FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Caught in a mold

Not of the unwanted fungus type, growing as an organic filament in damp conditions; but of the other definition where the hollow of the inverse image is created and a liquid is poured into it, left to harden, then to lift, leave aside and discard in order for the formed creation to survive.

We are metaphors of the mold that forms, inasmuch as who we are is often determined by the casts which others have structured around us.  Whether by expectations or a history of others telling us who we are, we abide by that script which was never written by ourselves.

Is that why there are secret lives?  Are there those who live double, triple or even quadruple lives, unknown to spouses, children and parents, furtively lived about in shadows of other towns, cities — or just in the imaginations coveted by strangers whom we never met?  Is there such a thing as an “expectation” of society; or perhaps Freud was ultimately right in our unending quest for approval by a motherly figure whom we forever seek?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are caught in the trap of a mold, where expectations of continuing in a career even though the pain of the medical condition or the despair of a constant struggle clearly point to one that such expectations can no longer be met — filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset — may be the best way to break out of the mold.

Such societal molds work only so long as the health of the mold remains intact; when the crack forms, however, then the liquid begins to leak and the figure which was expected becomes distorted in its very essence.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may well crack the mold of expectations, but when it becomes a necessary choice between one’s health and the expectation of others, it is the former which should always be the priority.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire



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