FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: The Uncooperative Doctor

Obviously, greater cooperation equals a smoother transition in every endeavor; it is the lack of cooperation which holds everything up.

In a Federal Disability Retirement case, a supportive doctor is almost always a necessary component in a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.  Yet, for the most part, doctors want to be — merely doctors.  That is, doctors generally hate the “administrative” side of practicing medicine — of the note-taking, dictation of office visits, annotating patient encounters, record-keeping; and, especially, of writing a narrative report in support of a Federal Disability Retirement application.  Why?  Simply because it is the tedious side of practicing medicine.

Sometimes, of course, depending upon the severity of the medical condition(s), a lengthy explanatory narrative is not necessary; but more often than not, an extensive, supportive narrative report is an important element in a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.  How does one “deal” with an uncooperative doctor?  There is no magical formula — but to simply attempt to garner a commitment from the treating doctor prior to initiating the complex process of preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, and to contact an OPM Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Medical Retirement under FERS: Acceptability

At what point does it NOT become so?  Whether in marriage; in a job or career (is there such a distinction, these days?); or of life in general.  Is it the point where stress meets up with one’s desire and hope for a pictured future?  Does acceptability vary — is it different depending upon social class, background, level of education or even of cultural heritage?  Or, as with so many things — is knowledge or ignorance (the corollary between the two) what determines acceptability?

In other words, if a person has only known a certain X-standard of living, and has never been exposed to Y-standard of conditions, is it the lack of knowledge which accounts for acceptability of living conditions, or can we be content despite possessing such knowledge?

Unrest in modernity around the universe is often attributed by sociologists as indicated by the level of the shrinking globe — that, through the Internet, people everywhere are aware of everything, including the unacceptability of their own circumstances, and thus resulting in a universal sense of unease and unrest.

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 positional duties, the level of acceptability is often when the juncture between pain and illness, and the tolerance for such where “living life” is barely bearable, meet and collide.

Consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, and consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, less acceptability turns into a morose sense of despair where even the weekends are barely tolerable.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: Not as Before

Before what?  That is the natural response.  We tend to bifurcate our lives into segments which are palatable and comprehensible; of a time before X happened, and then our present existence after X; before we had children, and after; before we became married, and after; before some traumatic incident, and sometime thereafter, etc.  The present “I” is never the same as “before”, and one could even say that truthfully about every minute, every hour and every millisecond of a distinction between the “I” in the current state and the “I” of a past state of being.

Whether on a physical, cellular level where genetic structures alter and decay even by the minute; or on a cognitive level where new information, additional data is being processed by our brains every moment of our lives.  We are not as before; we are constantly changing; and like the river which Heraclitus identified an analogy for human existence, so the vicissitudes of the world surrounding impacts us daily such that we are not as before.

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 likely bifurcating event is the medical condition itself.  No, you may not be the same as before, and it is that identifiable change which forms the basis for eligibility of a Federal Disability Retirement benefit under FERS.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider applying for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; for, not only are you not as before, but likewise, your Federal Agency or the Postal facility are viewing your work and future not as before, as well.

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 & Postal Disability Retirement: Case Development

Are all cases at the same stage of the process?  Isn’t this the same question as: Are all people at the parallel stage of maturity?

As life reflects reality in varying aspects of their sliced proportions, so every case is not at the same stage of the process.  Many Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers find themselves at a critical juncture in their careers, where filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits has become a necessity and a step which can no longer be delayed.

Is every case ready for filing?  Likely not.  Should every case be filed, ready or not?  Only if the Statute of Limitations looms and necessitates it.  Is there anything nefarious in “developing” a case?  No.  However, there can be a slight distinction, subtle as it may be, in engaging a trail of medical documentation expressly for the singular purpose of establishing a Federal Disability Retirement claim, as opposed to doing it in order to seek medical attention.

Taking care of one’s medical condition, going to doctor’s appointments and establishing a consistency of compliance with a treatment regimen — these should all, first and foremost, be engaged in with the primary purpose of obtaining the proper medical care.

From that consistency of care, case development will follow; and for Federal and Postal employees seeking to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS, the proper time for filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application will come naturally as the case develops, which often needs the guidance and counsel of a FERS attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: Fundamentals

What does it mean when a person says, “The fundamentals remain sound”?  Is it one of those “throw-away” lines which makes one sound intelligent, but upon closer inspection, means very little?  Sort of like the misuse of the double-negative that was popularly in use, where people say, “irregardless” of this or that?

Fundamentals are important to every successful endeavor, and in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal Worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, it is the “fundamentals” which must never be overlooked, but rather, to be focused upon, tweaked, considered carefully and crafted with greater perfection.

Unfortunately, many people who prepare a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to OPM, believe (erroneously) that the mere fact that one has a “serious” medical condition is enough to satisfy the eligibility criteria for an approval from OPM.  Always remember that there is a vast difference, with a “real” distinction, between “having” a medical condition and “proving” that the medical condition one has prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

It is very easy to focus upon one’s pain, anguish and despair in dealing with a medical condition, and forget that an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is by necessity a “paper presentation” to an unknown, faceless person lost within a vast bureaucracy in Boyers, Pennsylvania, and in the process to neglect the “fundamentals” in preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application.

When the fundamentals are sound, the rest of it is sound; and though such “sayings” may often be thrown about without much thought put into it, it is the soundness of the fundamentals that will prove to be the effective application that gets a First-Stage approval in preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Excellence and mediocrity

Are the two identified only by comparative existence?  Can one abide in pure mediocrity throughout a lifetime, only to be fooled into thinking that excellence has been achieved, but on the day before extinguishment from this universe, be visited by pure excellence that suddenly compels one to realize that all along, only a ho-hum level of mediocrity had been attained?

Conversely, can one maintain a level of excellence without a comparative standard against which one may know what “mediocrity” consists of?

It is like the grammatical elevation learned in former school days, of “Good”, “Better”, and finally, “Best” — how does one identify the last in the tripartite series unless there is a comparison against that which is lesser, and how does one ever realize the progressive nature of one’s endeavor unless there is improvement to realize?

One may argue that excellence cannot exist except and “but without” the coexistence of mediocrity, and thus the corollary must also be true.  Isn’t that the problem with everything in life — excellence, once achieved or realized as a goal, becomes a hollow voice of regret when once mediocrity is the standard to which one is reduced?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition has reduced one’s ability and capacity to perform one’s Federal or Postal position and duties to a level of mediocrity and struggle just to maintain a lesser standard below what one has become accustomed to — of excellence in all arenas, including health, personal life and professional goals — the reduction resulting from one’s deteriorating health is often accompanied by a sense of having become a “lesser” person precisely because one has known the “better” and the “best”.

“Good” is not enough, anymore, because “better” and “best” have once been tasted.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits may not be the “best” answer to all of one’s problems, but it is the better solution to the Federal employee or Postal worker who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, especially when the “good” is merely an exercise in mediocrity where once stood excellence.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire