OPM FERS/CSRS Disability Retirement: Need versus Necessity

Needs can be variegated, and can be satisfied partially, delayed for further fulfillment at a later time and event, or controlled by sheer will and self-discipline.  They can also depend upon the particular individual, circumstance and personality and/or character of an individual.  They can vary based upon the subjective perspectives of an individual.

Necessity, by contrast, implies an objective determination of a mandated requirement.  It is not to be questioned; it is unequivocally “needed”.  As a prerequisite for completion of a linear production line, a necessary cause, while perhaps insufficient in and of itself to satisfy the entirety of the sequence of events, is nevertheless a required X in order to even consider the completion to Y.

For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from medical conditions such that the medical illness or injury impacts one’s performance, for a time — undetermined, perhaps, in the beginning of the process — Federal Disability Retirement benefits, applied through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, may merely be viewed as a need, and therefore one which may be delayed, considered, and perhaps looked upon merely as one option among others.

As the medical condition continues to progressively deteriorate, it is the seriousness of the nexus between the medical condition and one’s ability/inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job, which ultimately begins to determine the need and transform it into a necessity.

Whether under FERS or CSRS, the Federal or Postal employee must make that time of determination — that personal choice — of when the transformation occurs; but because Federal Disability Retirement takes on average 8 – 10 months to obtain, from the start of the process to its conclusion, it is well not to wait for the transformation from “need” to “necessity”, to be further characterized as the third step in the evolution — one of critical crisis.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The Door Left Ajar

The image of the door left ajar is one likened to the metaphor of the tree which falls in a forest without a human around to observe the phenomena; the question of whether the event created a sound is a conundrum, and a double-one at that, for the moment we ponder it, we insert a human perspective into the equation, and any attempt to delete our presence only compounds the puzzlement.

A door left ajar implies that someone or some animal partially opened it, or perhaps in reverse; but in either event, the image of a door neither fully shut nor widely open, leaves an impression of some presence.  Moreover, it is that partial opening which represents lack of complete satisfaction, of something left undone, which stirs the emotions of one’s imagination.

For the Federal employee who is reaching certain milestones of Federal or Postal Service, the “light at the end of the tunnel” is often seen within one’s grasp, as a door left slightly ajar, and inviting one to take hold of the doorknob, open it wide, and exit into the sunset of life.  When the door left ajar is within view and reach, the expectation of exiting becomes a magnified potentiality about to be embraced.

But often, with only a couple of years left, unexpected events can occur.  A medical condition can impact one’s ability to reach that magical age of retirement, or be cut short before accruing the years of service needed.  The door left ajar is suddenly beyond reach, and the winds of life seemingly slams shut the once-inviting entranceway.

Federal Disability Retirement, no matter how close one is to regular retirement, may be the option of choice. Whether under FERS or CSRS, Disability Retirement through the Office of Personnel Management is an option left open for all Federal and Postal employees.

The image of the door left ajar is merely a metaphor of life; how one responds to the reality of each particular situation will determine the consequences of one’s future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire