Federal Employees with Permanent but Partial Disabilities: The Delay of Time

We grumble and complain about “losing” an hour in Spring’s moving forward for the time change, and are glad to accept the “gain” of it in the Fall.  In either case, we recognize that we have neither lost the hour, nor gained it; it is merely the artificial alteration of clocks uniformly and by international agreement accepted.

The true loss is in the delay of time — of our actions, our thoughts, our lack of initiative in moving forward when necessity dictates a change in our lives.

Medical conditions tend to do that — they force us to delay time, hoping that it will go away, change course, and one day deemed to have been merely a bad dream, a nightmare to be forgotten.  But they remain with us — slowing us down, delaying the inevitable: Our career needs to change; we need to adapt to our circumstances.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and have been hoping that the delay of time might change some things, it should be clear that time is never a friend of an injury or disease — it merely provokes us into the false notion that time will ultimately heal.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and consider that the delay of time will only make an emergency out of what is now merely an urgency.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for OPM Disability Retirement: Starting the Process

Perhaps you tinker around the issue; you have “thought about it”; you have looked it up on the Internet; but for some reason, you cannot actually take the next step — of starting the process.  Delaying the inevitable; procrastinating for one reason or another; you may have been already told by your doctor that you might want to “consider” going out on disability — but you still have not taken the next step — the “concrete” step — in starting the process.

Federal Disability Retirement is a hard fate to accept; for, in the end, it means the loss of your career (at least in the form that you have become accustomed to), a partial loss of your identity (you’ve been know for many years by the title and designation of you job), and a reduction in your income (although, under FERS Disability Retirement, you can make up to 80% of what your former position currently pays, on top of the 60% of annuity the first year and 40% every year thereafter, thus potentially allowing you to actually make more in the end).

Starting the Process” is indeed a foreboding next step — one that must be thoughtfully engaged.  However, the Federal or Postal employee does not come to such a decision lightly.  Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and let not the prospect of the process be more onerous than the process itself.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Employees with Disabilities: The “Weak” Case

All Federal Disability Retirement cases are weak at the outset.  A Federal Disability Retirement case must be built from the foundation up — like houses, buildings, marriages and children.  Is one FERS Disability Retirement case qualitatively different from another?

Sure — the potentiality exists, but unless properly prepared, almost all cases can be lost.  There is the occasional one — a devastating, traumatic event which orthopedically disables an individual, leading him or her to have to retire medically from a physically-intensive position.  But those are the rare exceptions, and exceptions never make the rule.

And don’t be misled: “Building” a Federal Disability Retirement case is neither illegal nor unethical: It is what must be done, properly, in order to effectively formulate a case.  One must solicit and gather the supportive medical evidence, then build the case from that important foundation.

Contact a private OPM Attorney who specializes in preparing, formulating and filing (including representation at all stages of the Federal Disability Retirement process) an effective Federal Disability Retirement case. While your case may seem “weak” at the outset, it is the strength of building which will determine the ultimate outcome.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Permanent Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Post-Separation Evidence

OPM ignores the law.  Despite over a decade since the opinion expressed in Reilly v. OPM, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, 571 F.3d 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2009), the U.S. Office of Personnel Management continues to dismiss the relevance of post-separation medical evidence in a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application.

OPM will systematically deny cases with the following type of statement: “You doctor stated X.  However, the medical report was dated after your separation from Federal Service.  Therefore, you did not establish that you were medically disabled from performing your job while a Federal employee.”  Huh?

Three things stand out, of course: First, most medical conditions are progressive and degenerative in nature and do not appear on the very day a doctor examines a patient.

Second, the clear logical error of OPM’s argument is so blatant: X exists. X exists after Time-Y. Therefore, because X exists after Time-Y, X did not exist prior to Time-Y.  Or: I saw a man named Tom. I saw Tom today and did not see him yesterday.  Therefore, Tom was not born before I saw him today.  Absurd.

And third: OPM ignores the law as stated in Reilly, where post-separation medical evidence is clearly relevant if a proper nexus is established to a pre-separation time-frame.

Don’t let OPM’s illogical interpretation of the law defeat you.  Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, and beat them back in order to obtain the benefits you are entitled to.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Happy Thanksgiving 2020

2020 has been a tumultuous year.  From the COVID-19 Pandemic to the rancorous political season; from shutdowns, the constant misery of disease, death and debilitating after-effects of this virus to a government paralyzed by partisanship; from the political turmoil of the recent election to the incessant drumbeat of a democracy tested by its own words; throughout, there has been little pause to consider the basis for our thankfulness.

Yet, this is the time to take stock of the things we appreciate.  We can be rocked by the daily blast of news cycles, but when we sit down for Thanksgiving — whether alone or with our immediate family — are there not moments of joy in considering what we have, as opposed to what we have lost? Loss is a part of living; recognition of what we have retained, a slice of joy; and always, to be thankful for a future yet hopeful, and of little things to cherish. Stay safe; stay healthy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Workers: The Messes We Make

We make many of them.  By “make”, too often implies that it is our fault; and yet, some greater number of messes we make are merely the consequence of unknown factors, thoughtless actions and unintended reservoirs of youthful behavior.  Our parents often clean up after the messes we make; and, for a time, at least, such parental love allows for the children to mature and grow up until the messes become less and the successes replace them.

Some parents take the harsher road: “You have to clean up your own mess”; while others take too lenient a role and never allow their children to learn from their mistakes.  Most parents take a middle-of-the-road approach and try and guide their children through life’s learning process of making messes.  Some messes, like acquiring a medical condition, simply come upon us and we have no control over them.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are beset with the “mess” of a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal job, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is the “cleaning up” of the mess we have acquired.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Puzzles Which Need Solutions

We are taught that life is a series of puzzles which need to be solved.  Puzzles — whether a jigsaw puzzle that requires finding and fitting the right pieces together; a word-play puzzle requiring thoughtful conceptual input; or a “dimensional” puzzle which requires remnants of knowledge we once learned in Geometry Class — necessitate thoughtful input on our part.

A medical condition, too, triggers a puzzle — how to deal with it; how to respond; how to adjust; whether and to what extent it will impact our lives; and there it is again: a Puzzle which needs a solution.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers who suffer from a medical condition which impacts your ability to perform one or more of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal position, the solution to the puzzle is to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Contact and consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to solve the puzzle of a medical condition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Government Disability Retirement: Predictive Choices

When a medical condition first begins to appear, Federal employees and Postal workers rarely predict or anticipate that Federal Disability Retirement will be the choice that must be chosen in the near-term — or even in the long term.  A medical condition arises; we go to the doctor to take care of it; we continue on with life.  We rarely “plan” in anticipation of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, on the other hand, looks at an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, reviews all of the submitted progress notes of the treating doctor, looks at a person’s Performance Reviews and denies a Federal Disability Retirement application because you — the Federal or Postal employee — were able to work through your chronic medical condition, still received stellar performance reviews, and acted “as if” there was little to nothing wrong with you.

In other words, you continued to power your way through life despite your medical conditions.  It is unfair, isn’t it?  For, you are essentially being penalized for choosing to live life as opposed to making the predictive choice of filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits.

Contact a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law and begin making the predictive choices which will reinforce your case for a successful Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Permanent Disability Retirement from Federal Employment: SSDI & VA Claims

Corollary successes can have a persuasive impact upon an OPM Disability Retirement application — but one must also understand the difference between a “persuasive” impact as opposed to a “determinative” impact.

An approval of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSDI) edges closer to a “determinative” one as to its impact upon a FERS Disability Retirement application.  Note the operative term, however — “edges”.  Under Trevan v. OPM, such an approval from SSDI — so long as the medical basis upon which it was filed is identical to, or fairly paralleling that submitted with the FERS Disability Retirement application — is strongly persuasive upon an OPM Disability Retirement claim.  However, it must still be argued, and certain elements of the SSDI Claim must be shown to OPM for that “persuasive” effect that “edges” towards a determinative impact.

VA Claims — even if you are deemed “Permanent and Total” — are closer to a “merely persuasive” influence upon a FERS Disability Retirement claim.  That is, the higher the ascribed percentage in a VA Disability claim, the greater the chance that it will influence or “persuade” OPM that the FERS Disability Retirement application should be approved.

Use of an SSDI or VA approval should be part of the legal strategy in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.  Contact a private OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to prepare an effective Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application in order to determinatively persuade OPM to approve your case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire