FERS Disability Retirement: The Meaning of Incompatibility

We hear the word often — used in conjunction with “irreconcilable differences” (in a divorce proceeding), or perhaps in an electrical engineering context where voltages and circuitry are “incompatible” with this or that mainframe, or some similar language game involving technical issues which don’t work well together.

It is a peculiar word; stated in a certain way or tone of voice, it is a declaration of finality, as in, “Nope!  These two [blanks] are incompatible!”  And ascribed to human beings?  How about: “Jane and Joe were married for 20 years.  They have separated and are going to get a divorce because they are no longer compatible”.  Does the phrase, “no longer compatible” mean the same thing as being “incompatible”?  Can two people, like two components of some mechanical processes, become “incompatible” when previously they were not?  Are people like widgets where parts can be irreplaceable in one instance, but are no longer so in the next?

It is, as well, a legal term.  In the field of Federal Disability Retirement Law, incompatibility is the “fourth” criteria that can be met if the first three (deficiency in performance, conduct or attendance) cannot be satisfied in a Federal Disability Retirement case.  Some medical conditions cannot so easily be described in terms of a 1-to-1 ratio between a medical condition and an essential element of one’s Federal or Postal job that cannot be met.

In their aggregate and totality, the compendium of medical conditions may have come to a critical juncture where they are no longer compatible (i.e., incompatible) with continuation or retention in the Federal Service, and that is when filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM becomes a necessary function of one’s future goals and plans.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: When Snow Becomes a Nuisance

Remember when it was all just fun and laughter?  When waking up and looking out at the furious flakes wind-blown and swirling about, the blanket of pure whiteness just waiting to be gathered, felt, rolled into balls and danced upon with cackles of laughter and uproariously unfettered shivers of joy?

There was a time in all of our childhoods when snow was anticipated, enjoyed, savored and embraced — unless, of course, you grew up in Hawaii or some other tropical paradise where only the imagination, books or some other medium of distantly-experienced phenomena could be viewed.

Then, one day, it became a nuisance.  We know not when, and how, or even the precise moment when the childish delight became a chore; when the fun and chatter became merely a din of distraction; or why the joy of a snowy day became a dreaded day of darkness.  Innocence cannot last forever, and mortality and vulnerability must rear their ugly heads at some point in everyone’s lives.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the medical condition and its impact upon one’s life is akin to the day when snow became a nuisance: Health is often taken for granted, but when it is lost, then everything else becomes a dreaded chore and a daily struggle.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Employee Disability Retirement application under FERS, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, so that the things which you have lost — like your health and sense of optimism for the future — can be regained, and perhaps even that the snow can be somewhat more than a mere nuisance.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Finishing a Novel

There is a great sense of accomplishment in finishing a novel, just as there is in completing any task or endeavor begun and ended.  Reading is a peculiar and unique endeavor: Of being able to become transported into a fantasy world created for no other reason than to become lost.  You can travel to other countries, become a part of a stranger’s life, or enter into a universe where time matters not, space is of little value and worlds can be quite different from the one you are familiar with.

Reality can jolt you out of the imagination of your mind created by the mere reading of a couple of pages, and then after the chore is done, you can pick right back where you left off, by picking back up the novel left — and upon rereading that sentence you had left behind, get right back into the world of the author’s tale.

Compared to the actual cost of a plane ticket, hotel and expenses, reading a novel which takes place in a country of your choice is relatively inexpensive.  The novels we read tell much about the person we are, just like the novels we create reflect the lives we live.  And just as in fictional storytelling, there is much in real life that we cannot control — one’s health being one of those circumstances over which we have little, if any 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 worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to finish that “novel” which tells of a story of struggle and despair, and to begin a new one beyond a career with the Federal workforce.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and write the ending to your own novel — one that finishes with a theme different from the harassment at the hands of an agency or Postal unit that cares not for happy endings.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Perspective

Some would argue that it is the basis of everything; that, how we view life, the world around us, the predilections we bring to the table, etc. — it “colors” how we approach and, ultimately, how we live our lives.

At the foundational level, it brings to the fore the question, “Is the cup half full, or half empty”?  Do we wake up and face the world with a smile, or with a frown?  How do we approach problem-solving: As a challenge, or as a groaning addition to that list of difficulties we must face?  How much childhood and upbringing has as an influence upon one’s perspective is arguable; or of the age-old question, Is it Nature or Nurture?

We all have good and bad days, but it is the long-term perspective which matters most.  We live lives constantly harried and seemingly without purposeful intent; from one crisis to another, and just to maintain our standard of living or keep our heads above water, afloat upon a sea of troubled waters.  Through it all, it is our perspective which ultimately soothes and guides, like the sails which catch the westerly winds and allows for smooth sailing even during those times when the heat of the day may seem like an unbearable period of directionless ineptitude.

Keeping a positive perspective is difficult in a life filled with difficulties, and for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the future may sometimes appear bleak and eternally negative.  Who was the wise person who stated, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a while. It’ll change”?

Consult with an experienced attorney about filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS; while getting a Federal Disability Retirement annuity may not change your life, it may alter your perspective such that the future may shine with a glimmer of hope.

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

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Stress Test

It is meant to determine the vulnerability of structural foundations, or to gauge whether, under certain extreme circumstances, it will withstand catastrophic levels of pressure for safety and soundness.  Distress triggers the ultimate test; and whether a breaking point can be established is always a fear — of how low or high, and of what tolerance the test itself will reveal.  Objects, composite elements meant to reinforce; and most of all, people — to the extent that stress can damage, and whether such damage can be repaired.  “Repair”, of course, is a relative term, and whether or not the structural firmness can be attained after any damage has been repaired, to a level of pre-damage status, is always of concern.

Can a psyche once damaged be repaired to a state of original soundness?  Are the vulnerabilities inherent in individuals capable of withstanding the stresses of modernity, and is the “test”applied the same as the reality of daily stresses exposed?  Is there even a “test” that can determine the safety or soundness when it comes to human beings?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the daily stresses of the medical condition itself, with all of its inherent complications, are overwhelming enough; it is then the “piling on” of everything else — of Agency actions; of the adversarial nature and responses of the Agency; of the potential for denying continuation of LWOP while even under FMLA protection, and the concern for one’s future with an Agency that seems bent on making one’s life harder than it needs to be: These, and many other “stress tests” determine the need to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to apply the legal stress test to determine eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; for, in the end, the only Stress Test for a Federal or Postal employee seeking Federal Disability Retirement benefits worth applying is the one which determines the potentiality for a successful outcome, and seeking the counsel and guidance of a FERS Disability Retirement attorney is the best way to relieve the stresses that surround such an endeavor.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement under FERS: Adopting an Adaptive Plan

Most of us barely have one; and when we do, we quickly forget about it and move on, satisfied that —by the mere declaration of having one — we need not implement it or follow it rigorously beyond the mere possession of it.

The old Soviet Union (do we remember what the abbreviation, “U.S.S.R.” stood for?) had 5 and 10 year plans, and when the stated goals were not met, they simply cooked the books and declared that they were well ahead of the declared plans, and so the satellite nations under the rubric of the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” nodded its approval and genuflected to the Soviet Central Planning Committee (for, you couldn’t have a plan unless there were multiple committees to make those plans) and were grateful for the plans even though their populace were starving, despite the declared success of all of that planning.

Battlefield officers rely upon them; although, in recent years, because war is no longer fought by armies planning an attack upon other armies, the need for adopting an adaptive plan has become a survival necessity.  Life itself rarely follows a plan; most of the time, one’s day is consumed by just trying to survive.

When a medical condition hits us, of course, then all of the planning in the world — from a retrospective and myopic viewpoint — didn’t amount to much.  What is the plan, then, for a Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform his or her job because of the medical conditions that prevent one from doing so?

The Federal Disability Retirement “plan” is to allow for a Federal or Postal employee to file for OPM Medical Retirement benefits under FERS, so that the Federal employee can medically retire, focus upon one’s health and still, hopefully, enter the workforce in the near or mid-future and continue to contribute, all the while receiving a disability retirement annuity.  Now, that sounds like adopting an adaptive plan where interruption of a life plan allows for some grace beyond lack of planning.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire