Federal and Postal Disability Retirement: A New Beginning, after an Old Ending

Whether it is old age which makes for intransigence, or whether it is a lifetime of habitual living which makes for difficulty in changing the course of one’s future, will never be completely answered.

Youth better tends to possess the capacity to adapt and change as the malleability of circumstances confront an individual.  Old age — or those who euphemistically are identified as being “mature” — has the unfortunate effect of being entrenched in the ways of routine and unchanging, repetitive actions.

Perhaps the early requirement of being able to “multi-task” — of performing a variety of bombardments of sensory overloads on smartphones, iPads, computers, etc. — will have a positive impact upon society in the end, by allowing for quick and effective adaptation in an ever-changing environment.  Perhaps the penultimate, Darwinian evolution is taking place before our very eyes:  cognitive adaptation, where those who fail to change quickly and with each altering circumstance be able to parallel the change, will fail to survive in this high-paced, technological society.  The multiple “perhaps”, of course, still leave a healthy doubt; culture, stability, sameness — there are positive things to be said about the “old” ways.

In preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether it is under FERS or CSRS, the most difficult step for the Federal or Postal employee is to recognize and adapt to the change which will occur, does occur — and must occur.

The old habit of thinking that one’s career with the Federal government, or the U.S. Postal Service, necessarily means a lifetime of commitment, must alter; the paradigm which one walked around with, that a single career in life marked one’s character of commitment and stability, needs to be transformed.  For, ultimately, Federal Disability Retirement allows for a new beginning:  of having that rehabilitative period to take care of one’s medical conditions, while concurrently allowing for contemplation of a second, albeit different, type of vocation for the future.

Whatever one’s age, Federal Disability Retirement has the potential for a brighter tomorrow.  It is a benefit which can allow for a new beginning, and once taken, the Federal or Postal employee will perhaps see that the old ways weren’t so attractive after all.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Postal and Federal Disability Retirement: The Agony of Beginning

Somehow, the agony of beginning a process is the most excruciating; why that should be so is a mystery, when the prefatory phase leading up to actually starting and engaging an activity is probably the period where most people experience the greatest anxiety.  By “beginning” is often a milestone of a mental nature, as in coming to a decision to initiate an activity.

Then, the question remains of bridging the chasm between the thought and the physical action of “doing it”.  Thus, one can “decide” to perform X in one’s own mind, but never actually implement any objectively ascertainable steps to manifest any signs of having begun the process in order to reach point Y. Beginning the process must follow a sequence of steps.

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important to close the gap between thinking about it, and actually doing it.  Agencies often get frustrated with mere words; they want to see some evidence, some progress; and even if it is information regarding having retained a Federal Disability Retirement attorney, or some communication concerning the process and the progress made, will often delay an administrative action or sanction contemplated.

As OPM takes an inordinate amount of time in making a decision on any given case, it is important to take the necessary initial steps, and to submit a Federal Disability Retirement packet within a reasonable period of time, and to shorten the period of agony and anguish, by initiating the administrative process of Federal OPM Disability Retirement.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: The Feel of a Treadmill

The analogy of a treadmill is an apt one; each of us have been on one, and know the “feel” of one which is set at too slow a pace, or too fast a pace.  It is also a metaphor for life itself; that on some days, one feels that the energy level is in perfect consonance with one’s self; at other times, one wonders whether the treadmill will push us off because we are not able to keep pace with it.  Federal and Postal workers who are suffering from a medical condition because it impacts the daily performance of one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, often feel the threat of the treadmill.  

With Supervisor’s threatening less-than-satisfactory performance evaluations, to placing a worker on a PIP; to the chronic and daily symptoms which impact one’s productivity at a job; the measure of whether one can keep pace with the treadmill, or if one is in danger of being pushed off, is a valuable self-appraisal in determining whether it is time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.  Often, what stops the Federal or Postal Worker is doubt and fear about the process.  Yet, despite the complexity of the process, the treadmill at work never stops, and whether or not one can continue on it until retirement, is a question which only the Federal or Postal worker who is suffering from a medical condition, can ask and answer.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Change

Change is an inevitability. It is peculiar, isn’t it?  It can be either a transitive or intransitive verb; and, as used here, a noun.   The vicissitudes of life; the daily fluidity of events; fullness of being, the word-picture of a cornucopia, with its brimming abundance of fruits fresh and full of festive florescence of fanciful flavors (yes, the alliteration itself is intentional; it is meant to provide a contrast between change and similarity; of the poetic effect of same or similar consonants, but each with a different word; on the other hand, to apply the term “poetic” may be overstating it).  But of course change can mean grief; of death or illness in a family; of broken hearts and homes; of lost dreams and overwhelming hopelessness; as well as hopeful and future-oriented – of engagements, of young people with bright futures (despite the present economy).  Does one deal with the changes of change differently?  A static life is a change – it is, by definition, a life without change, motionless, inert, life-less; but as with all things, a static life could only have meaning in contrast to its opposite – a life of constant or chronic upheaval.  For the Christian, the age-old grumble has always been:  why the excitement over the prodigal son; why shouldn’t the same focus and attention be placed upon the “other”, forgotten son – the one who stood outside in anger and contempt as the party was being thrown for the sinner?   Entrepreneurs and thrill-seekers, from weekend parachuting, bungee jumping, even couch potatoes yelling and screaming for the “home team” (or some such mental affiliation, such as one’s second cousin thrice removed who went to Notre Dame just after World War II)  — the adrenalin stream of “change”, in contrast to the quietude of a rock garden where the drama of transformation occurs with the evaporation of the single droplet of morning dew upon the green moss clinging to the pock-marked boulder in a vast sea of pebbles.  We live in times of change; the internet is touted as the great technological change of our times; the young have no memory but for the “now”;  time was when a letter was composed for both form and content; the letter writer took great pains to ponder before putting pen to paper, for the wrong thought, wrong word, might mean starting over again.  The ‘delete’ button, the ‘cut’, ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ buttons were yet to be invented.  The arrival of a letter meant great excitement; a change occurred, and with anticipation one carefully pried the edge of the pasted flap until the forefinger could fit just inside the envelope, then slide across the top to feel the paper crimp, give, resist,  tear; open the letter; the careful craftsmanship of the written word, ink on paper, describing emotions, facts, events, a compendium thrown together to create a world contained within the four corners of the pages of a letter; yet, of events which may have happened days, weeks, perhaps months ago; for the letter took time to be delivered. Care was not only in the crafting; whether months later, or a letter lost for decades, the joy of a letter was eternal.  For careful craftsmanship was meant for the eternal.   Contrast that to today:  email, fax, internet, cell phone, IM, text messaging.  Carefully crafted?  News from afar?  Changes?  Is there even time to change?  Does anyone know someone anymore?   Time was when change meant a contrast between the constant and the event; death was a part of life; a child was born at home, and perhaps died before his fruition of life was actualized, but again, at home; and grandpa and grandma were to one day die in the care of a family; but now we live in a world where change itself is the constant; and so it goes.