Federal Disability Retirement Application and Process: The Foreign Menu

Certain processes and endeavors in life are tantamount to a foreign menu; one knows that, within the undecipherable and incomprehensible letters and symbols presented before one, amidst the evocative smells and provocative sounds emanating from the kitchen in the back, and behind the sounds and voices formed and learned in another land in distant places beyond the horizon of one’s familiarity, there is a dish of choice which one would, if one could identify it, choose for the occasion before us.  But the menu is in another language; the words and symbols are undecipherable; and the waiters, waitresses, cooks and managers speak not a word of one’s own; and all attempts at describing the wants and desires of the moment have failed, because food is an appetite of desire, and not one which finds its core in the rational basis of words and conceptual constructs.

Can such a scenario occur?  Can one find oneself in a restaurant unable to relate or communicate?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who find themselves unable to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, and who must therefore engage the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the similarity to the scenario described, and the familiarity of the circumstances conveyed, can be frighteningly reflective of the reality experienced.

Perhaps it should not be such a complicated process.  Considering the circumstances — of an injured or medically debilitated Federal or Postal worker who must concurrently contend with both the complexity of the bureaucratic process as well as the confounding and discomforting issues of the medical conditions themselves — one would think that the gathering of evidentiary sufficiency, the legal pitfalls to be maneuvered, the standard forms to be completed, etc., would all be simplified to fit the onerous circumstances requiring submission of a Federal Disability Retirement application.  But the fact is that Federal Disability Retirement is a complicated and complex administrative process with no “short cuts” to fruition.

It is a bureaucratic procedure which much be endured — much like the untenable situation of the man who walks into a restaurant thinking only of the satisfying meal to be ordered, only to find that the menu set upon the table is in a foreign language, undecipherable and incomprehensible, except to the proprietors and those who prepare the dishes of choice, in a clattering kitchen far in the background where echoes abound but confusion compounds.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Of Monsters and Magicians

Childhood is characterized both by fraughts and fantasies; of imagined universes filled with the realities of the unknown, tempered by admonishments balanced by a world of adults who reassure, mixed with warnings and counsel of what could be. This is a complex, complicated world; to maneuver throughout it all is to first survive successfully the caricature as depicted in one’s imagination, and to match that against the objective world replete with dangers beyond mere bumps in the night.

Monsters are creations of fictive activities, and the child is told they are make-believe; yet, at the same time and almost in the same breath, warnings ensue about the world of bad people who may offer candy and toys to lure the unwary; and of magicians, what can we say? With computer-generated imagery complete with trolls and tyrannosauruses, where cuts evoke merely a wince and levitation occurs by mere whim of fancy, can the mermaid with golden braids be far behind?

To “grow up” is to leave behind both monsters and mermaids; but what we are often left untold, is that while the linguistic designations may change, the reality of the harshness of the world beyond the mountains filled with trolls and ogres, still remains filled with adversity, evil, harm and harrowing harbingers of hopeless encounters.

Medical conditions are real. Whether spoken of as monsters within, it may provide for a more simplistic paradigm of understanding, but is just as effective as viruses, virulent infections and bacteriological encounters.  Or of trolls and ogres?  Do we not know of Supervisors and Managers who put on masks of societal acceptance when others are around, but show their fangs and claws of flea-bitten gnarls when alone with you?

Federal and Postal workers who must confront a medical condition, where the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, encounter by necessity of circumstances a world once left behind in childhood dreams; but the reality of the situation, however designated and whichever way described, often reveals a universe of unreal reality just as trolls and mermaids are; but it is still a battle which must be fought, fraught with monsters and millipedes of myriapodous anthropods crawling in the night.

Federal Disability Retirement benefits, filed through one’s own agency but ultimately with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is an avenue revealed through necessity, of reaching a plateau of existence in order to rehabilitate one’s self from the world of adversity. The benefit is available for Federal and Postal workers who have the minimum time in-service requirements within the Federal Sector.  It is a benefit which must be fought for, proven, and protected, just as Sir Galahad did as the brave son of Lancelot.

Whether the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS-Offset, the world of medical conditions and debilitating diagnoses can only be successfully countered by securing a semblance of a present need, as well as a future hope for continuation in order to rehabilitate the devastating effects of the medical condition.  It is similar to the battle in childhood, only more real than the reality of monsters and magicians.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire