OPM Disability Retirement: The Unshared Responsibility

It is an oxymoron of sorts: For, by the very definition of each of the two words, the opposite should necessarily be implied.  Responsibilities, by their very nature, especially in the context of a village, a society, or a nation, are shared by all; and thus to declare the existence of an “unshared responsibility” — when responsibilities by their very nature require a shared nature — is a form of self-contradiction.  Failure to share the responsibility that is ours to engage is common where society no longer knows its own neighbors.

That is the essence of a disappearing village — where we know longer know each other, remain detached and merely retain the outer facade of being a society with common interests.  Do you know your next door neighbor?  Do you even care to?  Yet, we have thousands of “friends” on Facebook, but barely know, or care, about the person living just across the street.

The Office is no different.  One day a coworker files for Federal Disability Retirement benefits and we are “surprised”.  We didn’t know that the person even had a medical condition.  The Supervisor didn’t know.  The Human Resource Office didn’t care to know.  No one at the agency cared to know.  That is often the reality, unfortunately, and the greater — sadder — reality is that those who should have known didn’t care to take the time to know.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and where confidentiality of the process is critical because of the unshared responsibility of the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service, consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, lest the unshared responsibility of confidential matters may potential leak to the uninterested ear that awaits hungrily for the gossip of unspoken mouths.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement under FERS: The Wishes We Wish

People wish all the time.  Whether implicitly through fantasy or daydreaming, or explicitly by prefacing the thought with, “I wish that…” — the wishes we wish are often more revealing than the act of wishing itself.

Are humans the only species which projects upon things not possessed?  Do other species wish for things, circumstances, events and relationships that are not?  Does it border upon insanity to wish for things that are clearly outside of the realm of probabilities, or is it a healthy engagement of one’s time to daydream, wish, imagine and hope for?

Is there a distinction with a difference between a wish and a hope, a fantasy and a wandering daydream, or between a concocted reality and the miserable circumstances within which one exists?  If the difference is between containing one’s wishes within the privacy of one’s mind — on the one hand — and “acting as if” the wish itself is reality, on the other, then the boundary between sanity and its opposite is thin indeed.

Here’s something that tells us much about ourselves: Do we wish for things for ourselves, or for others?  Do we wish for extravagances — like a yacht, a vacation or a revitalization of a lost relationship — or something more mundane, like good health?

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 job, the wishes we wish may be common, understandable and mundane — of getting one’s health back.  And while Federal Disability Retirement may not result in better health, it allows for a Federal or Postal employee to extricate one’s self from a workplace situation that only increases the stresses upon one’s health because of the constant worry about being unable to perform the work assigned, and to instead focus upon one’s health and well-being.

In the end, the wishes we wish need to conform to the reality we find ourselves in, and for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Employee Disability Retirement, you should contact a Federal Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and allow for some wishes to turn into a reality.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Those Little Victories

Life offers few of them; thus do we turn to those little victories to make it all seem worthwhile.  Waterloo is almost always seen from the perspective of defeat, just as WWII is viewed from the perspective of the Allied victory, and history has always been seen as the story from the victor’s point of view except in those instances where, like Napoleon’s hubris, the single battle determined the course of world history.

Most wars are won or lost upon the incremental victories of smaller skirmishes; and so it is with life in general, where it is those little victories which make it all worthwhile.  And the victories themselves don’t need to be as a consequence of a “battle” or a “war”; it can be small things like: Making it through the day; having a sense of joy or contentment for an hour, or even a half-hour; of having spent five minutes with someone without provoking a fight; or even of having had a good night’s sleep.

Those little victories are often the ones which last the longest in memories short-lived and shorter still before the storms of life surge; and for Federal and 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 position, those little victories of making it through part of a work day without the debilitating impact of the medical condition shortening it further, is often viewed as one of those “little victories”.

At some point, however, when those little victories seem to be too few and far between, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefit through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For, when those little victories in life are nowhere to be found, it is time then to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to regain a sense of worth in a world which cares little for those little victories.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Imperfect Lives

Bringing up the very concept itself implies that the opposite exists: That of “perfect” lives.  We perhaps attribute the existence of such; perhaps it is the same line of thought processes which persuades us by the Ontological argument for the existence of God: God is that than which nothing greater can be thought of; To exist is greater than not to exist; therefore, God must by necessity exist.  The corollary argument which persuades us of the existence of a “perfect” life would then be: The perfect life is a life which erases all imperfections; perfection is better than its opposite; therefore there must by necessity exist perfect lives.

Yet, does reality indicate the existence of perfect lives?  Certainly, its opposite is true: imperfect lives being all around us, including our own, we then assume that there must be other, similarly imperfect lives.  Yet, while perfection is a non-relative term (it cannot be dependent upon a comparison to other terms, but is the paragon of all things not imperfect), its antonym — imperfection — can be.  Thus, X’s life may be less perfect than Y’s, and Z’s life may be less perfect than Y’s but better than X’s.  Can we ever say that X’s life is “more perfect” than X’s or Y’s?  Doesn’t “more perfect” necessarily imply imperfection and thus cannot approach a definitional plateau of “more”?

The plain fact is that all of our lives are imperfect, and perfection is an unreachable goal, and perhaps even undefinable.  For, who can define perfection of a life which fails to ever meet such a standard, and given the sins of human frailty, can it ever be achieved?

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 position, the time may be ripe to admit and acknowledge that “perfection” is a standard which can never be met, and to try and maintain that appearance of perfection is an unrealistic goal.  Medical conditions have a way of humbling us; and as we keep struggling to maintain an appearance of perfection, what we are doing is failing to acknowledge that such a standard is a harmful, detrimental one.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is an admission of our imperfection; consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is a step towards acting upon that admission — that, try as we might, we live imperfect lives, and that’s okay; for, to err is human, and to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is to admit to being human.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Certainty of Defeat

There is nothing more demoralizing than to “know” the certainty of defeat.  But that is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?  How does one “know”?  Certainly, one can balance the odds for and against; to take into account the factors which determine a statistical chance of success or failure; but does one ever have “certainty” in anything, or is it often merely a perspective of the glass being half full, or half empty?

Where the odds are overwhelming and objectively insurmountable: a 100-to-1 advantage that the opposing force has; a predetermined outcome that cannot be reversed; in such circumstances, then, what hope is there?  For, the only counterbalance to “certainty” is the glimmer of hope for some unforeseen “X-factor” that somehow saves the day.  On the other hand, it is the determination of “certainty” which extinguishes any flicker or flame of hope.

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, there is often the sense of an inevitability — a “certainty of defeat” — where the medical condition reveals a progressive march towards greater deterioration.

The counterbalance of hope is in the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement.  Yet, even that benefit — of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity — is not a certainty; it is, instead, a benefit which must be fought for.  The Agency which oversees the approvals and denials of a Federal Disability Retirement application — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — does everything to try and find reasons to deny, deny, deny.

Does this mean that every application will face the certainty of defeat?  No — but it must be carefully prepared and effectively pursued.  To provide the greater counterbalance against the certainty of defeat, consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement; for, as hope is the countermeasure to the certainty of defeat, so the lawyer is the one who can provide an objective perspective as to the potentiality for success.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early FERS Medical Retirement: Inside Life & Outside Appearance

Each of us lives an insular life.  It is that “private” side of us which remains so at our option.

How much of it is allowed into the public arena, and to whom we may share with, those are dependent upon multiple factors — of desiring to; of releasing information about ourselves that may allow for one to become “vulnerable”; of secretive lies; of shameful pasts; of thoughts that may be considered imprudent or childish; of foolish past exploits that may embarrass; of actions committed that were long forgotten by everyone but the self; and many more besides.

Then, of course, there is the “Outside appearance” — the person who is a compendium and pieced-together puzzle.  That “person” is comprised of many facets: By those who “know” you at the office, but perhaps in a restricted, limited way; by neighbors and acquaintances; by closer family members; by people who may have only come in contact by telephone or the internet, etc.

How much of the Inside life and the Outside appearance overlap may be best illustrated by a Venn diagram — or by a multitude of concentric circles, depending upon who is asked about a particular person.  Some scrupulously guard the inside life; others, like an open book left unguarded and unmarked, allow for the two parallel streams to mix and mingle without thoughts of restricting access.

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 position, the concept of the “Inside life” and the “Outside appearance” is important to consider when entertaining the idea of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

For, while the Federal or Postal employee may be suffering from a medical condition, how much of that “Inside life” has impacted the “Outside appearance” — i.e., the medical condition’s impact upon one’s performance, conduct or attendance — will be questioned by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in determining the merits of the case.

It is, in a FERS Disability Retirement case, the “Outside appearance” that will be determinative, so that no matter the extent of pain or anguish experienced by the “Inside Life”, it is the “Outside appearance” which will be the facet of evaluative validity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire