Attorney Representation for Denied OPM Disability Claims: The Appearance of Substance

It is like a Jonathan Franzen novel (apologies to those who are fans of his), as opposed to a Hemingway masterpiece (is the bias too obvious by merely connecting “novel” to the first writer as opposed to “masterpiece” to the second?).  The fluff is fairly obvious.  Pages after pages of meandering nothingness, wondering where the story is going, what the plot is, why it is that one is trying to make one’s way through a long and meaningless road?

The appearance of substance is always a problem.  How does one gauge it?  It is like the old adage of throwing away good money after bad — after a long investment of time in trying to read it, you hate to give up before you get to the end.

OPM denials in a Federal Disability Retirement case often “feels” like that — of long extrapolated regurgitations from medical records, then at the end, a mere statement: “It has not been shown that you suffer from a medical condition which prevents you from performing the essential elements of your position”.

So, either one of two things is going on:  Either the previously-quoted extrapolations self-evidently speak form themselves, or the OPM Medical Specialist simply wants an appearance of substance without having to explain or discuss the relevance of the extrapolated paragraphs.  Volume is not the same as substance; just compare a balloon as opposed to a boulder sitting atop a mountain in Colorado.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have received a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for his or her Federal Disability Retirement application, contact an OPM Medical Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider that the appearance of substance is no substitute for a substantive legal rebuttal.

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 Application Denial: OPM’s Corner of Truth

The term is often applied in economics, where market “forces” represent a quantifiable share of profits and monopolies rule — that such-and-such company has “cornered” the market.  Then, of truth, but in a negative way — that no one has a corner on truth.

In a Federal Disability Retirement case, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management expresses their “corner of truth” in a denial letter — by taking selective extrapolations from medical reports and detailing (sometimes) why certain statements “prove” that a person is not disabled in a Federal Disability Retirement case; or, by asserting that there were no “deficiencies” in one’s past performance reviews; no attendance problems; no conduct issues.

It is a matter of coming up with enough proverbial “holes” in one’s Federal Disability Retirement case, then concluding that the Federal Disability Retirement applicant has “failed” to meet the “criteria” in a Federal Disability Retirement case — and these, in their totality, constitute OPM’s corner of truth.

How to counter this, and what to do to rebut OPM’s corner of truth?  By gathering additional medical documentation; applying the case-law which provides a countervailing view; creating the necessary nexus between the facts, the law, and the medical evidence, and presenting it to OPM in a sufficiently coherent manner as to change OPM’s corner of truth into a truthful tale which tabulates the totality of one’s actual case.

Contact an OPM Medical Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that OPM’s corner of truth is not the dominant quarter; for, in the end, no one has a corner on truth — but merely one of many corners.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

OPM Disability Retirement Application: Denials for the Unrepresented

Why are denial letters issued to those Federal Disability Retirement applicants different in nature from those with legal representation?  Why should there be a difference in quality and content?  Why, indeed?

It is an “indication”, of course, of a lack of objectivity in how the U.S. Office of Personnel Management approaches cases.  For, the denial letter issued to an unrepresented individual is often characterized by language which makes it appear as if the person filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits “never had a chance”.  You were a fool to have even tried.  Your application has no merit and should be summarily dismissed!

On the other hand, a denial letter to an individual who is represented by an attorney often will point out some of the legitimate deficiencies; questions about lack of performance deficits; and a greater amount of logical argumentation.

In the end, one might argue — does it matter?  For, both still constitute an OPM Disability Retirement denial.  The answer: Yes.

Not every FERS Disability Retirement application prepared by a lawyer will pass through at the First Stage with an approval.  However, most should at least come close to satisfying the threshold, and those which do not, can always be supplemented at the Reconsideration Level, or with an appeal to the MSPB.

Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that your legal presentation to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is given the best shot possible.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: Name Dropping

We all know, or have heard of, Such people — people who “name drop” the names of other people, or make reference to others as a way of showing (A) by naming someone else, their own status is somehow elevated by mere association, (B) by making reference to someone else, it makes them look intelligent, sophisticated, important, etc., or (C) by dropping a name, some relevant implication is to be discerned.

In a Federal Disability Retirement case, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management consistently engages in choice C above.  They will state, in various forms: “You filed for Social Security disability benefits and, as of this writing, you were denied by Social Security.”

Yes, well…everyone who is filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits is required by statutory law to file for SSDI and, since almost everyone filing for FERS Disability Retirement is still employed by the Federal government or the U.S. Postal Service, an automatic denial is almost guaranteed.  Thus, to be denied by Social Security should have no relevance.  However, by name dropping “Social Security”, OPM wants you to walk away with the following implication: You were denied by the Social Security Administration; therefore, you are not disabled.

Contact an Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider the relevance of any name dropping in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Failure of Proof

What does it mean to “fail to prove” something?  Who, in the end, determines such a “failure”?

A benefit which is part of being a Federal or Postal employee — OPM Disability Retirement under the FERS system — must of course include “proof” that the Federal employee or Postal worker is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job; but what constitutes failure in meeting that burden of proof?

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, of course, is the “gatekeeper” at the Initial Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, as well as the Second, Reconsideration Stage of the process.  The “safety” mechanism is that, if OPM denies the application for Federal Disability Retirement at both the First Stage as well as the Second, Reconsideration Stage, a Federal Disability Retirement applicant can file an appeal with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board — taking it out of the hands of OPM and placing it before an administrative judge for an administrative, telephonic hearing.

For, OPM’s methodology of “proving” that there has been a “failure of proof” is by selectively choosing everything undermining a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement case, then proceeding to make conclusions based upon those selectively chosen bases and ignoring everything else.  It is, in the end, not a failure of proof that defeats an OPM Medical Retirement submission, but more often than not, a baseless claim by OPM that proof by a preponderance of the evidence has not been met.

To counter this, contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and meet the baseless assertion of a failure of proof by proving that the failure was a failure of proper adjudication.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Point-by-Point Refutation

Must every point made by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management be refuted point-by-point”?

Some points, of course, are rather irrelevant and harmless; others, perhaps disingenuous, at best, and poorly argued, at worst.  Still others are blatantly untrue (i.e., an euphemism for “a lie”), while the remaining are often taken out of context or singularly and deliberately isolated without considering the context of the actual meaning of the statement made.  Not every point needs a refutation.

Furthermore, what is the basis of the refutation? Is it merely your word, your opinion, etc., as opposed to the reviewing “medical specialist” at OPM — or, do you have refuting facts backed by the law in rebutting the untrue or “out-of-context” statement or allegation?

The point is, not every point needs to be refuted, but in making such an important determination, it is a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the pointless point made by OPM becomes a greater point of contention that needs to be pointed out now in order to become beside the point later on in point of fact.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Countering OPM’s Denial

OPM’s Denial of a FERS Federal Disability Retirement application can be a disheartening encounter.  OPM does a thorough job these days of selectively extrapolating portions of medical notes and records, isolating each one, then minimizing them in order to arrive at a singular conclusion: You have no case.

Not only that, the tone and tenor of the Denial Letter will make you believe that — not only do you not have a case, but — You never had one; it is so weak that it is a wonder that you ever even thought you had a case; and, moreover, to even request for reconsideration is an act of futility.

How do you counter such a denial?  The first and most important step is to recognize that OPM’s denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application is meant to make you feel like you never had a case.  That way, a certain percentage of denied Federal Disability Retirement applicants will simply walk away without ever filing for Reconsideration.

Oh — of course, they will at the end of a Denial Letter inform you of your “right” to file for reconsideration, but that is after itemizing a litany of reasons why you have no case at all.

The second important step is to contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  For, in the end, how you counter an OPM Denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application is by applying the LAW, and only a specialist in Federal Disability Retirement Law will be able to effectively counter OPM’s denial.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Application: Denials

They come in various forms; of self-denials representing a sacrifice in order to allow loved ones to reap the benefits; of denials meant to avoid the ugliness of reality; or of denials which prevent a person from entering a premises, advancing in a career or progressing in an endeavor.  Of whatever form or content, they leave the denied applicant a sense of disappointment, a temporary state of suspension and often a profound feeling of uncertainty.

Does one “give up” when a denial occurs?  Or, does one find an alternate route, a way to rebut and with a reenergized sense of purpose?

To be denied is to be defeated for a time; to be defeated is to give up entirely; but to avoid the finality of defeat, one must regroup and counterattack, in whatever form that may take.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and who have been forced to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management by necessity of an unwanted medical condition — a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is not the proverbial “end of the road”.  Rather, it is simply the beginning of the fight.  Who said that life’s pathways are easy?

Although OPM often makes it sound “as if” you never stood a chance, that your case was flawed to begin with or that there was never any validity to the claims you have made, that is simply their opinion on the matter.  What matters is whether your case has merit, and the merit of a case depends upon the laws governing FERS Disability Retirement Law.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and don’t let a denial automatically lead to a defeat; for, there is a reason why Federal Disability Retirement allows for various stages of appeals — precisely because a denial by OPM is not the end of the matter, but merely a beginning to the fight which must ensue.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire