OPM Disability Retirement: The Extended Weekend, the Subtraction of One, and the Addition of Another

Extended weekends provide for an anticipation of restful joy.  It is always an admixture and conundrum of overdoing it, or not doing anything at all.  It is that extra day which allows for the gathering of friends and family without the unwanted pressure of having to get up the next day to engage the commute and the inherent stresses and problems of work.  That “next day” is that extra day off, and when one awakens, it is a delicious pleasure when one is reminded that work is delayed for another day.  The significance and symbolism of what the designated day is set aside for, is often lost in the very joy of leisure.

We may plant a token flag; or perhaps attend a children’s parade; but remembrances of solemnity are often replaced by the sheer joy of having an extended weekend.  Perhaps that is “wrong” for the soul and conscience of a country; but as a population which is characterized by an ethics of hard work and leadership, such extended weekends are nevertheless well-deserved.

For the Federal and Postal Worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition impacts one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, the extended weekend is often viewed in a different light.  It is the addition of one, and the subtraction of another.  It allows for providing an additional day in which to rest and recuperate.  It subtracts a day from the turmoil of pain and suffering, exacerbated by trying to act as if one is okay.

The fact that the numerical postulate of adding and subtracting constitutes the identical day, is irrelevant.  Rest, recuperation, rehabilitation and respite from the work-a-day turmoil and stresses of life, may be suspended for a day.  Weeks are characterized by weekends of recuperative repose.  To add a day is to also subtract, and the peculiar math which one engages in, makes perfect sense to the Federal or Postal Worker who lives in pain, or who suffers from intractable depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is an option which needs to be considered by any Federal or Postal Worker who has come to a point of perspective described herein.  For that Federal or Postal Worker who abstracts the anticipated extended weekends as merely an addition of one, and a concomitant subtraction of the same, is merely delaying the inevitable, if for another day, another weekend, and until the next mathematical peculiarity is encountered.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


The Circle of Questions and Answers during the Federal Disability Retirement Process

The tragedies befall frequently enough to make some correlative conclusions; of the athlete who fell short of the finish line; of the one who wanted to just make it one last time, only to become severely injured prior to completing the task; and others who become debilitated within the last 50 yards, or within the parameters of being “within reach” of the end.  This is likened to the Federal or Postal employee who has only a couple of years before full retirement.

To the extent that a Federal Disability Retirement application takes on average 8 – 10 months to obtain (from the start of the process of gathering the medical reports, records, etc., until a decision from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management), the question often becomes whether it is worthwhile filing for OPM Disability Retirement when one has come so close to the finish line.

Each case must be assessed and evaluated with the particular facts peculiar and unique to it; but questions of intelligent assessment should be applied, in order to reach an algorithm of rational conclusions:  When I reach the end (or, “if I…”), will my health be preserved enough such that I can enjoy retirement?  Is the reason why I am contemplating Federal Disability Retirement now, because I have in fact already reached the crucial flashpoint where I am no longer able to continue performing the essential elements of my job?  Is there a possibility that I will not in fact be able to endure the remaining X-number of years left before I reach full retirement?

Questions prompt answers; answers, even if preliminary and tentative, begin the process of further questioning; and so the circle of questions and answers begin to guide and resolve the issues which trouble the soul.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


February 22nd, 2013