FERS Disability Medical Retirement: Summer Respite?

Isn’t that what we long for?  Those “dog days of summer”, when a slight respite is tacitly agreed to by everyone, or most everyone.  Like weekends; like informal truces presumed between enemy forces; Christmas week; New Year’s Eve; the Thanksgiving Holidays; and once upon a time Easter Week was solemnly observed where most people took a time of reflection to redirect sacred oaths and faithful commitments.

The summer respite is quite different.  Not marking any particular occasion nor recognizing a specific remembrance, it is nevertheless a time somewhere in the searing and unrelenting heat of summer that everyone suddenly slows down.  Whether by osmosis of a transcendent metabolic engineering that is inherent in all human beings, or just a faint comprehension that we all need a break, the time for a summer respite is traditionally recognized by all.

These are peculiar times, however.  With half of the nation experiencing economic concerns and the other half still battling the pandemic, there isn’t time for the yearly cycle of a summer respite.  Medical conditions are like that, too.  It robs us of that summer respite, or of any respite at all.

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 having any respite from the daily turmoil of life’s challenges, contact an OPM Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Employee FERS Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

While it may not get you the summer respite you were looking for, it will offer you the lifetime respite from having to have to endure the unendurable turmoil of continuing in a job which you can no longer do.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

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

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Righting the Mistakes

Some have posited that we actually need 2 lifetimes: One for living, and another for righting the mistakes made in the first lifetime.  Then, a “Mark-Twain humorist” once quipped that, No, human beings need at least 3 lives — the first to live; the second to right the mistakes of the first; and another to do all of the things we always wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to because we were too busy worrying about it.

Life, indeed, is a series of regrets, and most of us still have consciences such that we worry and ruminate about the mistakes we made; how we go about “righting” those mistakes; and finally, on our deathbeds, to simply cry out for forgiveness because the weight of our past is too much to bear.  We can spend most, if not almost all, of our lives trying to correct the errors of our error-filled past; and, if not that, to worry about it.  Often, we don’t even know that we are making the mistakes until it is too late, or until that moment of revelation when we say to ourselves — How did I get myself into this mess?

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 try and file an effective and — as much as possible — an error-free Federal Disability Retirement application.  There is much to be worried about in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application: the complexity of the process itself; the legal hurdles which must be overcome; the bureaucratic morass that must be fought.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and try and avoid the mistakes at the outset. In Federal Disability Retirement, you surely do not want to spend your “second life” righting the mistakes of your first life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Consider the Alternatives

In making any decision, it is always important that one consider the alternatives available.  It is the decision made in isolation — of contending with thoughts, fears and misinformation within a vacuum of not knowing — that often results in disastrous decisions made without consulting and considering the alternatives available.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that 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 choices are often stark and clear: Stay at a job or career which is no longer sustainable, and where the Agency will increasingly harass and punitively initiate actions in an effort to remove you; resign and walk away with nothing; or, in the best alternative available, file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Sometimes, of course, the “unexpected” alternative can occur: For example, a person who has filed for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is offered a reassignment that is both acceptable and accommodating to one’s medical condition, and continuation in the Federal Workforce is thus possible.  In most instances, however, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is “The” alternative, and the only viable one available, but even such an alternative must be considered carefully in light of the existing laws, the potentiality for problems to be encountered, and the resistance met by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for the multiple and varied reasons that OPM bases its denials upon.

Considering the alternatives is not just a matter of whether and when to file, but to be cognizant of the difficulties ahead in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; and in order to do that, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Medical Retirement for FERS Employees: Envy

It is tantamount to jealousy; perhaps its neighbor, cousin, sister or husband; and both reside in the shadows of unuttered emotions, festering by maintaining an outward appearance of calm and implacable smiles while all the while eating away beneath the surface.  It can be applied as either a noun or a verb; but in either grammatical form, it retains the character of an ugly relational cauldron of discontent.

Perhaps it is directed towards possessions; or of someone else’s good luck, greater popularity or ease of living.  The questions which sprout from envy are many and varied: Why me and not the other person?  Why does X have it better than I do?  Why does everyone think that Y is so much better?

We are rarely satisfied with our lot in life, and this crazy universe promotes envy, jealousy, comparisons and disunity, for it is all about the “I” and the “Me” — it is not a community of shared interests, but the closest we know of Rousseau’s “State of Nature” where each is on his or her own and the battle is to destroy one another.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that medical condition impacts your ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of your job,”envy” is often not towards someone else, but of a previous life, the prior person and the former self — for that time when health was taken for granted and the capacity to do everyday, “normal” things was never given a second thought.

Such envy is not the same as the envy felt towards others; for, it is neither ugly nor unutterable, but a natural yearning for something which once was and perhaps still could be.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may not be the solution to solving that special sense of envy, but it at least allows for a foundational annuity such that you can focus your attention back to your health and begin the road towards regaining that sense of self where envy is not of what you once were, but of what you can still become.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Human Nature

There are other “natures”, of course — of a dog’s or a cat’s; or of a vulture’s, and perhaps of lower order species which we barely give notice to: of spiders (except when they crawl near to us), mice, grasshoppers and frogs.  For species we deem to be less intelligent or possessing the capacity for “free will” (i.e., making decisions and performing acts outside of a predetermined view of what they are “supposed to do”), we tend to have an opinion of, “X does Y because that is the nature of X to do Y”.

Thus, when we read about a traveler who went to a game reserve and got mauled by a lion whom the traveler thought — just a moment before —was “friendly” enough to approach and take a close-up picture of, we shake our heads at the fact that the individual ignored the clear and visible sign which read: “Caution —Do NOT leave your vehicle. Dangerous Animals” or some similar preemptive warning.

Then, of course, there is “our” nature — of Human Nature.  What is it?  We are an animal species which is able to adapt, possess the talent for a thousand things but remain mediocre in all of them.  We cannot run as fast as a cheetah, nor have the ferocity of a lion; we cannot fly like the birds, nor have the venomous bite of a snake.  Yet, we can build cars which can outrace a cheetah, create weapons that do greater damage than a lion’s claws; we can build airplanes that travel greater distances than birds and manufacture bullets that pierce flesh beyond what a snake can deliver.

Of course, we like to think of “human nature” as being, as Aristotle would put it, “rational” first, and vicious somewhere down at the bottom of the list.  But wars, the devastating trails of what we leave behind — they attest more about Human Nature than our rationality.

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 issue of Human Nature as one comprised of cruelty, retribution and back-stabbing is probably not a surprise.  As your medical conditions worsen, you may have noticed a lack of empathy and a growing sense of animosity and contentiousness from your Agency or the Postal Service.

Chalk it up to “Human Nature” and the capacity of human beings for lack of qualities which — while we may like to think of as comprising the essence of humanity — comes out at the worst of times.

Consider, at such a point, whether filing for Federal Disability Retirement might not be the best option available, and consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire