Federal and Postal Medical Retirement: Destiny of Inevitability

There are those who exhale a sigh of inevitability and say, “Well, what does it matter? We are all going to die, anyway.”  But that misses the point, doesn’t it?

One’s destiny of inevitability is one and the same with everyone else in the universe — but it is the “getting there” (i.e., the journey itself), which makes all of the difference.  The intermediate steps between A to Z are comprised of B, C, D … X, Y, etc.  Yes, it is inevitable that the ultimate destiny is “Z”, but how one gets to it, the quality of one’s life encapsulated by the multiple steps and processes in order to arrive at that destiny of inevitability — that is what makes the difference.

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 form performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, getting from Point A to Point Z is all the more important.  Perhaps Federal Disability Retirement makes up Point E; and getting a job in the private sector constitutes to Point L; the point is, there is still much of life to live, and Federal Disability Retirement benefits are merely another point in the process before the destiny of inevitability must be contemplated.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider some of the intermediate points of your life before resigning yourself to the destiny of inevitability.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The Perfect Case

If planning leads to perfection, does it necessarily follow that lack of planning renders its opposite?

There are rarely perfect cases in a Federal Disability Retirement application.  Most people do not go to their doctors with the predetermined view of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and most doctors (other than those specializing in providing disability assessments, evaluations, etc.) are there to treat their patients in hopes of ameliorating the underlying medical condition.

If “planning” is what makes for perfection, then lack of planning — in other words, just “living life” — makes for the imperfect case, and that is where the U.S. Office of Personnel Management pounces upon and attempts to characterize such imperfections as a valid basis for denying a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Thus, it is important for a Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker to consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer once you begin thinking about the future need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  For, while there may never be a “perfect case”, some amount of thoughtful planning prior to submitting an OPM Disability Retirement application is necessary in order to get as close to perfection as possible.

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

 

OWCP & FERS Disability Retirement for Federal and Postal Employees

Can both be approved concurrently?  Is there any disadvantage in filing for one “as opposed” to another?  Do they “cross over” and impact one another?  Can you receive payments concurrently, or must you choose one over the other and, if one is chosen, does it “negate” or otherwise dismiss the other?

These are all practical questions which can come about if an injury or illness results from a workplace incident or caused by an occupational hazard.  First and foremost, it should be noted that the two “pockets” of compensatory resources are different in nature: OWCP is not a retirement system; OPM Disability Retirement is. OWCP is a compensatory resource created and established as a temporary measure (although there are many, many cases where an OWCP recipient stays on and receives compensation for decades and beyond) — as a means of allowing the Federal worker to receive treatment, recuperation and rehabilitation, with a view towards an eventual return to work.

The paradigm of a FERS Federal Disability Retirement, on the other hand, is just that: It is a retirement system — essentially, starting your retirement “early” because of a medical condition or injury resulting in one’s loss of capacity to continue to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.  The latter (FERS Disability Retirement) does not have to possess any causal connection to the employment itself — in other words, the medical condition or injury does not have to be “occupationally related” in order for a Federal or Postal worker to become eligible for its benefits.

Remember, however, that under a FERS Disability Retirement, a Federal or Postal worker must file for the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement within one (1) year of being separated from one’s Federal Agency or the Postal Service.  The fact that a person has been “placed on the rolls of OWCP” does not excuse the 1-year rule for filing a Federal Disability Retirement application.

For further information on the intersection between OWCP and FERS Disability Retirement, you should consult with an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about both, and make your decision upon factual and legal information, and not from such sources as, “I heard from Joe that…”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Return to Who I Am

We all take on different roles — whether as a parent, a husband, a wife; of assuming the role each day of a supervisor, a worker, a doctor, lawyer, etc. The underlying “substratum” of the “I” is presumed to remain the same throughout, but there may be a difference in the character posed, the personality posited or the tone, tonality and tenor of a voice, inflection, the way you talk, etc.

Perhaps, on a “Take your child to work day” you bring along your son or daughter and he or she watches you work in a particular role. Afterwards, does the child think to himself — or express him or herself to you or some third person — and say: “Gee, Mom [or Dad] sure acts differently at the office.”

Actors and actresses take on a “double-role” of sorts, don’t they? They not only have to take on the role of a character, whether in a play or a part in a filmed venue, but moreover, to “become” someone other than the person Who I Am.

Is there a difference between “Assuming the role of an Accountant” and “Playing the role of an Accountant”? Certainly, the former must have some credentials — perhaps as a C.P.A. or some “financial consultant certificate”, or some degree in accounting — whereas the latter only has to “act like” he or she has merited such a status. And the clients who come to the former — they are presumably “real” people whose financial problems or quandaries are “real” as well, whereas in the “acting’ role, they are not real, per se, but are also assuming the role of a part for the sake of an audience.

In either and both cases — whether of being “real” or “acting” in a role — the person to whom one “returns to” is someone who is the substratum: For the child, it is “Mommy” or “Daddy”; for the spouse, it is the husband or wife who “went-to-work-and-is-now-home”; and for the life-long friend from childhood days, it may be “Oh, that’s Dan who works as such-and-such, but who is good ol’ Dan always and forever.” But whatever role one assumes in life, whenever he or she returns to that person “Who I am”, does he or she ever return as the same person, or is there always a slight difference?

For, whatever the experience encountered in the “role” one plays, doesn’t it always change the person such that the person to whom one returns to can never be quite the same as before?

That is what happens with the Federal or Postal employee who needs to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits — Yes, the point of trying to overcome a medical condition is so that one can “return to who I am”; but in reality, that will never happen, precisely because the medical condition and the experience of enduring the medical condition has changed the person forever.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: That Moment of Opening

Whether of a book, a secret or a personal relationship, there is always that moment of opening.

The pause of anticipation before the reading of the first word of a novel announced to be a masterpiece of literary discourse; or of a secret, long lost and hidden in the family closet, now to be revealed where eyes and ears pierce with trembling knowledge that one’s self-identity may never be the same once the revelation has been heard; or of a relationship that suddenly takes on a serious tone, where once friendship may have been the placard of ease and comfort, but when that moment of opening emphasizes an intimacy that creates a bridge beyond a mere casual acquaintanceship.

There is that moment of opening; and whether we punctuate it with a declarative, “Aha!” — or perhaps a quiet fluttering of a heart’s murmur, or even a quickening of one’s breathing; and then it is over and past.

Revelations of any kind come to us like the door that was once locked but is suddenly a passageway once the right key is discovered; or is forced open with a blunt kick or pried open slowly but with persistent cunning; and then the other side of midnight reveals that which we once thought was closed to us, remained a mystery, until that very moment of opening.

Suffering; medical conditions; even a realization that things must change in our lives — they all happen upon a moment of opening.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who struggle to continue in careers that can no longer be maintained because of a medical condition that prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job — it is often upon that moment of opening that a decision must finally be made about preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Don’t, however, let that crucial moment of opening suddenly close by allowing too much time to lapse, where conditions worsen to a point of creating a crisis.  Filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits requires careful planning and thoughtful strategies.  Consult with an experienced FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, preferably at the moment of opening where the pathway of realization meets the dawn of recognition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Forgotten Lives

Is it the memory that retains importance, or the fear that erasure leads to irrelevance that motivates us to prevent forgotten lives?  Does imprint upon history — whether in a footnote or an “honorable mention” in the epitaph of an unvisited tombstone — mean so much?  Does a reference in a Wikipedia listing count as a counter to a life lived in anonymity?

Most of us accept that we will not leave behind a greater imprint upon history’s rising trash heap of honorable mentions; and, except for dinner conversations amidst family gatherings, where someone might bring up a story that begins with, “Hey, remember when Uncle X was with us, the time when…” — we are left to memories forever fading and references served only by the ivy that grows over graveyards left unattended.

How important is it to maintain a semblance of relevance in a world where the 15-second timeframe of fame and one’s forever-statement of contribution to society keeps getting shortened because of the need to move on to the next and more titillating cause of excitement?

One wonders whether a person clings to doing something merely in order to avoid erasure from existence from the memories of those engaged.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition impacts the Federal or Postal employee’s ability and capacity to continue working in the chosen field in the Federal or Postal sector of employment, the issue of making a decision to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS is often inextricably tied to the emotional upheaval of forgotten lives.

When one’s purpose and motivation for daily living is so intertwined with one’s career, work and the daily relevance of a mission yet to be accomplished, it is a difficult step to take, to recognize that one’s contribution to society may be coming to an end, resulting in forgotten lives and erasure from relevance.

But always remember that priorities must always be assigned, and the priority of one’s health comes before any fear of an honorable mention in a Wikipedia footnote, and just as there is life after a career with the Federal government, so it is also true that history is replete with the unnamed and unmentioned contributions of forgotten lives forever extinguished.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire