OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Pariah

The irony is that some in the universe of bloggers and ceaseless appearances on the Internet consider that the word itself should be cast out of the sphere of daily lexicon usage; the word itself is considered a pariah, and therefore is treated as such.

Yet, words in and of themselves have no meaning; Wittgenstein is correct in positing that the concept of a “private language game” known exclusively to a single individual is nonsensical — literally — precisely because “meaning” is imported by the manner in which a word or sentence is communicated between two or more individuals, and the purpose and motive by which it is applied.

A pariah is an outcast, and there are many in the world who are treated as such.  Whatever its historical origins or derivative usage which have engendered insult or resulted in a connotation of disparagement, the problem is not in the word itself but in the motive behind its application.  The word itself is actually quite descriptive and describes accurately the manner in which many individuals in society are treated.  Expungement of the word would indeed be a great loss.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the treatment of such individuals as a “Pariah” aptly describes how they are looked upon.

Consult with a Federal Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and see whether or not you might qualify for a Federal Disability Retirement annuity so that you can escape from the designation of a “pariah” and move forward in a life where you are treated as an equal, and not as an outcast.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Concurrent Issues

Rarely is there a single issue, whether in life generally or within the esoteric arena of legal battles.  There are sub-issues; corollary issues; issues that appear to be minor footnotes that may later present greater problems deserving wider attention; issues that seem to pervade but of which no one ever directly confronts.  The proverbial “elephant in the room” phenomena is the issue that people avoid and try to ignore.  Such issues can be averted and circumvented for a time, but they often come back to haunt and interfere.

We all selectively choose the universe we want to operate in; the problem comes about whenever we interact and interface with others (which is almost all of the time), and the “other person’s” chosen universe clashes and contradicts the one in which you want to reside.  Conflicts of interest in business settings or financial transactions; differing dreams, hopes and plans for the future when two or more people get together; contradictory expectations and incompatible roles which cannot be accommodated; these, and many more, involve concurrent issues that cannot be easily smoothed or resolved.

In Federal Disability Retirement Law, there are often parallel legal issues that the Federal Disability Retirement applicant brings to the fore — of workplace harassment issues; Performance Improvement Plans; Suspensions and Terminations; do these and other concurrent issues have an impact upon a FERS Disability Retirement application?  It all depends.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and discuss the concurrent issues that might — or might not — intersect and interfere with a Federal Disability Retirement application.  It is best to go into the bureaucratic morass with open eyes and a good sense of one’s chances at obtaining a FERS Disability Retirement annuity, lest the elephant in the room suddenly rampages through the kitchen where the good china is kept.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OWCP & FERS Disability Retirement for Federal and Postal Employees

Can both be approved concurrently?  Is there any disadvantage in filing for one “as opposed” to another?  Do they “cross over” and impact one another?  Can you receive payments concurrently, or must you choose one over the other and, if one is chosen, does it “negate” or otherwise dismiss the other?

These are all practical questions which can come about if an injury or illness results from a workplace incident or caused by an occupational hazard.  First and foremost, it should be noted that the two “pockets” of compensatory resources are different in nature: OWCP is not a retirement system; OPM Disability Retirement is. OWCP is a compensatory resource created and established as a temporary measure (although there are many, many cases where an OWCP recipient stays on and receives compensation for decades and beyond) — as a means of allowing the Federal worker to receive treatment, recuperation and rehabilitation, with a view towards an eventual return to work.

The paradigm of a FERS Federal Disability Retirement, on the other hand, is just that: It is a retirement system — essentially, starting your retirement “early” because of a medical condition or injury resulting in one’s loss of capacity to continue to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.  The latter (FERS Disability Retirement) does not have to possess any causal connection to the employment itself — in other words, the medical condition or injury does not have to be “occupationally related” in order for a Federal or Postal worker to become eligible for its benefits.

Remember, however, that under a FERS Disability Retirement, a Federal or Postal worker must file for the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement within one (1) year of being separated from one’s Federal Agency or the Postal Service.  The fact that a person has been “placed on the rolls of OWCP” does not excuse the 1-year rule for filing a Federal Disability Retirement application.

For further information on the intersection between OWCP and FERS Disability Retirement, you should consult with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about both, and make your decision upon factual and legal information, and not from such sources as, “I heard from Joe that…”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Waves of Misfortune

Metaphors allow us to understand our circumstances; by relating the circumstance to the natural world around us, we feel a greater kinship when, in all other aspects of our lives, we have tried to alienate ourselves and artificially separate our lives from the origins of our own existence.  Similes, of course, always contain the comparative contrast that allows for a space between that which is compared and the reality of “what is”.

Thus, to say that “X is like Y” is quite different from saying that “X is Y”, even though we know in both instances that X is not Y, and that is precisely why we assert that there is a likeness between X and Y (because “likeness” is not the same as “sameness”) and also why we declare X to be Y even though they are not one and the same.  Thus is there a difference between “Waves of misfortune” (a metaphor) and “Misfortune are like waves” (a simile).

The comparative preposition creates a once-removed parallelism (simile), whereas the metaphor makes no doubt of the mirror image of one with the other.

Medical conditions are more like metaphors (here, we are utilizing a simile to describe a metaphor); there is no space or removal between the situations being compared.  To have a medical condition is not “like” something else; rather, it is the reality of one’s existence.  It is through metaphors, however, as well as similes that we describe the symptoms to our doctors and others, to try and help them understand what it is like to be in constant pain, to be depressed, to be profoundly fatigued.

And for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it must be understood that the Federal Disability Retirement “package” is a paper presentation to OPM, and thus must by necessity use both metaphors and similes in order to persuade OPM of having met the legal criteria of a FERS Disability Retirement application.

The “waves of misfortune” must be described persuasively, lest they become a metaphor for failure in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application that results in a denial as opposed to an approval.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Patterns of existence

If you live long enough, you begin to see the patterns of existence; and, perhaps, that is why cynicism begins to creep into the lives of the older generation.  When you have “seen it all”, does the shadow which looms upon the radiance of a midday smile begin to fade with the vestiges of dark clouds approaching?

The repetition of vacuous words emitted from the caverns of a politician’s mouth; the crime waves that never seem to relent no matter the spectrum of punishment versus economic investment; the inflationary impact upon the valuation of monetary policy; and the general rule that, for the most part, tomorrow will be no different than today, and today is the measure to determine the memories of yesterday.

Is there really a “pattern” that comes about every 50, 70, or 100 years?  Many of us may live to witness such patterns if it is the first in the tripartite sequence of numbers — but does twice in witnessing constitute a “pattern”, per se?

Say you saw that X happened when first you became aware of your surroundings after birth; and 50 years later, you saw the same, or “similar” occurrence; does that constitute a “pattern”, or is it merely what Hume contended, that the mere fact of B following upon A does not constitute causality, but merely a coincidence of happenstance of one occurring after the other because there is no “necessary connection” between A and B.  Or, is it that we attribute patterns of existence because we ourselves reside in such repetitive monotony based upon expectations that the room we exited from will still exist in fairly the same way as we left it upon returning to it — vestiges of Berkeley’s idealism and definition of “existence” wedded to perceptual departure?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her position with the Federal Government or U.S. Postal Service, FERS Disability Retirement should be an option to consider.

Just remember, however, the “rules” governing the patterns of existence: Don’t ever think that such a bureaucratic procedure can be easily maneuvered through; don’t presume that your case is an “easy” one; and don’t believe everything that your Human Resource Office, your Supervisor or even your “best friend at work” is going to tell you everything you need to know.  To do so would be to violate the first rule in the patterns of existence: Things are always more complicated than they seem.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire