FERS Medical Retirement: The Dystopian Perspective

Books from all ages depict such a view: The classic one, of course, is Orwell’s 1984; or of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451; but more recently, of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and even more recently of Ogawa’s, The Memory Police. They all possess a thread of commonality: Of a society both frightening and oppressive, based upon human fears and the insecurity wrought by where we are going, the trends of modernity which succumb to believability, and the suspicion that such dystopian consequences are actually possible.

Orwell was wrong, of course — Big Brother did not have to forcibly place tele-screens into people’s homes; instead, each of us volunteered to go out and purchase such spying screens, and with our own hard-earned money in the form of Smartphones, televisions and laptops.  And while no one comes and burns our books, we have effectively accomplished such a misdeed by slowly and incrementally converting them all into digital devices, thus ensuring that we won’t actually know whether the published content of a book is what was originally intended; for, he who controls the digital device has ultimate control over its content, whereas a book published in its original form cannot be altered except by forcible means.

As for Atwood’s theme and Ogawa’s portrayal of the world — they deal with the two aspects of a life in a frightening way: Of the subjugation of the body (The Handmaid’s Tale) and of controlling the mind (The Memory Police).  All are fictional works; yet, somehow we can “relate” to the stories being told. How is that? Is it because we have a dystopian perspective already prepared within us by society’s callous conduct?

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 his or her Federal or Postal job, the Dystopian Perspective is a very familiar one.  For, being ostracized; being condemned; being harassed and being subjected to unfair treatment — it all comes in a bundle once you can no longer “perform” at the level expected by the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.

When that Dystopian Perspective becomes unbearable, then it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  And, while the Dystopian Perspective may not turn into an Utopian Reality, it is far better than the subjugation of the human mind and body that gets increasingly worse under Big Brother’s eye.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: The Use of Language

Some are better at it than others; others, still, can state in a single sentence what most will try in a paragraph or a novel.  Poets are linguistic craftsmen who utilize an economy of words but convey the greater qualitative vehicle of descriptions and word-pictures; and essayists, confined often by space limited by editors and restricted by practical concerns, not the least of which may involve the potential boredom or attention-span of readers, must by necessity struggle with clarity of content.

The use of language is a funny thought; for the best of those who engage in it effortlessly, the ideas, concepts and descriptive pictures conveyed is accomplished without concern of the process, but merely by “doing it”.  Language is something we use daily; yet, few of us pause to consider it as a tool or implement of our daily lives.  A gardener who has mislaid his or her spade will look for it and, if it turns out that it is lost, will declare, “I cannot go out into the garden to work, today.”

Do we do that with language?  Do we wake up and say, “Well, today, I mislaid my X, and therefore I cannot engage in the language game.”  Of course, we refer to language as a “tool” in a metaphorical sense, and so we recognize that there are practical distinctions to be made between a spade and language, but nevertheless, they are both “tools” which are used — or misused — in our everyday lives.

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 his or her Federal or Postal job, the time to consider the use of language becomes an important and relevant issue precisely because persuasion, description and argumentation are what must be engaged in presenting an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an attorney in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; for, in the end, the use of language will be necessary in maneuvering through a complex bureaucratic process that also uses language to deny one’s right to a benefit which must be fought for, and language is just as much a tool of use as it is a weapon of abuse.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Benefits: Philosophy of Life

Is it necessary to have one?  Does one ever begin this process of organic expansion with a conceptual paradigm which encapsulated the activities, movements, thought-processes and decision-making judgments that, in their aggregate, define a person’s “Philosophy of Life”?  And if we all have one, when did we subscribe to it, create it or “own” it?  Or is it all just some pithy mandate which we follow — you know, some line here or there that we picked up, either from a book, a movie, some T.V. serial, or even from some bartender who likes to mete out wisps of wisdom to those half drunk?

“Joe’s philosophy of life is to never trust anyone.”  Or: “Kim — she just believes that you should finish whatever you began.”

Of course, if you went to college and took that “Introductory Philosophy” course, you received a Reader’s Digest version of various philosophers, and perhaps came upon Seneca, the Roman Stoic, whose attempt to bifurcate the physical world from one’s inner soul has become popularized in modernity; and perhaps there are those who have grasped upon a coherent or systematic philosophical paradigm such that one actually possesses a “philosophy of life” —but few of us are organized enough to have that and, even if we did, how many of us actually follow our own philosophy of life?

Most of us just struggle through and meander, responding from one mini-crisis of life’s travails to the next.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where that medical condition begins to prevent one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal job, it is not a “philosophy of life” that will help you survive the bureaucratic process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, but rather, correct knowledge, helpful information and a plan of attack.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before initiating the process.  And, after obtaining your FERS Disability Retirement benefits, perhaps that will be the time to begin to formulate your Philosophy of Life — that is, the life beyond Federal employment.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Employee Disability Retirement Benefits: Meaning

It is the centrality of being, the core of life and the essence of who we are, what we do and why we endure the hardships of daily living.  Without it, the soul drags, the body wanes, the mind begins to wander.  With it, there is the deliberative step, the bounce in one’s actions, the energy within and the purposeful glint in one’s eyes.

Meaning” is what drives; its lack, like a balloon which has been punctured and is allowed to sputter aimlessly through the air.  Whether philosophy can solve the conundrum that is questioned; or that faith can endure a lifetime of disappointments; and of what it is “made up of” — whether in answering the most profound of questions, or merely enjoying the company of friends and family — we may never know.

Is there a “formula” to having it?  Can there be meaning in one’s life without close family or friends?  Is there a singular definition of what “meaning” means, or is it different for each individual?  Is it something to “find” or discover, or is it something that we are either born with, or not?

Work is certainly a part of it; for, as so much time is spent in working, one must be able to derive some meaning from a vocation —otherwise, we would end up admitting that a greater portion of our lives is spent in meaningless endeavors.

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 job, it often means [sic] that there is a loss of “meaning” in the job that one has because of the struggles one must endure in balancing family, personal obligations and work requirements.

Federal Disability Retirement may not be the answer to the loss of meaning; it does, however, allow for the Federal or Postal worker to secure a base annuity in order to make plans for the future.  And planning for the future is, at a minimum, a good start in finding that pathway for greater meaning in one’s life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire