OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Another “Get Through” Day

We all have them.  They are the days when the body is transformed into a haggard display of human misery; where every urge to just crawl back into bed is resisted with a hollow groan; and when nothing positive can be squeezed from a life which is difficult, anyway.  Perhaps it is some low-pressure system that has moved in and dampened our spirits; or some unidentifiable “bug” that has attacked our system; or just a “bad hair day”, as we euphemistically refer to.

On such days, it is good to recognize that it is merely a day in which we must “get through” and, at the end of the day, sleep it off, shake our heads and declare, “Boy, that was rough, but I was able to get through the day”.  Perhaps productivity on such a day is not at its height; or the energy level is a bit off; or the ability to focus or concentrate is off kilter, and we just cannot seem to be in sync with the world at large.  Whatever the reasons, we all have days like that.

It is when those isolated days become a string of days, or an aggregate of months, and then into a compendium of years — that is when a Federal or Postal employee must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  We all have a “Get through the day” days; but when a medical condition becomes chronic and deteriorating, and when those rare “get through days” become commonplace, then it is time to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to make the commonplace back into an event of isolated rarity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: The Port

It is the Roman Stoic, Seneca the Younger, who wrote that, “If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable”.  It is, in the end, the essence of Stoicism — of living life without complaint and without being impacted by the hardships of the objective world, all the while clinging to a path of virtue unfettered by worldly concerns.  That is why the quote above — of the internal “self” in contrast to the metaphor of the objective world: the winds which guide the ships — encapsulates the essence of the philosophy of Stoicism.

In modernity, it matters little from whence the winds come, for we engineer our own direction through engines and mechanical devices which propel the marine vessel by the power of our own creation.  But of that time when ships relied exclusively upon the breath of gods that blew the winds which filled the sails — it was a time when we relied heavily upon the favor of fate and nature’s appeasement.  Yet, even today, whether by the propulsion of machines invented or reliance upon prayers of guidance, no wind is favorable until and unless a person knows where he or she wants to go.

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 his or her position, it is important to make a determination as to “where” one plans on going before determining the “how” of the approach.  If a medical condition has clearly begun to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, then where one must “go” becomes clearer: You cannot continue to stay at the job precisely because the medical condition prevents you from doing so; and so FERS Disability Retirement becomes the option by default.

The next question, then, is the “how”, as in — How does one get from point A to destination B?  Consult with an attorney to discuss the further particulars of your case; for, in the end, whether you believe in the philosophical tenets of Stoicism or not, once you realize the port to which you wish to sail, you need the favorable winds of counsel from an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to help guide the sails of your journey.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Stress Test

It is meant to determine the vulnerability of structural foundations, or to gauge whether, under certain extreme circumstances, it will withstand catastrophic levels of pressure for safety and soundness.  Distress triggers the ultimate test; and whether a breaking point can be established is always a fear — of how low or high, and of what tolerance the test itself will reveal.  Objects, composite elements meant to reinforce; and most of all, people — to the extent that stress can damage, and whether such damage can be repaired.  “Repair”, of course, is a relative term, and whether or not the structural firmness can be attained after any damage has been repaired, to a level of pre-damage status, is always of concern.

Can a psyche once damaged be repaired to a state of original soundness?  Are the vulnerabilities inherent in individuals capable of withstanding the stresses of modernity, and is the “test”applied the same as the reality of daily stresses exposed?  Is there even a “test” that can determine the safety or soundness when it comes to human beings?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the daily stresses of the medical condition itself, with all of its inherent complications, are overwhelming enough; it is then the “piling on” of everything else — of Agency actions; of the adversarial nature and responses of the Agency; of the potential for denying continuation of LWOP while even under FMLA protection, and the concern for one’s future with an Agency that seems bent on making one’s life harder than it needs to be: These, and many other “stress tests” determine the need to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to apply the legal stress test to determine eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; for, in the end, the only Stress Test for a Federal or Postal employee seeking Federal Disability Retirement benefits worth applying is the one which determines the potentiality for a successful outcome, and seeking the counsel and guidance of a FERS Disability Retirement attorney is the best way to relieve the stresses that surround such an endeavor.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement from the OPM: The gods of modernity

Each era has its false gods — of Greek ones that explained the mysteries underlying the universe; of religions that conquered by the sword; of Philosophers and Kings who ruled with an iron fist; of Freud, Psychoanalysis and other ghosts in the machine; and in modernity, of youth and the cult of the young, and perhaps of the authors of self-help books who have cornered the market on wisdom replaced.

The gods of modernity are different from those of a generation ago; the “I” and the “me” that pervades on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; of the perfect “me” who takes selfies at every opportunity to reinforce and remind of the hollowness of the gods we make of ourselves; and in the end, the loneliness that one is left with when the screen is shut down and one is left with the reality of facing one’s self in the loneliness of a perception that cannot be faced in the mirror of one’s own reflection.

And of the other gods of reality: Perfection in perception.  But what happens if perception must encounter reality?  That is often the problem with a medical condition — for, medical conditions remind us of the ugliness of the world around: of mortality, vulnerability, and the loss of societal empathy for all things imperfect.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows one to be “perfect” in the workplace, and where the essential elements of one’s job can no longer be met, it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application so that the focus of one’s life can be redirected in order to regain one’s health.

The gods of modernity — of a career, of never-ending competence and productivity in one’s Federal or Postal job — must be replaced with a revaluation of what is truly important in life: Health, sanity, and some semblance of caring.  And while securing a FERS Disability Retirement annuity may not be the answer to all of life’s ills, it will at least secure a future in order to focus upon getting better, and perhaps reorienting one’s focus upon a future that may be different and better.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement: Memories of a contented summer

Why is it that the metaphor always applies — where the winter months represent discontent, and the joys of summer evoke memories of pleasure and contentment?  Is it merely in the shift of daylight — of shorter days and longer periods of cold and desolate feelings?  Does the cycle of life’s hibernation, the curling away of leaves and the deadening of quiet where skeletal forms of trees and bundling up in heavy garb, the growth of winter coats and huddling around fireplaces; does this all lead to a feeling of discontent?

By contrast, the shedding of multiple layers; the joy of a crashing wave’s spray upon one’s back; of diving into the cool of a lake’s refreshment of depths; and of walking barefoot across a stream where moss makes the rocks into a slippery slither of shrieking laughter; are the memories of a contented summer a metaphor for our lives in general?

Does winter make the human condition dismal because it is nature’s way of forcing us to slow down?  Is there a message — a lesson — to be learned from the rhythms of nature’s call, or is it just bosh and poetry that can be discarded and forgotten?

Medical conditions, as well, are subtle messages; whether we follow the advice of nature or not, nature seems always to have the last word.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prompts the confusion that there is now an inconsistency — an incommensurability — between the medical condition and continuation in one’s job, it is then time to harken the traces of hints, and consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement.

Warnings and triggers; reminders and rejoinders; these are the indicators which must prompt a change of course; and while memories of a contented summer are what we all seek, it is the winter of discontent when the medical condition can no longer be ignored, when it is time to seek the counsel and advice of a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, in order to prepare, formulate and file an effective OPM Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Pure fun

Are we the only species who does that?  Do other species engage in the sheer pleasure of its purity, without regard to any instructional end or substantive gain resulting therefrom?

Of course, anthropomorphism often presides when issues of interpretive psychology is involved; and thus do we say when the lioness and her cubs are engaging in playful wrestling, that she is “teaching” them how to interact within acceptable boundaries; or when dogs race around with abandonment, that they are letting go their pent-up energy, etc.

Whether with purposive resolve or not, the purity of engaging in pleasurable activities is a necessary component of life; it is for those pleasurable moments, however few, far-between and of whatever nature, for which the remainder of human drudgery becomes worthwhile to endure.  The ratio between “work” and “pleasure” may be different for each individual — i.e., for some, it may be an acceptable threshold to maintain a balance between 80% work and 20% pleasure; or, perhaps, of 2% versus 98%, or thereabouts.

When the recipe bifurcating the two goes askew — where leisurely activities without seemingly purposive intent outweighs one over the other, we then begin to suspect and allege hedonism, wastefulness and wanton loss of self-worth.  Why is that?  Can one not have pure fun each and every day, for every waking moment, without being looked down upon with judgmental eyes of damning disdain?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the question of a ratio between “work” and “pleasure” has already been resolved and answered: For, with a medical condition, there is no acceptable level of balance between the two.

Medical conditions by their very definition conflate and confuse the two; no longer is it possible to escape the vicious cycle of work-and-no-pleasure, precisely because the pain of the medical condition disrupts both.

When that threshold of balance between work and leisure becomes so out-of-whack that life’s pleasurable moments, however small and limited, can no longer be enjoyed, then it is time to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, so that the ratio between work and play can be regained to the extent that “pure fun” can attain its semblance of purity, and where “fun” can again be enjoyed without the interruption of life’s drudgery.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement: Damaged goods

Perhaps it is of a fine porcelain statue; or a painting that depicts perfection in a pastoral panorama presenting a private purview of picturesque purity (sorry for the alliteration that cannot be resisted); or a first edition book that is without blemish; or a host of other “goods” that one values, admires, cherishes — and is purchased with anticipation of contentment.

Upon returning home, one notices an imperfection not previously spotted: a small “crack” on the forearm of the porcelain figure; a tear in the upper right portion of the canvas, just below the line where the frame casts a shadow and becomes almost imperceptible; or a crayon marking on page 324, in the middle of the book, unnoticed unless one inspects each and every page.

The item cannot be returned, because of either distance (perhaps it was purchased on international travel in a small shop in a foreign country not known for return policies); policy (the sign clearly stated, “All sales are final and the purchaser bears all responsibility in inspecting the condition of the item prior to buying”) or some other impracticable reason.

The imperfection is so minor that no one else knows, would notice or otherwise cares to comment on such an impurity of the state of the condition, except for one small and irritating fact: You know.  It bothers you.  The fact of the damaged goods betrays something about yourself — not merely that a contrast against a paradigm of perfection has stirred an irrationality that struggles against good judgment, but moreover, that there exists an intolerance for a standard of less than the penultimate apex of an unreachable standard.

What does one do?  You can: Hide and stash away the item (but it yet remains with the knowledge that, hidden or not, the aura of imperfection exists); you can give it as a gift, or sell it to a third party (but what if the potential purchaser recognizes the imperfection and bargains for a better price, leaving you with a loss — will that constantly remind you of your lack of judgment when once you thought that your expertise in such matters was the paradigm of perfection itself?); justify to yourself over and over that, “Yes, it isn’t perfect, but boy is it a great piece regardless!” (perhaps, over time, this approach may work); or, do the most drastic of solutions: destroy the item and trash it.

Medical conditions have a way of impacting individuals in a similar manner as the discovery of imperfection in what one once thought was a paradigm of perfection: somehow, it is even worse, because of the personal manner that medical conditions impact: it touches upon one’s self, one’s self-image and the crumbling sense of self-confidence one possessed when health was taken for granted.

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, always try and keep in mind that the diminution of the “product” concerned (i.e., yourself, the Federal or Postal employee) is not discovered by the mere fact of filing for Federal Disability Retirement — rather, the fault is in the system of the Federal Government for not being able to be patient as you struggle to recover from you illness or injury.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset is not a reflection on the “value” of you; it is, instead, the reality of a system that fails to recognize the difference between the relative value of “goods” as opposed to the priceless perfection of a human being and his or her contribution to society.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire