Federal Gov. and USPS Disability Retirement: The Morning After

The next day always comes; regardless of the anticipatory delay in accepting the harsh reality of the coming days and months after the celebratory pause allowed through an event, a holiday or the respite of a weekend, the morning after always follows, and the reality of facing the inevitability of that which was and is, delayed perhaps for a moment and a glorious interlude, a certainty of subsequent coming.

So the treadmill begins again; the daily grind must be faced; the trauma experienced the day before must now be encountered anew the day after.

Holidays are great periods of quietude and temporary suspensions of reality, but when the presents are all opened and the guests have all left, the reality of facing one’s daily life must be refreshingly embraced.  For Federal and Postal workers who experience a medical condition, such that the medical condition impacts the ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, consideration needs to be given for Disability Retirement — which provides a longer respite and the needed period of recuperative relief in order to attend to one’s medical conditions.

Delay for a period works for that period; procrastination in order to celebrate an event or a holiday is often a necessary interlude; but in the end, the Federal or Postal worker who must file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, must make some serious decisions and consider the impending consequences, beginning on the day after, and sometimes even the morning after.

For the Federal or Postal Worker who faces a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents one from performing the essential elements of one’s job, it is always the morning after which is the critical period.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

FERS & CSRS Medical Disability Retirement: The Leisure of a Painless Life

For Federal and Postal employees suffering from a chronic medical condition which impacts one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the times of “leisure” have little or no meaning.

Leisure implies the ability to enjoy a world apart from the everyday world of work and worry; it is a short respite from the treadmill of life, obligations and duties, which we all have.  The “Holidays” are also such a period; a time to set aside in order to attend to those meaningful compartments of personal relationships, family ties, and friendships once formed, lessened over time, and fractured through life’s daily struggles.

For the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, whether physical, psychiatric, emotional — or a combination of a compendium of all three — “leisure” is a foreign concept precisely because the escape into a surreal world of pausing the anxieties of the universe cannot ever be achieved.  Such a point in life indicates the necessity of considering Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, precisely because the escape-hatch is a human need.

The deterioration and progressive pounding of a medical condition which impacts the Federal or Postal employee’s ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, is a red-light indicator.  Listen to it; as leisure is a world of solace, so the medical condition is a voice which shouts for a change.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Disability Retirement: “And the Holidays Are For…”

And the holidays are for (in sequential order):  Celebration of an event; time away from one’s daily routine in order to revitalize one’s health, both mental and physical; enjoyment in the company of one’s family, friends, neighbors, etc.; time to pursue other interests and diversionary delights; and secondary reasons which are just as valid as the primary ones, with the order of priority interchangeably reflecting the time, age and life-phase of each individual.

The one factor which almost always invalidates the previous statement, however, is a medical condition which is chronic, severe, progressively debilitating, and one which prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, that is one of the focal points of consideration for the Federal or Postal Employee — for, if a “day off” is merely another day to recuperate from the toil and degenerative crumbling of one’s health, where daily work is a struggle just to appear, and home is not where the warm hearth occupies the quietude of one’s life, but rather a place merely to pause in a linear continuum of a treadmill, where dread and anxiety are not conceptual constructs but daily realities; then, a “holiday” will not do.

It is time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM.  The old adage that life is too short to toil in a constancy of dread and despair is not just a pithy saying by French existentialists; it is a truism which must be confronted and constructively applied in one’s daily life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Medical Conditions & the Holidays

Part of the problem for the Federal or Postal employee who is contemplating preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is the vicious cycle of work, attending to the medical conditions, attempting to recuperate, being exhausted and profoundly fatigued because of the need to work, compounded and exacerbated by the worry and anxiety of securing one’s economic and financial future.  

Further, the “Holidays”, as this time of year is identified, can further complicate matters, because of the need to appear joyful and festive, thankful and at peace.  Medical conditions have a way of epitomizing the present reality of one’s condition, and the traditional obligation of festivities and family gatherings can often complicate matters.  

During this time, however, it is best to recognize that the administrative process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits cannot be accomplished, if only because the Federal Government essential becomes non-operational during the next couple of weeks.  Given that, it is best to approach the entire process as being a suspended time for everyone, and to temporarily set aside the worries, anxieties and need to accomplish or be productive.  Use it to recuperate.  There is always the coming New Year.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: The Three-Day Weekend

For Federal and Postal employees contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, the 3-day weekend is a time of respite, recuperation and intermediate period of temporary time-out, in order to regain the energy and sustained endurance to go back to work.  

Pain is a chronic state of being which results in profound exhaustion and fatigue just to fight against it and to attempt to minimize it on a daily basis.  For psychiatric medical conditions, Major Depression, Anxiety, panic attacks, and a host of other conditions and symptoms, are not something which one can simply “will” to overcome.  

Often, the question still is posed whether or not psychiatric conditions are denied by the Office of Personnel Management at a greater rate of consistency than physical medical conditions.  Fortunately, the stigma of psychiatric conditions has diminished.  Whether for physical medical conditions or psychiatric medical conditions, the standard to be met in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS is the same applicable standards of proof.  

For the 3-day weekender, however, the standard of proof is an irrelevancy, because the time of recuperation is merely temporary, and the cyclical requirement to return to work in a state of exhaustion, pain, or cognitive turmoil must begin anew with another work day.  It might be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS if you find yourself in that state.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

CSRS & FERS Medical Disability Retirement: The Denial Letter

During this Holiday Season when Federal and Postal employees who have filed for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, who are anxiously awaiting the decision from the Office of Personnel Management, a denial letter from OPM can appear disproportionately devastating.  Christmas and the New Year tend to bring difficulties precisely because it is seen as a season of celebration, when families get together, where work continues, but an expectation of being “joyous” pervades.  At such a time, a denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application from the Office of Personnel Management can be a seeming conclusion to a long wait.  It is not.  

Do not become discouraged just because someone at OPM has “decided” that your Federal Disability Retirement application did not “meet” the legal criteria.  Set the denial letter aside for a day or two (so long as it is not nearing the 30-day period to either file for Reconsideration or an appeal).  Then, proceed to fight it.  

Don’t let the Holiday Season become confused with the right to file for, be eligible for, and be entitled to Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.  The filing of an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is a process which may take 6 – 8 months, or longer if it is needed to go to the Reconsideration Stage, or to the Merit Systems Protection Board.  

Do not get discouraged; instead, fight for your benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

CSRS & FERS Medical Disability Retirement: Health

As we begin preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holidays, then into Christmas & New Year’s, it is well to pause and consider those things which we often take for granted, but which form the foundation of a productive life and career.  Health is indeed one of those “things” which are taken for granted.  It is somewhat like automobile insurance:  one never thinks about it, until one gets into an accident.

For Federal and Postal employees who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, health often becomes an issue with greater and increasing focal emphasis, precisely because the corresponding ratio between “effort expended” and “result obtained” becomes out of balance, where the chronicity of pain, discomfort, and inability to physically or cognitively engage in certain duties or activities, becomes pronounced the more one attempts greater efforts.  

What to do?  Preparatory work in setting the foundation for a successful future formulation of a Federal Disability Retirement application begins with a good doctor-patient relationship.  It is often a good idea to begin to confide in one’s treating doctor, for that is the basis of a future formulation in considering a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire