OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: The Promise

Can you make a promise to yourself?  What would that look like?  Would it be valid and binding?  If not, how would we “prove” it?  Perhaps in a similar manner as Karl Popper’s “falsification” approach — of being able to come up with conditions under which a theory or a posited application can be “falsified”?

Take the following hypothetical: A man sits in a cafe and is clearly upset; perhaps he makes unconscious heaving sounds, and tears stream down his face.  A friend of his happens to visit the cafe, enters, sees his friend in distress and sits down at the same table, uninvited.  “What’s the matter?” the friend asks out of concern.  Hesitant but clearly wanting to share his feelings, the individual queried answers, “I broke a promise, and I feel really terrible about it.”  Pausing — for, despite being his friend, this particular person has a reputation for exaggeration and overstatement — he forges onward bravely and asks him to “share” his story, believing that empathy is the better part of valor.  “Well, I made a promise that… [and the reader can fill in the blank following the ellipses].  And I broke it.”  The friend, concerned and puzzled, asks: “And who did you make the promise to?”  The distraught Person A looks up, tears still streaming down his face and states calmly, “To myself, of course.”

Can such emotional turmoil remain commensurate with the fact of a broken promise made to one’s self?  Can a unilateral promise be binding, or can it be broken with as much ease as the creation of it in the first place?

We all make promises to ourselves, and perhaps an argument can be made that the very essence of “character” and “integrity” is revealed in how scrupulously one abides by those promises made and kept by and to one’s self — even if others don’t know about it.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must contemplate filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the promises made, thought of, kept or broken may make a long list in a cruel world of treachery and misstatements.  Perhaps you made a promise to yourself that you would make the Federal Service into your lifelong career; or, perhaps it has to do with not wanting to “give up”.  Whatever the promise, life intervenes and we all have to adapt to the changes of tumultuous circumstances.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is never a broken promise, no matter the soliloquy spoken or thought left unspoken; rather, like the friend who comes into the cafe to give some comfort, it is a reminder that there are choices and options in life that may be a better fit than to remain miserable with a job that is no longer consistent with your medical conditions.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Workers: The house next door

It is the one that follows the same comfortable convention for all these many years — of never knowing the intimate details; a wave of the hand every now and again; of fleeting appearances on various days, such as recycling, garbage and the occasional Saturday when the in-laws from out-of-state come to visit on Thanksgiving, or a birthday, or perhaps when a tragedy occurs and the sudden appearance in the driveway that is filled with cars never before seen.

The house next door, or across the street —the neighbor who you do not know, and somehow never got around to knowing, whether because they were latecomers or you were, and the “other” didn’t seem all that willing, friendly or “neighborly” to begin with, and so a settled truce became the daily routine that never altered, never became a problem, and forever became entrenched in the mundaneness of deliberate social avoidance.

We imagine what occurs in the house next door; or, perhaps not at all, except to complain when they’ve made too much noise, let their grass grow beyond the acceptable conventions of normative beliefs (or otherwise in violation of strict codes imposed by the “lawn police” of the local Home-Owner’s Association), or parked one of their cars in front of your house (yes, it is true — that street section in front of your house is actually not your property, and though it may be obnoxious, the house next door has every right to park the car on your side of the street, right in front of your house).

We never know what occurs to the house next door until one day we read about the tragedy in the pages of the obituary in the local paper.  There is a sadness in that very fact; or, perhaps that is the way we have set up this disinterested and alienated society?  Do we prefer to remain ignorant of the goings-on of the house next door?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition forces the preparation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, it often feels like living in the house next door — for, suddenly, you find yourself looking at familiar surroundings from across the street, or from beyond the fence that separates, and you begin to wonder whether you ever knew your neighbor, and what they are up to.

There is an alienation involved, and you must always remain suspicious as a “new” car is suddenly seen parked across the street, and the Supervisor or coworker seemed to be sharing information and gossiping with furtive eyes averted from your view; and yes, the Federal Agency or the Postal Service may be getting ready to initiate an adverse action of some sort — like the house next door that you never knew and now would rather not.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Retirement for Disabled Federal Workers: The chaos of life

The Biblical reality depicted in the very first verses reflects a reality more real than most would suppose, and for those who dismiss the ancient Books as merely relics of a superstitious past and thus irrelevant for modernity’s wake of technological sophistication, perhaps a redux and revisitation is in order.

Most of life is chaos; or, to put it more starkly, the chaotic lives we lead are the rule, and not the exception.  How else to account for the constant need for quietude, of a short respite by leaning back into one’s chair and inviting the soft darkness of a needed nap; a renouncing and resignation away from the constant din of noisiness; of the rush to find time, just a sliver of sanity, within the vast chaos of a feckless universe.

The soft-lined trees that lead us back into our neighborhoods; of the structured redundancy where sidewalks circle into ever-repetitions leading to nowhere; of bedrooms lined like secluded rooms within insane asylums just to get a moment’s peace from the busy-ness of life; and then the alarm clock awakens, the rush is on, into traffic mazes that pound the heart, create migraines from a calm just experienced a mere hour before, and the addiction to craziness begins anew as the dawn of hope becomes mired in the hopelessness of today’s grinding schedule.

The earth is no longer without form, or void, and yet the chaos of formlessness and void-ness remains and surrounds; and the light that we declare is the recreation we so desperately seek, only to be interrupted by the survival instincts that remind us that what we live for cannot possibly be attained, but somehow the darkness from which we escaped so long ago is a vestige of hopes yet rekindling, and if we can only make it through this day, perhaps tomorrow will bring to us a sacrifice of our better selves.

The chaos of life is real; it is with us each and every day.

And 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 worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the reality of such chaos begins to dawn upon the need to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, lest the chaos of life become life’s chaotic life everlasting, never to be rescued from the formless void of ancients long since remaining.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Holidays and weekends

It is often a difficult time for many, if not impossible for most.  Holidays represent the heightened requirement of gaiety and relaxedness (is that even a word?), where people get together, families gather and children run while without knowing the underlying reason, if only to reinforce the belief that had already been in place from the previous year – that holidays and weekends are a stressful time.

There is the familiar refrain: “Oh, the weekend is coming up!”  To which the afterthought by the grump always reminds: “And Monday always follows.”  Similarly, with holidays, the anticipation is often better than the reality: “Oh, the joyous holidays!”  And yet…  For many, if not most, it is a time of greater stress, of needing to get together with obligatory family members, and especially with those whom one doesn’t even care for.  Exacerbating the situation is often an underlying medical condition.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the vicious cycle may be the weekends that are used to merely recuperate in order to survive during the work week.  Thus, instead of enjoying, relaxing, “doing things”, tinkering, etc., the weekend becomes a haven and refuge to regain just enough strength or rest the aching body in order to get through the grueling week of work.  Similarly, holidays become merely an extension of a weekend, and a 3-day weekend is just a longer excuse to hide away and lick one’s wounds.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a psychiatric condition, including Major Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, panic attacks, agoraphobia, Bipolar Disorder, etc., holidays and weekends can further deepen the heightened reality of anxiety and depression, as the stress of the holidays themselves and the anticipation of what follows after a weekend can become magnified beyond comprehension and tolerance.

Consider preparing and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; for, if holidays and weekends have become a tumultuous time of overwhelming pain and despondency, and not the interlude to be enjoyed and become excited about, then it may be time to consider that the impact of the medical condition upon one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job is the underlying reason why the medical condition itself is worsening.

Holidays and weekends are not meant to be exclusively lived for; they are supposed to be mere intermissions where the rest of the week as well is looked forward to.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: The jolt that alters

Second chances are hard to come by; they rarely release the powers constrained and tentatively restrained for future redemptive actions taking those steps back, words erased from regrettable and thoughtless splices of life; and even when the opportunity is provided, it is precisely for the same reason that the One who visited and descended within the historicity of this world refused to restate that which had already been taught once; for, no matter how many times it is stated, reiterated and disseminated, the power of forgetfulness and deliberate self-justification to not do something is so ingrained in the humanity of man’s imperfection that one wonders whether any jolt that alters has an impact for very long.

There is, of course, the story of Saul of Tarsus, who on that famous road had such a shock of conversion that no amount of persuasive argumentation would alter the alteration consumed, and from that time, others have attempted to tell a narrative of similar power, conversional trauma and cataclysmic vicissitude; but they all miss the point.  It is not the narrative itself as told by one’s subjective experience, but of the experiential phenomena itself.  Trying to copycat the original is like the forgery of a masterpiece; somehow, whether it is the tone, the quality or the vibrancy of lack, there is an imperceptible difference that makes all the distinction in the world.

Medical conditions often provide the jolt that alters; suddenly mortality becomes a reality, the end seems nearer than in those youthful days when invincibility was the cornerstone of dare and foolhardiness, and fractures bones were mere brushes with defying the gods of fate, and we laughed in the face of weaklings who dared not advance.  Age has a way of bottling and distributing the laughter of gods that once seemed immortal, and it is the weakness of our essence that tends to bubble upward into the heavens of forgotten mythologies.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition becomes the jolt that alters, it may well be time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.  For, in the end, it is not so much the jolt that makes the difference, but the alteration that compels movement forward into a future that may be obscured by fear and loathing, but a necessity that nonetheless must be faced; for, the jolt that is disregarded and ignored is that very one that will force the alteration, whether by choice or by freedom of will.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement Lawyer: The Recurrent Nightmare

Perhaps it is explicit, of images which repetitively beat the drum of constancy; or, sometimes, despite every effort, one cannot recall the harrowing particulars of a nighttime of eternity filled with dissipation of fear and loathing.

Restorative sleep is lacking; whether from pain, nightmares or paralyzing panic attacks; and the medical designation of insomnia, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or psychiatric conditions of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, intrusive nightmares; or perhaps it is much more direct and simple:  pain which prevents getting into a comfortable position in order to drift off into the dreamland of serenity, and where the sharpness compels one to awaken with a scream, only to find that it is the silence of one’s aloneness which permeates the quietude of the voice which no one hears.

The next morning, the profound fatigue and exhaustion, beyond the mere ache of tiredness, with residual cognitive dysfunctions,follows one throughout the day, like a scent of undefinable and unidentifiable aura, always there but never quite connected, either in location, distance or substantive content.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who experience a semblance of such a state of being, it becomes like a recurrent nightmare, and work becomes impacted in so many different ways.

In physical-intensive jobs, in the greater potentiality for mistakes and accidents; in cognitive-focused positions, in analytical miscues and inability to focus and concentrate.  Perhaps it all becomes reflected in one’s performance review, or one becomes placed on a “Performance Improvement Plan” (a PIP); or even be handed an Agency’s Proposed Removal; whatever the cost, for the Federal or Postal worker, it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

No, Federal Disability Retirement is not the “be all” and “end all” of solutions; but it is an option which should always be considered when once the recurrent nightmare engulfs the Federal or Postal worker with consequences of adverse actions imposed upon a fragile state of being ready to crack under the weight of a chronic disease or medical condition of such seriousness and sufficiency as to have impacted one’s capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire