FERS Disability Retirement: Overemphasizing the Wrong Thing

Different issues are important to various people.  We tend to think that if we believe Issue-X is important, then it is — or should be — important to everyone else.  With the shrinking globe resulting from technological connections fostered through social media and other means, people get caught up in shorter and shorter news cycles and attention spans heightened by the newness of the next issue, the most recent fad and the most up-to-date gadget.

In becoming enmeshed in the most recent issue of the day, however, there is always the danger of losing the ability and capacity for objective thinking.  To reach a level of “objectivity”, it becomes necessary to place one’s self outside of the self, and to gauge an issue not based upon one’s perspective, but upon a hypothetical third-person viewpoint.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, it is often difficult to view one’s own Federal Disability Retirement application with any sense of objectivity.  Overemphasizing the wrong thing often becomes problematic.  What to include and — more importantly — what to exclude, cannot often be objectively assessed.  Overemphasizing the origin of one’s medical conditions; focusing upon a Supervisor, an incident at work, an alleged “hostile work environment”, etc., may in fact be harmful to your case.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that you are not overemphasizing the wrong thing — lest the “wrong thing” come back to defeat the very goal you are intending: An approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Pension: Avoiding the Rabbit Hole

The figurative “rabbit hole” originates from the famous Carroll classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  As applied, it refers to the labyrinthine distractions which we pursue in acts of futility — of irrelevancies and asides that detract from the importance of a focused and purposeful endeavor.

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, avoiding the proverbial “rabbit hole” is important both in terms of focus, as well as relevancy of application.

Avoid the obvious rabbit holes — Federal Disability Retirement is not the time to complain incessantly about how badly you have been treated by your agency; it is not the moment for revenge; it is not the forum for blasting your supervisor and how mean he or she has been, etc.  The focus is the rabbit, and not the rabbit hole.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that your application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits leads to an approval — meaning, the prize of the rabbit, and not the empty rabbit hole.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Stress and the Harassment Factor

Stress is a reality which has become a normal aspect of everyday living.  The more stress we feel, the greater interpretation of outside actions as harassment; and thus does the vicious cycle begin.  Life is stressful enough.  When another ingredient is added — like a medical condition that weakens one’s body and mind — the tolerance for stress becomes reduced and the capacity to keep things in its proper perspective becomes impossible to manage.  Stress always seems to come in bunches, doesn’t it?

When you are dealing with a medical condition, everything and everyone you interact with becomes a stressful encounter.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your job, the stress of dealing with the medical condition itself is more than enough.

Add to it, your agency or the postal facility will inevitably begin to pressure you to return to work, to file this or that request, to follow their “procedures”, etc.  Whether such actions are objectively considered “harassment” or not is beside the point; you, as the Federal or Postal employee, are dealing with enough factors without having to deal with the harassment factor.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of reducing your stress levels by initiating a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Unintended Error

Perhaps it is an unnecessary assumption; for, are any errors intended?  And, if intended, does it not undermine the very concept of being an “error”?  Do we ever deliberately make an error?  Or, is it more likely the case that — if we in fact did intend to make the error — we would merely retrospectively lie about it?

Perhaps in circumstances where much is at stake, or a person is threatened — as in gambling, where “throwing” a game will result in greater profit, or making an accounting “error” will limit financial devastation, etc.  Otherwise, in most instances, an error is presumed to be unintended.  And it is precisely because it is unintended that an error becomes exaggerated in its unintended consequences.  “We didn’t know”; “If only I had known”; “How could I have known?”; “I didn’t mean to…”, etc.

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, preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in as error-free state of formulation is obviously the preferred state of submission.

Errors can — and will — come back to haunt you, whether unintended or not.  Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and limit the extent and consequences of errors unintended.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The Audience

We shall see.  Sports without an audience.  There have been enough psychological studies done to establish that people — including groups of people (i.e., teams) — act and react differently in comparative analysis between behaving before crowds as opposed to without them.  The greatest performers have been those who “know” their audience.  In other words, the “crowd pleasers”, the ones who can manipulate the emotional responses of the audience, etc.

Do some play for the 6 o’clock highlights?  Does a spectacular play become so when no one is watching?  Yes, yes, there is the television audience; but the fans once removed is like the tree that falls in the forest without anyone witnessing it; the tree does indeed fall, but the silence that surrounds is what dominates.  We shall see.

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, remember who our audience is: It is not your Agency; it is not your Supervisor or your coworkers; it is a separate agency altogether — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

It is a paper presentation to OPM, and how it is characterized, what is presented, the extent and quality of the presentation — these all matter.  For, in the end, the “To Whom” is always crucial in every arena of play — whether in sports, in law, or even in the privacy of one’s home; it is the audience that makes the difference.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Disjunctive of Life

How often is it “either/or”?  It is the famous work of Kierkegaard, is it not?  Faith often requires it; happiness, somewhat so; but generally, the disjunctive of life is merely when we force the issue, or when circumstances dictate that a choice between only 2 alternatives seemingly presents itself as the only ones viable.

Marriage is often a series of compromises throughout a lifetime, if it is to remain successful and long lasting; careers, too, hit various roadblocks and must often allow for concessions, until something better comes along; and friendships — well, if you are going to have any, you must allow for the foibles of unattractive excesses to be ignored in order to maintain or retain any friends.

But the ultimate disjunctive of life is often where circumstances become so unbearable as to dictate a choice between two unattractive alternatives, and for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the disjunctive of life comes to this: Can I continue in this job until regular retirement, or will my medical condition continue to remain chronic and even worsen, such that I will ultimately be terminated or be forced to resign?

If your circumstances echo the truth of such a choice, then it is time to consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of proceeding with the disjunctive of life that you may never have thought would present itself.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: The Use of Language

Some are better at it than others; others, still, can state in a single sentence what most will try in a paragraph or a novel.  Poets are linguistic craftsmen who utilize an economy of words but convey the greater qualitative vehicle of descriptions and word-pictures; and essayists, confined often by space limited by editors and restricted by practical concerns, not the least of which may involve the potential boredom or attention-span of readers, must by necessity struggle with clarity of content.

The use of language is a funny thought; for the best of those who engage in it effortlessly, the ideas, concepts and descriptive pictures conveyed is accomplished without concern of the process, but merely by “doing it”.  Language is something we use daily; yet, few of us pause to consider it as a tool or implement of our daily lives.  A gardener who has mislaid his or her spade will look for it and, if it turns out that it is lost, will declare, “I cannot go out into the garden to work, today.”

Do we do that with language?  Do we wake up and say, “Well, today, I mislaid my X, and therefore I cannot engage in the language game.”  Of course, we refer to language as a “tool” in a metaphorical sense, and so we recognize that there are practical distinctions to be made between a spade and language, but nevertheless, they are both “tools” which are used — or misused — in our everyday lives.

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 his or her Federal or Postal job, the time to consider the use of language becomes an important and relevant issue precisely because persuasion, description and argumentation are what must be engaged in presenting an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an attorney in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; for, in the end, the use of language will be necessary in maneuvering through a complex bureaucratic process that also uses language to deny one’s right to a benefit which must be fought for, and language is just as much a tool of use as it is a weapon of abuse.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Disability for Federal and Postal Employees: Comparisons

Does it help to make them?  Do we take comfort in judging the relative plusses and minuses in making comparisons — as in, X has A, B and C, but I have, in addition, D and E, and therefore I am more fortunate that X is.  Or, is it a comparison of one’s conditions, as in: “Boy, at least I don’t have X like Lisa does”, or “At least I am not in Y’s situation”?

To the extent that comparisons remind us of that which we are blessed with, they allow for a certain level of utilitarian value.  But there is a negative side to it: Of jealousy engendered by comparison, or of discontent resulting from making one.  Rousseau, of course, makes that point throughout his “Social Contract” analysis, of the purity of man’s intentions in that fictional state of “nature” that we were once in, but where society’s accretions of materialism created the artificial emotional response of discontent and jealousy.  But compared to what?

It is important to make the fair and correlative comparisons which are relevant — as in “apples to apples” and not “apples to oranges”.  For, it is the uniqueness of each entity, object or situation to be compared with the singularity of another that makes for a proper comparison.

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 is inadvisable to compare one’s case to somebody else’s.  For, the proper comparison is not to evaluate one’s medical condition and the severity of one’s medical condition to that of another person’s medical condition; rather, the proper comparison in a Federal Disability Retirement case is to compare one’s medical condition to the essential elements of one’s position.

Thus, comparisons made must always take into account the relevant connections which relate not just in terms of similarities, but as is the case in Federal Disability Retirement Law — in what the law allows for and considers significant.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Social Security Requirement

There is often confusion.  In fact, some Federal and Postal employees think that the “Prerequisite requirement” of filing for Social Security Disability benefits means that you have to wait to get it approved before you can file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

The unforeseen consequences resulting from such a misunderstanding is that some Federal or Postal employees wait, and wait, and become separated, and continue to wait and allow for the 1-year rule (of having to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits within 1 year of being separated from Federal Service) to expire, then try and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  Or, others confuse the two and somehow believe that filing for Social Security Disability benefits is the same as filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Such confusion is often based upon either misinformation or misinterpretation; either way, the consequences of acting upon, or failing to act as a result of, can result in irreversible damage.

If you are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law before trying to maneuver through the maze of confusing requirements, prerequisites and bureaucratic language.

Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit earned; to obtain it, however, it must be fought for and granted, and in order to do that, representation by an experienced attorney is often the best in making your way through the legal maze of confusion.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire