Medical Retirement for Federal Workers: Preserving One’s Rights

Often, loss of vigilance occurs as a result of the relief of attaining something; once gotten, the fight to get it suddenly disappears, and the overwhelming sense of relief is likened to the response of a balloon which deflates upon a pinprick.

But vigilance is the key to ongoing success.  There is never a time to be nonchalant; to attain is merely another step in a process, and that process must be fought for just as diligently as during the time of fighting to reach a goal.

For Federal and Postal workers who are preparing to file, or who are in the process of filing, for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, the goal of getting an approval from OPM for a Federal Disability Retirement is merely an intermediate step.  Once attained, the goal is to preserve and to protect.  Fortunately, that is a fairly simple matter — one of maintaining regular contact with one’s doctor; of making sure that one’s doctor will continue to support one’s case in the event that the Federal or Postal annuitant receives a medical questionnaire from OPM.

OPM disability retirement is not like OWCP; because you are allowed to work at other employment and make up to 80% of what your former job currently pays, there is normally nothing wrong with engaging in normal activities which would violate any rules (unlike OWCP cases, where investigators will often videotape individuals to show the engagement of activities contrary to medical restrictions, etc.).  But let not victory lead to lack of continuing vigilance; as that which was won can only be maintained with an attitude similar to keeping to the path which guided one to achieve the goal in the first place.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Medical Retirement for Federal Workers: After the Dust Settles

Moments in time are often emphasized by specific occurrences; one may have vivid memories of rather mundane freeze-frames of one’s life, and such flashes of remembrances may be punctuated by an event which exponentially magnifies the importance of a particular pinpoint in one’s life.

One often talks about the “aha” event, or in psychology, the gestalt moment, where clarity comes upon one and sudden illumination occurs, where understanding, comprehension and embracing of intellectual openness comes to fruition.  But what one fails to realize, is that the real work — the hard work of life — comes after such a moment, when the mundane drudgery of daily living must follow thereafter.

In any moment of victory of defeat, in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, one must recognize that, if, whether and when, a Federal or Postal employee obtains and gets approved for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, life must still go on, and the hard choices of such a life must still be made at each moment of one’s life.

Thus, throughout the administrative process of trying to obtain Federal Disability Retirement, it is important to recognize that the process itself continues; but in a different form.  If denied, the disappointment of a denial should not overwhelm one, but merely be understood as a momentary setback which must be fought.  Everything in life comes at a cost — and expended effort.

If approved, then such an approval is merely the beginning point to the next phase in one’s life.  After the dust settles is when the real work begins.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire