Federal Disability Retirement: This is Happiness

It is the title of Niall Williams’ recent novel; a story about a young man’s coming of age; and yet, beyond a story about a small town and the movement of progress, electrification and the defining moments of what constitutes “happiness” in the small sense of the word, human trials and miseries, as every story must include both happiness as well as sadness, and no story can be believed without the inclusion of either.

It is, ultimately, not in the accumulation of wealth or fame (for, in the small town where the story is set, neither can even be conceived as to the extreme nature that modernity has embraced), but in friendship and human interaction, of love and admiration.  It is set in a time before electricity was known; when innocent love was from afar; and where death was accepted as part of a natural process.

The undersigned rarely recommends a novel to others, but Niall Williams’ work, “This is Happiness”, is well worth a slow and enjoyable read.  It is like an Irish Ballad written in prose, and you can almost hear the melody within the pages of the novel.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal Job, what “happiness” is comprised of is often — like Niall Williams’ novel — in the smaller things of life: Of acceptance; of being treated with dignity in the workplace; of being able to obtain an annuity because of one’s medical condition when the need arises and the circumstances warrant.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of early retirement so that you can focus upon the smaller things in life, and declare that yes, This is Happiness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the Office of Personnel Management: How is it?

How is it that the world became the way it is without our knowing it?  How is it that the rules were already in place, the lands already divided, the waters already polluted, the debt already ballooning, the inventions already made — how did that come about, and who told us the history of the “what”, “when” and “where” of the past?  Can a society long endure while ignoring the past of how it developed and came into being?  And who gets to tell the tale of who we are, how we came to be, and why we are the way we are?

Berkeley’s epistemological approach was to confine knowledge to that which we can perceive, thereby attempting to limit the problems inherent in Being, Truth and Reality.  Like so many of the British Empiricists, philosophy was being reduced to mere “language” difficulties and, indeed, history itself may bear out their “rightness” in this question and problematic approach.  There is, of course, a quiet revolution going on about our past, our history, and the telling of who we are.  That is always a good thing, so long as “Truth” is the end-goal of such an endeavor.

But when Truth itself has become relativized as mere language games malleable in the hands for greater artificial intelligence, and where algorithms rule instead of human input which confines it within stated ethical boundaries (and even that is questionable, given the underlying motives and intent of human beings generally), then perhaps Wittgenstein was right after all; it is all a matter of who sees the “truth”, who gets to “tell” it, and who maintains the Tower of Babel in this universe of increasingly unfettered liberty.

In the end, the “how” of the world will forever be revised as perspectives, opinions and viewpoints change; but it is the “who” that controls the lifestream of information and historical data as to what is important; and in this Orwellian world where the glut of information has relativized all truths, we care less about the “how” than the “who”, anymore.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition now impacts the Federal or Postal worker’s ability and capacity to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s position, the history — or the “how — is important in preparing and formulating one’s Statement of Disability as posited on SF 3112A.  However, remember that all historical contexts must be provided in streamlined form; for, causality is not an issue in a Federal Disability Retirement application (whereas, in OWCP cases, it almost always is), and thus undue focus upon the “how” can detract from an effective Statement of Disability as reflected on SF 3112A.

The world around us may be concerned with the “How” of a question; for an OPM Disability Retirement case, it is the more current “what” that is the necessary focus of articulation.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement Representation: Forgotten

Is that the basis of our fears?  Does the concept of immortality haunt us precisely because we fear extinguishment, erasure, censure and being forgotten within a moment’s notice beyond the short mention in a local paper’s obituary?  Is that not, instead, the normal course of events — the way in which this non-teleological universe meant it to be — of returning to dust from whence we came, and become regenerated through the soil that embraces our ashes and decomposed flesh so that the genetic materials become recycled by the very foods we digest?

Mortality is that which men fear; becoming immortal is the goal of many; but being forgotten is the fear realized in the lives of most.  What difference, in the end, does it make?

We project an image through the creative imagination of our own psyche, and create images of a time beyond our own demise — of a weeping widow (or widower); children speaking in hushed tones of a person who was but is no longer around; and in our inkling of what it will be like, we posit our own consciousness by being present in a room that acknowledges our own absence.  Is that what sweet revenge is like — of imagining all sorts of regrets by those who shunned us, humiliated and ignored us when we were in their presence in life?

To be forgotten is to regret our own insignificance, and to constantly be haunted by one’s own irrelevance.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition begins to prevent one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the issue of being forgotten becomes a reality quite quickly and soon in the process of deteriorating health and use of sick leave or going on FMLA.

For, Federal agencies and the Postal Service are quite adept at forgetting — forgetting the years of loyalty shown by the Federal or Postal employee; forgetting the years of service, unpaid overtime and those “extra” hours put in but left uncompensated but for unrealized hopes of future considerations that never come about; forgetting the contributions of yesterday because today and tomorrow are all that matters to the Federal agency or Postal Service; and it is when the word “forgetting” in the present participle transforms into the past participle of “forgotten” that we finally come to realize that health is of greater importance than loyalty; and that is when the recognition that preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is the best defense against a bureaucracy that has easily forgotten the essence of human worth and dignity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

How much OPM Disability Retirement Pays?

“What will the benefit pay?”  That is often the primary concern of a Federal or Postal employee who must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), and it is certainly a valid first question.

The greater concern that cannot be overlooked, however, is the one that involves calculating the cost of NOT filing.  In the end, those Federal and Postal employees who must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits have three fundamental options: Stay put; resign and do nothing (or wait for termination/separation proceedings to occur, which amounts to the same thing); or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

The benefit of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity is quite simply calculated as 60% of the average of one’s highest three consecutive years of service for the first year (offset by 100% of any Social Security Disability benefits received during the concurrent payments received) and 40% of the average every year thereafter (offset by 60% of any Social Security Disability payments received during those years), until age 62, at which point the Federal Disability annuity is recalculated as “regular retirement” based upon the total number of years of Federal Service, including the time that the disability retiree has been on Federal Disability Retirement.

Thus, the “greater” benefit in calculating the cost has to take into account the fact that one is actually “building up” one’s own retirement by the years one stays on disability retirement — for, those very years that you are receiving a disability retirement annuity count towards the total number of years of Federal Service when it is recalculated as “regular” retirement at the age of 62.

Yes, it is true that on the cost/benefit ledger that one should review before filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, you need to take into account the lesser income and the lengthy bureaucratic process that must be engaged, but you should also never forget what the originating basis for considering such filing compelled the consideration in the first place: Your health.

Calculating the cost of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits too often places the emphasis on what is lost — in terms of monetary gain and loss, etc.  But in calculating the cost of filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted and considered to and by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the primary issue involves one’s deteriorating health and whether you can continue to remain in a job which has clearly become inconsistent with the medical conditions one is suffering from.

In the end, calculating the cost must go beyond the lessening of income; it must calculate the cost of one’s health, which is the single greatest asset one possesses.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Working to preclude

Aren’t most of us perennially, incessantly, constantly and by chronic despair in that “emergency mode” of operating through life?

We are working to preclude: Some imagined disaster; some trouble just around the corner; some depth of a hole we cannot dig ourselves out of; and some problem that we are thinking about that is developing that we are not yet aware of.  Few of us actually work with a positive attitude to build; fewer still with a confidence that tomorrow will bring some answers; and rarely, of that person who does not work to preclude.  Caution is the mainstay of a troubled past that left a child anxious, uncertain, self-conscious and entirely lacking of self-confidence.

That is why that wide arc of “self-esteem” training that began to spread about in the classrooms and throughout communities took hold – in the false belief if we just kept saying to a child, “You are worthy” or poured accolades and trophies just for showing up, that somehow we would counteract the deep imprints left upon the cuts and scars that were perpetrated by homes of divorce, emotional devastation and incompetent parents.

Working to preclude is often a form of sickness; it is the constant scrambling to try and play prevent defense, and how often have we seen an NFL game where the team that scores first and many times ends up losing because they spent the rest of the game working to preclude?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are suffering 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 constant effort in working to preclude the Federal Agency from putting you on a Performance Improvement Plan (acronym “PIP”), issuing a letter of warning, or proposing a removal based upon excessive absenteeism, being on LWOP for too long, or for poor performance, leaves a hollow feeling of an uphill battle that can never ultimately be won.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted ultimately to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is a step away from working to preclude – it is, instead, a positive first step towards securing a future that is otherwise as uncertain as one’s efforts in working to preclude.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Motive and Motivation

The similarities are almost indistinguishable; yet, the slightly nuanced distinction makes for the differentiation between intent and desire, and while both are nouns, it is not the grammatical identifier by which we seek their impetus.  The former is often unknown, hidden, deliberately concealed, such that a kind gesture or an act of empathy may have an ulterior basis beyond the mere surface of revelation.  Think about Vito Corleone in the movie, The Godfather; when he granted a favor, did he ever reveal his underlying motive?  The latter constitutes that ethereal quality, unable to be grasped but which, if the secret ingredients were bottled as merchandise to be sold, would grant the inventor untold wealth beyond those who market pills to boost testosterone levels in a society overcome with virtual madness.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the distinction between motive and motivation may be the difference between remaining static or advancing in life.  To remain in place and attempt to decipher the former in the impending or anticipated actions of one’s agency, the U.S. Postal Service, or of Supervisors and Managers who daily connive and consider in furtive whispers of confidential backbiting, is to forever waste precious time upon the unknowable and indeterminate.  To possess the latter, whether in spurts of ephemeral wisps, like time which once seemed as the fortress of youth but left behind in the residue of an angel’s wings fluttering into the universe of the fantasy of unknown caverns, is to release the last vestige of rational import and move forward into a life beyond a career with the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service.  Sometimes, to accept less is to gain more.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement through OPM may not always seem like an act of advancement, especially given that one is giving up a career, cutting one’s income, and relying upon an agency for a lifetime annuity; but when a medical condition cuts short the presentation of alternatives to consider, preparing, formulating and 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, is often the best motive in a universe constrained by the motivation of self.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Evaluative Adaptability

Life is often like a boat without oars, let alone a motor which functions; and as the waves rock the water transport, one maintains balance, sanity and survival by attempting to prepare for the whitecaps and hoping for a further delay of a storm, and never a tsunami.  But those changes inevitably come, and attack in onslaughts of exponential fury.  One attempts to adapt, to remain like the chameleon who must survive by an unwanted metamorphosis, in order to maintain the delicate balance of nature as described by the brutality of Darwin’s world.

Man presumably has the advantage of possessing the dual modalities of penultimate capacity for survival:  the cognitive and the physical.  Of the latter, the human animal is neither a lion nor a cheetah; and of the former, self-doubt, confusion and intellectual arrogance often muddles the clarity of purpose shown by other carnivores.  But it is the combination of both — of the evaluative adaptability acquired through intake and filtering of information, analysis of factual and predictable processing, and shifting positions based upon real-time data reflected upon through a compendium of intellectual acuity honed and perfected by experience.

That is precisely why bureaucracies are often potholes of frustration; as systematized repetition dulls the soul, so the imposition of irrational decisions heightens the angst of man’s inner being.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suddenly find that a medical condition may cut short one’s career with the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, it is with that duality of advantageous survival mode that one must approach both the Federal agency (and the U.S. Postal Service), as well as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Certainly, physical endurance is limited often by the medical condition and the deterioration of stamina and energy; but the evaluative adaptability and the capacity to change course should never be underestimated.

Medical conditions need not deter the direction of the boat; most medical conditions are mere whitecaps which rock like irritants on a summer evening where gnats and mosquitoes ravage the unprotected surface; but unlike hurricanes and tsunamis which overwhelm and destroy, the fact that one’s steering mechanism or the ability to propel oneself forward may be damaged, should never extinguish the Federal or Postal employee from recognizing that one’s evaluative adaptability is the key towards moving positively into the future and affirmatively taking steps to secure a brighter tomorrow, by beginning the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: For Want of…

It is the lack which often compels motion, and thus do we observe that “necessity is the mother of invention”, a proverb derived from a centuries’ old Latin phrase denoting that hardships result in unique ways in which to compensate for deprivation.  The opposite perspective — of plenitude and overabundance of indulgence — also reflects a lack, but one which which identifies the predicate based upon the negative subject:  of being spoiled and wanting of motivation and desire to succeed.

Necessity, indeed, is often a prompting and incentivizing force, as well as fear of the unknown, a desire to secure a foundation of predictability, and a motivating factor to escape from the destructive jaws of a hostile work environment.  Whatever the underlying force urging one’s intent, the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who finds him or herself within the confines of a progressively deteriorating medical condition, and one which impacts and prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the dual-meaning of the phrase, “For want of…” is often the basis for action.

It can mean that there is an innate and compelling force or desire to attain something; conversely, it can denote the lack of a core need, which propels the Federal or Postal worker to begin to act, and in pursuing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, it is necessary to begin by taking some affirmative step in order to begin the process.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits can be a long and arduous bureaucratic process — one which depletes the soul, dampens the spirit, and denigrates the psyche.  But what are the alternatives?  We already know the destructive force of remaining where we stand, but it is precisely the incentivizing conditions of such deplorable circumstances which compels the Federal or Postal employee to consider filing for Federal OPM Disability Retirement in the first place.

For want of future security (used in the positive sense) or for want of one’s health (used in the negative, “lacking” sense), the options are limited, but the end-goal can be rewarding, as wanting requires action and initiative, and want of one’s circumstances may be the compelling force necessitating alternate routes of inventive compulsions.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Cost of Character

Being daily denigrated is an expected course of treatment for some; for those who perpetrate it, the sport of demeaning is often thoughtless, reactive, and toxic to the core, and reflects a fundamental void in one’s own life; and for the victim of such caustic characterization, the incremental pounding to one’s ego, self-esteem and capacity for abuse results in diminishment of the identify of worth by small slices of reduced stature.  Such attacks may be overt and direct, while others may be subtle, privately targeted, and intentionally out of the earshot of witnesses.  In both cases, the damage can be devastating.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must confront this type of daily abuse in the workplace, the avenues of outlet are complex and varied.  Complaining or filing lawsuits often results in the mere circling of the proverbial wagons around the perpetrators, and suddenly an invisible fence appears where the victim is the “outsider” and the caustic character the one needing protection.

For those Federal or Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition, and who receive the brunt end of such ill treatment because of the medical disability which impacts one’s ability and capacity to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the need to deal not only with the toxicity of a hostile work environment, but concurrently with the underlying medical conditions, makes for an admixture of overwhelming circumstances.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the best and only course of action left.  For, to stay becomes an untenable option which impacts and further deteriorates one’s medical condition precisely because of the toxicity of the environment; to walk away and do nothing is an act of idiocy, given the years already invested in one’s career; and thus the alternative of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes the most enlightened of choices to be made:  It allows for the recuperative period away from a denigrating source of pain, while securing a foundational annuity for one’s financial security and future.

We often talk daftly about “character” and the need to “stick it out” when the “going gets tough”.  But the cost of character is the price paid by the Federal or Postal employee who must withstand the onslaught of a bureaucracy which is faceless and relentless, while at the same time dealing with the deteriorating health administered by a medical condition which will not just go away.  The cost of character means nothing if the essence of one’s worth is not protected, and filing for, and securing, a Federal Disability Retirement annuity is meant to do just that:  pay for the cost, and safeguard the character of worth.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Flavor of Our Times

Each generation has a flavor of the times — that obscure and fuzzy sense of “something” beyond which one cannot quite describe, but nevertheless leaves a distinctive aftertaste that remains and cannot be washed away.  Hypocrisy may come close to identifying it — of saying one thing, meaning another; of using words and virtual reality in order to conceal the true motive and intentions.  We see it in our politicians, in newspapers and neighborly barbecues; as truth is not the sought-after goal, and as relativism and the capacity to perform linguistic gymnastics at every turn of words, so the natural consequence of our deeds should not surprise us.  We claim empathy, but act indifferently; we teach our kids grandiose belief-systems, then act surprised when rebellion monitors the day.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the stark reality of what they hear as the “official” pronouncement of one’s agency, as opposed to the practical and day-to-day occurrence and action in “real time”, is like the echoing chasm of a hollow pit which reverberates with each unintelligible sound.  All of the rules and regulations promulgated for public consumption about protecting the rights of disabled Federal employees sound like collected baseball cards reserved for showing off to guests who are gullible enough to gasp with excitement over items of dubious value; but it is the “behind-the-scenes” reality of how individuals treat each other, which tells the true story of shame, deceit and indifference.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the gap between declared public policy and the reality of that insular shame, is a daily recognition of man’s inhumanity to his or her fellow man or woman.  Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers experience this violation daily.  That is why opting to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the best, only, and remaining self-preservation option, to secure one’s future and to separate from Federal Service with a semblance of dignity.

Federal Disability Retirement benefits, filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, allows for the Federal or Postal employee to obtain a base annuity, then go into the private sector and begin to pursue a second, or third, vocation of choice.  It is not an abandonment of one’s principles, nor a retreat from one’s beliefs. That was already accomplished years ago, when the flavor of our times became the official stance of an uncaring system which betrayed the dedicated Federal or Postal employee merely because of a medical condition beyond one’s control.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire