Federal Disability Retirement: Casting Aside the Armor

The armor we refer to is the shield we all wear.  It is for protective purposes.  But not every armor is suited for every kind of battle.  Sometimes, the very armor we wear becomes an impediment, and weighs us down so that we become a danger to ourselves.  We speak, of course, of such armor in a metaphorical sense.

Sometimes it is referred to, in other contexts, as having a “thick skin”; of being standoffish or reserved in order not to allow for hurt in our lives; or to always put on a facade of knowing what to do, being the “leader” even when the conundrum of life’s puzzles creates chaos and confusion.  How many conflicts could have been avoided if we set aside the armor we have chosen to put on?

Casting aside the armor is a difficult act; for, it then allows for vulnerability to overtake.

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, casting aside the armor becomes important — of recognizing that you cannot continue as before — and to consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and consider the next important steps in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Perspective Matters

How we see things; whether with a “positive attitude” or one colored with a negative turn; if one believes in the cause, or not; whether one’s initial reaction is one of anger and disbelief, or of despair; for, in the end, tackling issues is not a matter of right or wrong, but of how we view them.

Of course, a positive attitude alone will not necessarily get you anywhere; as reality abuts against the perspective we bring, it is often the combination of a “proper assessment” combined with our attitude and approach which makes all of the difference.  Are we seeing all of the alternatives involved?  Can a better argument be made in such a case?  Have we exhausted all of the avenues of evidentiary findings?  Have we chosen the best arguments?

G.K. Chesterton once wrote that Charles Dickens and H.W. Wells looked upon their respective fictional characters in vastly differently ways: The former, with a fondness like a father upon his children; the latter, with also a fondness — but like a butcher upon the chosen pig.  Both have a perspective of “fondness”; yet, it is an approach from very different directions.

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, Federal Disability Retirement should be an option to be considered.

A medical condition often impacts upon one’s perspective, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law; for, perspective does indeed matter, and the best legal representation is one which objectively evaluates all perspectives that matter.  Consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and see whether or not your perspective is the “right” one.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Chessboard of Life

Is there a difference between an “Eastern” and “Western” perspective of life?  Does the fact that we play one kind of game (Chess) while Eastern nations play another game (“Go”) give us any metaphorical insight into such differences?

The Game of Go uses the intersecting points on a line full of square spaces; on a similar-looking board (depending upon the size of the Go Board), Chess uses the square spaces themselves.  The Game of Go is a more “fluid” one, where the black and white stone pieces will fill the board at the intersecting lines, and thus can move up or down, sideways or diagonally, depending upon the initiation and response of the players to one another.

Chess, on the other hand, can only essentially move forward.  Yes, the pieces can move sideways (the knight, queen and rook, for example) and diagonally (the bishop & queen), but the object of the game is to reach the opponent’s farthest line of square spaces, whereas the Game of Go utilizes the entire board with equal value.

Do the two “games” tell us anything about the way in which we live?  Do we “view” life as a chessboard, as opposed to a Game of Go, and is there a difference in such ways where one can make a conceptual distinction between the two?

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 Chessboard of Life becomes a “match” between yourself and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

To “capture” their queen, you must maneuver your way past all of the threatening “pieces” of a Federal Disability Retirement application, and “checkmate” OPM with legal arguments and medical evidence that is persuasive enough.  Whether a different strategy as that applied in the Game of Go should be considered, depends upon the unique nature of your individual circumstances.

In either case, it is good to consult with a “Master” of either Go or of Chess — a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Changing Minds

How does one person change another person’s mind?  Is it through threats, intimidation, rants and raves?  Or, does logical persuasion ever come into play?”  Does the quiet voice or tone of calm alter a person’s viewpoint?  Or must it all be rage, firestorms and pounding of fists?

Of course, most people would answer in the following manner: It depends upon the circumstances.  Certainly, context matters.  Sometimes, a passionate response is appropriate; at others, a calm, soothing tone of persuasive logic.  Threats, intimidation, acts envisioning bodily harm — these, of course, are never appropriate, and one wonders whether such tactics ever really changed another’s mind, or whether the change of heart was merely for the sake of self-preservation.

To change a mind, one must become convinced about the validity, truth and sincere superiority of the other’s position, argument, perspective, stance, decision, etc.  Passionate advocacy can certainly play a role in it; systematic and logical persuasion can sometimes be the difference; and in Federal Disability Retirement cases, application and citation of the relevant and applicable laws will always be an effective tool.

For Federal and Postal employees who are filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM, consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and see whether or not — at the outset — the OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law cannot change you mind, and OPM’s in the best course of action in the preparation, formulation and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Lighter Moments

It might just be a certain look given upon a misinterpreted statement; of what a child does before the perfidies of society begins to corrupt them; or just a burst of laughter upon an innocent comment meant to uplift from a serious incident.  Whatever the circumstances, it is the “lighter moment” which often makes it all worthwhile, and allows for the difficulties of the context to remain endurable.

Life is hard enough: Of paying bills; of worrying about the future; of what will become of our children, our aging parents, and even of our very own future.  It is as if we walk around with scowls etched upon our faces, not out of free will or choice, but because the difficulties themselves force it upon us.  Then comes a lighter moment — a comment, a misstatement, an unintended act or spoken word which brings a smile upon an otherwise stern and impassive face.

We live for those moments.  It is the pause between the serious content, the period before the next sentence and the break until the following chapter.  But when even the lighter moments fail to curl the lips upward and the old joke no longer triggers a burst of laughter, then it becomes clear that life has become too serious even for the grumps who seemingly never enjoy life.  Medical conditions can do that to a person — of draining life out of every last bit of goodness such that even the lighter moments no longer are lighter, but remain as heavy as the thousand-pound metaphor that weighs us down.

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 struggle of juggling work, health, family and livelihood can be so out of balance that disability retirement under FERS must be considered.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and see what your options are, and whether Federal Disability Retirement may be a viable course to pursue, lest the lighter moment in your life may forever become extinguished into a cavern of darkness where the light of hope may never again shine.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement: Reminders

What is the proper balance in a person’s life — between leisure and work; between thought and living; betwixt the physical and the psychological?  How much is “too much” in getting lost in the fantasies we surround ourselves with: Of watching the news; of enjoying a movie; of “doing” Facebook posts or “surfing” the internet?

Have you ever driven on a sparsely populated road or perhaps late at night when the lights of passing cars become a blurred memory of fleeting blindness, and upon arrival to your destination, you remember not a moment as to how you got there?  Perhaps you drove and did all of the proper things in the mechanical acts of driving, and yet you cannot remember yourself having engaged in the act of driving?  How much time is spent within the insular caverns of our own thoughts — whether when “thinking” or “cogitating”, or in watching a movie?

We fool ourselves into thinking that we are “living life” when in fact all we are doing is staring into a mass of illumination pock-marked with letters and punctuations.  Then, something inevitably “reminds” us — that we have to eat in order to keep from starving; that we have to respond to a real question posed by a real person; or in the mere act of needing to take out the garbage before it begins to rot beneath the kitchen sink.  And of medical conditions — they constantly remind us of our own mortality.

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 constancy of the imposition of the medical condition is a reminder that our deteriorating health is incompatible with continuation in the Federal or Postal job.

When the time comes where such “reminders” begin to dominate the life of the Federal or Postal employee, then it is no longer a “reminder” but of a jarring realization that no amount of getting lost in the distractions of life will change or alter the need: The need to file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an attorney to determine if such a course is the best path of action for you.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement: Beyond the shutdown

What does it mean for the government to “shut down” because the Congress and the President were unable to come to a budgetary agreement?  It is often the question that is focused upon, but may be the wrong one.  The more relevant issue concerns the events that will occur after the cessation of the shut down.  What happens afterwards?  For, everyone assumes that the government will come to some sort of budgetary reconciliation, and that there will ultimately be an end to the deadlock.

The House and Senate will finally pass a spending bill, whether of a temporary, continuing resolution, or of a long-term bill that addresses the various issues each side is fighting for.  With that assumption in mind, the question becomes, What happens beyond the shutdown?

Essentially, nothing dramatic, other than that the bureaucracy of the Federal government will experience greater delays, and the shutdown merely becomes interpreted as a slowdown for goods and services, much like the picture painted of a local grocery store closing for a week, a month or many months, and where shoppers would have to find another venue to obtain their wares.  The difference between the private-sector shutdown and a Federal government shutdown, however, is that the former often allows for its competitors to take advantage of the situation, whereas the latter has no such “competitors”, as it is the only “game” in town.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering 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, the question of “what to do” with the shutdown should be approached with the following questions: Do we assume that the Federal Government will “reopen for business” at some point?  The general answer is: Yes.

With that assumption, should we just proceed with preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application?  Again, the general answer is: Yes.

The “private” sector continues to operate, and so the doctors who need to submit medical reports and records can still be accessed; the standard forms still need to be prepared, and the faster one is placed into the “waiting line” for determination by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the quicker the “product” of an approved Federal Disability Retirement benefit will accrue, once the doors of the Federal Government and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management are again opened for “business as usual”, beyond the shutdown that occurs from time to time.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement from OPM: Ruminations on the past

Whether one does X is often of little significance; “Why” it is done, and to what extent, is quite another matter.  The past – whether of long ago, beyond the time of memory holding presently or of history being read about, or the past of one’s own kept in sequestered moments of reflective thought and in photographs carefully guarded and encased within a protective album of shelved remembrances – is a time behind; the future, an angst-filled uncertainty few of us look forward to.

It is the present, and how we treat it, spend it, work it and waist it away or labor furiously to appear “productive” about; and then, there are ruminations on the past.

That is where the “why” and the constant obsessions begin to overwhelm – of what we could have done differently, where we “went wrong” and what lessons can be gleaned for today.  Ruminating on the past is a favorite pastime for many; but when it begins to destroy the future by robbing from the present, it is time to set aside such wasted efforts and begin to focus more upon one’s current situation in order to prepare for the future.

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 time to set aside ruminations on the past is “now”.

Preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, takes up a significant amount of time, effort and required focus upon gathering the necessary information, presenting the compelling facts and establishing the legal nexus between the medical conditions and the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position.

In doing so, ruminations on the past need to be suspended; angst-ridden obsessions about the future will need to be ignored; and only the “present” focus will become the necessary standard.  Ruminations on the past can come about sometime in the future; it is the present concern about past events that will be significant in securing one’s future by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Information: Among friends

So, in the cackle of laughter and the roar of a campfire, or perhaps in the hazy heat of summer outside by the swimming pool, or wherever; among friends, enjoying an afternoon, a late morning, an early evening or into the twilight hours when children whisper sweet sounds of snoring dreams and even the dog has had enough of the friendships, especially where table scraps are no longer offered and a wagging tail barely invites a pat on the head, and certainly no more tummy rubs no matter how many times a hint is dropped; and so the vacant stares begin to take hold and the late-hour goodbyes begin to be offered.

Among friends; and yet there is an uneasiness; perhaps you learned something about one of them that you never knew before; perhaps, that couple you knew from high school or college, of whom you and your wife have always said, “Oh, not them!” Life brings unexpected traumas and turmoil, tumultuous events and interventions that one never plans for.  People whom you thought “would never” – whatever the blank narrative that follows that phrase or conceptual construct – suddenly do, are or will become.

We fail to recognize, always too late, that it is the unpredictability of life that is the predictable, and when we become ensconced with the settled comfort that guided Parmenides in his philosophical outlook, and recognize the perspective of Heraclitus, then can we take a step back and plan for that unexpected travail.

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 employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal position, it is precisely that sense of “being among friends” that can become problematic.

When to inform the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal workers of the intent to file; what to say, how much to divulge and in what form; to what extent this or that individual, supervisor or manager is allowed to know; what prying eyes will have access to sensitive medical information; and who are we among – friends, foes or somewhere in between?

These are questions that will have to be confronted and sensitively danced around and about, for in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the questions are often not, “Are we among friends?” but rather, “Who are our enemies”?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Lawyer Representation Federal Disability Retirement: Other worlds

We can imagine other worlds in which things are different; science fiction does it all the time, and even traditional literary fiction – though the differentiation between “science fiction” and “regular fiction” can often be lost in esoteric and academic ways – can depict other worlds not quite familiar, though recognizable enough to keep it apart from fantasy or that of the bizarre.

We can imagine, for instance, a world in which a pot of water sits upon a burning stove, but the pot never boils because the heat from the burner never transfers its element to the water; and so the isolation of each entity remains unmoved, as each fails to influence the other.  Or, that rain falls, but nothing gets wet.  What about people?  Of a persons who talks and talks and everyone hears, but no impact results.  You say to your friend, “A skunk has climbed up on top of your head,” and the friend responds, “Yes, thank you,” but does nothing and goes on with his or her life.

It would be a universe where we are consumed and subsumed within the universe of our own thoughts, and the world around us remains separate, isolated and without influence upon entities remaining placid, implacable, undisturbed and without any capacity to embrace the causality of an effect that remains otherwise unperturbed.

Come to think of it, that somewhat describes the world we actually live in, doesn’t it?  It started out as some science fiction genre – other worlds – and yet the universe that was described, of a world where people talk and no one listens, others hurt and no one helps, and the gravitational pull remains isolated to the planets within a galaxy, but never extending beyond to the human lives that populate this earth.  Isn’t that what occurs in this world, today?

People lie to themselves thinking that they have hundreds of “friends”, and yet sit alone in an apartment staring at a glowing piece of machine called a computer, and converse quietly on Facebook and through other social media outlets, yet never say a word; and the “conversations” on the medium are merely a series of rants and raves, and at the end of the late evening, everyone goes home.  People live with great wealth – of extravagance of living never seen heretofore in this or any other universe – while others barely make a living; and the impact felt moves not a teardrop or a sigh of resignation.

Federal and Postal employees live in such a universe, especially when a medical condition begins to impact the Federal or Postal employee’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal position.  The agency doesn’t care; the postal facility is indifferent; no one says, “Ah, we need to do everything to help you out so that you can get better!”  Instead, we rely upon quiet laws to be enforced, so that our “rights” can be protected and compelled.

Other worlds are not mere fantasies that we dream up; and for the Federal or Postal employee who must take the next step in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, welcome to the bizarre universe of an administrative process that cares little about injured or hurting people, but one in which the cold bureaucracy of laws and rights must be enforced in order to assert that which remains unmovable in the face of a medical condition that won’t go away.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire