Author Archives: FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer

FERS Medical Retirement from OPM: Better Days Ahead

If you have had the worst of days, then looking forward to better days becomes an undeniable fact of predictable certainty.

Good and bad days occur for all of us, whether determined by some objective standard, or by the whims of altering moods.  Like weather patterns and tempestuous personalities, the accounting of days and their qualities alter by minutes and lesser fractions thereof.

Human beings possess an excellent capacity for self-determination and defiance of fate and karma, both of which are influenced by the attitudes we display.  Can we always count on better days ahead?  And more to the point, how can we contain and circumscribe the bad days?

It has been variously pointed out that frustration is produced by the broader gap between expectation and achievement, where one’s unrealistic anticipation of goals to achieve falls far short of realistic ends annotated.  Thus, it is always essential to identify items which will come to fruition no matter what.

In other words, always include in any “to-do list” items that you are bound to be accomplished, anyway.  More importantly, circumscribe the boundaries of the current “day” and do not include more than an identifiably limited time quantification.  Stated differently, there should be a beginning time and an end point as to what constitutes a particular day.

Finally, it is always a given that we should discount Mondays — for, the day following a weekend will almost always be disastrous, no matter how we attempt to decorate it with outward appearances of successful annotations.

Are some of these tactics mere attempts at self-delusion?  Perhaps, but if we are to avoid the fates of mischievous gods who playfully attempt to throw lightning bolts in the paths of our daily lives, we must anticipate them and adjust our actions accordingly.

And for Federal employees and U.S. Post Workers who are engaged in the frustrating bureaucratic process of applying for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, any and every mechanism employed in order to sustain a sense of humor will help you survive the maddening administrative process and help you survive to a successful end.

For, sometimes, the gods who play with our lives are not those mystical creatures watchful among the clouds above, but mere mortals walking to and fro amidst the bureaucratic halls of government offices.

And to maintain your sanity, you may want to consult with a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to see what legal shields may be effective against OPM’s random and capricious lightening bolts of denied applications.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Knowledge & Application

It is assumed in the West that knowledge, in and of itself, is a valuable thing.  And in this country, periods of pragmatism overtake that viewpoint, but always seem to revert back — otherwise, how else would we persuade children to spend countless hours sitting in a classroom, year after year?

As “making a living” has become the primary focus of society in general, there is an ever-pervasive tension between knowledge for its own sake as opposed to knowledge that is “useful” (translation: the “know-how” to make a living).  This is a tension that every society must grapple with — of becoming educated as an end in itself or as a means to a different end.

Few believe that there is a downside to having a good education, but a well-educated populace that lives in poverty cannot for long sustain its justification for perpetuating inapplicable knowledge.  Society must always maintain a balance between theoretical knowledge and applied knowledge.

Law is a discipline which straddles the fence between the theoretical and the practical, inasmuch as it engages in conceptual/intellectual issues, but concurrently, must be able to be applied in the everyday lives of people.  For example, in domestic relations law, there are overarching conceptual principles focusing upon what constitutes “the best interests of a child” in a custody battle, but in the end, the practical application of determining a workable visitation schedule must be hammered out between the parties involved.

Similarly, in Criminal law, while a society may adopt a conceptual apparatus as to whether “reform” is the goal or “punishment” is the justifying foundation for a lengthy incarceration imposed, nevertheless, in either case, society must consider the practical issue of protecting its citizens from further harm which may predictably be committed by the party found guilty.

In a similar fashion, for Federal employees and U.S. Postal employees who file for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under the FERS system, knowing the Law and cases governing Federal Disability Retirement is essential in engaging the bureaucratic process, precisely because Federal Disability Retirement benefits is not merely about the medical condition in and of itself, but involves a complex consortium of issues in relation to the job one is positioned in, whether the Agency can accommodate an individual’s medical disabilities as well as what constitutes a legally-viable accommodation, as well as a whole host of other similar issues.

Here, knowledge precedes application, and having a ‘working’ knowledge of the laws governing Federal Disability Retirement in order to apply it at each stage of the administrative process is a necessary prerequisite before considering even applying for the benefit.  Yes, there are rare cases in which the medical disability is so severe and clear-cur that the medical documentation is and should be sufficient unto itself; but that is a rare case indeed.

As such, at whatever stage of the process one finds oneself in the Federal Disability Retirement bureaucracy, you may want to consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes exclusively in Federal Disability Retirement law in order to have not only the knowledge but the practical application of proceeding against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in fighting for your FERS Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill,

Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

FERS Disability: Formulating the Reconsideration Rebuttal

It is a frustrating process when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issues a denial and the Federal employee or Postal Service worker must respond effectively within a limited prescribed time.  OPM has all the time in the world to prepare the denial letter, and will often take as long as they want in preparing a lengthy denial letter.

Once received, the denied Federal applicant has 30 days from the date of the denial to “Request Reconsideration” and will be granted 30 additional days beyond the time requested in order to submit any legal response and additional documentary evidence in support of your case.  Then, within that prescribed time period, a response must be prepared and submitted.

It is this formulation of substantive responsiveness that will determine the future course of the next steps — whether a subsequent denial will require a further appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, or with approval of the application, the end of the bureaucratic process has occurred and the next frustrating phase of waiting for the payment department to begin issuing annuity payments will ensue.

As with all things with unlimited time on one’s hands, OPM will extract every word and phrase from doctor’s notes and office visits, take them out of context and interpret everything in favor of denial.

It is often an overwhelming process of a “shotgun approach” where OPM attempts to make it appear as though (A) You were ridiculous in even trying to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits and/or (B) what you had submitted previously was entirely insufficient and need not even be considered any further.

The net effect of the denial letter is to leave you with the impression that you should forget about the whole thing and just give up.  Don’t be fooled by this tactic, because that is all that it is — a ploy to just convince you to give up.

Instead, break down OPM’s arguments into manageable categories, of which the two primary ones are: (1) lack of showing of a deficiency in performance, conduct, or attendance and/or (2) insufficient medical documentation.  Then, attempt to gather any further documentation to reinforce those weak links and argue how the caselaw or statute is met with the additional supportive documents.

One other reminder: So long as you have met the timeframe of requesting reconsideration  within that 30-day period, you have a chance at winning your case —so, make sure you file the request in a timely fashion.  And, furthermore, you may want to contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to help you formulate an effective response.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill,

Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

FERS Medical Retirement from OPM: Objectivity

In the West, the traditional approach is to be far removed and dispassionate in attempting to attain that level of acceptable discernment.  If there is even a whiff of personal involvement, a suspicion of a self-serving motive, or some indication of emotional application, the revered status of objectivity comes into question.

For some unknown reason, the label “To be objective” must ignore and minimize all that is preternaturally human.  A Kantian would argue that objective knowledge is a goal inherently impossible to achieve, precisely because we possess only subjective capabilities and impose our worldview upon everything we analyze, evaluate and assess.

To that extent, it becomes a mere tautology, for if we are incapable of reaching beyond  ourselves, then there would be no point in even trying.  But try we do, and in the Western Philosophical tradition, we employ devices such as Logic, the Socratic method of endless self-examination, and a touch of mystical fairy dust sprinkled as “objective analysis”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who submit a Federal Disability Retirement Application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under the FERS system, the argument for objectivity is often refuted by OPM based upon a “lack thereof”.  OPM will argue that the “pain” one experiences, or the emotional impact from psychiatric conditions, is “purely subjective” and is therefore invalid as a basis for approving a FERS Disability Retirement application.

This, too, is a circular, tautological argument, precisely because ‘pain’ by definition, is always subjective.  Yet, that is not what the applicable law concerning the established legal criteria of proving a FERS Disability Retirement case holds, and despite OPM knowing this, they will systematically ignore the applicable laws governing FERS Disability Retirements.

In order to rebut OPM’ s baseless charge that your Federal Disability Retirement case lacks objectivity, contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in the practice area of OPM Disability Retirement Law, and successfully refute the fallacy of objectivity or the lack thereof.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

FERS Medical Retirement: The Proper Perspective

You can gather all of the available facts, and yet still make the wrong decision because you fail to have the proper perspective.  To have the right perspective, you must assess and evaluate the facts as presented and arrive at the best judgment based upon a proper perspective.  The “proper perspective”, moreover, is often based upon a lifetime of habits formed in how one engages the facts amassed.

Do you allow for emotional prejudices to cloud your judgment, or have you cultivated a habit of dispassionate review?  Are you able to set aside the overwhelming sense of panic which can lead to a reactionary course of response, or can you set the issue aside and come back to it with a reserved approach of greater objectivity?

In most cases encompassing a variety of facts, a requirement of interpretive analysis must occur, and that process of arriving at the best course of action in determining the comparative and superlative degrees of a judgment does not necessarily mean that there is a singular “best” course, for reasonable people may differ on that.

And, of course, that is the proverbial “rub” of the issue — that the proper perspective arrived at the time may not lead to the best action to be taken, but merely that, given a set of facts analyzed at a given time and place, it is the “proper” one for the moment.  Other facts and circumstances may come into play if left to ponder, but because an imminent decision must be made, it is often enough to rely upon one’s best judgment in moving forward.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a chronic illness or injury such that an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS system must be considered, arriving at the proper perspective will often be clouded by the medical condition itself.  As such, it is important to have the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to provide the proper perspective in fighting against OPM for your rights.

The perspective of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is always that no Federal or Postal employee qualifies for Federal Disability Retirement, and will often deny a case by making it appear that you had no chance for success, to begin with.  However, that approach is not the right or proper perspective, and the way to counter OPM and arrive at the proper perspective is to apply the law.

Contact a Federal Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and respond with the proper perspective.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Just the Right Word

It is a terrifying thought that major events — some of which can lead to calamitous results — can turn on a word.  Diplomacy depends upon it, as well as marital harmony and a host of other circumstances.

Words possess the power of persuasion, and their salutary impact is seen by the consequences which follow.   One sees It in the faces of diplomats following lengthy discussions behind closed doors — whether certain words have really averted a crisis or have merely prolonged an inevitable consummation of intentions otherwise provoked.

Did “just the right words” avoid the breakup of a marriage, where the expectant looks of a child’s hope depended upon the soothing effects softly diminishing tempers’ destructive costs? It is the intemperate reaction in the heat of the moment which compels remorse of conscience and the recognition of the power of words.

For Federal Gov. employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from an injury or illness such that preparing, formulating, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS becomes a necessity — or, if already filed and a Denial from OPM has already been rendered and a Reconsideration response is required — understanding that the entire administrative process is a “paper presentation” to OPM and is therefore dependent upon “just the right word” or, more accurately, multiple and voluminous words — is a daunting thought.

And furthermore, the words chosen must necessarily involve various areas of specialized disciplines — not the least of which (obviously) should include conceptual constructs of legal cases previously decided.

As such, in filing an application to OPM or in responding to an OPM denial and needing to file a responsive Reconsideration legal memorandum, it may be necessary to consult with a FERS Medical Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to help in choosing “just the right word.”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

FERS Medical Retirement: The Chance for Success

It is what everyone wants to know; we have all been accustomed to relying upon percentages — of probability theories from the likelihood of being struck by lightening to whether we will be attacked by a shark while swimming in the ocean (in both instances, of course, various factors come into play, as in: If you don’t venture into those circumstances which favor such calamities, the probability of such occurrences precipitously drops).

Or in the case of divorce, for example — Does including Elizabeth Taylor in the statistical analysis skewer the numbers— or those in Hollywood generally?

One can argue as to the accuracy of statistical analysis by questioning the data used, but we nevertheless seek assurance and find refuge in numbers, because of the impenetrable mysteries surrounding numerical certainties.  Math is a uniquely different language, and most of us struggle with comprehending its complexities while simultaneously defending its infallible status in the universe.

For Federal Gov. employees and U.S. Postal workers who have filed, or want to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, the question often posed is — What are the chances for success?  The answer, of course, is: It all depends upon the various factors underlying your own particular case.

However, one thing is quite certain: You must be prepared to fight for your case, a each and every stage of the process.  You must prepare an arsenal of weapons — not the least of which, includes the legal cases which favor and support your case.  It may be a self-evident proposition, but here goes: If you are not willing to fight aggressively against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, you will surely lose.

So, take this simple advice from an experienced lawyer: Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is not for the “faint of heart” and must be engaged in only with a view towards a “long and arduous slog”.

And as for the chance for success?  With the guidance of an experienced Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer, it can be exponentially enhanced.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

FERS Medical Retirement: Reconsideration & OPM’s Hope

Federal Disability Retirement can be a long, arduous, and frustrating administrative process and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management does not help to make it a smooth one.  You will likely get denied at the Initial Stage of the process, and furthermore, the initial Denial Letter from OPM will have you scratching your head in a state of anger and confusion as to its inherent lack of coherence or logic.

That is because it is OPM’s hope that you will simply give up and go away.  However, the mantra which you must always adopt is:  Never give up, and keep persisting, no matter what OPM says in their denial.  If you don’t win at the Reconsideration Stage, then you still have a chance at appealing it to the next stage – before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

At both stages of the bureaucratic process, it is a good idea to contact an experienced FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, who can properly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case, and thus respond accordingly.  For, while persistence and refusing to go away is the first step in beating back OPM’s denials, such persistence must also be followed by a competent understanding and application of the legal criteria to rebut OPM’s attempt to marginalize your Federal Disability Retirement claim under the FERS system.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and don’t succumb to OPM’s hope that you will just give up and go away.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.