FERS Disability Retirement: The formulation

There is, first, the preparation; then, the formulation; and finally, the filing and the waiting.  Are the sequence of steps necessarily separate and identifiable — cleanly bifurcated such that there is no overlapping of concerns?  Of course not; but the three elements in a OPM Disability Retirement application are necessary for the successful outcome of the endeavor.

The “preparation” is often skipped in order to get to the “filling out the forms” portion, which is contained somewhere between the preparatory stage of the process, extends into the formative arena and comes to fruition just before filing, as the finishing touches are placed in refinement of the final product.

The analogies are numerous: of baking a cake — first, one must have a “recipe” (the preparatory stage of the process); then, in between the preparation and the formulation, one must gather all of the ingredients necessary to fulfill the recipe: i.e., the medical documentation; the legal citations to be applied; perhaps other ancillary supportive presentations; the Applicant’s Statement of Disability; and the multitude of other papers which will ultimately accompany the Federal Disability Retirement filing; then, the filing itself — of placing it into the oven and waiting while it bakes to final product.

It is, in many ways, the “formulation” part of it that fails the Federal employee or Postal worker putting together an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset — for, the rush to get it done is often comprised by a furious sense of desperation in gathering whatever medical records can be amassed in the shortest time possible; of quickly jotting down the things “wrong” with you on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability; and then quickly “shoving” it into the oven hoping that it will bake quickly and come out well.

Yet, while the “recipe” is important, and the filing is crucial, it is the “formulation”of the OPM Disability Retirement packet — of the putting together in a thoughtful and persuasive manner the legal memorandum which cites the case-law, argues the evidence and providers a “road-map” for OPM to approve one’s Federal Disability Retirement application — that is often overlooked and becomes the unintended nemesis for a successful outcome in a OPM Disability Retirement application.

In skipping over that part —the formulation of a Federal Disability Retirement application — it is likened to that “uh-oh” moment when you realized that you had forgotten to put any butter, milk or other essential ingredients into the cake after you have already put it into the oven.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Claims: Of fortunes unattained

Here, of the story untold:

“He woke up and went into the bathroom, and there found an old man staring at him.  There was no voice that called; no utterance of a salutation so early in the morning.  The corrugated skin of this stranger was pulled back, revealing deep cuts in the rivulets of age where time had taken its toll.  His hair was unkempt; thinning and grey, with speckles of white reaching deep within the roots of timeless agony.

Where had time robbed this pathetic creature, where a lifetime was given as a gift in order to make his fortune, to find his love and to gather his friendships?

It seemed only yesterday that the toddler reached for his parents’ loving arms, and they who looked upon him with kindly affection and whispering, ‘There, there, you have a whole life ahead of you to dream your dreams and reach your goals’, and then the fading summers where life seemed but a dream where oceans divided and manhood arose from the depths of a sea that swallowed me whole.  And when the stranger in the bathroom finally spoke, it had the voice of one who stared back from a mirror that reflected the insanity of myself, old and lost, voicing a soliloquy of loneliness where once my children laughed within a wilderness of a future yet unseen.”

And so it is with many of us; time seems to creep ever so slowly during troubled waters of despair; and then, one morning, we wake up and decades have passed us by.  Did we do all that we wanted to do?  Did we find that love we yearned for?  Did we make that fortune we promised ourselves we would attain, remembering the poverty of our youth and the promises whispered in huddled caves beneath the conscience of our lonely hearts?

Of fortunes unattained, we can always justify by telling another tale: Life is too short to search only for abandoned treasures and, besides, what truly is a ‘fortune’?  Is love of lesser worth than gold in reserve, and does not friendship value greater than a penny saved?  And when compared with one’s health, is fortune amassed of any value if the former is sacrificed for the latter?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where 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, preparing, formulating and filing 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, is an important step towards reaching those goals yet reconsidered.

Of fortunes unattained — perhaps so; but when one’s health is at stake, all else must become secondary, and for the Federal or Postal worker who can no longer continue in a career which is only exacerbating the deterioration of one’s health, those thoughts of fortunes unattained must by necessity be temporarily set aside and replaced by the wisdom of a more valued existence.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Chaldean and Pythagorean Numerology

Is it a submission to determinism, or is there some hint of validity other than a self-fulfilling prophesy?  Can names, dates and events be translated into a numerical construct such that predictability of one’s future can be ascertained?

The differences between the two are apparently substantive; the algorithms and numbered “personalities” are altered when the spectrum of equations (1 through 8 under the Chaldean system, and the addition of the next number in sequence under the Pythagorean methodology); and under the Pythagorean Numerology, the system pays greater attention to the full name at birth rather than to the nickname daily used by an individual, where weighted significance is granted upon an emphasis of letters included.

Historically, the Chaldean system has remained staid since the times of Babylon, whereas the Pythagorean Numerology has evolved into modernity, with minor changes and methodological alterations utilized to adapt to modern day applicability.  Both are forms of ancient Astrology and Palmistry, where the interaction between the novice who approaches for foretelling encounters a “system” utilizing numerical alignment, predestined aura and the wisdom of the one who is schooled in the ancient cosmos of rational defiance.

Is it all puff and nonsense?  Perhaps; but of what percentage of our own beliefs constitute a similar system of mystical ambivalence?  Do we read the horoscope?  Are some days more hapless than others?  Do dogs bay at the full moon, and do wolves and horses run wild in their full light of darkness?  Or, when Mars is aligned with the satellites unseen, when the reflection of a full moon’s embrace upon a pond’s quietude in twilight’s shadow, are there greater crimes of the soul committed?  Why are streets filled with rows upon rows of Palmists where long lines of anticipatory trembling and drops of sweat tickle down the side of the armpit while awaiting the foretelling of our soul’s destination?

Yes, for some, it is mere fun after a night of drinking to dare one another to have the inner essence searched and revealed; and yet we live still within the confines of our own mystical abandonments, do we not?  Do we curse the universe for the bad day we experience, or buy a lottery ticket despite the numerical odds of wasting that dollar?  Is science the pinnacle of human achievement that squeezes out the possibility of gnomes, hobbits and angels who fly in the midst of foggy mornings to garner the sins of fallen souls?

Yes, Chaldean and Pythagorean numerology are systems largely outdated and unmasked as unscientific, largely because we have replaced them with paradigms that are acceptable to modernity.  But mysteries still abound.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits because of a medical condition which impacts or otherwise prevents the Federal or Postal employee from continuing in one’s chosen career, the question with the background of Chaldean and Pythagorean Numerology is the following:  What methodology are you going to adopt and apply in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal disability Retirement benefits?  Is it thoughtful, methodological, sequential?  Is it based upon current legal precedents?  Do you understand the pitfalls and the underlying import by the cunning questions asked on Standard Form 3112A?  Or, is it tantamount to Palmistry and a reliance upon an outmoded mystical aura of Chaldean or Pythagorean Numerology?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Alliteration of Life

Cathartic calamities caused creatively cannot cooperatively contain characteristic contents clearly coordinated contumaciously.  Sometimes, the insistence upon form can result in the nonsensical loss of clarity in substance; life often reflects the absurdities we establish by convention and societal imposition, and we pay the price for it.

Life is like being a letter in a series of alliterative words; we are helpless in being attached, but cannot dissociate ourselves, separate one’s self, or otherwise excise the offending aspect.  We are forever wedded like the proverbial two peas in a pod, with an incessant but futile search for a seam to burst out.  The problem, too, is that it may all sound proper and profound; but beneath the surface of consonant melodies and mellifluous motions of letters harkening back with pleasantries of sound, sight and solace, the reality of it is that the emperor with no clothes needs to be called out, lest the closeted secrets remain dormant.

Medical conditions tend to make of life an alliteration of sorts; squeezed between the implanted word in front and crushed by the one behind, we are left without choices in being a pawn in the cycle of life’s fate.  Like the word that sounds melodious as it rolls off the tongue of the creator, we keep trying to fit in despite the absurdity of the substance and content.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, such a metaphor of life is well-known.  Despite being stripped of dignity and design, the Federal or Postal worker suffering from a medical condition is treated as half-human, half-worth and half-baked.  They are relegated to the corner office, the basement of windowless reserves, and raked over the proverbial coals to perform menial tasks meant to humiliate and defeat.  But it all “sounds nice” — the courageous attempts by the agency to accommodate; the superficial empathy shown by supervisors and managers; it is all meant to soothe.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often seen as just another daunting task, an obstacle placed in front of the already-stretched limits of the Federal or Postal employee; but then, what choices are there?

Like the alliterative words caught between others just because of the consonant attached, the Federal or Postal worker with a medical condition represents the alliteration of life, and preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether one is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is merely another reflection in the pond of life, provided productively as previous payment portending possible potentialities progressively purchased.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Disability Retirement: The Poverty of One’s Soul

The locus of one’s soul has been much debated throughout the history of Philosophy; Descartes, of course, took the incommodious step of actually identifying the central point, but left some “wiggle room” by declaring it merely as the “principal seat of the soul” (is there a secondary, back-seat area for the soul, as well?), but of course, the French can be excused for such seemingly drunken issuances of localities, when belief in supposedly impenetrable defenses can provide for a mirage of security.

The question itself is non-sensical, if one pauses for a moment of reflection.  For, as the soul is not part of the physical universe, to ascribe to it a point of defined location is to misunderstand the conceptual paradigm itself.  Rather, it is the state of the soul which is of greater relevance, and whether enlivened, invigorated, or impoverished.  What deadens the soul?  From Plato to Scruton, the argument can be made that music is an important component in the cultivation or demise of soulful activity.  Repetition of meaningless and monotonous actions, engaged like Camus’ Sisyphus, can also inflict harm; but even he, along with other French existentialists, found meaning in the absurd.

Medical conditions, obviously, can have a profound impact and effect upon the soul.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who find that a medical condition begins to prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the relationship between “meaning” and “employment” can remain the single most significant obstacle to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

For, it is often fear of the future and the unknown elements which pervade the dark recesses of nightmares abounding in the subconscious of one’s mind, deep in the caverns of sleep, or interrupted, non-restorative slumber, where childhood visions of dancing daisies and carefree summers have long been replaced by the reality of adulthood, ogres and goblins as real today as when the child once watched with innocent eyes; it is from those vestiges that grown men weep and feel the tiny droplets of fear, and we call them “insecurities”.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is indeed a large step into the unknown.  Poverty, let alone poverty of one’s soul, is a fear of real proportions in these uncertain economic times; but in the end, one’s health should be the priority of ultimate concern, precisely because health engenders the continuing viability of the soul, and for the Federal or Postal worker who fears for one’s future, to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is a positive step towards securing a safety net to further prevent the impoverishment of the soul, whether located in the pineal gland, or in the ethereal universe of a childhood summer long gone and lost in the innocence of daisies returned to the bosom of the earth.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: Systemic Problems

When the residual impact of a crisis goes well beyond cosmetic concerns, the usual and customary description is that the “cause” involves “systemic” problems.  Such foundational fissures can occur both in organizations, as well as in individuals.

For Federal agencies, it may require a need for new leadership, or a restructuring of internal chains of command, and sometimes even outside intervention.  More often than not, a call for greater funding is demanded; then, once approved, we walk away as if the problem has been fixed, until the next crisis calls our attention.

For individuals, the systemic problems can involve a medical condition.  Symptoms are normally mere warning signs portending of greater dangers; like organizational eruptions of systemic concerns, individual crisis of systemic proportions often result from neglect, procrastination and deliberate avoidance of the issue.  But medical problems have a tendency and nature of not going away; they are stubborn invaders, like the hordes of barbarians from epochs past, who keep whittling away at the weakest points of an individual’s immune system.  Then, when the medical condition progressively deteriorates until the spectrum of symptoms exceeds a threshold of toleration, suddenly, a crisis develops.

For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who has reached that point, where the symptoms are no longer superficial, but prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, then it is time to begin considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, time is of the essence, as the administrative process must meander its way through a complex system of bureaucratic morass, and the timeline is often of importance in securing the future of a Federal or Postal employee.

Preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is an arduous, lengthy task, and one which is a tool against a systemic problem; for, in the end, the best fight against an invading army is to utilize the elements of the marauders themselves, and this is true in medicine, in law, as well as in individual and organizational restructuring.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Lawyer: At What Cost?

The introduction of the “cost-benefit analysis” (CBA) by the French (who else?) is a quantitative approach in determining whether to go forward with a given project.  There are other approaches, of course, but the popularity of such a utilitarian paradigm is especially attractive to Americans, precisely because it allegedly places a determinable value upon the project, endeavor or issue in question.

But not everything in life is quantifiable in monetary terms; and while the CBA approach can take into account complex factors and assign methodologies of evaluating such that otherwise unquantifiable terms can be converted into numbers, the question still comes down to a simple issue of self-reflection:  Is it worth it?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have 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 positional duties, a cost-benefit analysis is often taken with a singularly stark question:  Can I survive on the annuity proposed by statutory authority?

But this often ignores a parallel query, just as stark and similarly singular: What other choice is there?  If the medical condition arose as a matter of a work-related incident, certainly the Federal or Postal employee under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset should file for OWCP/DOL benefits; but even then, Worker’s Comp is not a retirement system, and there will likely come a time when it is still necessary to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The unquantifiable factors in any CBA are those more personal, intangible issues which we rarely desire to face:  What will happen if I ignore the present course of settings?  If I continue to work with my medical condition and somehow reach retirement age, what kind of shape will I be in to enjoy my “golden years”?  Will the agency tolerate my reduced productivity, and what will their next move be?

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is never an easy decision, and should not be taken without a thorough and self-reflective analysis; but it is often an approach tantamount to negative-theology which will bring out the true answers to a dilemma — of what will result if one does NOT do X, as opposed to a quantification of values — and provide the necessary framework for a future reference of positive closure to a human condition which always seems, at the time and moment of suffering, to be a calamity beyond mere dollars and cents, and for which the famous Utilitarian Philosopher, John Stuart Mill noted, that actions are right “in proportion as they tend to promote happiness.”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Another similar article previously published: Federal Disability Retirement pros and cons