FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: That wretched attachment to life

The theoretical construct proposed by Darwin has proven itself many times over, according to evolutionists, since his initial dawn of delineating the “origins” of our existence; the urge towards existence, of remaining, of “being” as an instinctive component that cannot be denied, has become merely an accepted and acceptable normative paradigm of modernity.

In many ways, the inherent attachment to life itself is the basis of a wretchedness that leads to self-destructive behavior; many of us hate ourselves and do things that hurt and harm – a mode of self-immolation and Western-style seppuku that results in self-medicating devices encapsulating the spectrum from overeating, alcoholism, multiple partners and spreading of diseases untold; or, on the other end of the extreme, of become vegetarian, vegan, health-fitness-exercise-cosmetic-surgery and everything else to stay young and vibrant.

That wretched attachment to life cannot be avoided; it is who we are and the essence of our very being.  Is there such a thing as an “unhealthy” attachment to life?  It is all well and good for Camus to write about the Myth of Sisyphus and the need to turn away from self-annihilation before being able to live an “authentic” life; he was handsome, a pretty good writer, and French (or, actually, Algerian) to boot, and his only competition was a near-blind ally who was close to incoherent in philosophical discourse (i.e., referring to Sartre, of course).

But back to the idea at hand – of that wretched attachment to life.  We see it in old people attached to mechanical apparatus to prolong it; of humanism and even religiosity that remains suspicious as to whether there is truly anything else in the great “beyond” after death; and so we cling to life at all costs.  What would be the alternative?  To live a quality-filled, balanced existence? We sometimes forget why we became what we are today, and become steeped too deeply in the troubles of everyday existence.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition becomes the focal point of existence itself, there is a double whammy: Of the chronic and often debilitating medical condition itself, as well as worrying about and contending against the daily harassment and adversarial threats initiated by the Federal agency or the Postal facility, and it often becomes so burdensome that one wonders as to that wretched attachment to life.

But always go back to basics, to the foundation of Darwinian essence: Life is, indeed precious, and sometimes it takes a different sort of step in order to regain the balance in life that is needed.  Filing for Federal Disability Retirement is merely that step in order to reorient one’s self for a future course of life.  It is a means to an end, where a Federal Disability Retirement allows for the Federal or Postal employee to separate and retire with an annuity, then to consider one’s future after attending first to the medical conditions one is suffering from.

In that sense, that wretched attachment to life is more akin to the Hindu concept of reincarnation, where obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement through OPM is like returning to this life in a different form, and becoming resurrected from the ashes of the metaphorical Phoenix to live another day.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: The Indeterminate Deterioration

Some events come with it a specific date, and even a time; others, within a span of identified moments and blocks of weeks, sometimes months; the rest, undetermined, unspecified, like the lost soul who wanders the traversing echoes of eternal reverberations left to the sifting cleansing of a foaming ocean washing and lapping, ever repeating the comforting sounds of surf and salt strolling like the footprints gone in the sands of countless castles disappeared.  But that medical conditions would conform to the science which attempts to treat, and approach one with technical precision and certitude.

When did you first notice the symptoms, the kindly doctor asks, as you scratch your head and stutter forth an incomprehensible gibberish of a response.  A similar question is posed on SF 3112A, concerning the “date” (approximate) the Federal or Postal employee became disabled from one’s position.  How does one answer such a question?  Fortunately, it asks not for a day or time, but merely the month and year, and to that extent we can be thankful for its inherent foresight.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who attempt to answer this question without much thought or reflection, be forewarned and with a hint of suspicion; trap doors abound everywhere, and while one may overstate issues like the paranoid cousin who points a telescope not at the moon and stars, but directly at the next-door neighbor’s bedroom window, it is well to consider carefully the answer to be given.

The context of intermingling meanings:  Was it during one’s tenure as a Federal or Postal employee (for those separated but contemplating filing within 1 year of being separated from Federal Service)?  Will it prompt the question, Does the medical condition last for a minimum of 12 months, including the time encapsulating the prognosis of the doctor?  Does it coincide with any event or issue arising at work?  Does the date identified precede any adverse action promulgated by the agency or the U.S. Postal Service?  Truth is always the guide for integrity in all cases, but the reality of a medical condition is that time is often discovered on a spectrum, where chronicity and deterioration spans over many months, and often years.

To pinpoint is to be precise; but where deterioration is progressive and indeterminate, the fading sounds of an unspecified echo which bounces from cave walls to the expansive skies beyond the realm of certainty, the date recognized may be one which floats and fades like the dust of angels left as a residue of virtue.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer: The Wear of Medical Conditions

Some words have constrained, limiting and restricted meanings, available only in esoteric whispers of academic thunderings; others, of common and every day usage, but through monotony of repetition and sheer ordinariness, loses any luster of royal patronage; and yet others, because of the expansive and varied contextual applications, can be applicable afresh, when needs require service of exposure.

One can “wear” clothing; “wear” glasses or a smile; or pass the time tediously, as in, “The minutes wore onward with a tired sense of sadness”.  The word applies also when a person or object begins to diminish, to fatigue, or to slowly fade.  Medical conditions tend to do that, like worn furniture in a house dilapidated by time, where the tiredness of untempered souls and toils of life’s encounters begin to tear at the timeless tokens of tapestries, and one begins to give in to fatefulness.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who wear the face of normalcy, but who must contend not only with an underlying medical condition, as well as the hostility of a workplace and a world which grants no empathy, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often seen as a surrender of sorts, a wearing of the proverbial white flag, and an admission and acknowledgment that time has worn the welcome of a bright future.

The wear of medical conditions indeed warrants a respite from the world of turmoil, and a more positive outlook is to simply grant the world its due, and instead to realize that filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is merely to access an employment benefit which is merely part of the larger employment compensation package signed on to at the beginning of one’s Federal or Postal career, and in accessing the benefit, as nothing more than to assert what is available.

To contend with the wear of a medical condition is a weary challenge; to wear one’s welcome is to withstand unnecessarily.  Wisdom is to recognize one’s time and to wear the wisdom of time when welcomes wither.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire