Federal & Postal OPM Disability Retirement: The Troubled Life

In one sense, all lives are troubled; otherwise, we would not be speaking about life at all, for “life” itself is a series of troubles encountered.  Every now and again, we hear about a life which was “privileged” or “blessed” — of a carefree, essentially trouble-free existence.  But how long can that last?  And was it truly an advantage to have such a childhood?  For, part of “growing up” and preparing for the “real world” is to introduce internal tools to “deal” with problems encountered.  If a child is not properly prepared to handle and engage in the task of problem-solving, then he or she will indeed be at a disadvantage when first entering the world at large.

There are troubled lives, and then there are the rest of us — of lives with troubles.  The troubled life is one in which transition from childhood to adulthood never occurred because proper preparation was never allowed for.  The troubled life that the rest of us lead — of a life full of troubles, often like an endless series of problems to be solved — is simply the norm of regular living.  This life is a troubled one precisely because life itself presents an endless series of challenges to be solved; and it is the “how” of that encounter that makes all of the difference. It is never a static continuum, however, and there are times in life when there are more troubles than in other times.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must confront the troubles of a medical condition and all that it entails in trying to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the time to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits may have arrived.  Proper preparation; an effective application; the “tools” needed to maneuver through the complex administrative process; these are all “troubles” which need to be confronted and “problems” to be solved.

The “troubled” life for a Federal or Postal employee contending with a medical condition remains so unless the tools of resolution are applied, and in order to utilize the proper tools to resolve the troubled life, it is best to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: Exploding Heads

We often hear the expression, “My head is about to explode.” What can it mean? Clearly, it is not to be taken literally — although, there are circumstances where brain aneurisms can result in the sensation described and an immediate trip to the emergency room would be indicated. Figuratively, it normally means that the pressures and stresses of the world are too much to bear, and that we apply the metaphor of an explosion — an earth shattering, tumultuous event — in order to convey how we feel.

Life is tough. It is often a seemingly endless series of troubles encountered and problems to be solved. Our capacity for problem-solving is not, however, limitless, and many of our problems faced have no “solution” and only respond to delay, distraction and avoidance. Yet, delay, distraction and avoidance, not having solved the problem, results inevitably in merely procrastinating the unresolved issues — of the need to again encounter, face and engage the problem, whatever form that “resolution” may take.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows for the Federal or Postal employee to perform all of the essential elements of his or her job, it may indeed feel like your head is exploding — especially when the Federal Agency or the Postal Service is putting undue pressure and stress upon you to stop using SL or remain on LWOP, or even asserting your FMLA rights. The resolution: perhaps, to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the sensation of exploding heads continues to haunt you no matter how hard you try to avoid the inevitable.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Choices and Regrets

The two go hand-in-hand, although we may not necessarily see them as unalterable couplets forever ensconced and inseparable. Instead, we often make choices, then afterwards, express our regrets without having learned from the process of “choice-making”.

Choices available are often unanalyzed and nebulous; left to appear, remain inert and ignored; the “active” part of a “choice” is when we engage in the act of “choice-making” — of engaging our minds with an inactive but available “something” — a choice there, but lifeless until the activation of our choosing invigorates the inertia of indecision.

Regrets, on the other hand, are comprised by the dust of past choices made. Once settled, they remain in the hidden caverns of forgotten memories until, one day or hour, or moment of quietude when we have the time to reflect back, the unsettling of the dust collected is stirred and rises from the ashes, like the mythological Phoenix that appears with wings spread and ready for flight into our imagination and stabbing at the vulnerabilities of our inner soul.

We regret that which we have chosen; and like the past that haunts, such regrets are ever so painful when once we recall the choices available and the ones we made.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job and position, the next steps taken — of choices being made in whether and how to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits — are important in determining whether regrets will follow.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the choices to be made will result in regrets later recalled; for in the end, it is the choices that determine the future course of success, and not the regrets that harken back the past of lost opportunities.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for FERS Gov. Employees: A Trail of Regrets

Two images are evoked by such a phrase: One, of a traveler who leaves behind a trail of regrets; the other, a traveler who travels upon a trail that has already been traveled.  The former allows for new paths to be discovered; the latter, of a trail that has already been established, and one which regretfully cannot be altered.  It is the subtle distinction between the teacher who has only taught and the experimenter who has actually lived it; the contemplator, as opposed to the one who gets his hands dirty; the one who procrastinates forever and a day, in contradistinction to the individual of action.

Regrets are a funny animal; they haunt us like loyal dogs who never leave our side, and like collectors who cannot sell their accumulated pieces, the weight of the aggregate is what ultimately destroys.  The longer we live, the greater the chance of having gathered regrets that tether our souls; and in the end, it is the state of our souls which we need to be concerned about.

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 from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her job, the choices are clear: remain and endure the suffering; quit and walk away; or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  The First may leave a trail of regrets; the Second, a trail to be traveled upon; and it is the third — to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits — that may allow for a new path for one’s future, where one may leave behind that trail of regrets.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Qualifying Standard

What if a group of individuals gathered to compete in a race, of sorts, and trained, engaged in strenuous preparatory work and did all of the things necessary in order to “qualify”? They all gather on the agreed-upon date and, in customary athletic clothing, run a predetermined distance where 3 individuals out of ten cross a white line in sequential fashion. There is no doubt as to who the 3 “front runners” were. Yet, when the prizes are handed out, they are given to the 10th, 7th and 5th place runners. There is an understandable uproar. A protest is filed.

Umpires and referees gather (are there such people, or is that just in baseball, football, soccer and basketball?) and discuss the situation at length. Small, hand-held rule books are consulted and the audience sits in anguished silence as the outcome is debated in a deliberative fashion. Furrowed eyebrows are mashed in faces of concerned silence; the crowd that had gathered to witness the sporting event argue vociferously over the unfairness of it all; television crews have arrived, having been tipped off that a major scandal has been scented and the sharks have gathered for the afternoon kill.

No one notices that a little old man who has stood watching the entire spectacle with a peaceful, quiet calm has slowly made his way onto the platform where a microphone has been set up. He approaches the podium, adjusts the contraption and begins thus: “Ahem”. He pauses, waiting for everyone at the event to recognize the point from where the clearing of his throat originated, and continues on: “I am Mr. X; I organized this event. If you look at the last paragraph of the rules-book, it specifically states the following: ‘Mr. X is the sole determiner of the qualifying standard’. I am, as I said, Mr. X, and I determined that runners 5, 7 and 10 are the winners. End of story”. The little old man then turns around and walks back down, and away from the event.

Now, for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition leads the Federal or Postal employee to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, this story may appear to parallel the manner in which the U.S. Office of Personnel Management acts: As a law unto itself.

Fortunately, they are not the sole arbiter of the qualifying standard and, instead, there is such a thing as “The Law”. In order to apply the law and force OPM to follow the true and only qualifying standard, however, it is necessary to “know” the law; and, in order to do that, it is best to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law. Otherwise, you might be subject to the same standard (or lack thereof) as the little old man who does what he wants on any given day depending on how he feels on that day, or in that moment.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Boundaries

We set them for a reason: To prevent future conflicts; to establish clearly when trespasses occur; to allow for the maintenance of compartmentalization in order to preempt overlapping potential conflicts; to teach societal conventions in a safe, artificial context; to demarcate the lines of acceptable behavior, etc.

Boundaries are set in law, in conventions, in neighborhoods, communities, nations and continents. Remember when we learned in Geography Class about the various countries and their disputed boundaries?  Or of early lessons where we were told not to cross the street unless a school safety guard bade us forward?  And what of mental boundaries — of not answering the phone after a certain hour; of boundaries that prevent us from working ourselves to death; of not responding to emails after “work hours” (is there such an animal, anymore?), etc.

And those subtle boundaries we all seem to learn — of conventional behaviors acceptable in society, including invisible ones of “personal space”, of declarations in public both allowable and prohibited; and even of eye contact, how much is offensive, to what extent a “look” becomes a “stare”, etc.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to cross the boundaries into considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement.  Medical conditions themselves have no boundaries, know no boundaries and respect no boundaries.  It becomes all pervasive — crossing into one’s personal life, and disrupting one’s career and work life.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider re-establishing those important boundaries that keep in place the lines of sanity necessary for one’s own health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: The Task Ahead

We all talk in those terms, don’t we?  And when the future is no longer referred to, we begin to worry; for it is the notion of a future that keeps us alive in the present, while the past is merely a portrait of who we were and what made us today.  A person without a history is an enigma; of what we are doing presently informs others of where we are going; and of future plans — well, that reveals of character, ambitions and the motivations of “what” and “who”.

When two people meet for the first time, it is commonplace to inquire as to the other’s past.  Why is that important?  Do we glean from a person’s previous experiences the type of “character” one has?  Of the places a person has been to; of his or her upbringing; of the hardships and trials one has endured; of the relationships one has been entangled in; and of the schools attended, the education received, etc. — are these, in their aggregate, what reveals the “make-up” of a person?

Can one sweep one’s past aside and simply declare, “I have no past and nor do I want to discuss it.  However, let me tell you of my future plans — of the task ahead.”  Why wouldn’t that be acceptable?  Is it because anyone can say anything about the future yet to be done, and it is the past which remains the telltale sign of a person’s true intentions and motivations — that is, the sincerity of one’s declarations?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the task ahead becomes clearer each day as one’s medical condition worsens: Filing for Federal Disability Retirement looms as a greater and nearer necessity.

Does the past matter?  Yes — as to the deteriorating aspect and its impact upon one’s present circumstances.  Does the present have any relevance?  Yes, to the extent of one’s current medical issues and the nexus to one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s job.  And what of the task ahead?  That is the true test — and for that, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law in order to prepare the most effective application for the task ahead: to formulate a strategy in order to pass muster with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire