Federal Disability Retirement: Vows and Contracts

People take vows for various reasons: vows of silence, as a satisfaction of a prerequisite for initiation into a religious order; vows of marriage, for the union intended for a lifetime of commitment and self-sacrifice; vows of revenge, for a personal vendetta in retribution for actions suffered against one’s self or on behalf of another; and similar vows of unremitting focus until the satisfaction of such enduring commitment is accomplished.  Similarly, contracts are entered into each day, across the globe, between individuals, corporate entities and groups formed specifically for business and personal reasons.

Is there a difference between a “vow” and a “contract“?  On a superficial level, the former is viewed as a “higher order” semblance of the latter.  In a deeper sense, that is not only true, but all the more so — or, in erudite form, a fortiori.  For, to vow is to give of one’s self in totality of being; it is a gift of one’s self, often without any expectation of a similar receiving.

In contract law, of course, it is precisely the comparative analysis of a “consideration” provided and received, which determines the viability and sustainability of the agreement itself.  Far too often, Federal and Postal employees see their commitment to an agency or the U.S. Postal Service as a “vow” in employment, as opposed to a contract freely entered into, and just as freely abrogated when the need arises. This is seen when a Federal or Postal employee suffers from a medical condition and must consider the need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS or CSRS.

The Federal or Postal employee treats the job as one of a “vow”, as if the significance of clinging on to the position is of greater importance than the detriment manifested to one’s health.  Federal Disability Retirement benefits, offered to all Federal and Postal employees under FERS or CSRS, is merely a contractual annuity accorded based upon the status of the individual as a Federal or Postal employee, and further proven by a preponderance of the evidence.  No vows have been exchanged — neither of the silent type, implicit, nor explicit, and certainly not of an unequivocal or unremitting nature.

Contractual terms are meant to be asserted; and one of the provisions of the “contract” for all Federal and Postal employees, is that when the Federal or Postal employee suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, then eligibility for Federal Disability benefits may be invoked.

To accept a contractual provision is never to take advantage of anything, unfairly or otherwise; rather, it is merely a satisfaction of terms. To do otherwise, and to confuse X as Y, as in mistaking a contract for a vow, is merely to bathe in a puddle of muddle-headed thinking.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Disability Retirement: Cognitive Dualism & the Two Incommensurable Paths

Cognitive dualism is the concept that one cannot hold onto two competing and contradictory beliefs while maintaining a life of integrity and consistency. It is tantamount to suffering from a form of intellectual schizophrenia, potentially resulting in dire consequences and paying the price for attempting to force the cohesiveness of two incommensurable paths.

The anxieties which exponentially magnify; the undue stresses which naturally result from attempting to retain the impossible; at some point, the natural divergence of both will force the split, or in modern domestic parlance, determine the “uncoupling” in a nasty divorce of ideas.

For Federal and Postal employees who must contend with the inconsistency of attempting to address a medical condition while at the same time keeping control over one’s employment, such cognitive dualism becomes a harsh reality which is confronted daily. How does one deal with the serious medical issues, which should always be the priority, while at the same time address the impact upon one’s inability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job?

The two incommensurable paths may come to a crisis point, where both cannot be adequately maintained.  It is at this point that the Federal or Postal Worker must consider the option of Federal Disability Retirement.  For, Federal Disability Retirement benefits are precisely those employment benefits available for the Federal or Postal Worker who finds him/herself in such a situation of cognitive dualism, where two incommensurable paths must necessarily be addressed, and one must be chosen.

The stark reality and the harshness of the choice would be: one’s health, or one’s job. But for Federal and Postal employees, there is a “third” path — that of Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS or CSRS, and filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Thus can cognitive dualism be reconciled where two incommensurable paths may seemingly diverge, and allow for a compromise of sorts, by fighting for an approval of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Not all paths must split into two, where choices are bifurcated into an either/or; instead, sometimes one must find the hidden path through the grassy knolls less traveled.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Perspectives, Altered and Static

Medical conditions have a way of changing one’s perspective; the daily outlook of merely taking ordinary things for granted reverts to an ongoing sense of appreciation for the mundane.  Even to be pain-free for a few moments may seem like an utopian state of blissful enlightenment.  The ordinary becomes the miraculous, and the order of priorities for others may become inversely reorganized.  But the problem remains for the world at large whose perspective has not been impacted by such alterations.

For the Federal and Postal employee who is suddenly confronted with a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the Agency, the Supervisor, coworkers, the U.S. Postal Service, etc., may not (and one can more forcefully predict, “does not”) share that change of perspective.

Pausing to smell the flowers may be fine for some, but not while in the same room as the Supervisor who sneers at such folly.  Such altered perspectives may need the mundane remedy of a legal response; and, ultimately, if filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is the option to pursue, because the Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, then such a course of action should be initiated as soon as practicable.

Not everyone shares a change of perspective; and, indeed, the Federal or Postal employee who has an altered perspective should recognize that he or she once resided in the exclusive club from which expulsion and ex-communication is now imminent.  The static nature of the ordinary will always dominate; it is the extraordinary which remains in the minority, as history has always proven.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire