Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement: Off on a Tangent

It can be done inadvertently, without malice, and often unintentionally — and so long as one remains within the insular world of language, no harm occurs in most instances, in most circumstances.

Of course, to literally go off on a tangent — if you are walking in the wilderness without a compass; out in the deep sea in a small skiff; wandering about in a neighborhood known for drive-by shootings — can be quite another thing.

But for the most part, when we say that “So-and-so often goes off on a tangent” or “Sally has a tendency to go off on tangents”, we merely mean that the focus of the conversation, the content of the primary narrative, the point of the lecture being given, etc., the central idea, theme or point of someone’s statement, discussion “talk”, etc. is being waylaid by some divergent, often irrelevant side-show.

It is like a movie badly edited — you know, those scenes which often are “extras” which were taken out because of time-constraints or creative doubt as to their relevance to the story.  Or, sometimes people go off on tangents for a reason — deliberately and with intent — as when you want to divert the focus of the narrative away from the main point, precisely because the main point is not a very strong one to begin with.

In a Federal Disability Retirement case, this can happen on both sides — from OPM’s side, going off on a tangent can mean that they do not want to focus upon the medical reports and records, but instead want to deny you based upon tangential issues of performance ratings, conducts issues, accommodation offers, etc., as opposed to focusing upon the main point of a Federal Disability Retirement application: Your medical conditions.  Or, from the perspective of the applicant — the Federal or Postal employee filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits — of irrelevant background, or on issues which may actually weaken and harm a case.

Contact an OPM Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that you remain focused on the centrality of the multi-faceted issues presented in a Federal Disability Retirement case, and not on irrelevant issues by going off on a tangent.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer specializing exclusively on Federal Disability Retirement Law

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Deterioration

It is a process; a cellular degeneration that time inevitably forces; and the word itself evokes images of rusting old cars in junk heaps hidden behind high walls of metal fences where usefulness has long been abandoned.  The deterioration of the human body is a progressive process of inevitability, and while we fight in futile efforts to slow it down, much of our efforts are merely cosmetic and have little or no impact upon the underlying progress of the cellular breakdown.

We can eat healthily; maintain good posture; take supplements and vitamins; exercise; stretch; attempt to restrict activities which may be harmful, etc.  Yet, and nevertheless, the deterioration of the human body persists despite all such efforts to employ tactics to reverse the normal course of human destiny.

The workplace — and certain types of jobs — certainly contribute to the deterioration of both the human body as well as the psyche.  Even in this day and age, we perhaps dismiss the psychiatric deterioration as opposed to the bodily degeneration, minimizing the impact of stress upon one’s mental health.  In the end, however, deterioration can apply to both physical as well as cognitive health.

For Federal employees and Postal workers who suffer from either physical or mental deterioration, and where the Federal or Postal employee can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, such deterioration may require filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and see whether the extent of your physical or mental deterioration qualifies for Federal OPM Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Benefits: Why We Persevere

The question itself often never comes up; for the “Why” questions the motive, when in fact there is never really any other option.  Obligations and commitments; the fact that we have to continue making a living; the alternatives considered; in the end, there is no “Why” relevant to the matter because the choices are limited.  To ask the “Why” question is to engage in an Aristotelian query — as to the “foundation” of an issue, or “first principles” that provide the underlying substratum of origins and causes.

“Why we Persevere” is, for some, a nonsensical query, for there is no alternative but to struggle and to maintain the composure of outward normalcy.  There are times, however, when the question is relevant — as when a given X is necessitated by Factor Y such that the choice of X can no longer be continued because of the condition of Y.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who continue to persevere in one’s Federal or Postal job, but where the medical conditions suffered have made it no longer possible to continue in the same manner or vein of one’s career, Federal Disability Retirement is the option that needs to be considered.

Perseverance is an admirable trait of human endurance, but when a medical condition no longer allows for even perseverance to maintain the status quo, it is time to consider another option such that one’s health can be focused upon, and where perseverance alone may be the factor that stands in the way and the “Why” question begins to take on greater significance where it is beginning to destroy one’s health.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Changing Lives

The phrase can have multiple meanings, depending upon the emphasis given to the words.  On the one hand, it can imply an affirmative, active meaning — of some individual or organization implementing steps in order to alter the course of another’s life.

In this sense, it may be that a problem has been identified — for example, higher rate of drug addiction in a community; increase in crime rates; an intersection with a greater incidence of traffic accidents, etc. As a result of an identified problem, a person, group or entity goes about “doing something” about it — i.e., petitioning the city council to put a traffic light at the intersection; forming a community-watch program to reduce the crime rate; intervening and educating the community about drug addition, etc. Thus, the phrase “changing lives” in this sense can be characterized as an “active” involvement where X is impacting upon Y.

In another sense, it can remain inactive — as a passive onlooker who recognizes that there are alterations occurring in the lives of individuals.  Every day, changes occur in the lives of everyone about.  One may quip that such a manner of meaning is rather inconsequential, inasmuch as it is a given that lives must by necessity change and encounter adaptations every day; for, it is a tautology to include in a single breath the terms “life” and “change”, just as it is a redundancy to refer to the weather without admitting vicissitude.

Changing lives is to be presumed.  Life’s daily turmoils require it; it is an inevitability which cannot be avoided.  The greater question is: How do we respond to the changes?

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, the issue about changing lives can take on a third meaning — that one’s life, career and employment status must by necessity undergo an alteration and modification.

The changes wrought are forced by an uninvited force — the medical condition — and the circumstances which mandate change cannot be controlled — of the inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s position with the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.  How the Federal employee responds to this necessary change is where the relevant next step takes on greater consequences of potential harm.  What you don’t know in the changing life may harm you, and that is why consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law prior to initiating those next steps in changing lives, is important.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Task of Forgetting

Leisure activities are the tasks of forgetting; it is to engage in them precisely in order to become distracted from our work-a-day universe and replenish our “batteries” in order to go back into the fray of battle.  Battle-worn soldiers need the time away from the constant stresses of perilous missions in order to regain a sense of balance and perspective; and the lioness with her cubs sees the value of play in preparing them for the more serious ordeal of hunting for survival.

The task of forgetting is how we entertain ourselves — of reading a novel by forgetting about the reality of our lives; of watching a television show or movie and forgetting about the troubles central to our lives; of playing a video game or participating in crowd gatherings in order to watch a sport being played, or even in the direct engagement of a sport; these, and many others, require the task of forgetting in order to become a participant.

A medical condition, however, denies the task of forgetting.  That is why medical conditions are so inherently exhausting; they remain as a constant reminder of our mortality and frailty, and deny the access to needed rest and restorative peace.  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, filing for Federal Disability Retirement should be an option to be considered, if only to attain the capacity to again engage in the task of forgetting.

The chronic nature of a medical condition is what often fatigues; and as the inability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job begins to fester and overwhelm, it may be time to consult with an attorney who is experienced in Federal Disability Retirement Law in an effort to reacquire the capacity to engage in the task of forgetting.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire