Postal & Federal Disability Retirement: OPM’s Characterization

You just want to get a benefit you are not entitled to; you don’t really have a medical condition that prevents you from performing your job; your performance reviews are great; you received a cash award just a year ago; your supervisor doesn’t identify any service deficiencies; even though your Human Resource Office certified that your Agency could not accommodate you, we don’t believe them — etc., etc., etc.

In filing a Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS, you will necessarily have a certain perspective as an individual requesting that you be approved for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  No one at OPM will meet you in person.  You will be “known” and “characterized” based upon a paper-presentation to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  OPM will likely have a different characterization of you.

What will make the difference between an approval and a denial?  The Law.

Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that OPM’s characterization of you is rebutted and preempted at the outset — by The Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal and Federal Employee Disability Attorney: Telltale Signs

What are they, and how is it that we overlook them so often?  Take, for example, the Federal or Postal employee who begins the process of seeking a lawyer to represent him or her to obtain Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits.  The Federal or Postal worker makes a phone call — perhaps a voicemail is reached, and so you leave a message.  You don’t get a call for 2 or 3 days, or even until late the next day.  Isn’t that a telltale sign of something?

Or, someone does finally call you back or you actually do get through to a “live” person — but not the lawyer.  Instead, you are speaking to an “Intake Specialist”, or Mr. So-and-so’s “Administrative Assistant” or “Paralegal” or — better yet — someone who self-identifies as a “Disability Specialist”. ??????????

You began by setting out to hire a lawyer — a person who has a law degree and is versed in the legal complexities of Federal Disability Retirement Law, and you end up with a non-lawyer who holds the dubious credentials of being a “Disability Specialist”; are these not telltale signs?

If you want the wisdom, advice and guidance of an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, then make sure that you recognize the telltale signs and insist that you be represented by an actual Lawyer who Specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: “What Happens If…”

It is the prefatory words to a long list of potential queries, and such questions can only be answered by an experienced lawyer who has been well versed in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  That is part of the reason why you hire an attorney who has practiced exclusively in the area of Federal Disability Retirement Law and has tangled with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management on multiple and varied issues over the years.

What happens if you get fired during the process?”  “What happens to your TSP and Health Insurance?”  “What happens if you get denied the first time?”

Of course, the “What happens if” questions are merely a minor subset of multiple other forms, such as the “Can you —” or “Is there —”, and countless other forms of queries.  To be able to answer them all — or most of them — would require a Federal Disability Attorney who has practiced for many, many years.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who has specialized in Federal Disability Retirement Law for those many years, and who can satisfy the yearning for answers to questions which began with the curiosity of a child in wonderment and awe, and ended up as a Federal or Postal employee needing assistance in a universe that turned out to include the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, with all of its bureaucratic and administrative complexities.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Agency Support

In a Federal Disability Retirement application, part of the SF 3112 series of forms will have to be completed by your Federal Agency or the Postal Service — whether you are still working for the agency or not.  Primarily, SF 3112B (Supervisor’s Statement) and SF 3112D (Agency Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation Efforts) will be the two forms which the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will require as part of the Federal Disability Retirement packet.

Can “how” it is completed by your agency impact OPM’s decision on your case?  Of course.

Is it important to have the “support” of your agency or Postal Service?  To some extent.

Can lack of support — or even lying about some of the issues — be overcome?  Yes.

There are, of course, some things which you have no control over — such as individuals making false statement, agencies unwilling to cooperate, the Postal Service not responding, etc.  However, there are things which can be done to circumvent such lies, uncooperative non-responses, etc., and it is certainly advisable to have an OPM Disability Attorney guide you with the wisdom and knowledge of experience and prior encounters in order to give you the greatest possible chance in your quest to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: The Uncooperative Doctor

Obviously, greater cooperation equals a smoother transition in every endeavor; it is the lack of cooperation which holds everything up.

In a Federal Disability Retirement case, a supportive doctor is almost always a necessary component in a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.  Yet, for the most part, doctors want to be — merely doctors.  That is, doctors generally hate the “administrative” side of practicing medicine — of the note-taking, dictation of office visits, annotating patient encounters, record-keeping; and, especially, of writing a narrative report in support of a Federal Disability Retirement application.  Why?  Simply because it is the tedious side of practicing medicine.

Sometimes, of course, depending upon the severity of the medical condition(s), a lengthy explanatory narrative is not necessary; but more often than not, an extensive, supportive narrative report is an important element in a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.  How does one “deal” with an uncooperative doctor?  There is no magical formula — but to simply attempt to garner a commitment from the treating doctor prior to initiating the complex process of preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, and to contact an OPM Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: When Hiring a Lawyer

When hiring a lawyer or a law firm, what are your expectations and who are you hiring?  Are you hiring an “Intake Officer” (whatever they are); a paralegal; a legal assistant; a “Disability Specialist” (whatever THEY are) — or are you hiring a lawyer?  That is, a person who holds the law degree, who is entitled to practice law, and who is the knowledgeable “expert” in the field of Federal Disability Retirement Law?

How can you tell?  Do you know you are hiring a lawyer merely because someone tells you so?  Or, are these the indicators: When you make a call, the lawyer answers your call.  When you leave a message, the lawyer calls you back.  When you send an email, the lawyer responds.

Or: You always only speak to an “assistant”, and never to the lawyer; the “Disability Specialist” (again, what is a “Disability Specialist” — and what does it mean to be a “specialist”, especially if you aren’t a lawyer?) is always the one who seems to be handling your case; and what happens if your case get denied at the Initial Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, and then again at the Reconsideration Stage of the process — who will see you through at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board?

When hiring a lawyer or a law firm, make sure that you are actually getting what you are paying for: An actual FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who will guide you with his experience, wisdom and legal acumen.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Liars

Do saints or angels exist?  That question necessarily implicates a further query: Are there beings in the universe who have never lied?

Of course, we do make the conceptual distinction between “a person who lies” and “a liar”.  The former refers to all of us; for, of whatever reasons justifying it or in defining the concept of a “lie”, we all must admit that we have engaged in the act at one time or another — unless, of course, we deem ourselves to be either an angel or a saint.  As for the latter — it refers to and implicates not a person who may lie every now and again, but rather one whose reputation is that of a chronically dishonest person.

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 one’s Federal or Postal job, the problem of liars becomes an inherent, regular part of the Federal Disability Retirement process.  For some reason, Federal Agencies, Supervisors, managers, H.R. Representatives, etc. — all seem to engage in and bring out the worst within a context of lying.

Why such fervency of opposition, as if a person’s disability retirement application must be opposed, and therefore memories falter, resistance intensifies — is it because people simply do not like the idea of someone else gaining a benefit?

Whatever the reason, liars must be countered with the force of truth, and that is where a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer who has the experience of trial work, cross examination and articulation of legal argumentation is important to engage.  Contact an experienced Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and prepare yourself to counter the lies that will surely come about, unless, of course, you believe that your Agency or Postal facility is full of saints and angels.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for FERS Disability Retirement: The Time to Decide

The process of decision-making comes in all forms: Of procrastination until one is forced into making one; of deliberative thoughtfulness until all logical possibilities are exhaustively analyzed and a default judgment is entered through rational elimination of available options; of basing it all upon an “instinct” or a desire; of randomly choosing based upon the belief that — as the universe itself is arbitrary and capricious, so should all matters be decided in a parallel fashion; of considering the alternatives and eliminating them based upon a gut-feeling; and multiple other nonconformist manners, often combining a multitude of various methodologies — if in fact one can even refer to “madness” as a method.

Regardless — whether of one method or another — there comes a “time” to decide, and that time is often relevant based upon additional factors to take into consideration: Others are dependent upon your decision; there is a time-limit on making a decision; certain contingencies have occurred which require a decision to be made; or, to simply let outside circumstances dictate the decision by deciding to engage in the act of a non-decision.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are struggling with the decision of whether to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the question of “timing” is often decided by the extent and severity of the ongoing medical condition itself.  The anomaly of when is the “right time” is often offset by circumstances beyond one’s control: of actions perpetrated by the Agency; of the worsening of one’s medical condition; of the exhaustion of FMLA, SL and AL and the denial of extending one’s LWOP status; and the combination of any or all of the complex interaction of pressures and stresses which impact perfect timing.

Time is an artifice of relative events; often, there is no such thing as “perfect timing”; but what we do know is that there is a time to decide, and that time is when a Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire