Disability Retirement for Federal Workers: Natural Pairs

Shoes come in pairs; gloves, eye glasses, slippers and shoelaces. Obviously, products are manufactured to fit the need, and the loss of one of the pairs often requires the purchase of replacement for both, precisely because it is difficult to locate a store which will sell you only one of the replacement pairings.

Other couplings may not be as easily identifiable, but nevertheless tend to be related; for example, “stress” if often paired with “anxiety“, and a hostile work environment is tied to both stress and anxiety.  Though we may not refer to such related concepts in the manner similar to a pair of gloves (one doesn’t hear the term, “the pair of stress and anxiety”), the combination coincides precisely because of the inherent nature of similitude.

Perhaps it is more appropriate to speak in terms of a tripartite concept: of a hostile work environment, increasing the level of stress, and resulting in the medical condition of exacerbated anxiety. Or, perhaps a tetralogy of a compound concept: a hostile work environment; stress; anxiety; a medical condition. Or are the latter two so interrelated and therefore count as one, as “anxiety” is a “medical condition”, and so we should revert back to the tripartite category? For, it is certainly the case that when a medical condition enters the workforce, there is too often an increase in workplace hostility, resulting in greater quantification of stress, and the consequence of exacerbation of anxieties, which further compounds the complications of medical conditions, which…

So, perhaps the proper and more appropriate conceptual identification involves a somewhat vicious circle of cause-to-effect, effect-to-cause? Whatever the technically precise categorization of conceptual identification, for the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, one thing is clear: all such concepts are interrelated, connected, intersecting in conceptual constructs, and compounded in complexities of human behavior.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, submitted through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for consideration, is an option which should be considered by the Federal and Postal Worker, if one wants to entertain a viable alternative to remaining in that vicious cycle of medical condition, stress, hostile work environment, anxiety…

The pairing of conceptual constructs is a reality in the world which is not mere linguistic play; the medical condition is real; the world of work is often harsh; stress is a silent but true killer; and anxiety is not just a passing phase in one’s life. No, it is not the pairings which are unnatural; rather, it is artificial nature of how we cover up the reality of such pairings, which makes for sadness in this world.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

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