FERS Medical Disability from OPM: Goal Posts and Definitions

In modernity, we have taught our kids that rules don’t matter, that we can subvert, avert, avoid and appease; if you don’t like the goal post, dig it up and move it; or, if you don’t like the rules, change the definition.  No one complies, anymore.  We no longer say or have the attitude of: Okay, rules are rules, we have to obey them.

Instead, because we are a country of lawyers, where argumentation and logical conformity are not based upon unquestioned acceptance of normative rigidity, we say:  Why should X be defined as Y?  Why does a goalpost have to be situated within X-number of feet of the demarcation-line?  Let’s move the goal post; let’s change the definition; let’s perform linguistic gymnastics and open-language surgery upon rules, definitions and mandates we don’t agree with.

Where did that defiance against conformity come from?  From whence did it originate?  Was it because the Post-WWII generation and beyond decided that all punishments were cruel, that delayed-gratification was a sin, and everyone should get a prize for participation, and there should be no acknowledgement of “winners” as opposed to “losers”?

Fortunately, in some areas of life, goal posts must yet remain within the confines of the end zone, and definitions must remain somewhat unchangeable and static.

For example — in the arena of Federal Disability Retirement Law.  Yes, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management can often ignore “the law”; and yes, OPM can sometimes mis-state the regulations governing Federal Employee Disability Retirement Law.  But when they do, there is always the potential danger that if it gets to the Third Stage of the complex bureaucratic process, the Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board will “correct” the error, the mis-statement, the mis-application, and right the wrong.

Additionally, it is a good idea to have a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Employee Disability Retirement Law throughout the retirement process, in order to make sure that OPM is not moving the goal post, and is not bending the definitions as delineated in statutory authority.

Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal OPM Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that the goal posts are not being moved, and the definitions are not being compromised.

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.

 

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement: Divide and Conquer

Perhaps it is not any one medical condition, alone which prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one’s Federal or Postal position; rather, the aggregation and combination of multiple conditions — of depression combined with chronic migraines; or back pain along with panic attacks and severe anxiety, etc. — prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management — the Federal Agency which reviews and makes the decision for an approval or a denial on all Federal Disability Retirement applications — is fully aware of this, but proceeds to divide and isolate each medical condition, minimizing the impact of that specific condition without taking into account the intersecting impact of all other medical conditions, and thereby denies the Federal Disability Retirement application by ignoring the aggregation and combined impact of one’s entirety of health concerns.

This is the age-old military maneuver of divide and conquer — divide and isolate the enemy’s flanks, then attack each individual and isolated division one by one until each are conquered separately and individually.  It is a tactic used by OPM in many cases, and done successfully — until and unless there is a counterattack utilizing and applying OPM laws governing Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Contact an OPM Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin to put together the strategy to counter OPM’s “Divide and Conquer” approach to 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.

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: OPM’s Selective Exclusion

The danger of attempting to present a specific viewpoint is that one almost always engages in selective exclusions — sometimes inadvertently; most times, deliberately.

Selective exclusion involves a 2-faced lie: A. You selectively choose to include only those statements, quotations, references, etc., which support your viewpoint and (B) concurrently and in a parallel manner, you exclude those statements which might support or otherwise strength the opposing viewpoint.  A third — often unspoken — component implies the following: Truth is not the guide; rather, winning an argument is what prevails.

Now, if a person, entity, organization or agency is supposed to be “objective” about a matter, such deliberative intent to proceed in a biased manner makes it all the more poignantly unacceptable.  Yet, that is exactly what the U.S. Office of Personnel Management does when denying a Federal Disability Retirement case — of engaging in selective exclusion in justifying its position of denying a case.

How to rebut and answer such an approach?  By including all that was excluded, and arguing the law — which, by the way, OPM also selectively excludes.

Contact an experienced lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of answering the selective exclusion engaged in by OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer
Postal & Federal Employee Retirement Attorney

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Power-Mixer Approach

You’ve seen those ads for the Power-Mixer — those super lightning-speed mixers which can make a slurpee out of anything.  Arguments are often like that — of an admixture of law, woven with partial facts, sprinkled with authoritative declaratives, and voila!

One has a Denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  It looks powerful; it sounds ominous; it even quotes from your own medical records and reports (albeit, often out of context and without legal relevance).  It will even declare: “You have been denied by the Social Security Administration.”  One shivers, cowers and trembles with fright at the powerful Power-Mixer Approach.

Don’t buy it.  Don’t cower.  Don’t be intimidated.  Such an approach is meant to frighten, as all Power-Mixer approaches are formulated for that very purpose.

Instead, contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to counter and rebut the Power-Mixer approach by getting fresh new ingredients for a systematic and more powerful legal argumentation of efficacy and legal relevance.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Long Term Disability Federal & Postal Employees: Different Arguments

OPM will often make different and multiple arguments in denying a Federal Disability Retirement case.  Sometimes, they will make a single, or double argument; at others, it will appear as if a shotgun blast has been expelled in your direction.

Do you need to argue each and every point?  Each and every sub-paragraph?  Likely not.

Most of the arguments are merely different in their surface; the different arguments can be categorized under general headings, such as, “Insufficient medical evidence” or “lack of service deficiencies” — the two main categories which OPM focuses upon, in addition to a third, “No accommodations requested or provided”.

By categorizing the different arguments under a more generic and manageable major category, you can then begin to address the concerns expressed by OPM.  Better yet, contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of rebutting the different arguments of OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management: The Objective Perspective

There are those, of course, who contend that there is no such thing; that we are all colored by our biases and prejudices; that “objectivity” is a false premise, to begin with, and merely a pretext to spew one’s hidden agenda.

But the mind is greater than a mere cauldron of personal beliefs.  It can, through logical analysis, strip away personal content, private biases and reach a level of logical judgements through an extrapolated methodology of abstracted conceptualizations unfettered by privately-held prejudices.  It is comprised by a disciplined approach, and is a perspective which is obtained through self-checking and considered judgments.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, of course, claims to review all FERS Disability Retirement applications with an “objective perspective”.  They will claim that they are not out to deny a claim, but merely reviews all Federal Disability Retirement applications with an “objective perspective”.

Have you ever read a denial of a FERS Disability Retirement application issued by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management?  They make it sound as if you had absolutely no chance of success.  Does that approach appear to be “objective”?  “Unbiased”?

Consult with an OPM Disability attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and hire a Federal Lawyer who goes beyond the objective perspective, and instead becomes an advocate who will argue in your favor.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Permanent Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Post-Separation Evidence

OPM ignores the law.  Despite over a decade since the opinion expressed in Reilly v. OPM, Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, 571 F.3d 1372 (Fed. Cir. 2009), the U.S. Office of Personnel Management continues to dismiss the relevance of post-separation medical evidence in a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application.

OPM will systematically deny cases with the following type of statement: “You doctor stated X.  However, the medical report was dated after your separation from Federal Service.  Therefore, you did not establish that you were medically disabled from performing your job while a Federal employee.”  Huh?

Three things stand out, of course: First, most medical conditions are progressive and degenerative in nature and do not appear on the very day a doctor examines a patient.

Second, the clear logical error of OPM’s argument is so blatant: X exists. X exists after Time-Y. Therefore, because X exists after Time-Y, X did not exist prior to Time-Y.  Or: I saw a man named Tom. I saw Tom today and did not see him yesterday.  Therefore, Tom was not born before I saw him today.  Absurd.

And third: OPM ignores the law as stated in Reilly, where post-separation medical evidence is clearly relevant if a proper nexus is established to a pre-separation time-frame.

Don’t let OPM’s illogical interpretation of the law defeat you.  Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, and beat them back in order to obtain the benefits you are entitled to.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Apparent Neutrality

Can a person, country, nation, community, individual, politician, etc., ever be “neutral”?  Or, as recent events have postured, do we all have inherent preferences, biases, “systemic” characteristics of natural or artificial preferences which guide our thoughts, words and actions?  Is it more dangerous to pretend to be “neutral” on a matter, as opposed to openly expressing one’s biases and preferences?

To express “apparent” neutrality, of course, is either to hide one’s preference on an issue, or at the very least to act “as if” — as if one has no interest, either personally or professionally; to act as if there are no “leanings” one way or another.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management in a Federal Disability Retirement case does this — expresses apparent neutrality, as if their decision on a Federal Disability Retirement application is purely based upon “the law” and therefore is tantamount to a computer software program or an automaton which expresses pure neutrality on the matter and is merely applying the objective criteria of legal standards.  Bosh!  For, wherever interpretive input is required, by necessity one’s biases will ultimately come to the fore.

Contact a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer when considering applying for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and make sure that any “apparent neutrality” on the issue is decided in your favor; for, in the end, neutrality is merely a pretext to hide behind, and in preparing, formulating and filing an effective disability retirement application under FERS, it is best to have a legal expert as an advocate on your side.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Denials: Selective reasoning

Of course, we all engage in it; some, merely by withholding certain known facts; others, by emphasizing and asserting portions of the logic employed while ignoring or deliberately averting the focus of other aspects.  Selective reasoning through deliberate omission is the height of pragmatic oppression; for, when it is accomplished with knowledge and self-admission of premeditation, it involves a mind that knows the difference between proper application of logical reasoning and the intentional misrepresentation of facts.

We engage in such folly during the course of normal fights and argumentation; for, to win is the basis of arguing, and the ends often justify the means.  Logic is a learned tool.  It is the foundation of sound reasoning.  It is not an inherent, in-born or even in-bred character of man, but it can bring out the evil therein.

As a tool, those who are good at it have a greater responsibility to use it wisely, honestly and with proper motives.  It is the “selective” part of the reasoning that makes for honesty of dishonesty in the reasoning process, and the anomaly and irony, of course, is that the process itself — of reasoning — necessarily involves selectivity, for logical argumentation encapsulates proper and effective selection of facts, syllogistic approaches and propositional logic all bundled into one.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management engages in selective reasoning, and their denials of Federal Disability Retirement applications reveal a level of such selectivity that one must conclude that it is being done intentionally and with deliberate knowledge.

Beware of denials; for, they try and make it appear as if you never had a chance to begin with in your FERS Disability Retirement application. OPM will selectively choose to extrapolate from various medical reports and records, and fail to mention or highlight the selective portions omitted, then reason that there was “insufficient” medical evidence despite facts and rational argumentation to the contrary.

Do not despair, and do not simply allow for the 30-day time period in which to file for Reconsideration to lapse; for it is precisely such selective reasoning that is meant to discourage, and to make you think that the denial is dismissively disproportionate so as to justify giving up altogether — which is precisely what their selective reasoning is meant to accomplish.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Information: OPM’s Methodology

There may be a single criteria to meet, with subsets of requirements that must be complied with; yet, multiple methodologies in approaching the singular.  How can that be?  Isn’t it all simple, where you read what is required, then gather up all of the evidence that appears to meet it and simply send it all in?  That is the “volume methodology”.

Can a single sentence in a medical report ever meet the legal criteria in an OPM Disability Retirement case — i.e., a “qualitative” methodology, as opposed to a quantitative one?  Sometimes.

Isn’t the law clear in what is required, and isn’t it a matter of just amassing the medical evidence to meet the requirements as stated?  Hmmm…. For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical conditions prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is important to understand, somewhat, OPM’s Methodology in reviewing and deciding upon a case.

First of all, not all medical conditions are equal.  Perhaps that is self-evident, but for the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from one or another medical condition, and must endure the daily pain, restriction and limitations imposed thereby, it may not be so self-evident.

Second, OPM is not some “neutral” Federal Agency that reviews a Federal Disability Retirement application with dispassionate objectivity, ready to grant an “approval” because you “believe” your medical evidence is “sufficient” to meet the legal requirements as stated.  Sufficiency is the gatekeeper that denies many a Federal Disability Retirement case — and it is not a methodology that is satisfied by quantitative (volume) means, not even necessarily by qualitative standards; rather, it is the reviewer (i.e., the “Medical Specialist” at OPM) who determines by some unknown and unknowable standard when the goal-post has been crossed.

Thus, in an OPM Disability Denial Letter, one may read a reference to one’s doctor’s note or a quotation from a medical report from one’s doctor, and think, “Good, this is very supportive” —then, with an appended end to the paragraph stating, “Such medical evidence does not sufficiently meet the standards to qualify for OPM Disability Retirement”.  Huh?

Think about it this way: “Sufficiency” may mean different things to different audiences; for example, what is a “sufficient” amount of food for a lion, as opposed to a domesticated kitten?

OPM’s methodology is, at best, malleable, as language in law is likewise changeable.  It is good to know this for Federal and Postal employees who are either getting ready to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, or who are in the middle of a fight to obtain it; for, in the end, consulting with an OPM Disability Retirement lawyer allows you to arm yourself with knowledge for the battle that OPM’s Methodology in determining Federal Disability Retirement cases must be prepared, like any legal battle that involves “criteria” to be interpreted.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire