OPM Disability Retirement: That “Aha” Moment

There are moments when one comes to a realization of solving a problem, or perhaps of  breaking through an obstacle in the process of a creative endeavor; or even in making a simple decision — of overcoming the problem of how to systematically eliminate “other” options and alternatives in order to arrive at the most intelligent decision.  Some identify such moments as “aha” experiences; others, merely the result of systematic activity leading to a fruitful conclusion.

In coming to a decision to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, some will look upon the decision and the realization for the need to file, as a life-changing event, where one has finally overcome the mental obstacle that it is somehow a demeaning and diminishing decision to admit the manifestation and impacting consequences of a medical disability.  But one should always be aware of the fact that, in pragmatic terms, it is merely a decision that one must change vocations and attempt to become productive in some other capacity in life.

The hard work of life does not disappear merely because one has an “aha” moment; rather, it is the systematic living which occurs after such an experience, which will test the will and character of a human being.

Federal Disability Retirement is not an admission of defeat; it is not a filing for “total disability”; rather, it is merely an identification of the inconsistency between one’s medical condition and the particular kind of job which one finds one’s self in.  Far from a termination of a process, it is merely the beginning of the road to recovery and a venture into a different vocation and realm.

That realization — that it is merely a change of circumstances — is the true “aha’ moment.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

CSRS & FERS Medical Disability Retirement: Tying Together the Loose Strands

When a medical condition impacts a Federal or Postal employee, whether under FERS or CSRS, and prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management begins.  

One may conceptually distinguish between a “formal” beginning of the process, as opposed to an informal or “real-time” beginning; but in any event, from a retrospective vantage point, it is clear that the “beginning” occurred at that point when the coalescence of medical-to-job impact manifested itself and it became obvious that the Federal or Postal employee could no longer continue in the same fashion as before.  

During this initial part of the process, when the Federal or Postal employee is simply struggling to survive — by going to medical appointments; attempting to continue to work; trying to ignore the reality of the medical condition by striving to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job as before; attempting to maintain the same balance of work-to-personal life, etc. — there is rarely a coordination of efforts, and the disparate strands of life’s compartments never come together in any comprehensible manner.  

But at the “formal” point of preparing and formulating a Federal Disability Retirement application, it is important to engage in the “tying” together of the disparate strands of life — if only to package a cogent and coherent presentation of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  

Life may be a series of messes; a successful Federal Disability Retirement application, however, should be a serious compilation of proof, evidence, argumentation and logical structure.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire