OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Consider the Alternatives

In making any decision, it is always important that one consider the alternatives available.  It is the decision made in isolation — of contending with thoughts, fears and misinformation within a vacuum of not knowing — that often results in disastrous decisions made without consulting and considering the alternatives available.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that 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 choices are often stark and clear: Stay at a job or career which is no longer sustainable, and where the Agency will increasingly harass and punitively initiate actions in an effort to remove you; resign and walk away with nothing; or, in the best alternative available, file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Sometimes, of course, the “unexpected” alternative can occur: For example, a person who has filed for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is offered a reassignment that is both acceptable and accommodating to one’s medical condition, and continuation in the Federal Workforce is thus possible.  In most instances, however, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is “The” alternative, and the only viable one available, but even such an alternative must be considered carefully in light of the existing laws, the potentiality for problems to be encountered, and the resistance met by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for the multiple and varied reasons that OPM bases its denials upon.

Considering the alternatives is not just a matter of whether and when to file, but to be cognizant of the difficulties ahead in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; and in order to do that, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Poet’s Choice

What is it about poets that so many die young?  There are various studies “out there” (just Google it!) which reveal that the suicide rate amongst poets is significantly higher than in other professions.  The emotional tragedian — of the person who views the world through a lens of subjective creativity yearning for romanticism in a reality of harsh ugliness — is a person who cannot fathom the contrasting loss of beauty.

Is there, within the profession of a poet, those who engage the traditional iambic pentameter as opposed to some formless, free-flowing approach (i.e., E.E. Cummings?) where the statistical significance varies?  Or is it indiscriminately indifferent across the board?  Is it because constant rumination within a subjective universe of human thought leads to greater mental instability, or is it something more fundamental and elementary— like the frustration of trying to find the “perfect word” to rhyme?

Do poets search for rhyming words like the rest of us do?  You know — where, for example, take the word “fought” and then in our minds we go down the list of the alphabet — bought, caught, (skip D, overlook E because it is a vowel; “fought” we ignore because we just used it; got, hot, skip I, etc.) — or does the word naturally flow for the poet?  In the end, is it rumination which leads to a state of being distraught, or the realization that the art of poetry cannot be reconciled with the chaos of this universe?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have realized that a medical condition will not go away, and where the poet’s choice of words to describe the frustration in dealing with one’s job, career and inability in reconciling the medical condition with continuation in the Federal or Postal career cannot be grasped, it may be time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Most of us realize that poetry exists not amongst people, but within the ethereal universe of hopes and dreams, and when a medical condition jolts us into the realization that beauty resides not in a job or a career, but in the human relationships we form over a lifetime, then we also come to understand that health is more important than a Federal job or Postal career.

Consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and focus upon the beauty of health, and not the poet’s choice of despair.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The Past Upon Present

The guru dressed in flowing white garb may claim that the past is a fiction; those various “self-help” books will often declare that time is merely a continuum where we can only control that which is in the immediacy of our presence; and various philosophers have stated that the relativity of time must always be seen from the perspective of the “now”.

There is no doubt, however, that in the practical work-world, the past remains within the purview of haunting consequences.  Whether of youthful indiscretions or a darker past of substantial historical relevance more than a mere raising of one’s eyebrow, past performance is often used as an indicator of present behavior and conduct.  If a person has been convicted of embezzlement, does one consider that past in hiring practices for positions of responsibility — especially where money is involved?

Those who wave off the relevance of such considerations simply do not live in the real world.  We cannot avoid our past anymore than others will ignore it.  And so it is in Federal Disability Retirement Law, where the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will often place undue weight upon Performance Appraisals, cash bonus issues and whether there have been any deficiencies in performance, conduct or attendance in assessing and evaluating a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before initiating a process where your past may not be your best friend or, even if it is, whether you may yet be stabbed in the back — metaphorically speaking, of course.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire