Reflections on Federal Disability Retirement this Independence Weekend

Each country has a symbolic date for celebrating independence; that historic marker which represents the freeing of a populace from the chains of tyranny.  Some may view it as an anachronism, and in such a mindset, it is merely another day off from the daily toil of work. Others, with half-hearted attempts at joining the revelry of the occasion, may actually convince themselves of the celebratory relevance of the extended weekend.

How does one keep alive the historic importance of past markers?  As veterans of past wars begin to decrease in number, so the present fervor of an event parallels the diminishing stature of the occasion.  Why is World War II more prominently featured than the “Great War” some mere decades preceding; and what of the cost of the Civil War?  As living memories fade, so the pages of history remain kept on dusty bookshelves left for college professors and their students to ponder. In the end, relevance of an event must be personalized; that is how connections are made.

For Federal and Postal Workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition itself becomes a tyranny of dependence, it is precisely that marker which separates one from confinement which reveals a revelatory relevance to the greater world.  Filing for Federal Disability Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is an option available to all Federal and Postal employees who seek to become independent from the chains of turmoil and turbulence caused by one’s medical condition and the exacerbation of such conditions upon one’s Federal or Postal position.

Independence day is often a marker of historical significance, but it must always relate at the personal level for each individual. Otherwise, it remains merely an extension of another weekend.


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.


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.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Postal and Federal Disability Retirement: The Friday Syndrome

Fridays constitute the day of victory for the Federal or Postal worker (unless, of course, the Postal Worker is scheduled for Saturday, or the Federal Worker is taking his or her work home) who is struggling to survive another week.  

It is the end of the work cycle, and the beginning of the recuperative cycle in order to muster, gather and preserve enough energy over the coming weekend, in order to begin anew another week of the work cycle.  It is the “Friday Syndrome” — suffered by thousands of Federal and Postal employees who have a medical condition which prevents them from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, but because of family obligations, financial considerations and a sheer sense of self-worth, the enduring struggle of the human narrative to continue to work perseveres.  

Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS — sometimes identified as “OPM Medical Retirement”, “Federal Disability Retirement”, or “Federal Medical Retirement” — is a benefit which constitutes one leg of the entirety of the compensation package for every Federal or Postal worker who is suffering from a medical condition which has, or will, last for at least 12 months, and impacts one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.  

It is there precisely to attend to the growing problem of the Friday Syndrome — of the enduring pain and debilitating nature of the medical condition; the sick leave restrictions which have been placed on the Federal or Postal employee; the potential for being placed on a PIP; the threat of termination; the suspicion that the Supervisor and co-workers are whispering conspiratorially behind your back; the constant nit-picking of everything that the Federal or Postal worker is doing; the stresses of work and workplace harassment with little or no empathy for the struggle to maintain a life and to endure through the exacerbating medical conditions — these are the characteristics of the Friday Syndrome.  

It may be time to consider tapping into the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement, in order to put a stop to the Friday Syndrome.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Workers: The Weekend Recuperator

Is the weekend merely the intervening time in which to recuperate from your chronic medical conditions in order to drag yourself into work?  Is Friday the day which “releases” the pent-up exhaustion and profound fatigue as the body attempts to tolerate the fifth day before the intervening weekend?  It is indeed amazing how the body (and the mind) can tolerate the palliative attempts to regenerate itself as it suffers through a chronic and often progressively deteriorating medical condition.  

While the Office of Personnel Management systematically argues that pain is a subjective condition and persistently (but wrongly) makes the conceptual distinction between “objective” medical evidence as opposed to “subjective” medical evidence, the fact is that pain is a physiological mechanism in which the body is trying to “inform” the pain recipient that something is wrong, and that something needs to be attended to.  

Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS is a benefit in which a Federal or Postal Worker can receive a base annuity, in order to allow the pain and chronic medical condition to begin to repair itself.  Under the law, the medical condition must last a minimum of 12 months — and, indeed, it will take that, and many more years for most people, in order to recuperate.  The present period of weekends used to recuperate is never enough.  The body and pain receptors are speaking.  The Federal and Postal employees are receiving such “messages” for a reason.  It is time to listen.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire