Federal & Postal Employee Disability Retirement: Failures

When ascribed to a task or a project, it all depends upon how it is characterized.  When identified or closely associated with an individual, we tend to be harsher judges — especially when it involves our own participation.  Perhaps there is a simple, even “objective” definition which encapsulates the concept of failure: Of merely not achieving that which was expected.

If we work with that definition, then the focal point would be upon our own expectations, and perhaps we simply needed to adjust them to a more realistic perspective.  Then again, such an approach would merely be a circular tautology, and there would never be any failures — i.e., every time a failure occurred, we could just say, “Oh, we expected that”, and every time our expectations were not met, we would say, “Oh, we changed our expectations, so it is no longer a failure”.  But clearly, that does not reflect reality, and there are truly times when failure does occur.

In the end, what is important is to recognize that our expectations — both of ourselves and of outcomes in reality — cannot always be met, precisely because there are other intervening factors that may account for the prevention of meeting them.

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, it is important to recognize that the intervening factor of the medical condition itself is what prevents you from meeting that expectation of reaching full retirement, and that is why Federal Disability Retirement benefits are there to assert.

It is not a “failure” to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; rather, our expectations concerning our own health intervened in the meantime, and we have to adjust to accommodate — not a failure, but of human frailty.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Law: The Chasm between Reality and The Law

Non-lawyers will often read “The Law” and expect that reality will conform to the language as it is stated.  That is actually a good sign, in that the expectation of the layperson is that respect for the law will necessarily result in compliance with its dictates.  But language is malleable.  It is subject to interpretation, and that is the field of play which allows for elasticity and the chasm which develops between Reality and The Law.

There are, first and foremost, “The Facts” — and whether or not “The Law” applies to a particular set of facts.  Then, from that application of facts-to-law is the further problem of deciding its significance and relevance, and whether or not there are other contravening facts or opposing case-law or statutory citations which may also impact the direct argument of sound legal analysis.  Then, of course, there can be the further difficulty of people, companies, entities and agencies which completely ignore the law and, more recently, of creating one’s own set of “alternative facts”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition has begun to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is important to apply “The Law” precisely, relevantly and comprehensively.

More recent cases of a precedent-setting nature may have altered the meaning of statutory interpretation in a subtle, more favorable manner, and thus is it important to consult with an an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to obtain the greater benefit in evaluating your case, lest the chasm between Reality and The Law be so great as to defeat one’s own attempt within a greater pool of lacking the proper knowledge in applying the law to your particular set of facts.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Similar Lives

Dissimilarity is what threatens us; similarity — the notion that there are shared, common characteristics between you and I — provides for an acceptable level of comfort and security.

When we learn about the lives of the “rich and famous”, other than feeling some sense of envy, we can still imagine enough similarity of living such that we can “relate” to them.  We might say, “Yeah, but he still has to put on his pants one leg at a time” or some such similarity of response.  It is the dissimilar which tends to threaten — of behavior, looks or origins so alien that we fear that the strangeness of the unknown will somehow harm our very existence.

Modernity has tried to ameliorate that with a sense of living in a “global village”, where images of other cultures, other lives and different countries are transmitted into our living rooms via cable and other outlets; and social media allows for interaction with others no matter where a person resides.  Rumors of wars are no longer apt; we bring it live right into our recreational living spaces, and no longer are cultures alien, nor other lives strange; the strangeness now is of the person who cannot relate to the universal similarity of all lives lived in modernity.

Yet, there are still instances of dissimilarity which threatens — such as a medical condition suffered by a Federal or Postal worker who then begins to feel isolated and treated as a pariah.  Perhaps the response by others is likened to that “tribal” sense that people have: No one wants to be like the outsider, and so we shun them like those colonies of eons ago to which lepers were banished.

For Federal and Postal employees who believe that a medical condition now prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, and who are beginning to be treated in a dissimilar fashion, it may be time to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and do it before the dissimilar turns into a familiar case of similarity — that of fear turning into cruelty by the Federal Agency initiating adverse actions and ultimate termination.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire