FERS Medical Disability Retirement: The Domino Theory

It was a theory adopted during the Cold War — embraced by those brilliant Harvard-educated policy wonks in the Kennedy Administration and beyond — believing that if one nation succumbed to the evils of communism, others would quickly fall like a perfectly aligned row of dominos.

A theory is perfectly fine to have; once applied in practice, however, it can have devastating consequences.  It was based upon such a theory that Vietnam was fought for — a backward country full of jungles and malaria, of which few Americans were even aware of its existence until thousands — then, tens of thousands — of young men began to die there.

Like other theories which once were embraced by intellectuals and “experts” whom everyone accepted as smarter than everyone else, such beliefs and those who once held them are now merely leftover vestiges of historical follies.  Once Vietnam fell, the rest of the world did not fall like the dominos they were supposed to represent.

We tend to forget that a theory is merely a thought put together in an antiseptic setting divorced from reality and, even if applied to the real world, may remain as nothing more than an academic exercise.  It may be nothing more than the “flat-earth theory”; one can believe in it, but it doesn’t make it true.

In other areas of life and practice, however, real-world consequences force people to actually respond in more practical ways.  There are “theories”, and then there are applications which have real-world consequences.  Vietnam was a prime example.  Having a theory that you are invincible and indestructible is one thing; walking in front of an oncoming bus to test such a theory — well, that is quite another matter.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management because of a medical condition, one may well have a “theory” that getting an OPM Disability Retirement is merely a matter of gathering one’s medical records and filling out those incomprehensible OPM Disability Standard Forms (SF 3107 Series and SF 3112 Series); but if you actually test out that theory, it is likely that you will end up with a denial from OPM.

Before testing out such a theory, however, you may want to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest your theory concerning the ease of getting a Federal or Postal Employee Disability annuity ends up like those other theories, like the Domino Theory of the forgotten past.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The State of Affairs

It can possess a multitude of connotations and meanings; some, rather clever; others, of a mundane nature.  In a specific sense, it may involve a country’s economic and domestic standing; or, in a general sense, concerning the circumstances and situation of an individual or family.  A clever connotation evokes the consequences following infidelity in a marriage; and in every sense of the phrase, context is important in order to clarify the centrality of meaning, significance and relevance.

Thus does the phrase begin with a general sense, which we approach with a quizzical perspective because of the multitude of possible meanings within the limitations of a universe of linguistic possibilities.  That is the beauty of language; unless it is a stagnant one on its way to extinction, the richness of potentialities allows it to expand and trigger curiosities beyond a child’s imagination.

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 basic elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the state of affairs may specifically hinder and prevent one’s ability and capacity to continue in one’s career.

If that is the case, contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and don’t let the present state of affairs remain as the pinnacle of your dreams and hopes; rather, build from the state of despair so that the future will evoke and connote a more positive state of affairs by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill,
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

FERS Disability Retirement Law: Of Future Events

Are we the only species which imagines, worries, obsesses over — of future events as yet unfulfilled?  Do we create scenarios from “whole cloth” of events which might occur but which often never come to fruition?

Of course, the past is a good indicator of future events — a harbinger and foreboding of storms to come; the present, of predictors based upon current trends; and of the future, whether seen in the coiling bundles of anxious imaginations or steeped within solid predicates that cannot be ignored; and in the end, it is this species called “human beings” who engage in such folly.  But for such insanities, we would not have stock markets and commodities “futures” to bet upon.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who worry about their futures because of a health crisis which prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her job, worries and anxieties about the future can be daunting, overwhelming, and obsessively of concern.

The future must be planned for; the present circumstances need to be dealt with in order to plan for that future; and the past actions of your agency are probably a good indicator of future events.

Contact an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin planning for your future by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS; for, in the end, it is up to the greater predictor of future events to embrace the inevitabilities of life’s misfortunes, taking the past into account, facing the present circumstances with a direct and serious assessment, and thus correlating the past and present to prepare for future eventualities.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

OPM Disability Retirement Help: The Periscope

It is an interesting object; and allows for a capability beyond the normal and direct human eyesight.  As an instrument used to observe, it allows for getting around obstacles which prevent direct line-of-sight observation, and in its more advanced invented forms, utilizing prisms and advanced fiber optics, can view the world and its intended object from a vantage point unobserved by the viewed.

These days, of course, with miniature cameras and microchip technology, perhaps the periscope is an anachronism.  The purpose, however, always remains the same: To gain information through observation, without being detected.

Federal employees who suffer from a medical condition often have to use the “periscope” approach — of gutting through each day at the expense of one’s own health; of smiling when the upturned lips should reveal a downturned frown or a grimace of pain; and all the while, the Federal Agency is saying you are doing a great job, your health deteriorates behind the periscope of unobserved medical conditions.

At some point, perhaps someone points to the “periscope” and says, “Are you okay?”  This is a rare instance.  Instead, more often than not, there comes a critical juncture in one’s life where the debilitating medical condition no longer allows for lack of observation, and that is the point when the periscope is seen, and everyone scratches their collective heads and declares: Yes, yes, it was obvious all along.

And that is the point when the Federal or Postal worker needs to consider filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of seeing the world not through the vision of a periscope, but with your own wide and opened eyes.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

 

Federal & Postal Medical Retirement: Performance Levels

They vary.  What are the indications of reduced, lesser or insufficient performance levels?  Perhaps for a professional race car mechanic, the mere sound of a NASCAR team’s engine, its vibrations, its volume, its purr, the sounds at high RPM or at idle — the performance level can be intuitively known from experience.

For the rest of us, it is a subjective drive, a feeling known day in and day out; we can push ourselves, but some days our performance levels are merely adequate; on other days, they surpass even our own expectations.  There are factors that impact upon our performance levels — the weather; whether we are sick or in good health; our moods; our energy and stamina levels for the day, the week, the month, etc.

Most of us are driven — whether by hope for the future, fear of what may come about if we do not meet expectation levels, or perhaps even by a mere desire to please.  When medical conditions hit, the inevitable decline of our performance levels follow soon thereafter.  There is a direct and inextricable correlation between our performance levels and the health that we find ourselves in, at any given point in our lives.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition impacts our ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of our job, you may want to consider preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and consider whether your health is more important than your performance level.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Postal & Federal Employee Retirement Attorney

  

Federal Disability Retirement Benefits: Sacrifices

We all make them; well, perhaps there are some few in the world who never do, and it certainly reflects upon them quite noticeably.  People who don’t sacrifice their own personal interests, at some point in their lives, have a tendency towards selfish behavior, self-centered egotism and a callous disregard for others.  They lack empathy — a quality which is valued in most societies.

During this time of global illnesses and a pandemic which has wreaked havoc upon the livelihoods of countless individuals and businesses, the sacrifices which have endured are innumerable.  Social isolation; being prevented from operating one’s business; of complying with a state’s mandate in a “lock-down” mode; of living amidst fear of an invisible enemy of uncertain mutational capabilities; these, and so much more, have been testing the mettle and extent of sacrifices and the willingness of a society to endure such calls for society’s greater good.

For Federal and Postal employees 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, “sacrifices” is a familiar term.

It is nothing new for the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition to sacrifice one’s health in the name of, and for the sake of, furthering the “mission” of the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.  But at some point, one must look after one’s own health and self-interest, and preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, becomes a necessity.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law today, and see what sacrifices may still have to be made before you can medically retire.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for OPM Disability Retirement: Time wasted

It all depends upon one’s perspective, doesn’t it?  For some, watching television is time wasted; for others, reading a novel, and even within that subset of opinions and viewpoints, it often depends upon “what” you are reading before the hammer of judgement is struck: If a beach-time novel, then it is a waste of time; if a classic, then you are utilizing your time wisely.

But what if you are, in fact, sitting on the beach enjoying the lazy lapping of waves, and merely want to get lost in the fantasy of a junk novel — isn’t relaxation a good use of one’s time?  When does “constructive” relaxation turn into time wasted — i.e., laziness?  Is it when the bare necessities of life are no longer attended to?

Of that proverbial brother in-law or other distant relation who is whispered about, who barely holds on to a job, is found spending more time at the corner pub than attending to one’s kids, or the one who constantly oversleeps, overstays his welcome or overstates his woes — is it just a guy who likes to relax, or is he a lazy bum?

Is there a mathematical formula in determining when time is well spent doing nothing, or is wasted?   Sort of like: Time multiplied by the extent of bare necessities required divided by the extent of need, minus particular circumstances that must be taken into account factored by 3.

Can a lifetime be wasted, and if so, what would be the criteria to be applied or imposed?  A wealthy person might contend: We have about 60 years or so to make our fortunes, and if a person has not done so within that timeframe, it is a lifetime wasted.  Some others might counter with: Amassing wealth is not the sole criteria of a worthwhile life; the fostering of human relationships, of making someone else more comfortable, or of even granting a dog some happiness, is what makes this life a worthy one.

Does a medical condition bring about a differing perspective?  For the wealthy person who makes enemies throughout and angers almost everyone with his or her single-minded focus while disregarding the feelings of all else, but who suddenly is hit with deteriorating health — does time take on a different meaning?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job — is time being wasted by the struggle itself?  Does it appear that everything is an uphill struggle: of juggling doctor’s appointments, work, family obligations, etc.?

Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, may not be the best solution of all, but it may be the most prudent one, as time is not a friend to be wasted when it comes to one’s health and future security.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Psychiatric or Physical Incapacity: One among many

Does it tell us anything that we recognize that we are merely one among many?  Does such an awareness actually add anything to one’s conscious life, or is it just another one of those pithy egotistical “self-realization” statements that purports to sound profound but adds little, if anything, to any existential intuition beyond the words themselves?

Does a lone dog pampered by its owner have a similar awareness when it is taken for a walk, encounters other dogs or sees rabbits scurrying across the suburban landscape?  Does it pause and reflect: I am merely one among many?  Is language a prerequisite to conscious awareness of one’s place in the universe, or is the mere fact of existence enough to bring about an instinctive realization of the same relevance?

To be “one among many” certainly brings about a certain perspective, does it not — perhaps of one’s significance or irrelevance; that each has a burden or part to play, but is not necessarily responsible for the entirety of the problems encountered; and perhaps even of a sense of community or sharing-ness, that one is merely one cog in a complex multitude of wheels spinning about in a universe that is often impervious and uncaring?

Medical conditions, however, have a way of destroying even that perspective, in that it makes loners of us all.  When a medical condition hits, it leaves one with a profound sense of isolation, where one begins to think and believe that no one else in the universe experiences the pain, tumult, angst and loss of joy, and that the one suffering from the medical condition is all alone in the universe.  To that extent, the statement that one is “one among many” helps to remind one that, No, others too have gone through similar trials and circumstances, and such suffering is not unique in this world.

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, it is important to recognize that while each person’s condition is unique, it is also shared by many others.

Federal Disability Retirement itself is a recognition that the frailty of the human condition must sometimes allow for an end to a career, but that further, productivity in some other career or vocation is still possible.

Federal employees and Postal workers are one among many, and preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is to share the burden of self-realization that while your medical condition may indeed be unique to you, you are not alone in the need to change direction and move on into another and more promising future where the one among many may be many more than you first thought.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement from the Office of Personnel Management: SF 3112C

As a “government form” it purports to provide guidance in general terms, and it is doubtful that the lack of clarity as to its purpose or utility will assist the medical professional into writing an effective report.

The plain fact is that SF 3112C is a confusing form — confusing both to the doctor or Nurse Practitioner who is presented with it, as well as to the FERS Applicant who is attempting to prepare an effective OPM Disability Retirement application.  It refers to a “position description” being attached, but fails to provide the necessary explanatory nexus between the PD and the medical opinion sought.

What part of the position description should be focused upon?  Is it the entirety of the PD, portions of it, or just the “essential elements”?  Is it relevant whether a person can work part-time, full time, or an erratic combination of both depending upon the severity of symptoms that may arise periodically?  Is SF 3112C meant to confuse, or like so many “government forms”, is the language inevitably misleading because it is (A) meant to be that way, (B) unintentionally written in an unclear manner or (C) is meant to be wholly unhelpful because OPM doesn’t want to go out of its way to help the Federal Disability Retirement applicant?  Must the SF 3112C, the “Physician’s Statement”, be used at all?

If you are still working with the Federal Agency or on the rolls of the Postal Service, or at least not separated for more than thirty one (31) days, must the prepared physician’s statement be sent directly to your H.R. Office without first being reviewed and validated by the applicant?  The form itself certainly makes it appear so, but is that really the case?

In the end, the applicant who is preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, must make some initial and important determinations concerning the substance and content of the application itself.

Forms are tricky; the laws that oversee them, often vague; but if you are relying upon instructions written and formulated by the very government agency that will be making a determination on your application, you may want to first consult with an attorney who specializes in the very law that governs Federal Disability Retirement, before you begin “filling” out forms or having your doctor fill one out.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire