OPM Disability Retirement: The Wake-up Call

It can be requested pursuant to a prior arrangement or, with today’s technology, prewired on one’s own electronic device.  Time was when there existed an employed switchboard operator sitting in front of a pock-marked surface deftly inserting plugs of a dozen or more connections simultaneously, like an octopus whose coordinated extremities swirl about under and over with cross-purposed entanglements, pulling and inserting, with headphones half dangling, calmly stating, “This is your wakeup call.  Have a good morning!”

Then, of course, there is the other, more unwelcome meaning, of a negative connotation concerning an event or occurrence which portends of that which one may have always known, but only now realizes because of the impending doom.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, it may be the chronicity of the medical condition; or, the increasing outside pressures continuing to pile on, of leave-usage restrictions, suspension letters, placing you on a PIP, or the ultimate proposal of removal.

Whatever the proverbial wake-up call, it is time to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether one is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.   The call itself is merely the beginning of the process; there is the entirety and complexity to undergo, including the gathering of the compendium of medical documentation, the formulation of one’s Statement of Disability and the coordinating of all of the elements of the case, and then the submission and waiting.

The bureaucratic and administrative components of the process can sometimes appear to be archaic and somewhat anachronistic; but like the switchboard operator of yesteryear, the necessity of the service is never in doubt; it is merely the apparatus of change which remains relevant, and properly, and effectively preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is a mandate of action compelled by the wakeup call entitled “Life and the inevitability of change“.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal and Federal Disability Retirement: The Excuse to Wait

There is rarely a good reason to wait to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.  Often, the Federal or Postal employee will engage in seemingly important work which provides a justifying “reason” for not filing at the moment.  Thus, engaging in an appeal against the former Federal agency or Postal service to refute the termination or separation from service; waiting to see if the Agency will place you on a PIP; waiting for another medical test result; waiting for…  

The waiting syndrome is similar to the “what if” syndrome — of coming up with multiple hypotheticals and scenarios in diverting the attention needed to begin to prepare, formulate and file a Federal Disability Retirement application.  The fantasy world is an enjoyable and satisfying world.  

The world of reality — of facing the inevitable events leading to the necessity to prepare, formulate and file a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS — can be a much harsher one to face.  Procrastination and “not thinking about it” is a survival mechanism which we all trigger when the necessity arises.  It is as Heidegger’s proposition that we engage in multiple projects in our lives in order to avoid facing the inevitable and ultimate event.  But procrastination and delay often complicates the very thing which we need to focus upon.  

When filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits becomes an emergency — because of time, finances, and the need to put a case “quickly” together — it can present a problem.  Most problems, however, can be overcome; it is a matter of focusing upon the problem, evaluating it, dissecting it, and then solving it.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire