the audience, and both the audience and the stage players engage in a suspension of disbelief while the soliloquy is deliberated; and at other times, the private thoughts are given over to the audience in a lengthy speech — a monologue of sorts, revealing the inner turmoil of a given character.

In real life, such oratory mechanisms are unnecessary, precisely because the voices within remain in a constant monologue of insularity, unimpeded by overzealous listeners who may hear the gossips within.  What voices are spoken within the mind of the wandering individual?  In a crowd, where the cacophony of multiple voices dominate and criss-cross, how many other voices are loudly vying for position within each of the minds that remain silent to one another?

Often, it is the very voices within which are the most dangerous, if only because there are no others countering the logic — or illogic — of the arguments made, and it is precisely because of the singular voice without a countering perspective that makes for greater danger of persuasiveness.

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 employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position within the Federal government, the voices within must often remain private and hidden precisely because the voices without lurk about as potential hazards to be avoided and carefully sequestered.

The mere “asking” about filing for Federal Disability Retirement may trigger reactions that are unwanted from the Agency; the questions that begin to be asked, the administrative actions that could be imposed, and the harassment that often follows — these will often force the voices within to remain within.

Consulting with an attorney who specializes in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often the first and most important step that a Federal or Postal worker who needs to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits can take; for, the voices within more often than not needs a counter-perspective and guidance beyond the singularly lonely voice of a soliloquy that has no audience but one’s self.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: “Where is it written?”

When rights are asserted, community dissipates.  When, once in years of yore, before modernity complicated the simplicity of human interaction and integrity of society’s binding ties, a handshake was all that was necessary to ensure the continuity of words spoken and promises committed.  Of course, con men and worthless statements of vacuity unfettered in boundless dishonesty have always existed, especially when such events quickly spread word within a cohesive community such that reputations rapidly disseminated and trust deteriorated to where no one would do business with “this or that” person, and he or she had to move someplace else.

“Where is it written?” is the query of a person who inquires either because of an inquisitive motive or of a dishonest heart; the former, compelled by a sincere desire to know and to pursue knowledge perpetuated by the answer provided, and the latter as a challenge to anyone declaring that a prior commitment had been made.  But before the question was asked, most of us already knew that the promise was never going to be kept; the combative nature of the context already manifested tells us already that the words previously spoken, the condition precedents not performed, remained as chasms of vacuity never to be told, less worthy of a promise and likely never intended to be fulfilled.

Fortunately, there are laws, statutes, regulations and written commitments which are “on the books”, and while the administrative process of a Federal Disability Retirement may take forever to complete, and the waiting period with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may seem to take an eternity and a day, the positive side of the proverbial ledger is that it is a benefit accorded to all Federal and Postal employees under FERS or CSRS, and so long as you have the basic eligibility components in place (18 months of Federal Service for Federal and Postal employees under FERS; 5 years for CSRS employees, a dying and rare breed, to be sure); and filed while an active employee or within one (1) year of being separated from Federal Service; then, the Federal or Postal employee is free from that challenge of dishonest dissipation: “Where is it written?” In the Code of Federal Regulations, Statues and case-law precedents pertaining to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, of course.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Life erasing

In youth and early adulthood, we add; in later years, life erases.  Kids grow up and move elsewhere; vigor depletes; living spaces are downsized; mementoes once meaningful are discarded into a trash heap of forgotten memories; and health deteriorates, with diminution of lives by incremental depreciation both in appearance, worth and human value.

Life erasing is the natural decomposition of matter; the energy that we expended in bringing up our kids has now been complete, and transference of that vigor has become a permanent fixture.

Somehow, what we gave never seems to be enough, and no matter how much we tried, loved, cared for and nurtured, that part of all has separated and journeyed away, never to be sought in unenlightened venues of thoughtless abandonment.  It is as if life reaches its pinnacle, as the arc of never-ending geometric feats of engineering and technological defiance; and then it tapers, becomes warped and disappears into the far horizon.  What ever happened to those youthful dreams once embraced, promised, forever committed to, and now a dash of trailing dust left behind like so many of life’s erasing features?

Medical conditions and deteriorating health tends to symbolize that; for, as one reaches the pinnacle of an incomplete life (is it every complete, even at the point of oblivion, and do we not hang on for a moment more?), the tawdry reality is that we fear the vanishing of all that we have surrounded ourselves with, because we do not walk about this world with a mirror to appease our own insecurities.

Isn’t that why people amass great wealth; invoke power-plays to demand and command loyalty; hoard possessions as if they reflected quantifiable worth; and apply every cosmetic trick into believing that appearance of youth is the same as easing life’s erasing by concealing the decay beneath?  Why is it that such a natural deterioration is fought against, when the peaceful calm of wisdom tells us that life erasing is the easing of burdens amassed in youth and adulthood, and thus to be enjoyed?

Life erasing means that responsibilities garnered previously have now been alleviated, but instead of accepting that natural digression, we buy into the advertising colonnade that age is merely of deceptive appearances and a “mind set” that can be averted merely by acting more foolishly, accepting cosmetic alterations by stretching the wrinkles away, and taking on greater obligations for self-aggrandizement.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are beset with medical conditions which prevent the Federal or Postal employee from extending a career chosen, whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, filing for Federal Disability Retirement is actually an acceptance of the natural course of life erasing – by the proverbial course of “downsizing”, of recognizing the medical conditions impacting one’s life and pursuing Federal Disability Retirement so that life’s erasing can attain a level of focus upon a priority long ignored:  Health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire