To whom do we owe our due? What motivates, compels and propels? Is it by way of a sense of indebtedness (a sort of negation attempting to claw back and regain a foothold), or an assertion of one’s rightful ownership of life, land and property? Or perhaps there is a sense of a higher calling, whether by teleological justification, or a whisper of duty?
Some days, we walk within a mist of stupor, half-alive, barely conscious, and hoping to simply get through the day. Other days, a breath of fresh air fills our lungs, and life promises a brighter future, like the winds suddenly lifting the stagnant kite higher into the heavens where promises of greater glories hold truth in the palm of an angel’s hand. We often fail to recognize the power of our own daily will; it is free to choose, undetermined in the morning, past memories in the afternoon, and concretized by night.
There is a difference when an individual is beset with a chronic and debilitating medical condition, precisely because in such circumstances, one’s daily life is no longer free to choose like entrees on a menu for a preset course of delectable meals. No, individuals with impacting medical conditions can only live lives of partial living, bifurcated into elementary segments: times of pain, times of being pain-free; times of lethargy and cognitive loss of focus, and rare times of mental acuity and clarity of judgment.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer daily from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the judgment to file for Federal Disability Retirement may come when the proportionate bifurcation of the partial life reaches a critical point where the segment of pain exceeds the portion of non-pain, or put quite simply, when the quality of life deteriorates so miserably that one’s days off are merely used up in order to recuperate for further days of pain or cognitive dysfunction.
Federal Disability Retirement, filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is a benefit available to all Federal and Postal employees who have a minimum number of years of Federal Service (18 months for those under FERS; 5 years for those under CSRS).
When those days of a full life become transformed into a chronic continuum of days of partial life, it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire