OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Of persuasive effect

What does it mean to possess “of persuasive effect”?  If a person argues in a debate for endless hours, and at the end of it all, various people from the watchful audience turn aside to one another and declare, “Well, he sure was persuasive, but I’m still going to vote for the other guy” — what can such a statement mean?  If an acknowledgment of persuasion nevertheless results in an opposite conclusion, can one still maintain that there existed any degree of the very element which was supposed to modulate otherwise?

And legal precedents which must be applied — say, in a Federal Disability Retirement case, where the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is “required by law” to consider certain elements, such as under the Bruner case or the Simpkins case and subsequent case-law holdings which “mandate” that OPM consider the proffered evidence as cited by a Legal Memorandum — do they necessitate a certain outcome, or is it merely “persuasive but not determinative”, and what does that mean?  Is it that the level of persuasion was just “not enough”, and while it might have come somewhat close, it just didn’t have that final “clincher” to put it over the goal line?

And if we know beforehand that “persuasive effect” won’t necessarily result in a “determinative impact”, do we just not try at all, or is the mere possibility of “tipping the balance in one’s favor” enough to try and attempt to persuade?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, and where preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application becomes necessary, the impact of a Legal Memorandum — prepared and submitted along with the Federal Disability Retirement “packet” — is like traveling with Google Maps guiding one into unfamiliar territory.  Without it, the reviewing “specialist” at OPM will simply be presented with a stack of information with no indexing or cover sheet.

With it, the importance of persuasive effect is there to guide the OPM reviewer into seeing what is relevant and what is not; of the legal cases that are impactful and persuasive; and of the mandated requirements in applying the proper legal criteria, and not merely of empty arguments that seemingly possess of persuasive effect, but lead to conclusions otherwise left without direction.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


Early OPM Retirement for Medical Incapacity: The many tomorrows yet to come

Does hope lie fallow when the basket of tomorrows become numbered too few?  When endless tomorrows lay before one’s imagination, too numerous to count that one need not bother, does that purport to show that one has a great quantity of hope, or merely that youth’s folly allows for a carefree tomorrow where an eternity of tomorrows can never be reduced to a handful beyond a few todays?  Can time and incremental portions of divided moments be quantified in that manner?

That has always been an anomaly for the undersigned writer — the quantification of time, as in the manner that religious beliefs are scoffed at when it comes to the story of genesis.  For, those who hold to the strict construction and literal meaning of the timeline of how old the earth is, count the obscure generational extensions of people who lived in former times, and somehow declare that the world is X-amount of years old.  How one can calculate with precision that which is not explicitly stated is a conundrum in and of itself, leaving aside the issue of whether time can be quantified if the order of the planetary system and our specific galactic orbit had not yet been established.

Evolutionists, of course, contend that the world was clearly created billions of years ago.  To both, the question is:  Tell me the logical difference between the following 2 statements — 1. The world was created a long time ago, and 2. The world was created billions of years ago.  Do humans have the capacity to imagine time beyond the present moment, or perhaps yesterday or a couple of days ago?  What does it mean to say to a person, “A type of human being walked the earth 10 million years ago”?  One can barely remember where one has placed the screwdriver used last week, and yet people want to put some significance upon a belief-system that purports to quantify time.

Ultimately, the question of whether one believes that the earth is a mere 10,000 years old, or billions of years in the making, is not a factual or scientific one; it is, a political condemnation that categorizes a person’s religious belief into a bifurcated system of: Is he/she “scientific” or “religious”?  In the end, time cannot be so easily quantified; rather, it is a basis of hope and an anticipation of a future yet to be resolved.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal and Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal position, time often becomes paralyzed, much like our imagined world of dinosaurs and prehistoric images of those Pleistocene eras and beyond; and as time is unable to be made meaningful except in the here and now — by imagining the many tomorrows yet to come — preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application that lets you project a life beyond the present-day circumstances of pain, medical conditions and deteriorating health, is the singular differentiating way that humans can separate themselves from other species: with hope.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


OPM Medical Retirement Legal Representation: Paradoxes

Quine, probably the greatest logician since Bertrand Russell, notes that paradoxes often occur as a result of presumed beliefs otherwise left unstated, and once they are “fleshed out” through query and made explicit via closer scrutiny and analysis, the portion which befuddles often disappears.  Confusion within a language game, of course, is often a large part of it, and certain unstated preconditions and assumed facts otherwise implicit and hidden will leave the stated portion incomplete such that others must come along and unravel the mystery.

In a similar vein, statements made as “necessarily” so also retain unstated presumptions.  Thus, if we claim that “the sun will rise tomorrow”, we are asserting that it is “necessarily so”.  If a child asks, “Why is that so”, we will often revert to nothing more than Hume’s response that because it has always risen in the past, and the revolution of planets and rotation of the earth around the sun has been a reliable compass upon which we can depend, it is the regularity of events in the past that determine the necessary expectation of repetition for the future.

It is, then, those unstated or “hidden” presumptions that made certain statements and claims unclear, and the job of an attorney is to clarify that which is left in a muddle.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where it becomes necessary to file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the questions surrounding paradoxes and necessity can be important.

Medical conditions can certainly be paradoxes.  Without explanation, they can debilitate, progressively deteriorate and impact a person’s ability and capacity to continue on as before.  Even with a medical diagnosis, prescribed course of treatment and sometimes surgical intervention, they may remain a befuddlement because of a lack of knowledge or explanation.

Having such a medical condition may nevertheless require that the Federal or Postal employee file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits because the Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job.  The filing itself becomes a “necessity”.

The gap between the paradox of the medical condition and the necessity of filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes quite clear: Necessity does not equal entitlement, and the paradox must be proven.  In doing so, implicit facts must be explained and explicated, and more than an argument of “because it has always been so” will have to be put forward to persuade OPM of the viability of one’s case.

To that extent, do not allow for concealed and presumed “facts” to defeat your Federal Disability Retirement application, and never allow your statement of facts to remain a paradox, lest it become “necessary” to engage further steps of appealing the Federal Disability Retirement process in pursuance of an approval from OPM.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


OPM Medical Retirement from Federal Government Employment: Forms, Formats and Conformity

Forms rule; formats pervade; conformity to previously formatted forms are imposed both by the forms themselves, as well as through the delimiting presentation proposed by the formatted appearance.

Forms represent bureaucratization of an industry once known as a mere whippersnapper, but which now has grown into a behemoth and overpowers all with its industrial strength and dominance.  Formats demanded by such Leviathans of leveraged leaders in lapidary loquaciousness lead leftovers left scratching lonesome and lackluster lilliputians (leaving aside luckless left-handed leeches left to lollygagging lamentably).  Conformity by all others reflects the power of forms and formats, as everyone wants to be like everyone else, and rebels who defy the standards of sameness threaten the very essence and structure of a society comfortable with a herd-like mentality.

Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers know this concept well; for, while youth may enter into the Federal Sector or the U.S. Postal Service with grand ideas of “conquering the world” with “new and innovative” ideas never before thought of (why is it that the young believe that they alone came up with the idea of a wheel, or that defying one’s parents is something that cave-teenagers never engaged previously in epochs long forgotten?), it takes but a mere few years before the spirits are dampened and the fury of imaginative flames are extinguished.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition necessitates preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, encounter with, and confrontation of, another set of “forms” with a specific “format” which must follow a baseline “conformity” must again be faced.

Most Federal and Postal workers are under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and must complete two series of forms for purposes of filing for Federal Disability Retirement:  SF 3107 series, including the Application for Immediate Retirement and Schedules A, B & C; as well as the SF 3112 series, along with the onerous “Statement of Disability” as formatted in SF 3112A. For those rare dinosaurs under the Civil Service Retirement System, the SF 3107 series is not for you, but rather, it is the SF 2801 (when are you all going to fade away so that the government can save some money by throwing aside those forms?).

Just remember this:  Forms are formatted for a specific purpose; and while conformity is necessary in order for streamlining in favor of an overworked bureaucracy, in the end, the purpose of all three — forms, formats and conformity to the first two — is to achieve an end-goal, and in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM, that achievement is attained by getting the necessary proof and documentation over to OPM, in order to get an approval of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS-Offset.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


OPM Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Life’s Work

There is, then, the job or career we undertake (the distinction between the two is often lost, and depends in large part upon a multiplicity of factors, including length of commitment, opportunity within a given field for growth and advancement; whether any qualifications, certifications or professional degrees are required, etc.); and then, the conditions and context of participating in a greater culture of our choosing, including where we live, with whom we live, what social circles we expand into; as well as how we interact with the extended community surrounding us, and whether we even decide to abide by the rules, laws and limitations imposed by society.

The former constitutes the work we engage during our lifetimes; the latter, the macro-aspect of the work generally confronted during a lifetime.  We often confuse the two.  The conundrum and internal turmoil comes about because so much of the latter often depends upon the success of the former.  Without the wealth amassed through the work of labor, we become limited in the choices we have in the work of living; thus do some choose a life of crime or cheating, as a means of shortcutting and supplementing the former for the latter.  And when the work of labor is cut short, or somehow interrupted, one realizes the impact upon the greater work of life, and must adjust accordingly.

For the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s work or career, the choice to leave the Federal sector is a difficult one, and not just because of the financial considerations which reverberate upon the greater work of living.  Often, the choice to file 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, is paused for reflection, procrastination and further delay, because the two concentric circles of life have overlapped to such an exponential degree that one cannot easily be bifurcated from the other.

One’s work of labor involved the social circle; it intersected with the greater percentage of daily living; the meaning and teleological motivation was commingled; even some of the neighbors work in the same neighborhood, just down the street, in our town (yes, it is an unabashed reference to Thornton Wilder’s famous play), or perhaps even next door; so, how can I face a change from the work of labor, without confronting the greater vicissitude in the work of life? But then, there is that medical condition, and it is always the interrupting reality of the medical condition which must, by necessity, be focused upon.

Better to make decisions now, when one has the option to do so concerning the work of labor, lest the limitations are imposed by others, which then can have irreparable consequential reverberations upon the greater work of living.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


OPM Disability Retirement Attorney: Incremental Destruction

It is the slow, destructive force of incrementalism which presents the greater danger in life.  Most people can respond to a full-blown crisis; those are events where the human chemistry of adrenaline flow and reactive thoughtlessness results in heroic acts as told in epic narratives.  But what of the slow and deliberate acts of daily sniping?  How well do we respond, and in civil discourse where physical challenge to such cowardly encounters is no longer acceptable, what does one do?

For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who must contend daily with supervisors, co-workers, managers, etc., in the deliberative incrementalism of destructive criticism, heightened hostility, and the slow churning of pressure by the drip-drip method of administrative sanctions, actions and reprimands, the cost of remaining in an atmosphere of toxicity is high, indeed.

When the medical condition begins to impact the capacity and ability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the Federal agency and the U.S. Postal Service engages in a fairly routine manner of acting — of ostracizing, impeding and obstructing.

One would think that, with all of the laws and public awareness concerning disability discrimination, that society — and especially the Federal sector — would be sensitive in the treatment of Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition; but, alas, civilization rarely progresses in response to genteel laws reflecting intellectual advancement; rather, they remain within the constraints of the origin of one’s species (hint:  the reference is to the Darwinian paradigm of evolutionary determinism).

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the best choice remaining for Federal or Postal workers who must contend with the incrementalism of sure destruction.  For, in the end, one must always reflect upon the priority of values — of health, continuation in a toxic environment, and whether it is worth it in the end.

It may be years before the adverse effects surface, or mere months; but that is the legend of the age-old torture methods which are most effective; the ones who administer the pain have all the time in the world; it is the victim who must live with the consequences.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire