FERS Disability Retirement Law: “It’s Behind Us”

The phrase can, without context, mean a number of things.  In story-writing exercises, a phrase such as the one referenced may be thrown at a student, and the student must then formulate the context surrounding the phrase, in order to give it “meaning” and relevance.

For example:  Perhaps it is a story about a haunted house, and two children are looking about, cautiously walking from room to room, when suddenly they hear a creaking noise, and one whispers to the other “It’s behind us!”  Or, it could have a completely different context — of a family crisis and how the various individuals deal with the problem, and when it is finally resolved, the wife turns to the husband and declares, “It’s behind us.”

Context is important, and relevance comes about only when the context is sufficiently fleshed out.

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, it begins with a medical condition.  From there, however, the “context” must be fleshed out — the relationship to one’s job; whether or not there is a possibility for an accommodation; what “fleshing out” needs to be done within the context of the law, etc.

In a vacuum, a medical condition cannot “win” against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in attempting to secure a post-employment Federal Disability Retirement annuity.  It is the experienced lawyer who can help in fleshing out the context in order to ground your case in relevance and “the law”.

Contact a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of formulating the relevant context in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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 Application: Arguments

Should you preemptively argue an issue even when it has not yet been brought to the fore?  Is it better to raise the proverbial “red flag” at the outset, or take the chance that no one will notice the “elephant in the room” (another metaphorical reference) and hope that the potentially problematic concern will be overlooked?

It depends (yes, yes, what a lawyerly response, as expected, from a lawyer).  Art and legal argumentation are part and parcel of what it means to “practice law”.  For, law is not science; it is not always the precision of the word-games which wins the courtroom battle, but rather, the strategic focus placed along with the when and where.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition which necessitates filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, it is always important to remember which arguments should be primary, which secondary, and what extraneous issues should be left out of the initial application process.

Will the issue come up later?  Maybe.  But as with Shakespeare’s Queen Gertrude’s response to the over-reaction from another character, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” — it is generally best to leave the sleeping dog alone (yes, another lawyerly, in-artful metaphorical reference — or, is it an analogy?), and deal with slumber of red flags left for another day.

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 Medical Retirement under FERS: Planning Long Term

Augustine’s view of Time is essentially based upon the projection of our thoughts into the past; our current encounter with the present; and our anticipation of what will occur in the future.  Without a human involvement in thought spanning across the spectrum of past, present and future, Time merely exists in the presence of the current moment.

Human beings are not the only species who utilize time and apply it for planning long-term.  Other species plan for the coming winter; some engage in long flights to warmer conditions, and not necessarily for just a short stint in Florida.  For planning “long-term”, however, the human species tends to engage in such sport more than others.

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, it may often appear that “long-term planning” is an act of futility, given the nature of an illness, medical condition or other form of disability.

However, filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS is actually an excellent plan for the future — long term.  For, not only does it provide for a monthly annuity to live on; it actually is “building” your future long-term retirement by counting the time you are on Federal Disability Retirement in the total number of years being accrued, so that when your Federal Disability Retirement benefits are recalculated at age 62, the “total number of accrued years” takes into account not just the time you had as an active Federal employee, but also the years you have been on Federal Disability Retirement as an annuitant.

Thus, you are building up your retirement while you are on Federal Disability Retirement.  Now, that is planning for long-term.

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 Difficult Case

Is there one that is not?  Each case, with inherently unique facts and circumstances, presents difficulties because that is the way “the law” is set up: Multiple issues, each complex in their own application of the law, where the legal criteria must be scrupulously met in order to qualify for OPM Disability Retirement benefits.

The “showing” in order to meet the requirements of being eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits must encompass the facts, establish the nexus to the medical documentation, must meet the legal criteria covering each and every aspect of all of the issues critical to success: of the minimum eligibility requirements; of showing an inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of the position; of passing the “accommodations” test under Bracey; of showing that you could not have been reassigned; of rebutting any prior assertions by the agency that you have already been “accommodated”; of making OPM understand the technical and legal definition of “accommodation” — and an endless stream of legal minutiae which must be met at every turn.

The “difficult case”?  There is no such thing as an easy case, and for Federal and Postal workers who want to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is best to accept the basic fact that each case will involve a fight, as all of life is a constant struggle where the goal is worth something.

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 Application: Preparing It Well

All three words possess substantive content.  It is rarely so — look at any sentence or phrase and there is often much to edit, cut out entirely, ignore or condense to reach an economy of words.  A “thought” can actually be an abbreviation of a lengthy paragraph, or even of a sentence; but the title, “Preparing it well”, is as fully condensed as any phrase can be.

For, look at each word: Prepare — to work diligently, thoughtfully and with great care so that the end product will accomplish the mission and purpose desired.  It — whatever the “it” refers to, it is the very mission for which the preparation is being engaged, and the foundational purpose for which one is striving to achieve.  And the final word — “well” — to prepare the it in the most effective, efficient and excellent manner.

And when all 3 words coalesce and achieve the fruition for which they indicate: A successful end-product.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition compels and necessitates the preparation, formulation and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the three words as stated herein applyPreparing it Well.

If you want to meet the criteria of the Federal Disability Retirement Law, it must be so, and you should contact a disability attorney who specializes in that field of law so that the purpose for which you aim may be attained.

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 from OPM: Delaying the Inevitable

A fascinating historical period involved, in the 17th Century, the controversy between Jansenism, Pelagianism and multiple other “isms” concerning predestination, grace, effectual grace as opposed to prevenient grace, and whether our efforts for moral behavior make any difference at all, and Pascal’s response to such issues.

For, if something is inevitable, is there any point in expending the effort in attempting to “influence” the outcome if the outcome is predetermined, anyway?  If the Calvinist theology of a limited number of “the elect” is true, and X is not of the class of “the elect”, what would be the point of acting in a morally upright manner if it makes no difference?

Instead, wouldn’t human beings likely try everything to delay the inevitable — of clawing onto this life merely to survive at all costs, including murdering and enjoying every sensual pleasure, knowing that the inevitable was the pain of eternal damnation?

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, “delaying the inevitable” — of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — may seem somewhat akin to the 17th Century theological controversy described above — if merely because continuing in one’s career is preferable to ending that career and going into early medical retirement.

However, there is one crucial difference: The “inevitable” will allow you to work at another job in the private sector or for the state and local government, and still allow you to make up to 80% of what your former (Federal or Postal) position currently pays.  Thus, unlike the inevitability of hellfire and damnation, you can actually move forward into a second or third career.

Contact an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement under FERS and stop worrying about delaying the inevitable; for, the inevitable is not as negative a state of being as you might think.

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.

 

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Retirement: The Law’s Mandate

What does it mean to “apply the law”?  Does mere mention of the fact — often, at the end of a lengthy paragraph, almost as an afterthought and merely an appendage to satisfy the criteria of “consideration of the law” — satisfy the requirement?

Does a jury who collectively convicts a defendant because they didn’t like the way he looks, satisfy the obligation of considering “reasonable doubt” if, just before agreeing to render the verdict of “guilty”, everyone in the room nods the consent that there is “no reasonable doubt to consider”?

Or, must a jury deliberate upon the issue and definition of reasonable doubt for a lengthy period of time in order to “appear” that they have considered the law’s mandate in a serious fashion, so that each juror can say, “Yes, we gave the criterion of ‘reasonable doubt’ due seriousness, and concluded that none of us had any reasonable doubt to prevent such a conviction”?

In analogous form, does the U.S. Office of Personnel Management satisfy the law’s mandate if they merely mention the multitude of case-law requirements, or if not even mentioning them, to “refer” to the variegated issues?

In this writer’s opinion, the Law’s Mandate requires more, and it is the job of the attorney to point out what constitutes and satisfies the law’s mandate, and to force OPM to do their job properly.  If you are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS, contact a retirement lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that the Law’s Mandate is fully satisfied.

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 Legal Advice and Guidance: Addressing and Rebutting

Much of lawyering is artistry, as opposed to science.  As discretion is to experience, so choosing which issues to address is a matter of instinct and judgment based upon past experience.

There are those in life who are “bulls in a china shop” — an old adage which refers to people who just barrel through without considering the consequences.  Another familiar saying is: “Discretion is the better part of valor”, which can mean many things and contains some nuances, but essentially refers to judgment of action in the face of issues to be confronted.

We no longer live in the middle ages where knights and other warriors engage in duels and valor-filled defenses of honor, but the saying itself can still be relevant in terms of discretionary judgments as to which battles to confront, which wars to engage and when to retreat, or leave “well enough alone”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the number of issues to tackle — whether preemptively at the First Stage of the process, or in rebuttal form at the Reconsideration (Second) Stage, or even before an MSPB Judge at the Third Stage of the Process — is overwhelming.

Addressing and Rebutting each and every one is almost impossible, but nevertheless must be done.  How is it done?  By breaking down the complex into the simple, into manageable numbers, then addressing the overall issues and rebutting by citing the relevant case-law.

Addressing and Rebutting — the two ends of a bookcase which constitute the essence of a winning argument.  Contact an OPM Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Medical Retirement Law, and make sure to address and rebut the legal and medical major issues in every Federal Disability Retirement case.

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.

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement from OPM: From Pain to Paper

It is always a challenge to persuade someone that an X exists despite its subjective nature, despite the lack of visual verification.  This is a visual-centered world, and while blindness can be compensated to a certain degree by assistive technology, the plain fact is that sight is the first order to ascertaining the existence of X.

“Pain”, as a subjective phenomenon, fails to exist without certain “circumstantial evidence”, as they say in criminal law.  The presentation of circumstantial evidence can include a multitude of vector-like variables pointing to acceptable indicia of that which cannot be seen, including: MRI and other diagnostic results showing the basis of subjective pain; consistent clinical encounters where declarations of pain are noted by the doctor; observations noted by third parties describing visual validation of gait dysfunction or facial expressions of discomfort; individual instances of weakness, inability to bend or lift, etc.

There is, as well, the ultimate source of information: The person who is in pain; and further, the logical fallacy of “reputation argumentation” can also be employed — of “I am George Washington and cannot lie” argument, etc.  In the end, the utilization of any and all of the above is the only way to move the needle of the gauge which is entitled, “Do I experience pain?” from the left side of the spectrum (where the indicator points to “unbelievable”) to the right side where it clearly states, “Fully Verified”.

Why the U.S. Office of Personnel Management continues to be suspicious of subjective elements such as “pain” is a mystery; for, the law is clear in a Federal Disability Retirement application as to the acceptability of subjective medical evidence, but nevertheless, OPM continues to ride the wild horse of deniability in order to deny Federal Disability Retirement applications.

To apply the proper laws in order to rebut OPM, you should contact an OPM Disability Lawyer 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.