FERS Disability Retirement for U.S. Government Employees: Now, What?

The question or declarative can be stated in two ways — As a query for the next steps, or as an expression of exasperation directed towards a frustration of multiple things gone wrong.  Or of a third: A combination of both frustration and an effort to understand what the next steps are.

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, the declarative query, “Now, what?” is often heard throughout the process of suffering from the medical condition itself, as well as during the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

The medical condition itself can lead to further complications, and thus the expression as stated; the Agency’s response of callous disregard can be the basis for the exasperation stated; the complexity of the administrative process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits can also be the origin and cause of frustration.  To minimize the trauma of the entire process, consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Employee Disability Retirement Law so that the next time you need to express the sentiment, “Now, what?” — you can do so by picking up the telephone and calling your attorney.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Goal of What?

Goals are important to have.  They provide for a destination point; a place where dreams have been projected unto; the ends for which we strive.

We often live by metaphors, and the one which pervades often encompasses sports and competition, of “goal posts” and “end zones”, of the last second buzzer where the swish of the ball sinks into the netting and the crowd roars in a unison of applause (although, even that has now been taken away with the Coronavirus pandemic); or even of a “finish line” in a marathon or the checkered flag for the fastest car.

It is, in the end, the goal to win, the goal to pass through, the goal to reach.  But what about the road taken, the path traveled, the route that is considered?  What if all of that changes, and the goal itself can no longer be reached without doing harm to one’s self?  Should a quarterback continue to play despite an injury?  Should a runner continue to “press on” despite doing harm to him or herself?  Shouldn’t the goal change in order to accommodate the altering circumstances of an individual’s trek?

The question thus becomes: The goal of what?  Is it worthwhile to reach retirement age if to do so will leave you in a debilitated state?

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, the goal may well remain the same: Of retirement.  It may just be necessary to take the retirement a little early by filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the goal of what becomes too poignant a question such that the goal posts become too far removed and beyond reach.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Carefree Life

Is there such a thing, or is it a fiction, a mirage, a fantasy of those who create mythologies old and new — like the Utopia of some ancient history or of immortality in a netherworld of paradise’s dream?

To live is to care; to have a carefree life is therefore to die.  The incompatibility of the two concepts coexisting is intuitively clear; but the oxymorons we create are often as a result of dreams and goals expressed out of frustration from the overwhelming nature of those cares which confront us.

Life is a series of “cares”; to be free of them is to be free of life itself; and as living means that the human drama of interacting, helping, engaging in conflict and facing daily trials and all that constitutes the “stuff” that life is made up of, so it is the one who engages it successfully, who is able to maneuver through the complexities of such messes we make of it — that is the closest we can come to in becoming “care-free”.

There are those few who, perhaps, are able to escape a good part of the daily cares of life; but then the unexpected happens, such as a medical condition which one has no control over.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to modify the types and numbers of the “cares” that you are confronted with.

No, there never was or is a carefree life; but obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement may at least allow for the Federal or Postal worker to at least focus your attention upon the cares which matter most — that of health.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law today and consider preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in order to come closer to that mythological paradise of the non-existent, carefree life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Proper Sequence

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers seeking to obtain a Federal Disability Retirement, is there a proper sequence in preparing the Standard Forms?  Does it matter if one set of forms are prepared or taken out of sequence?

Or, is the fact that the two primary sets of forms — the SF 3107 series and the SF 3112 series — are already provided in an ordered manner (i.e., for the SF 3107 series, first the “Application for Immediate Retirement”, then the Schedules A, B & C, then forms for the Agency to complete; and for the SF 3112 series, first the “Applicant’s Statement of Disability”, then the Supervisor’s Statement, the form for the Physician, etc.), reflective of the sequence one should complete them?

This, of course, brings up another and more important question: Would you trust the government to look out for your own best interests in completing the series of Standard Forms (i.e., SF 3107 series and SF 3112 series) in the order that they want you to complete them, or should you complete them in a manner that looks after your own best interests, separate and apart from the order that the Federal Government and OPM wants you to fill them out?

There is, in the end, a proper sequence to everything, and preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is no different from every other kind of form and content to be completed.  The way and manner that OPM and the Federal government wants you to complete a Federal Disability Retirement application does not necessarily imply any nefarious intent; it is just a difference in deciding whose best interests are you looking after — your own, or OPM’s?

In the end, all of the Standard Forms (again, the SF 3107 Series and the SF 3112 Series) must all be filled out completely, and some might conclude that the order and sequence of completing them shouldn’t matter, inasmuch as they all have to be completed anyway.  But you may want to pause and reflect for a moment: Does “proper sequence” imply that the Federal Government and OPM have prepared the SF 3107 and SF 3112A for the benefit of the Federal Disability Retirement applicant, or for their own convenience?

Tricks tend to trip, and the trips are not merely the destination from point A to point B, but a hidden accident waiting to happen if you don’t complete SF 3107 and SF 3112 in their proper sequence — and that means, not necessarily in the order of their appearance.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Fear and trepidation

The first may lead to the second; the second, exacerbating the first, may establish a vicious cycle where fear is feeding the trepidation and the trepidation continues to exponentially increase the fear because non-action only expands the tension that grows without containment or restriction.  It is, indeed, a conundrum of paralysis; and the will to change, alter or modify necessitates action, but action cannot come before fear is vanquished and trepidation is overcome.

This is a dysfunctional society.  There is a lack of stability, and perhaps the instability is as a result of the greater freedoms and liberties enjoyed.  But where a culture and society are founded upon unfettered liberty, there must be some internal mechanism that contains the extent of choices offered and the pathways opened.

Once upon a time, ice cream flavors numbered within the fingers of a hand, or perhaps both hands; but once the Pandora’s box of alternatives was unleashed, the paralysis that follows betrays the fragile nature of a human psyche.  Fear and trepidation go hand-in-hand precisely because it is an insular, self-contained cycle of self-immolation feeding each upon the other.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition is beginning to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her job, it is understandable that fear and trepidation continue to paralyze any movement away from a career that has been invested with such high costs.  The choices here, however, are limited. You can stay put; walk away and abandon; or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  It is the last option which is normally the most viable, the most vibrant and the one to pursue because it protects and preserves the future security of one’s livelihood.

Do not let fear and trepidation paralyze and overwhelm; a consultation with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement law is often the first best step in moving forward.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Sorrow behind the facade

How do we know a person’s sorrow?  Of other emotions, we question and retain suspicions, but why is sorrow placed on a separate plane, untouchable and abandoned as sincere despite warranted evidence to the contrary?  Of love, we question constantly — as to sincerity, whether fidelity has been maintained and preserved; of joy or happiness, daily do we self-analyze and evaluate; but of sorrow — once the tears pour forth upon the event learned and considered, there are few who doubt for fear of being tarred as the cynic who had no feelings or remorse.

There are instances — of an unnamed president who purportedly was seen joking and laughing on his way to the funeral, but suddenly turned dour and despondent in facial expression once recognition was noted of cameras filming and spectators observing; or perhaps there are relatives who are known to have hated a deceased kin, but arrived at the funeral out of obligation and duty; of those, do we suspect a less-than-genuine sorrow?  Is it because sorrow must by necessity be attached to an event — of a death, an illness, an accident, or some other tragedy that we consider must necessarily provoke the emotional turmoil that sorrow denotes?  But then, how do we explain the other emotions that are suspected of retaining a facade and a reality beneath — again, of love and happiness?

Medical conditions, especially for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, are somewhat like the sorrow behind the facade.  Few will openly question it — whether because to do so is simply impolite or impolitic — but some will suspect as to its validity, especially when self-interest is at stake.  The declaration, “Is there a malingerer within our midst?” will never be openly spoken.  For, what is the evidence — excessive use of SL, AL or LWOP; frequent doctor’s appointments; inability to maintain the level of productivity previously known for; lack of focus and concentration at meetings; inability to meet deadlines, etc.

For others, these are harbingers of irritants that delay and impact the agency as a whole; for the Federal employee or Postal worker suffering from the medical condition, they are the symptoms and signs beneath the brave facade that is maintained, in order to hide the severity of the medical condition in a valiant effort to extend one’s career.  There comes a time, however, when the reality of the medical condition catches up to the hidden truth beneath the facade, and once that point is reached, it is time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

In like manner, the sorrow behind the facade is similar to the medical condition in and around the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service — both may be real, but it is the “proving” of it before OPM that is the hard part.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire