Filing for Federal Disability Retirement Benefits: Remakes

Some hate them and vow never to view or accept them in any way, being purists at heart and unable to fathom any possibility that improvement can be had upon an old classic; others — the opposite side of the coin — welcome anything new and will relish all updated versions where the old can be replaced by the new.  Still others remain in a somewhat “neutral” frame of mind: Acceptance in the form of saying to one’s self, “Well, any remake is merely a new and different movie; you can’t compare the two because they are different interpretations by different people.”  Or, perhaps a more moderated tonality: “Let’s just give it a chance.”

Can Jeff Bridges be any better than John Wayne as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn?  Can any modern adaptation recapture the magic in Twin Peaks or improve upon its avant-garde approach?  Can there be a “better” Charlie than Diane Keaton in John le Carre’s The Little Drummer Girl — depicting the emotional turmoil of the Middle East conflict through the instability and confusion of a single person?

Modernity thinks that all previous generations have been lacking in something; perhaps it is just arrogance to think that a “remake” can be better than the original, or is it merely a lack of creativity because the “now” is unable to come up with its own original ideas, and therefore must rely upon that which has already been done once — or twice, or three times before — with an effort to “improve” upon it?

To some extent, it is an inevitability of life’s misgivings, and so we all have to “remake” ourselves at some point in our lives.

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 “remake” that must face is the one that is in real life: Medical conditions force one to remake one’s career, life choices and future plans.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits may not have been a “scene” in one’s life that was planned, but it has now become a necessity.  The movie reel within one’s life — the viewing of one’s future; how one sees one’s self; the “takes” that one shot of a career and a future — is forced to be remade when a medical condition hits one’s life.

Whether one wanted to or not, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes a necessity when a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.  It is like “remaking” one’s life.

Just remember, however, that like all remakes, it is important to have a good “director”, and seeking the counsel of a Federal Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is an important feature of the upcoming film adaptation and remake of the truest of moves: One’s Own Life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: That uncluttered mind

How do we remain so in this world of cacophonous and discordant barrage of sounds, images and the overload of information?  Is it even possible to remain as the quietude of mind within the meditative spirit of a Zen monk reflecting upon the pool of uncertainty yet contemplating the serenity of a mind’s eye?

The cluttering is deafening; and, with it, the anxiety, stresses and paralyzing fears that accompany the world writ so large and looming so fearsome.  The uncluttered mind is the one that, with singular focus, yet accomplishes goals in life, reaches destinations otherwise fraught with obstacles, and continues to grow and progress despite all challenges that impede its way.  Is it still possible to retain an uncluttered mind?  Can there be such a state despite the overburdening of a world obsessed with “connectivity” to one’s technological devices, where the staring into the void of one’s Smartphone, laptop or other such distractions can rarely be avoided?

We tend to think that we are the “exception”, and despite our slavery and slovenly attachment to the technological innovations of modernity, we make excuses and allowances for our own weaknesses – oh, I’m not really into that sort of thing; it’s just a tool that is necessary for a time; Facebook?  Twitter?  Nah, it’s just a hobby.  Yes, before long, we get sucked into the very crevices we once laughed at and scorned.  The uncluttered mind is indeed a rarity, these days.

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 ‘clutter’ becomes exponentially quantified because, not only must one contend with the world of clutter, but the medical condition itself is an additional stress that must be faced.

This is a complex and complicated world, full of challenges and untold stresses.  To be able to maneuver through the bureaucratic maze of a Federal Disability Retirement process is itself a cluttered road of administrative complexities, and when one must contend with the medical condition itself – which is the primary purpose for preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application – the clutter of the medical condition itself becomes an obstacle, leaving aside the obfuscation and obstacles that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management puts up in the pathway towards success or failure.

Filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through OPM is a step towards reaching the goal of the uncluttered mind – of simplifying priorities so that the primary priority is that which is most important: One’s health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Service: Tarnished lives

These days, are there any other kinds?  Do saints exist, or is it merely time which erases the stench attached, and as history is recorded and memorialized by sympathetic co-conspirators attempting to preserve the sanctity of reputations and disregarding the detritus of humanity, so once the sanctification by pontifical decree settles upon a figure previously considered human, and now an idealized version of an individual lost in the complex historicity of biographical omissions, the tarnished perspective of lives once lived has disappeared into the ethereal universe of a surreal reality.

All lives are tarnished; but the moment one makes such a statement, it becomes a meaningless declaration.  For, just as stating that X is “all-inclusive” necessarily negates its opposite, so to posit that Y is “pure nothingness” undermines the very essence of “something-ness”.  If everything is meaningless, then nothing can have less or more meaning than anything else, and thus do we end up with an anarchy of language.  So, to qualify: Yes, all lives are tarnished, but some lives more so than others, and others, less so than further others (somewhat like the declaration in Orwell’s Animal Farm, where “all animals are equal; but some animals are more equal than others.”).

And thus do we live this way, where the cynic believes that there are no saints, and the naïve minority of individuals who believe in such blather repeatedly invest in purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge as a sound retirement strategy next to Bernie Madoff’s pyramid scheme.  But of what do we judge a “tarnished” life, as opposed to one that is not?  Does a minor blemish amount to the same thing as a total spoilage of the whole?

That is where people have often misinterpreted the religious teachings of entrance into heaven, where purity through the sacrificed Lamb allowed for gaining a foothold into heaven, but where – from that – people argue, therefore, God doesn’t make a distinction between a minor infraction of sin and the carnage of murder or some other equally greater offense.  But surely there is a difference with a real distinction between that which requires purity in order to enter into heaven, as opposed to judging the difference between types of moral turpitude?

Yes, we all live tarnished lives, but some lives tarnished are of greater consequence than others.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who view the onset of a medical condition as a “tarnished” smear upon one’s career, and thus resist leaving until that smudge has been erased, good luck.  The reality is that a medical condition is not a reflection of any “fault” or “negative” judgment upon a person; instead, it is simply a reality of one’s mortality.  Some people never suffer from a serious medical condition; others, with more than a fair share; and most of us fall somewhere in between.

For the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition such that Federal Disability Retirement must be considered, always remember that the need to seek an alternative remedy through a Federal Disability Retirement is never a reflection that deems that one now falls amongst the tarnished lives of greater misdeeds, but merely a reality in this mortal world of fallen souls, no different for this generation than for the centuries of such tarnished lives in unmarked graves of yore.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Government Employment: The wrong turn

What are the consequences of a wrong turn?  Recognition before venturing too far into the detoured travel; loss of some amount of time (allowing for that cumbersome freeway that doesn’t have another exit for some 25 miles); a rash attempt to correct the mistake by crossing the grassy knoll that divides the highway, only to find that the invitation of the greenery is a muck of quick sand that sinks the four tires into a pit of immobility; or, in the most positive scenario, a mere four-corner turn to get back onto the “right” track of travel.

Every decision in life possesses an inherent ingredient — some modicum of consequences; for some, disaster always seems to follow – like Pig-pen and the trail of dust and whirl of tornado-like innocence; while, for others, the Teflon-man of escaping even the scent of guilt is forever brushed off without a scratch or a theme of taint.

Then, of course, there are the horrible tales from newspaper clippings, of a wrong turn resulting in death, maiming, or other deviation from a mere innocence of mistaken scroll of the steering wheel; perhaps the GPS accuracy will no longer allow for such deviations resulting in detoured consequences, but others have contended that the technical glitches inherent in such devices still fail to recognize that the shortest and most efficient route may not always be the safest passage through life’s impending doom.

Further, what is it about the wrong turn that seems to define the state of a marriage?  In days of youth, such detours of deviancy may have evoked the laughter of wonder  – of an unforeseen adventure not worthy of even mild criticism; but as age increases the inner sanctum of fear and insecurity, so the wrong turn often stirs the nervous insecurities otherwise seething beneath the surface of apparent happiness and contentment of marriage, children, family gatherings and holiday warmth.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact the Federal or Postal employee’s ability or capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the question often becomes:  Did I make the wrong turn by taking on this Federal or Postal job, or is the wrong turn made by staying put?

Such metaphors of intent depend upon the very next move that the Federal or Postal employee will undertake.  For, if the next act is to merely remain in the same position, and allow for the harassment and adverse proposals to pile upon prior agency initiations of hostility, then the wrong turn will likely result in further mishaps of deviations of rightful routes.

For the Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the next “right” move in correcting the wrong turn.  For, it is often not the initial deviation from a set course of direction that results in a move being “wrong”; rather, it is the acts that follow, attempting to correct, that leads into consequences that make matters all the worse.

Sincerely, Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

Federal Disability Retirement Application: The effective legal argument

What makes for an effective legal argument?  It is a question often asked, and pondered by many.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the issue is often preceded by another question:  What makes for an effective Federal Disability Retirement application?  Must legal arguments be made at the outset, or will the mere gathering of relevant medical documentation itself suffice, without the burdensome addition of legal argumentation?

Is the introduction of law and reference to legal citation necessary, and does such necessity enhance efficacy and chances of success at every stage, or just in the later stages – i.e., before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, or before a panel of Judges in a Petition for Full Review (often referred to as a “PFR”), as well as before a panel of 3 Judges at the highest level of the process, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit?

Certainly, the process itself does not “mandate” a legal requirement for argumentation of law; yet, inherent in the system itself – or, because there are multiple legal opinions, precedents and statutory foundations which form the core of every Federal Disability Retirement application – it is a “good thing” to include legal precedents and foundational arguments in preparing and formulating one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.  Is it necessary?  Is it “absolutely” necessary?  Just as the insertion of more adjectives and adverbs do not enhance clarity of answers, so the question itself must be judged by the relative importance of omitting that which may not be required, but which may be helpful in increasing the statistical correlation to a successful outcome.

Law cannot ultimately be avoided, either in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application or other venues of justice and conflicts, anymore than one can drive down to the corner mart without having some nascent knowledge of the legal workings intermingled and intersecting with modern society.  For, in this complex society of compounding difficulties and systems of comingled conundrums, that which is not known or otherwise ignored, can indeed harm us.  Not being aware of the speed limit in traversing the short distance to the store can result in being stopped.  Not being aware of laws governing carrying or transporting of weapons can have even greater and dire consequences.

And, as all forms required to be filed in every Federal Disability Retirement application was and remains based upon statutes, regulations and precedent-setting opinions rendered by the Federal Courts or the Merit Systems Protection Board, so it is important in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to have some elementary awareness of the relevant laws impacting upon the criteria governing Federal Disability Retirements.

Few things in life exist in a vacuum, and preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is no different.  In any arena of law, laws matter.  That may sound somewhat like a trite opinion, and an irrelevant repetition of a self-evident truth, but it is meant to merely be a reminder, that as in all other areas of life and living, in the venue of legal matters, providing an effective legal argument is an essential factor in winning a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: The monster within

There are gargoyles we imagine, which are scarier than those in real life – unless we mean by them the ones who plan to do us harm (and not just murderers, rapists and other violators of the social contract scheme).  For the latter, we have laws, self-defensive mechanisms, and the ultimate justification for flight, and sometimes they work, at others, partially or not at all.  We can spend a lifetime fretting over the monsters without; it is those within – the former that haunts and never leaves the home of the mind – that destroy without a finger lifted.  For, in the end, it is fear that defeats, and that is well known by students of military strategy.

What weakness the adversary has, should be exploited tenfold as a vulnerability beyond the actual numbers; and what suspicion of doubt is kept in reserve, should be accessed and manipulated in order to magnify the exponential harm perpetrated by a cautious mind.  What looms large in one’s mind is quantitatively expanded despite arguments of logic, rationality and calm discourse; for, it is the imagination left untethered when the quiet of darkness falls upon a sleepless night, that the qualitative lack of focus begins to take shape in shadows unseen by a dawning light.

What can be more fearsome than that which we cannot control?  In reality, the circumstances that develop and unfold are mostly those that we have allowed for; in the creative recesses of our mental reserves, the expansive and uncontrolled destinies can never be curtailed, but have the limitless potential beyond any reality of sanity.  That is why the master torturer knows never to rush, and the interrogator recognizes the value of anticipation; of allowing the quiet fears to grow in the solitude of thought; and in the period between reality and imagination, the monster within can grow tenfold in untold features of taking on masks of fearful expressions and profiles of unfathomable terror.

How does one break that spell?  The shattering of an imagined fear is often tied to a fragile psyche that cannot be separated, and like conjoined twins who share a vital organ, should not be bifurcated but with surgical precision.  Fear is an interminable intrusion, unless and until the causative forces are intersected by an antidote which dissolves and dissipates.  The key is to find the antidote; and in the meantime, to hope that the elements of reality are not so traumatic as to overshadow the forces of psychic quietude.

For Federal employees who suffer from a medical condition, and Postal workers who similarly experience the pain of physical disabilities or psychiatric dysfunctions, the issue of when, how, and if one should file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is intimately conjoined with the growing monster within, while battling the dual forces of antagonism and contentiousness from without.  For, it is often the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service which exacerbates the problems associated with a medical condition, which then further complicates and magnifies the monsters stirring within.

To resolve such a problem, the answer lies in the very preparation, formulation and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; for, in the end, the monster within becomes resolved only when the gargoyles outside are dealt with, and for the Federal or Postal employee with a medical condition, that resolution is defined by obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity, in order to be able to take the next steps to secure a hopeful future, beginning with the act of separating from that environment of the Federal agency or U.S. Postal Service which helps to create the monsters in the first place.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: Deprogramming a Preconditioned Approach

The preconditioned attitude of the general public is that, if X has a medical condition, then such medical condition, by the very nature of the condition itself, will either entitle one to benefits, or not.  Such an approach is what one is conditioned to expect — that by the very nature of the medical condition itself, means that it will either lead to, or not lead to, a specified result.  This viewpoint and approach is based upon a definitional standard, where the very essence of what it means to suffer from X already predetermines whether one is eligible and entitled to benefit Y.

Social Security assumes such an approach.  To some extent, so does OWCP, because the Department of Labor is willing to pay a certain amount of compensation based upon a predetermined calculus of a percentage rating, for loss of limb, loss of use, loss of functional capacity, etc.

This is why Federal and Postal employees who first contemplate preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, will attempt to tie the fact of having a medical condition with the question, “Does this qualify me for Federal Disability Retirement benefits?”  But that is the wrong paradigm to use in asking the question.  For, eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM is not based upon a definitional ascription of a medical condition; rather, it is that “third element” — the connection between X and Y, X representing the medical condition and Y standing for the positional duties which the Federal or Postal employee must engage.

In many respects, Federal Disability Retirement answers the philosophical question which David Hume asked:  Is there a necessary connection between cause and effect?  For Federal Disability Retirement purposes, the answer is a resounding “yes”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire