Federal and Postal Disability Retirement: The Step-by-step Process

Complexities abound in every field, and the solution to preventing one from become embroiled in such confounding complexities is to divide the complexities into manageable entities.  While any bifurcation may be arbitrary, it does not mean that there is not a reasonable basis for such arbitrary division of issues.  

Thus, in preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, it is important to identify the primary medical issues which are impacting one’s ability/inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s life.  It is often queried as to “which one” of the multiple medical conditions should be included in preparing the Applicant’s Statement of Disability (Standard Form 3112A), and further, what are the “primary essential elements” which should be described.  

Both questions pose a complexity beyond an ability to answer such a question in a generic fashion, precisely because each case is unique.  As to the former question, it all depends upon the impact of the latter question; and as to the latter question, it all depends upon the answer to the former question.  

This circularity of interdependence, of which of the major medical conditions one should include, depending upon the type of essential elements of one’s job, is the complexity which must be unraveled, and it is in the process of this unraveling that one then begins to formulate the “bridge” or the “nexus” between the type, extent and severity of one’s medical condition (or its variance of pluralities of conditions) and the multi-tasking nature of the essential elements of one’s positional duties.  

It is a complex process, but one in which the various components begin to provide for a foundation of that bridge, which must be constructed carefully, with scrutiny, and with deliberate reasoning.

Sincerely,

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.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire