Federal Employee Medical Retirement: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

The title reference, of course, is to the old Spielberg film concerning contact with an alien being; but such a remote, rare and unique experience need not be with an entity from another galaxy or planet, but can be closer to home.

Most people will never need to experience engagement with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, OPM Division of Disability, Reconsiderations and Appeals, in order to apply for Federal Disability Retirement benefits (whether under FERS or CSRS), leaving aside having to file an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

But when the Federal or Postal employee finds him/herself in such a unique situation such that contact with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or the MSPB becomes necessary, such an experience will be as peculiar and strange an an encounter of the “third kind”.  Moreover, the experience itself may be an unwanted and unpleasant one, because it is something accomplished and pursued while experiencing a personal crisis involving a medical condition.

The encounter itself — however strange, unpleasant or unwanted — nevertheless is a reality which must be dealt with, and in so doing, it should be done in as efficient a manner as possible.

In an initial encounter with an alien being, one would assume that there might be some trepidation and reluctance, mixed with a great amount of suspicion.  That would be natural.  In a similar encounter with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is best to also have a healthy dose of skepticism; better yet, you might want to contact an expert who has had some past experience in dealing with the entity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Respite and Reflection

Sometimes, it is a positive thing to have a period of respite, in order to engage in a reflective mode of thought.  The “to-do list” is always extensive and pressing; the need to advance, to accomplish, and to complete the pending projects is always in the foreground; but a period of respite and reflection — a pause in the action of life — is a welcomed break.

For those Federal and Postal employees who are contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is often merely an extra day in which to recuperate one’s energies in order to go back to work.  If the Federal or Postal employee finds that the period of a few days off are merely a palliative form of treatment in order to drag one’s self back to the identical state of affairs at one’s Federal position — whether because of chronic pain, or profound, overwhelming fatigue; or perhaps an intractable state of cognitive decline and depression — it is probably time to think about filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

One can “fight the good fight” only for so long.

At some point, the coalescence of the medical condition, the limitation of human capacity, and the self-destructiveness of continuing in a position which is detrimental to one’s health, will come to fruition.  Preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is perhaps what one should reflect upon during the respite of life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Worker Disability Retirement: 3-Day Holidays

3-Day Holiday Weekends are wonderful inventions which allow for regeneration and refreshment.  For some, it is merely interpreted as an excuse to have some time off, barely acknowledging the identified, designated day of celebration, and engaging in no particular activity which could or would be deemed as recognizing the memorialized day for its unique or particular significance.  

For others, whether it represents a wasteful day of non-productivity, or whether the significance of the celebrated day is missed or not, it nevertheless allows for an extra day of recuperation, whether for psychiatric or physical medical conditions.  For the Federal or Postal employee who is considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, the 3-Day weekend is a time for attempting to regroup in order to slog through another week.  

The advantage, or course, is that there is not only an extended time off from the daily stresses and arduous activities of work; beyond that, the subsequent work week is shortened, so that the following weekend arrives quicker.  But that type of focus and attention to time needed for recuperative relief in and of itself reveals a self-evident principle:  

If one has arrived at a point where a 3-Day Weekend is “needed” as conceptually distinguished from “enjoyed”, then it is probably time to consider preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Medical Retirement Benefits for US Government Employees: Labor Day Weekend

Over the years, the evolution of the meaning of terms, concepts, conceptual references, etc., results in a spectrum of changes.  What was once originally conceived to represent X, over time embraces and encompasses a conceptual entity which may be an inverted or convex cave of creative characterizations barely containing the originality of meaning.  Labor Day is one such concept.  Yet, whatever the prior meaning, the origin of such meaning, etc., for the “everyday” worker, it represents the idea of the end of summer, a celebration of workers and the contribution to society and the productivity of a life of work.  

For the Federal or Postal employee who is considering filing for Medical Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, Labor Day Weekend is merely a needed period of respite and recuperation; a time to recover from the chronic and increasingly debilitating medical conditions which are progressively ravaging one’s body, mind and/or soul.  Whether in an insignificant or relatively minor position as a clerk, secretary, assistant, etc., or at an executive or managerial level of the Federal government, medical disabilities fail to discriminate.  The importance of the job left unaccomplished begins to cumulatively manifest over time; perhaps it is left unnoticed to the Supervisor, or the greater suspicion is that the Supervisor is simply being “nice” about it and intentionally not noticing.  But over time, suspicions arise and exponentially magnify; and one begins to wonder whether the Agency is contemplating some action.

Labor Day is merely a bump in time; yes, it can be used for a period of rest and recuperation; but for the long term, the very celebration for which Labor Day is reflective of, should make the Federal or Postal worker pause and consider that the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement is one which is part of the compensation package which the labor force fought for, precisely to recognize the need of such a benefit if and when a Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job.  

Preparing to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits begins by a conceptual contemplation of it; formulating it requires some pragmatic steps; filing it is the completion of such steps.  The first step is to determine the need for it, and then one may truly begin to recuperate from one’s progressively worsening medical conditions.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: The Three-Day Weekend

For Federal and Postal employees contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, the 3-day weekend is a time of respite, recuperation and intermediate period of temporary time-out, in order to regain the energy and sustained endurance to go back to work.  

Pain is a chronic state of being which results in profound exhaustion and fatigue just to fight against it and to attempt to minimize it on a daily basis.  For psychiatric medical conditions, Major Depression, Anxiety, panic attacks, and a host of other conditions and symptoms, are not something which one can simply “will” to overcome.  

Often, the question still is posed whether or not psychiatric conditions are denied by the Office of Personnel Management at a greater rate of consistency than physical medical conditions.  Fortunately, the stigma of psychiatric conditions has diminished.  Whether for physical medical conditions or psychiatric medical conditions, the standard to be met in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS is the same applicable standards of proof.  

For the 3-day weekender, however, the standard of proof is an irrelevancy, because the time of recuperation is merely temporary, and the cyclical requirement to return to work in a state of exhaustion, pain, or cognitive turmoil must begin anew with another work day.  It might be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS if you find yourself in that state.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal & Postal Service Disability Retirement: Hindrances

One would think that the Human Resources Department of the Agency from which a Federal or Postal employee is attempting to file a Federal Disability Retirement application, would be a “helpful” entity.  It is indeed a baffling phenomena when one pauses and reflects upon it:  What is the purpose of the Human Resources Department?  Specifically, what existential purpose does a person serve, who has a positional designation of “Disability Retirement Specialist”?  Let me attempt to answer the question in the way it is supposed to be answer:  1.  The purpose of the Human Resources Department is to help the Federal and Postal employees of the Agency or Department of which they have been established.  2.  The person who holds the designated job entitled, “Disability Retirement Specialist” is one who, theoretically, is there to assist in any way, within the legal confines established by the Agency, in as much as possible, to help the Federal or Postal employee to finalized and complete the disability retirement packet for submission to the Office of Personnel Management.  Now, let me pose the following hypothetical:  an H.R. person calls up and says, “I cannot forward the disability retirement packet because Box Number ___ on Standard Form _____ has not been checked.”  Does this sound like the Human Resources Department is fulfilling the existential purpose for which it was established?  On the other hand, rhetorical questions are fun to ask, precisely because they are rhetorical, and allow one to expiate some build-up of frustrations on a Friday night, after a long week dealing with multiple agencies.  Have a good weekend.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire