Disability Retirement for Federal and Postal Employees: The Diatribe

There may well be an appropriate time for a lengthy diatribe.  The act itself often finds its impetus in bitterness; it also implies a lack of control, overwhelmed by anger and originating in attribution by an act of injustice.  But where emotion controls rationality, the loss of sequential propriety normally results in a corresponding lack of coherence and comprehension.

For Federal and Postal Workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal Worker is under FERS or CSRS, the urge to right past wrongs is a compelling force which often erupts in a diatribe of sorts, within the content of a Federal Employee Disability Retirement claim. This is, unfortunately, a self-defeating proposition.

Yes, agency actions often comprise a compendium of injustices; yes, treatment of coworkers can be the basis of collateral actions; yes, discriminatory behavior may be a justifiable basis for filing EEO actions; but, no, weaving one’s frustration into the substance of a Federal Disability Retirement application is not the right path to take, for the simple reason that it is not the appropriate venue in which to vent.

Federal and Postal Workers who intend on filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, need to bifurcate the issues, and recognize the practical dualism in existence:  OPM is a separate Federal agency from the one employing the chronically ill or injured Federal Worker who intends to submit a Federal disability Retirement application (in most cases, unless of course the Federal employee works for OPM — and even then, the section which reviews the Federal Disability Retirement application is separate and distinct within the agency).

Context and appropriateness are invisible lines which need to be followed.  Diatribes may have their place in literature; it rarely serves a useful purpose in filing for CSRS or FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The Narrative

In every life, in every human condition, there is the narrative to tell.  In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is an opportunity to convey a “narrative”.  It is, however, for a specified purpose — to obtain OPM Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  As such, there is a “context” within which one is asked to communicate the narrative of one’s life; and that context is delimited and defined by the questions posed on an Applicant’s Statement of Disability, Standard Form 3112A.

The communicating of one’s narrative is an important desire and need for human beings.

The story entitled “Grief” or “Misery”, written by Anton Chekhov, answers the poignant question, “To whom shall I tell my grief?”  In that story, Iona has lost a son, and the story unfolds of how, at every opportunity in the quest to tell the narrative of the human condition, he is rebuffed, ignored and left unsatisfied.

It is often the case in similar fashion with Federal and Postal workers who are attempting to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — a need to describe and tell the story of pain, medical conditions, harassment, stress, anxiety, etc.  But it is the job of the attorney to refine, limit, restrict and streamline the story; for the story of the human condition will have amounted to further misery if the story is told unedited, and the Federal or Postal employee is unable to obtain the Federal Disability Retirement benefits because the unedited version of the story was left to be told, resulting in a denial from OPM.

There are counselors and therapists; there are treating doctors; the attorney is neither.  It is the job of the Federal Disability Retirement attorney to effectively represent a client, and sometimes that involves the necessity of being blunt and forthright.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire