Permanent Disability Retirement from Federal Employment: SSDI & VA Claims

Corollary successes can have a persuasive impact upon an OPM Disability Retirement application — but one must also understand the difference between a “persuasive” impact as opposed to a “determinative” impact.

An approval of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSDI) edges closer to a “determinative” one as to its impact upon a FERS Disability Retirement application.  Note the operative term, however — “edges”.  Under Trevan v. OPM, such an approval from SSDI — so long as the medical basis upon which it was filed is identical to, or fairly paralleling that submitted with the FERS Disability Retirement application — is strongly persuasive upon an OPM Disability Retirement claim.  However, it must still be argued, and certain elements of the SSDI Claim must be shown to OPM for that “persuasive” effect that “edges” towards a determinative impact.

VA Claims — even if you are deemed “Permanent and Total” — are closer to a “merely persuasive” influence upon a FERS Disability Retirement claim.  That is, the higher the ascribed percentage in a VA Disability claim, the greater the chance that it will influence or “persuade” OPM that the FERS Disability Retirement application should be approved.

Use of an SSDI or VA approval should be part of the legal strategy in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.  Contact a private OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to prepare an effective Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application in order to determinatively persuade OPM to approve your case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Early Retirement for Disabled Federal Workers: Becoming a Stereotype

Perhaps it is an unfair characterization, or an image which is arcane and archaic — and yet endures as a residue from the old days, like smoking cigarettes and leaving nicotine stains on one’s inner side of fingers.  We hate stereotypes.  They linger; they remain as images we try and counter and overcome; and when it becomes a truism, we fight to try and prove its opposite.

Medical conditions prevail upon a stereotype like a winter’s storm or the devastation of a hurricane upon a coastal town.  Our image of ourselves is quite different: vibrant; still much contribution to give; still full of life, hope and happiness.  Yet, others begin to see you as the doddering old man or woman who can no longer contribute to the mission of the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.  That is how Federal agencies and Postal facilities view you.  Let them.

Consult with an OPM Medical Retirement Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of moving on to another career, another phase in life, another stage — and quit worrying about becoming a stereotype; for, in the end, it is the one who sees the world in images of stereotypes who are the stereotypical dunces who fail to ever grow beyond.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Stress and the Harassment Factor

Stress is a reality which has become a normal aspect of everyday living.  The more stress we feel, the greater interpretation of outside actions as harassment; and thus does the vicious cycle begin.  Life is stressful enough.  When another ingredient is added — like a medical condition that weakens one’s body and mind — the tolerance for stress becomes reduced and the capacity to keep things in its proper perspective becomes impossible to manage.  Stress always seems to come in bunches, doesn’t it?

When you are dealing with a medical condition, everything and everyone you interact with becomes a stressful encounter.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your job, the stress of dealing with the medical condition itself is more than enough.

Add to it, your agency or the postal facility will inevitably begin to pressure you to return to work, to file this or that request, to follow their “procedures”, etc.  Whether such actions are objectively considered “harassment” or not is beside the point; you, as the Federal or Postal employee, are dealing with enough factors without having to deal with the harassment factor.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of reducing your stress levels by initiating a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Employee Disability Retirement: Failures

When ascribed to a task or a project, it all depends upon how it is characterized.  When identified or closely associated with an individual, we tend to be harsher judges — especially when it involves our own participation.  Perhaps there is a simple, even “objective” definition which encapsulates the concept of failure: Of merely not achieving that which was expected.

If we work with that definition, then the focal point would be upon our own expectations, and perhaps we simply needed to adjust them to a more realistic perspective.  Then again, such an approach would merely be a circular tautology, and there would never be any failures — i.e., every time a failure occurred, we could just say, “Oh, we expected that”, and every time our expectations were not met, we would say, “Oh, we changed our expectations, so it is no longer a failure”.  But clearly, that does not reflect reality, and there are truly times when failure does occur.

In the end, what is important is to recognize that our expectations — both of ourselves and of outcomes in reality — cannot always be met, precisely because there are other intervening factors that may account for the prevention of meeting them.

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 the intervening factor of the medical condition itself is what prevents you from meeting that expectation of reaching full retirement, and that is why Federal Disability Retirement benefits are there to assert.

It is not a “failure” to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; rather, our expectations concerning our own health intervened in the meantime, and we have to adjust to accommodate — not a failure, but of human frailty.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement: Drawing Up the Battle Plans

Are they necessary?  Or, is pure talent, brawn and a willingness to sacrifice one’s life — enough?  Can a military officer simply say to his or her troops, “Well, we have overwhelming numbers; let’s just pick up our weapons and overrun the enemy”?  Or, is a “battle plan” necessary, even for a short foray to test the strength, weakness or vulnerabilities of enemy lines?

Most would contend that a battle plan is a crucial aspect for any considered conflict, and that merely relying upon strength of numbers or sheer determination of will to fight are not enough.  History is replete with examples of inferior numbers winning against great odds, precisely because a superior plan had been considered and implemented.  It is not necessarily the boldness of a plan, or even that a plan is clever or masked in subterfuge; rather, the clarity of a mission, the simplicity of protecting flanks and doubling-back in reinforcing weak links — a plan which the troops understand and comprehend as to its logic and potential outcome for success — is critical for any successful attack.

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 position, preparing well, formulating meaningfully and filing in a timely manner are all part of the “battle plan” for a successful foray into the territory of Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and begin drawing up the Battle Plans for a successful venture in obtaining your Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Finishing a Novel

There is a great sense of accomplishment in finishing a novel, just as there is in completing any task or endeavor begun and ended.  Reading is a peculiar and unique endeavor: Of being able to become transported into a fantasy world created for no other reason than to become lost.  You can travel to other countries, become a part of a stranger’s life, or enter into a universe where time matters not, space is of little value and worlds can be quite different from the one you are familiar with.

Reality can jolt you out of the imagination of your mind created by the mere reading of a couple of pages, and then after the chore is done, you can pick right back where you left off, by picking back up the novel left — and upon rereading that sentence you had left behind, get right back into the world of the author’s tale.

Compared to the actual cost of a plane ticket, hotel and expenses, reading a novel which takes place in a country of your choice is relatively inexpensive.  The novels we read tell much about the person we are, just like the novels we create reflect the lives we live.  And just as in fictional storytelling, there is much in real life that we cannot control — one’s health being one of those circumstances over which we have little, if any at all.

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, it may be time to finish that “novel” which tells of a story of struggle and despair, and to begin a new one beyond a career with the Federal workforce.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and write the ending to your own novel — one that finishes with a theme different from the harassment at the hands of an agency or Postal unit that cares not for happy endings.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Law: The Chasm between Reality and The Law

Non-lawyers will often read “The Law” and expect that reality will conform to the language as it is stated.  That is actually a good sign, in that the expectation of the layperson is that respect for the law will necessarily result in compliance with its dictates.  But language is malleable.  It is subject to interpretation, and that is the field of play which allows for elasticity and the chasm which develops between Reality and The Law.

There are, first and foremost, “The Facts” — and whether or not “The Law” applies to a particular set of facts.  Then, from that application of facts-to-law is the further problem of deciding its significance and relevance, and whether or not there are other contravening facts or opposing case-law or statutory citations which may also impact the direct argument of sound legal analysis.  Then, of course, there can be the further difficulty of people, companies, entities and agencies which completely ignore the law and, more recently, of creating one’s own set of “alternative facts”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition has begun 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 important to apply “The Law” precisely, relevantly and comprehensively.

More recent cases of a precedent-setting nature may have altered the meaning of statutory interpretation in a subtle, more favorable manner, and thus is it important to consult with an an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to obtain the greater benefit in evaluating your case, lest the chasm between Reality and The Law be so great as to defeat one’s own attempt within a greater pool of lacking the proper knowledge in applying the law to your particular set of facts.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Carefree Life

Is there such a thing, or is it a fiction, a mirage, a fantasy of those who create mythologies old and new — like the Utopia of some ancient history or of immortality in a netherworld of paradise’s dream?

To live is to care; to have a carefree life is therefore to die.  The incompatibility of the two concepts coexisting is intuitively clear; but the oxymorons we create are often as a result of dreams and goals expressed out of frustration from the overwhelming nature of those cares which confront us.

Life is a series of “cares”; to be free of them is to be free of life itself; and as living means that the human drama of interacting, helping, engaging in conflict and facing daily trials and all that constitutes the “stuff” that life is made up of, so it is the one who engages it successfully, who is able to maneuver through the complexities of such messes we make of it — that is the closest we can come to in becoming “care-free”.

There are those few who, perhaps, are able to escape a good part of the daily cares of life; but then the unexpected happens, such as a medical condition which one has no control over.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to modify the types and numbers of the “cares” that you are confronted with.

No, there never was or is a carefree life; but obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement may at least allow for the Federal or Postal worker to at least focus your attention upon the cares which matter most — that of health.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law today and consider preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in order to come closer to that mythological paradise of the non-existent, carefree life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire