OPM Medical Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Avoidance

It is a common tool of the psyche and ego; by engaging in it, one skirts around an issue, and like its cousin, procrastination, it allows for a period of calm respite.  Avoidance is a form of procrastination; both allow for the subject of their common focus to fester, to grow, to loom large in the background without attending to its causes.

Say you are standing in your bedroom; it is raining; there is a patch of discoloration in the ceiling.  You wonder if the roof is leaking.  You pass it off as bad eyesight, or some other reason, and turn away, avoiding the problem by simply ignoring it.  The next time it rains, you sneak a peek and, sure enough, the discoloration has expanded, but you say to yourself, “Well, there is no actual drip from the ceiling, so perhaps it is not a leak, after all, but merely some accumulating condensation”.

Now, whatever “some accumulating condensation” may mean, it still points to a problem that should be attended to, but instead, the obscure-sounding phrase seems to explain an otherwise clearly-growing problem, and thus the next step in the avoidance-process has begun: Explaining it away, as opposed to tackling the core of the problem itself.

Avoidance is a natural defense mechanism inherent in us all; it allows us to extend our need to limit confronting something which we do not desire to engage.

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 all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, avoidance of facing either the medical problem itself, or its impact upon your capacity and ability to perform your job, is often a problem which allows the issue to loom larger than necessary.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and allow for the avoidance to be confronted by an experienced attorney, thus further avoiding direct engagement with the issues, yet allowing for the attorney to address the core issue: Preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: The Difficult Case

At the outset, all Federal and Postal employees should know that there are rarely any “easy” cases in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Are most cases, therefore, “difficult”?  Yes.  And the reasons why they are difficult vary and are many — for, in the end, Federal Disability Retirement is not merely a matter of the nexus between the medical condition and the Federal employee’s inability to perform all of the essential elements of his or her position; rather, it is about meeting the legal criteria and passing the scrutiny of a Federal Agency — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — in becoming approved.

Yes, yes, of course the medical condition matters; and, yes, where the impact of the medical condition upon the essential elements of one’s job can be established, a great part of the case has then been proven.  But then there are the “details” of the case; of accommodations previously requested and provided, or not provided; the input of the supervisor’s statement; the question of any misconduct; whether and for what reason a person was separated from Federal Service prior to submission of the FERS Disability Retirement application, etc.

Every case is filled with potential difficulties, and thus is it important to consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, lest the “difficult case” turn into an “impossible” one.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Preparing the Case for Submission

Sometimes, it only takes a matter of weeks; other times, months and months in the preparation period prior to submission of an OPM Medical Retirement package.  It is not something to be taken lightly.  Once submitted, your Human Resource Office will do their portion — of completing the Agency’s Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation, as well as the other and multiple bureaucratic processes.

Then, whether first to be routed through the finance office and then on to OPM, or if you are separated from service, directly to OPM without going through your Human Resource Office at all (except to separately secure a Supervisor’s Statement and the SF 3112D), the bureaucratic process of submitting and being reviewed for an approval or a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has begun.

“Preparing the case for submission” may have taken many months, and it is the crucial foundation in setting forth the success or failure of a FERS Disability Retirement application.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the preparation of such an important submission should fall short of meeting the complex criteria necessary for a successful endeavor.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Government Employee Disability Retirement: “Difficult”

It is not the same as “unable to”, or even one of “incompatibility”; rather, it merely means that here are some impediments, but if one’s performance ratings are still fully successful, then it shows that — despite being “difficult” — the Federal or Postal worker is still able to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

To qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, certain legal criteria have to be met, and the mere fact that it is becoming increasingly “difficult” to satisfy that criteria does not mean that you would qualify.  Having “difficulty” doing your job, but still being able to do it, means that you are still performing all of the essential elements of your job.

If your agency thinks that you are doing a great job by giving you “fully successful” performance reviews, then where is your argument that you are unable to perform all of the essential elements of your job?  Yes, yes, I know — the question often asked is, “Do I have to end up in a wheelchair before I can file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits”?  No, not quite; but the mere fact that you are having “difficulties” doing your job, but are still doing it, may not be enough.

There is a middle ground, a “flash point” that goes slightly beyond “difficult” but somewhat before becoming wheelchair bound, where the criteria of “incompatibility” comes into play.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and discuss the legal ramifications of where you might be in the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective FERS Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Advocate

It is the ability to see things that you may not; of knowing the laws that apply, the arguments which will work, the evidence to be submitted; these, and many more, make “the advocate” worth the price to be paid.  Certainly, expenses have to be considered, but as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for”, and you need to be careful in considering what is included.

When you call the office which you are considering as your “advocate”, does someone call you back fairly soon after leaving a voicemail?  Do you get to speak to an actual lawyer — the one who should be working on your case, or do you — instead — only speak to a paralegal or someone who claims the title of, “Disability Specialist”?

What, in fact, is a “Disability Specialist”?  If not a lawyer, then no amount of “specialty” in the field makes a bit of difference.  Who will be working on your case?  Will your case be sloughed off to some clerk or “legal specialist”, or will you actually be getting what you think you are paying for — an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM, contact Robert R. McGill, Attorney at Law, and be assured that he himself, and not someone else, will be working on your case.  He will, indeed, be “The Advocate” who will fight on your behalf.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Whose Fault?

Where the blame attaches, the responsibility follows.  Blame is always a component of responsibility; they are cousins attached at the heart, or at the very least upon the stem of the brain.  Whenever anything happens in life, the second question is always, Whose fault?  Assuming that the first question had to do with the event itself (i.e., What happened? How did it happen? — which is a query that comes close to the “Whose Fault?” Question, etc.), the second and subsequent questions almost always seek to blame.

Why is that?  Well, for one thing, causation is often tied to the one who causes — the perpetrator of the action which triggers the series of events resulting in the calamity, etc.  An investigation into an accident; a man-made disaster that results in destruction; a negligent act causing harm; these, and many others, point to a cause whose origins point to fault and blame.  What follows thereafter is what we deem as “responsibility”; that the person to whom blame attaches is “responsible”, and concomitant consequences must then follow.

But what of medical conditions?  Can one attach “fault” or “blame”?  Whatever the answer to that question, the treatment the Federal Agency attaches to a Federal or Postal employee is akin to asking the question, Whose Fault?  For, once a Federal or Postal employee can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the manner in which the Federal Agency or the Postal Service treats the Federal or Postal employee is tantamount to asking the question, Whose Fault?

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin considering the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, lest the Federal Agency or the Postal unit you work at deems you to be “at fault”, even though medical conditions are, indeed, a “no-fault” incident.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Life’s Muddle

We like to think that we are competent; but much of life is a muddle, where we try and plod along acting “as if”, when the truth is that we are winging it.  For the most part, that works; and the reason why it works is because the rest of the world, as well, is simply plodding along in the same manner and fashion.  Life is a muddle, and when a significant intervening event comes into play, the muddle becomes even murkier and the division between those who are truly competent, and those who have simply been “faking it”, come to the fore and become ever more focused.

Medical conditions, likewise, tend to do that: They bring out the best of people, as well as the worst.  They sharpen the divide between people who are empathetic and those who care not a twit except for times when it might be to their advantage.  And, as Federal agencies and Postal facilities are mere microcosms of people in general, the extent of an Agency’s efforts to accommodate a Federal employee’s medical conditions reveals the underlying character of the people involved.

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 time to continue to muddle through the complex bureaucratic process of filing a Federal Disability Retirement application should be left to the “experts”.  There are times to muddle, and times not to muddle, and the latter is one of those times when filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits with OPM.

Consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and stop trying to muddle through life’s muddle.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire