OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Value of Advice

If we could travel back in time with the knowledge we possess now, we would all be wealthy.  But then, if everyone were to travel back in time, all at the same time, the knowledge we possess would lead to acts which would alter the future from the perspective of the past.

Think about it: We all know that certain “tech” companies have soared in stock valuations.  With that knowledge, if we were to travel back in time, wouldn’t we all buy up all of the stocks, knowing that when we returned “back to the future”, we would have applied that knowledge pre-possessed?

But if everyone did that, it would diminish and de-value the worth of such stocks, and the course of human history would then have become altered. It is a conundrum without an answer. And, as human beings do not possess such retrospective wisdom, it is often a good idea to turn to those who can advise, guide and counsel as best they can.

In the field of Federal Disability Retirement Law, what would be the value of advice, counsel and experienced wisdom from an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law?

In considering the option of filing and fighting for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, make sure that you are hiring and paying for the advice of the attorney him/herself, and not just some law clerk or so-called “legal specialist” who purports to know about a field of expertise that only the Federal Disability Lawyer knows.

In other words, when you hire an OPM Disability Retirement Lawyer to guide you through the complex administrative process of Federal Disability Retirement Law, get the full value of advice by hiring the lawyer himself, and not the office staff.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: What the Attorney Can Do

If attorneys were gods, they would work themselves out of business; but attorneys are not gods; therefore, there is much that an attorney can do.  Such a syllogism may be rather self-evident.  Attorneys are not gods; neither are they miracle workers.  Not every issue can be handled by, or resolved through, an attorney.

Sometimes, the lay person can do the work him/herself without an attorney.  At other times, the input of an attorney, however minimal, can be the difference between success or failure.

Here are some of the things a Federal Disability Attorney can do in a Federal Disability Retirement case: Focus and sharpen a case; cut out the irrelevancies; cite and apply the law; make the legal arguments which are current and applicable; streamline a case and make it clear and pointed; rebut an opponent’s argument by pointing out logical inconsistencies and mistaken applications of the law; provide a strategy and plan; give an objective account of one’s case.

There are many other aspects of any given case that a Federal Disability Retirement Attorney can be helpful with, but these generalities can provide you with a notion of what a good and effective attorney can do.

Contact an OPM Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of putting together an effective Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application.

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

 

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

 

OPM Medical Retirement: The Fundamentalist

It often evokes a negative connotation, of a rigidness and adherence to principles which refuses to concede allowances for exceptions lest the singularity of excusable violation permeate and tarnish the very paradigm of inflexibility; and in a religious context, it represents a historical movement of a “going back” or rediscovery of basic principles of faith.

But being considered a fundamentalist in a secular sense does not necessarily result in a negative implication; strict concurrence with a standard of excellence and an unwavering fealty to ensuring that basic principles are followed, can be a positive thing. Of course, that is not how the term is usually applied, and so we shy away from such labels of convenient certitude.

For the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who is considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, it is important to be a “kind of” fundamentalist — of an adherence to certain foundational principles in approaching the formulation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application. For, in the end, pursuance of excellence can be a “kind of” fundamentalism, and insistence upon doing something “the right way” is an element of that most basic of approaches and paradigm of beliefs.

Preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM should be viewed as a systematic, methodological endeavor which always encapsulates three basic principles (thus, as in theological circles, the trinity of fundamentalism):  Medical reports and records manifesting an impacting medical condition; a Statement of Disability as reflected on SF 3112A; Legal argumentation of a persuasive and logically powerful delineation.

These are the three foundations which comprise an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.  And if your neighbor shouts at you for being a fundamentalist in adhering to the basic principles of disability retirement faith, point out the beam in his eye, and merely wash out the mote in yours.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Distances

Somehow, proximity often makes for comfort, and thus do we have a greater sense of security if something is nearby, and distance reflects ties of both emotional and physical detachment.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management is the Federal agency which determines all issues on Federal Disability Retirement matters.  They are located in Washington, D.C. (with the intake office for the initial acceptance and computer inputting being accomplished first by an office in Boyers, Pennsylvania).

Whether the Federal or Postal employee is working in an office in California, Nevada, Illinois or Virginia; or, perhaps, somewhere overseas in Europe, Japan, etc.; all such applications for Federal Medical Retirement must be forwarded to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in Washington, D.C.  If the Federal or Postal employee is still with the agency, or has been separated less than 31 days from the agency, then the application for Federal Disability Retirement must first be routed through one’s agency (or, for the Postal employee, through the H.R. Shared Services Center located in Greensboro, North Carolina).

This is a “Federal” matter, not a state issue, and therefore an attorney who specializes in handling Federal Disability Retirement does not need to be an attorney licensed in the state where the Federal or Postal employee resides.

Very few local attorneys specialize in such Federal Administrative matters; as such, it is likely that an attorney who is equipped to handle such matters will be located in a different state, far away, but hopefully close to the source of the matter — near Washington, D.C. , where the issue itself is adjudicated at the administrative level.

While such distance may preclude a face-to-face meeting with the attorney, there are other safeguards which can be noted, to ensure that one’s comfort zone is left intact:  reputation, accessibility, and references.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal and Postal Disability Retirement: Advice and Guidance

The worth of advice is unique in that it is valued based up multiple facets of judgments: the source of such advice; the reputation and historical successes of that source; the soundness of the advisory statement, based upon all information available; and, ultimately, the receptiveness of such advice on the part of the person who seeks it. When advice falls upon deaf ears, of course, then the very value and effectiveness of such advice has been lost forever.

In the legal arena, there is an added component — that the attorney is unable to, for obvious ethical reasons, to render advice unless there has been established an attorney-client relationship.  The “obvious reasons”  have to do with the fact that proffering advice in particular circumstances can only come about if and when an attorney has received the confidential and specific information pertaining to a “client”.  Guidance of a general nature, without reference to individualized details, can be given in a generic sense.

In Federal Disability Retirement law, where each case is unique because of fact-specific medical conditions, position descriptions which are impacted by the particularized medical conditions of the individual case, and the nexus which must arise with the interaction between the two — because of this, legal advice must be tailored within a context of an attorney-client relationship.

General guidance can be given; but the Federal or Postal employee seeking help in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, should understand that the importance of getting good legal advice is dependent upon the value and worth the Federal or Postal employee places upon his or her unique and individualized case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire