Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Lost Causes

It is that famous line from the 1939 movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” which is evoked by the phrase, “Lost Causes” — of the near-defeated Senator Smith who reminds his father’s old friend that once upon a time, even he had believed that such were the only ones worth fighting for.

It is an idealistic movie; perhaps, even naive.  Was it because of the time in which it was made?  Would — could — such a film be produced in this day and age?  Could there really have been such an individual with unfettered idealism in this era where cynicism and tribal warfare abounds with unlimited and unrestricted savagery?  Do we even have a conscience, anymore, which is required to fight for those “lost causes” that need an advocacy unblemished by the dirt of pessimism?

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, perhaps the medical condition itself has resulted in a perspective that one’s own career, and even life itself, has become one of those “lost causes”.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is not the “end all” of a solution to a lost cause, but it does provide a glimmer of hope so that the Federal or Postal employee can re-focus his or her attention upon regaining one’s health.  But there is a sticking point — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  A denial from OPM can make it appear as if our Federal Disability Retirement application has become another one of those “lost causes”.

Consult with an experienced FERS attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to see whether or not what you perceive as a “lost cause” is worthy of a cause to fight for, and don’t give up so easily; for, in the end, what Senator Jefferson Smith said is what keeps that flame of hope alive — that the only causes worth fighting for are those “lost causes” that everyone else had abandoned.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for OPM Disability Retirement: Goals of abstract purity

Idealism allows for the plethora of such concepts; cynicism born of age and experience quells the exuberance of such vaunted beginnings.

When we were young — no, not the opening lines of a Christopher Robin poem where the hunt for a clove of honey is the day’s goal, but an observation about life’s folly — we harbored principles and moral codes that required strict purity: Success without compromise; life that is perfectly lived; avoidance of mistakes that our parents made; beautiful kids who will exhibit their inherent creativity at every turn, without a wail or disobedient scream of tantrum; and even if such goals of abstract purity never come to fruition, at least there is Instagram in the modern era where we can pretend to have achieved such paradise of ends considered.

Youth pretends to such abstractions; reality tends to soil such purity; and goals formulated at the beginning of life require constant moderation and adaptation to the experience of reality that is encountered throughout.  Such goals of abstract purity are best left in the Ivory Towers of Academia, or in the forgotten memories of childhood dreams.  For, it is reality and the objective world which must be contended with, and not the conceptual paradigms that make up the dreams and fantasies of our former selves.  In the end, grownups don’t have time to waste upon the goals of abstract purity because life is too challenging and reality too stark.

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 position, the Goals of Abstract Purity should be replaced with the Ends of Realistic Objectivity: Of continuing with the Postal Service or Federal Agency only to the extent that one’s health will allow, and to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS.

And what of those former Goals of Abstract Purity?  You should place them upon the heap of memories that allowed for youthful folly, and realize that one’s health is the ultimate goal of purity — and it is no longer a mere abstraction, but a reality that must be faced.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement Legal Representation: The price of status quo

Everything has a price, whether in terms of monetized payments or through labor, effort, worry and loss of peaceful interludes.  What expansive periods of our lives do we engage and assign to “wasted” time that must be discarded, forgotten and left beside?  What is the price we pay to maintain the status quo, even though we know that such clinging to a lack of change is merely extending the wastefulness of our own making?

Change is something that most of us resist.  Yes, we hear of, read about, or otherwise are told about “venture capitalists” or gamblers who throw the dice on everything — their future, their stability, their own sense of worth, whether net or paid for in dreams lost; of how you cannot know success until you first experience the bitter taste of failure, and how the most successful of men and women in the world failed miserable many times over until that moment of victory and triumph.

The ordinary human being, however, is either unwilling to, or otherwise unmotivated in any path towards self-destruction, or the potential for such disastrous outcomes whether real, dreamed, imagined or feared.  The fact is that there is always a price to pay whether or not one acts affirmatively, or doesn’t act at all.

The former places the burden of identifiable responsibility squarely upon the proverbial shoulders of the acting agent; the latter — of “sitting tight”, not doing anything, and remaining the perennial benchwarmer who merely watches and observes as the world passes by — can always defer any personal responsibility and counter that it was “circumstances beyond my control” or that “fate had its rueful day”, or other such indifferences of neutrality.

The reality, however, is that the price of status quo is often just as expensive as that of affirmatively acting; we just fail to see it by conveniently engaging in language games that avoid such recognition of such consequences resulting from inaction.

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, preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, may be the best alternative to paying the continuing price of status quo.  What cost?

Well — the enduring of the medical condition; the constant harassment at work; the increasing pressure of disciplinary procedures; and much more, besides.  That is the price of status quo.  And of affirmatively moving forward with a Federal Disability Retirement application?  It, too, must pay a steep price — of engaging a complex administrative and legal process; of facing the chance of a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; of entering into a surreal universe of bureaucratic morass.

But everything has a price to pay — whether of status quo or of affirmative movement; it is up to the Federal or Postal employee as to whether the end-product is worth that price.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The fading sheen of respect

It happens over time; and, perhaps, in marriages where discovery of once-cute characteristics become irritants, when tics of unique personalities transform into obstacles, and the surface beauty of looks gradually morph into the reality of superficiality of egocentric psychosis.  But, then, a career is like a marriage, but lacking the intimacy of misguided warmth.

Disdain – does it develop instantaneously?  Does the remark of condescension and arrogance, cutting into the soul by drips and drabs, meter the suspicion that something is amiss, that someone has been whispering untold gossips of tidbits and tadpoles still swimming but lacking the croak of the frog disguised, and never to be kissed or metamorphosed into a princess of fantasy and fairytales?

When and how does loss of respect occur?  Is it in incremental clutches of shifting sand dunes, like the mirage which appears and when we reach it with thirst and desire, disappearing without but a trace of salivating want?  The scornful expression of familiarity; is there anymore a depth of intimacy the closer we become with one another, or does the essence of human depravity prevent such soul mates to bond?

Have we become cynical, to the extent that we no longer recognize the essence of human goodness, and instead – as the Darwinian paradigm of pure materialism has pervaded every crevice of our thoughts and beliefs – we have all accepted the maxim that life is but an insignificant blip on a linear scale of colossal vacuity, where the speck of life is but a mere comma in the breath of the vast universe, and how man is not just below the angels, but nothing more than mere fodder for predators to devour?

Does relevance, significance, and purpose of living – that composite and aggregation of teleological meaning – no longer apply in a world where essence is defined by material possessions and the quantitative quality of crassness of existence?

It is often asserted that respect is earned, not by mere ascription or claim to status, but by merit of behavior and ascension to knowledge; but in this day of modernity when all opinions are of equivalent moral value, and those with megaphones can drown out the quietude of truth and logical validity, the sheen of respect for all has been diminished by the mere devaluation of the essence of human worth.

A sheen upon an object is cared for and vigorously attended to; the fading of it means that the owner or caretaker has allowed it to slowly, incrementally and progressively deteriorate; and these things always lose their brilliance over time.  Not in a day, a month, or even over the course of a year, but by subtle carelessness of constant neglect.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition has impacted upon the ability and capacity to shine forth like those days of yore when energy was unmitigated, future hope was always a reminder, and where the brilliance of each hour was still to come, the fading sheen of respect shown both by the agency one works for and the coworkers’ company one cherishes, may be on the downturn.

If so, that Federal or Postal employee may want to consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, if only because such loss of respect is reflective not merely upon the personhood of you, but upon the essence of human degradation.

In many ways, “moving on” to the next chapter of life beyond being a Federal or Postal employee is a step towards maintaining and guarding the residue still remaining of that respect which once was, but now fades in the sheen of devalued and obscured images of a person who once was, still is, but is seen as merely an object of derision, and not that worthy employee who forms the essence of a past now forgotten.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Medical Retirement: Avoiding emotional identification

We all do it, to one extent or another; doctors who deal with terminal children or relegated to the emergency floors; patients who must see the foreboding grief in the eyes of family members who have been told; psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists who listen “objectively” to the turmoil and trauma of other lives; the capacity for human compartmentalism is nearly inexhaustible.

Does the horse who listens to the cab driver in the brilliant short story, “Misery” (or often subtitled as, “Grief” or “To whom shall I tell my grief?”), by Anton Chekhov, have a choice in the matter?  Well, you say, the horse cannot understand the linguistic intricacies of the story told!  And, yet, we designate dogs and other animals as therapeutic breeds capable of soothing the wounded and scarred psyche of our neighbors…  The flip side of such a capacity, of course, leads to human cruelty beyond mere animalistic behavior, where the caverns of barbarism know no bounds.

The murderous son can torture in the name of the State by day, and sit with his mother at the dinner table and weep with genuine sorrow over the arthritic pain felt by infirmity and old age; and the boy who remembers the love of his mother may singe the wings of insects with pyrotechnic delight as mere gaggles of laughter unhinged by a warped conscience.  But, you say, insects and the lower order of animals don’t have “feelings” in the same way we do!  What does that statement truly mean, but merely to justify an act which — if otherwise directed at a fellow human being — would border on the criminal?

Bifurcation of lives lived is an important survival component for the health of the human psyche.  To identify with a suffering soul on an intellectual level allows for comprehension and understanding; to do so on a par at an emotional level merely subsumes one into the other, and negates the capacity to provide wisdom or advice.  That is why, in preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application by a FERS, CSRS or CSRS employee, whether in a Postal capacity or as a non-Postal, Federal employee, it is important to recognize that if a Federal or Postal employee prepares the Statement of Disability on SF 3112A without representation, the subject and object of such preparation are one and the same, and therefore collectively engages in an activity of emotional identification which is difficult to avoid.  For, the person of whom the Statement of Disability is written, is the same person who is the author of the narrative on SF 3112A.

Is there a danger to be avoided?  Isn’t there an advantage in conveying the feelings by the same person who experiences the trauma and medical condition?  If objectivity is defined, in part, at least, as a reasoned perspective from multiple sides of an issue or fact, then the greater distance ensconced between the subject discussed and the narrator empowered, will allow for the attainment of that position of elevated perception.

Certainly, that is how the administrative specialist at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will be reviewing your case — by avoiding emotional identification, and trying to sort through the pain, suffering and legal implications of the Federal Disability Retirement application, hopefully prepared and formulated in as objective a manner as humanly possible.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire