Author Archives: OPM Disability Retirement Lawyer

OPM Disability Retirement: The Frustrating Process

Every administrative and bureaucratic process is a frustrating one, and waiting for an OPM Disability Retirement application to be approved is likely the epitome of frustration.

Thus, it is essential to understand at the outset that filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is a long and arduous process that will likely take many years to accomplish, and nothing short of a miracle will expedite the time required.

One’s own efforts in attempting to take shortcuts will have minimal impact upon the ultimate outcome.  Still, an Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law can undoubtedly enhance the chances of an earlier approval.  Even then, however, Federal and Postal workers need to understand that a great deal of the process merely involves waiting.

Filing quickly does not result in OPM rendering a quicker decision.  Often the contrary is true: By preparing an application quickly, it is likely not as strong a case as it could have been and when OPM finally gets around to reviewing it, a likely denial will be issued, further prolonging the waiting period because of needing to go to the next, “Reconsideration” Stage of the process.

And while every bureaucratic process inherently possesses its unique set of frustrations, OPM Disability Retirement has the added feature of contending with a serious medical issue, which tends to magnify the frustrations involved.

Can anything be done about it?  The short answer is, Not Really.  Calls to OPM will often only exasperate the level of frustration, and while “doing something…anything” may temporarily appease the frustration in the short term by making it appear that some progress is being made, almost all such efforts come to naught, and all that remains is to await OPM’s response.

Once received, of course, the entire process can be a further stage of frustration.  For, if an approval is received, there are further battles in getting the annuity payments started, and that doesn’t even touch upon whether the annuity is correctly calculated.  On the other hand, if a denial is issued, the bureaucratic frustration is further extended, especially because of the short timeframe provided in preparing and submitting a response.

Any Federal or Postal employee contemplating preparing, formulating, and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under the FERS system to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, must be prepared for a long and frustrating administrative process.

And if you want further insight into this lengthy and frustrating process, you may want to first consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Value of Something

Or, perhaps a more appropriate title might be, “The value of everything”.  There has been an explosion of discussions in recent times, especially during the pandemic, of the “value” of things — from human relationships to the careers and work we engage in.

The older generation has questioned the “work ethic” of the younger generation, who have in turn responded with a philosophical query:  “What is the point of all of this if we hate what we do?”

Massive turnovers have occurred, and a paradigm shift has resulted on the scale of Thomas Kuhn’s thesis, but applied to the general population, as equally significant as the 16th Century Copernican Revolution which turned the geocentric universe on its head.

Are young people just lazy, or do they have a point?  Is there value in all work, or should work be viewed as a means to a greater end?  And beyond that, how do we assess the value of anything, and is there a universal principle to guide us all?

One thing is for certain — and that is, that anything of value is that which is worth fighting for.  At the most primitive level, how hard we fight for something reveals the underlying value of that something.

Now, whether or not the ascription of value we have rendered to an object or principle is right or wrong, may differ in opinions; nevertheless, at its most basic construct, it is a beginning point to ponder.

For Federal and Postal employees who have filed, or are intending to file, for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, the value of securing a lifetime annuity will be determined by how hard you want to fight for it.  To that end, you will likely need the assistance of a FERS Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) does not easily issue an approval for a Disability Retirement application.

Contact today an OPM Disability Retirement Lawyer who practices exclusively in fighting on behalf of Federal and Postal employees to secure your right to Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS system, and consider the value for that which you are fighting for.

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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Long Slog

Whether impatience is a uniquely American characteristic (a flawed one?) or is merely something inherently inseparable from the human species generally is a debate for anthropologists and similar academic theoreticians to engage; but in any event, it does appear to pervade the American character in pervasive plenitude.

We are impatient about almost everything — and appear to be willing to abandon all “old ways” in favor of the “new”.  This leads to some disastrous results — as in our impatience for conflicts that last too long and our quick willingness to abandon our efforts because our goals were neither quickly nor easily achieved.

The Long Slog is always problematic for the impatient — for, it means that we must commit time and resources for periods beyond a murky, endless timeframe.  How long something takes cannot always be clearly quantified, and often the anticipated length must be ignored and, instead, achievement must be measured not in terms of time, but in light of merely remaining and showing a steadfast commitment to honoring a timeless commitment.

This is often difficult because other thoughts begin to intrude during the endless lull — Are we wasting our time?  What if we are throwing away good money after bad (a very common thought);  What if we never achieve our goal?  And many more such concerns, besides.  How do we counter the natural concerns of the Long Slog?

First, by clarifying at the outset one’s commitment to a process, and recognizing that the stated goal can only be achieved without regard to time, and Secondly, to accept that any timeframe anticipated should be multiplied by a factor of 10.

Commitment is a difficult value to uphold, and that is why a marriage covenant is so often broken — for, who can even conceive of honoring a promise “Till death do us part” without knowing the particulars of what a lifetime will entail?  All that goes into a “lifetime” — of joys and sorrows, of happiness, suddenly overshadowed by sickness and tragedies unforeseen — in short, the normal history of all of mankind.

Thus do so many people end in divorce and, similarly do long-term commitments become abandoned and forgotten human detritus.

Likewise, when a Federal or a Postal employee decides to engage in the process of preparing, formulating, and filing a Federal Disability Retirement under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), one must mentally prepare for the Long Slog.  It is a long and arduous, complicated bureaucratic process involving potentially 3 stages, and with an “almost certainty” of an initial denial from OPM no matter how well-crafted and fully documented the initial filing is composed.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin to prepare for The Long Slog.

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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Preemptive Argument

There is always the danger accompanying it — That the presupposition was unfounded and you may be pointing out a problem that the other side never thought of.  We are all aware of what assumptions can lead to, and so to make a preemptive argument is to enter into dangerous waters where unseen dangers may lurk.

How does one make the right decision as to whether to include the preemptive argument and how prominently should one make it?  Such a question presupposes a cost-benefits analysis — of first determining how likely the other side will recognize certain weaknesses in your position, then providing the preemptive counterpoint accordingly.

In preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, whether at the initial Stage or at the responsive Reconsideration Stage of the process, the point of making a preemptive argument depends upon the purpose for which you are making it.

For, at the Initial Stage of the process, you should make such an argument in an understated manner, all the while emphasizing the overall strength of the case; whereas, in responding to an OPM Denial and providing a responsive legal memorandum, any preemptive argument should be made both as a response to OPM as well as a preemptive appeal to an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) — in other words, the elaboration of an anticipatory argument, presuming that OPM is likely to deny the case a second time, as well.

All preemptive arguments possess inherent dangers, but as OPM systematically engages in a shotgun-scattering approach in justifying its denial of a Federal Disability Retirement Application, it is likely that any preemptive argument is in little danger of bringing up any surprises which OPM hadn’t considered, anyway.

Consider contacting a FERS Attorney to prepare and formulate an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, especially when formulating a cogent argument of preemptive significance.

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.

 

The 2nd OPM and 3rd MSPB Stages: The True Reconsideration

Filing for a FERS Disability Retirement application is a long, arduous, and complicated bureaucratic process.  Preferably, one would like to obviously be approved at the First (INITIAL) Stage of the Process.  But these days as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is not easily inclined to approve a case at the first stage, it is the Second (Reconsideration Stage) which is a crucial and important event in the process.

At the Reconsideration Stage, 2 important factors are presented:  First, you have the chance to correct any alleged deficiencies which OPM points out, and; Second, and just as importantly, you can begin to prepare the way for an MSPB Judge to see the strength and coherence of your medical case.  For, if OPM denies you FERS Disability Retirement benefits a second time, it will then have to be appealed to the Third Stage of the process — an appeal to the U.S Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

But as most opportunities are presented, the best way to approach this 2nd OPM Stage is to see it as a dual-purpose response:  First as a response to OPM’s Denial, and concurrently, as a legal argument to the potential MSPB Judge.

Furthermore, what OPM never tells FERS applicants is that a further “reconsideration” — a re-reconsideration — will occur if OPM denies the case a second time and an appeal is filed to the MSPB.

This is because the OPM Legal Specialist who will represent OPM at the MSPB will automatically review the case in its entirety, and re-reconsider it anew from an entirely different perspective – that from a legally sufficient perspective — in the same way, that the MSPB Judge will view it.

This is because the MSPB is a legal forum and not a bureaucratic forum —which brings us back o the “second” point in responding to an OPM Denial at the Reconsideration Stage — not only to correct any alleged deficiencies pointed out by the Office of Personnel Management, but moreover, to make persuasive legal arguments which point to the legally sufficient cogency of your application.

Thus, the Reconsideration Response should always include a Responsive legal memorandum arguing the applicable case law in preemptively preparing for the MSPB.  This not only prepares the way for arguing the merits of your case with the MSPB Administrative Judge but also gives a warning to OPM that your case will be legally invincible if and when it is appealed to the MSPB.

The best approach is to do things well from the very beginning, but even if your disability claim was already denied at the First Stage, for more reasons now, you need to contact a FERS Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement law and prepare your disability case for the first appeal and reconsideration, but who also will assist you with the preparation of the “true reconsideration” stage — the re-review at the MSPB.

Sincerely,

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

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Why and How

Science can only ever tell us “The how”, but never the “Why”.  The latter can only be answered by an appeal to a transcendence of Being, going beyond the physical universe.

The human species possesses an inherent need for the “Why” of this world — one needs only to look at a young child who keeps asking, “Why does…” in an endless, repetitive way to realize that satisfaction of the query cannot be accommodated by mechanical explanations, but must always return to first principles, and often intrude into a spiritual realm.

Without that aspect of life, we are reduced to clusters of molecules and cellular blobs. Shakespeare disappears and love dissolves, and we devolve into evolutionary structures of pointless existence.

Logical arguments attempting to reduce everything to scientific explanations miss the point:  For, it fails to consider how the “why” came about.  Why do we even need the rules of logic?    How we come into being is always the minor premise of life; it is the “Why” which forever remains the major premise, which we all must ask and answer in seeking to live a meaningful existence.

For Federal and Postal employees suffering from a medical condition which necessitates filing for FERS Disability Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, being befuddled as to the “How” of the process is understandable.

You likely have already answered the “Why” of the process, as in “Why has this happened”, or “Why do I need to file?”— but it is the “How” in this case —the minor premise of the process which still requires the explanation.  And that is understandable, precisely because we live in a physical universe, and more importantly, a bureaucratic world.

Contact today a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and get the answers to the “How” of the retirement process, while leaving aside the “Why” of the process for the individual Federal and Postal employee to answer.

Sincerely,

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

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Words and Actions

Can empathy have meaning without acting when the necessity arises?  Can abstract affection without the inclusion of real people trigger a positive result, or does it leave a vacuum of insensitivity?

In modernity, it appears that words alone constitute action enough, so that in the political sphere, if one speaks the “right” words, then nothing further is required.  Thus, to be in favor of certain political positions is enough to be noble and lauded.

But in real life, if help is actually needed, can words of empathy be enough?  To merely speak the proper words — “I feel bad for him,” or, “I truly feel sorry for her circumstances” or perhaps to even shed some real tears; but without rendering physical or material assistance, does the lack of actions following upon words reveal either insincerity or, even worse, a perversity of emptiness in one’s vacuous soul?  Does not the test of sincerity require completion by action?

On a macro level, can a society claim to be a moral nation through flowery speeches, while allowing its citizens to suffer great iniquities?  To that end, the benefit of Federal OPM Disability Retirement is reflective of a government which not only expresses words of concern for its workforce but moreover, combines those words with the action of providing the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement for the eventuality of suffering from a disabling injury or illness which often results in devastating consequences.

Words and Actions.  Each complements the other and the combination is like the clasping of two hands — ineffective when separate and apart, but when used in tandem, can evince a practical strength beyond the coordinated combination of both together.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law for Federal and Postal employees, and begin to actually act upon preparing, formulating, and filing an effective Federal/Postal Disability Retirement application under the FERS system, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

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