FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Good to be Wrong

Every Federal Disability Retirement application contains some problems.  The ones which don’t — and they are few and far between — are what some call that rare “slam dunk case”.  But when it is characterized as such, the honest attorney — and the undersigned author of this blog considers himself such — simply tells the caller:  “Gather your medical records; fill out the forms and submit the packet; you don’t need a lawyer.”

All other type of cases have inherent problems, which comes with the territory.  For, when you deal with an agency which neither applies the law, nor is unbiased in its review and evaluation of each case; and, where the Agency believes that the money it is saving is tantamount to a protection of the evaluator’s personal bank account — well, you know and can guess what happens.

As every case is problematic, so every case has to be fought for.  A lifetime Federal Annuity (well, somewhat, as it is actually only until age 62, and then the Federal Disability Annuity is recalculated based upon the total number of years of service, including the time spent on FERS Disability Retirement) is not something that is easily given up by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or the Federal Government; as such, it must be fought for.

This FERS Disability Attorney — the author of this blog — fights on behalf of his clients throughout all 3 stages of the process.  Other firms will often charge for each stage separately, or only for the first 2 stages, then abandons the client after that.

In having represented many, many clients over many years, one gets a “sense” of whether a Federal Disability Retirement case will be approved at the First Stage of the process, or whether there will be a “fight” and it will take either the Reconsideration Stage or the MSPB before a “win” is acquired.  Yet, there have been many, many cases when this attorney has also been wrong about this alleged “Sixth Sense” on any given case, and where OPM approved the case at the First Stage, even when the case is not overwhelming strong.

In such cases, it is good to be wrong.

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 Medical Retirement Law: The Coarseness of Life

Yes, we can cover ourselves with the accouterments which make for appearance of civility, sophistication and culture (the “CSC of society”) — of fine clothes; expensive jewelry; of degrees from elite schools; of talking about the technical subtleties of this great work or that; dropping names — of operas, Beethoven, Mozart, etc.; of having read Proust, Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Cather, etc. — and yet, in an offhand moment, we can show our cruelty, our ugly side — our coarseness.

Truth as opposed to Appearance; Civility by contrast with Coarseness; a facade of peace, when in fact the world is ready for war.  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unraveled the thin shell-game of the West: So long as we let Russia do the “dirty work” and drill for oil, pollute the world, etc., Europe could put on a facade of being the “Green good-guy” — of electric vehicles, windmills and green energy.

Now that the veil of goodness is gone and Russian oil cannot be openly purchased, we have to admit that we in the West, too, have to drill for oil and find other sources to power our countries.  The coarseness of life has been unraveled, yet again.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have lived through the facade of sophistication — of coworkers and supervisors being civil and “nice” so long as you do your work — but when the medical condition can no longer be hidden and it is clear that you have to begin the process of initiating an OPM Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS — well, all bets are off and all masks are unmasked, and you will see that your Agency is not that gathering of niceties, but a cauldron of backstabbers and coarse nitwits.

Contact a retirement lawyer who has already experienced all of this, and get the protection of a lawyer who is experienced in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

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: The Law and Modernity

Recent Supreme Court decisions have, at the very least, engendered interest among the non-lawyer population of this country.  The concept of “stare decisis” — of the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to establish precedent — has been turned upside down and cast aside.  Is this a good thing?

Furthermore, there are now grumbles that recently-appointed justices “lied” to senators during their confirmation hearings, but no lawyer believes that such a charge can rise to the level of perjury.  Why?  Because if you ask a lawyer the question, “Do you agree that case-X is established law?” — the answer will always have 2 parts; first, the stated part: “Yes, it is established law and therefore should not be overturned.”

Then, the second, “unstated” and “silent” part — “Unless, of course, I find that when I am on the bench and a new case comes before me, that I find case-X to be unconstitutional, in which case I have no choice but to reverse and overturn the precedent.”

And so the law is as elastic as the best gymnasts qualifying for the Olympics.  Why the great hubbub?  Because society relies upon precedents, because precedents — whether you agree with them or not — provide a foundation of stability and reliability.

It would be as if a Federal Circuit Court Judge were to find all precedents on FERS Disability Retirement to be wrongly decided, and reversing every one of them.  Now, that would be a disaster.

Fortunately, that is unlikely to happen, and so, for Federal and Postal employees who have found it necessary to begin the process of initiating the Federal Disability Retirement application process, you may want to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, where the Law and Modernity still rely upon the stability of stare decisis.

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 for Civilian Federal Employees: The Chance of Success

It is a peculiar word — “chance”.  It is a word defined by the fortuitous occurrence of an event, often involving luck, accident, and random pairing.  “Success”, on the other hand, is rarely by chance.

People don’t win sports events by chance; one does not come upon a million dollars by accident.  Yes, perhaps meeting one’s spouse occurred by a “chance” meeting, and maybe a given event was “fortuitous” in that the circumstances will never again be replicated and thus one can deem it as an “accidental” occurrence; but in the end, few successes in life rarely occur as a matter of chance.

Yet, despite their inapposite meanings, we quite readily combine them into a commonplace query, do we not?  As in: What are the chances of success?  “Chance”, as stated, is most often used in terms of random luck.  “Success”, on the other hand, is through diligent preparation, hard work, focused intent.

But in the form of the question,  What are the chances of success? — we are really inquiring as to the percentage probability of an outcome, like the gambler who sizes up the various card tables at a casino before settling for one which seems to afford a higher probability of winning.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are similarly “sizing up” the chances at a successful filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, it is often akin to the “dealer’s advantage”: the odds are always better if you have the advice, guidance and counsel of an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Keeping it together

Living in modernity is a complex juggling act that never ends.  Simplicity recollected in former times often harken towards an idealization that perhaps never existed, where toil, labor and survival were a coalescence of a person’s life, and meaning was never divorced from what one was engaged in, the acts of striving, the struggle to earn a living.

Modernity magnifies Marx’s observation that human discontent is a result of separating man’s labor from the self-esteem of accomplishment, where the factory worker sees merely a microcosm of monotony but never possesses the self-satisfaction of any meaningful end to the assembly-line of life.

Instead, today we are a fractured sort, running like the proverbial chicken with its head cut off (and we don’t even quite understand what that means, anymore, as no one lives on a farm to understand that when a predatory owl comes swooshing down and severs the upper portion of a cock-a-doodling bird, the feet continue to pedal forward even after the headless horseman is taken away), awakening, rushing, being dazed and in a trance to view the multiple screens of a Smartphone, the laptop, the desktop and being directed by electronic voices of commandeering vehicles, parking barometers and driverless vehicles to merely observe as bystanders in a world gone mad.

Credit crunch, debt overload, children brought into the world without direction or means, and droughts, famine and wars and rumors of wars beyond; it is a burden just to try keeping it together, these days.

Promises have been made for decades plus of technology granting a reprieve both in time, effort and human toil, and the time for leisure which the totalitarianism of oppressive modernization has detailed has somehow never come to fruition.  Work, and more work; overtime; the juggling of family time, work, filial commitments and more work; and we can “have it all”, or so they keep telling us.

Email was supposed to undercut the need for the snail’s pace of the Postal Service, but now we are bombarded with an exponential quantification of that which we used to open with a mail opener, inserting carefully into the edge of the fold and slicing gently so as not to spoil the contents within; and somehow that very act of ancient and tactile connection between the eye, the hands, the metal implement and the organic material of an unopened letter gave it a personal bond of sorts, even in a mechanized office setting.  Today, it is merely one more click of a computer button to open up the electronic mail.

“Keeping it all together” – is it possible, anymore?

Then, when you consider an unwanted intruder – a medical condition both unexpected and unforeseen – is it any wonder that things quickly fall apart.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who find it difficult to continue in one’s chosen Federal or Postal career, when the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal employee to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, it may well be time to recognize that the fundamental basis of keeping it all together rests upon the ability to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Illness

It is the pause button rendered by the universe, often without warning, without invitation and unwelcomed by all.  Is it the gods laughing in the heavenly seclusion, as wanton children playing with the mortality of souls unrequited, as matches in the hands of mischievous hearts undisciplined by law, life or empathy?

Then comes the triteness of wisdom, yet true but too late: “Oh, what a blessing health is”; “Is there a lesson to be learned?”; “Why me?”.  Is this the crisis of life that is merely an obstacle to overcome, or the long road towards a progressive decline where mortality is not just tested, but revealed as the weak link in the proverbial chain of man-to-gods-to the theology of our own creation?

Illness comes like that unwitting thief in the dead of night, but unlike the burglar who tries to remain silent but for creaking floors and unoiled passageways, it comes without concern for being revealed.  Does the universe test – or remain impervious like Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover, where perfection attracts all towards its essence and destroys everything that attempts to escape?  Who determines the criteria of such a test?  What constitutes a “passing grade” as opposed to a failure in its mere attempt?  Is the evaluation contained within the strength of one’s own character, and what results in a declaration of “success” as opposed to the failure of everyday lives?

If it is truly a test of character, then Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers certainly get enough of it to collectively get a passing grade.  Yes, fortunately, there is the option of filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, but for almost all Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the reality is that such a step is the last option chosen.

It is not so much that the benefit reaped from a Federal Disability Retirement is so miserly as to not make it worthwhile; no, to a great extent, the annuity of 60% of the average of one’s highest three consecutive years of pay, then 40% every year thereafter until recalculation at age 62 is generous enough to survive upon, especially when the alternative is to remain and kill oneself, resign and walk away with nothing, or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; and, in conjunction with the ability to go out into the private sector and be able to make (on top of the Federal Disability Retirement annuity) up to 80% of what one’s former position currently pays – it can lead to an acceptable level of financial security.

Ultimately, however, it is a truism that Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers wait until the final possible moment before making the decision to file a Federal Disability Retirement, often allowing the illness to debilitate beyond the point of reasonable acceptance.  That, in and of itself, is a character test, and one that makes the illness itself of secondary concern, when one’s health should be given the highest priority, lest we allow the gods of wanton carelessness to have the last laugh.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Age

It is only that proverbial “state of mind” for those it does not impact; then, when reality sets in, the decrepit bones and uncooperative muscles, inability to will the stamina to rise to the occasion, and the creaking temerity of organs unable to muster the vitality of even a decade ago, we submit to the currency of our own destiny.

We can scoff at it; deny it; attempt to defy its residual consequences; and even remain indifferent to its effects; but in the end, mortality demands a say in the matter, and age is like the ravages of time and the echoes of a haunting flaw:  inescapable and unwavering, it creeps up and declares its prominence at the head of the table.  Some feel the effects well before the standard time; others attempt to revolt and rebel until the impervious universe indifferent to human incantations of defiant ineffectiveness simply ignores the pleas of hopeless tumult.

Age comes upon us like that undeniable thief in the night, burglarizing the last remaining hope and hint of a better tomorrow.  Of course, the connotation can be twofold or more:  Of the linear quantification from birth to the present, counting in solar years and seasons of rotational inevitability; or, it can denote a state of moving beyond the halfway point and into the pendulum swing of destiny evidencing man’s mortality.  There are, of course, other meanings – of a certain epoch or period; uses like, “coming of age” or applying it to various methodological interests in placement within a period of history.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are contemplating preparing 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 relevance of the term is multitudinous:  Age in terms of eligibility towards regular retirement; how old, but more importantly, can one continue until retirement age, or will the ravages of time, medical conditions and deteriorating workplace environment lead one to such a decrepit state that to continue on would merely evoke a devastation of any future hope of enjoying retirement at all?

For, when the stated age of one’s linear presence in this universe is far less advanced than how one feels “health-wise”, and the hollow look of hopelessness prevails where the future is merely a black hole of bleakness, another turn of pain and suffering, and no amount of “positive-thinking” will brighten an otherwise dismal perspective, then what would be the point of continuing to struggle just to meet the linear statement of age, but have no joy left to reap its benefits promised?

Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to OPM, is an option to consider, when age cannot be prolonged to meet the eligibility requirements for regular retirement, and the body, mind and soul are screaming out that one’s career has come to a point where age is no longer a factor in considering whether or not the essential elements of one’s positional duties can be met – instead, the proverbial dawn of an age forthcoming requires that something must give, but age is simply an echoless march of time that hears not such cries of rebellion or protest.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: The factors to consider

Whenever a problem arises, are you the kind of person who immediately rushes headfirst in order to “solve” it?  Are you like a first responder who by necessity, duty or conscience of being, sprints to save and runs to resolve?  Or, in contradistinction to circumstances that require thoughtless effort but urgent actions, do you consider the factors and ask the question, What criteria must be applied?  What would be considered a resolution of the problem, as opposed to a temporary cessation of a crisis-driven implementation?

The two are somewhat dissimilar, of course, in that the first example often does not have the luxury of pausing for a query, and the latter may allow for an ebb of questioning.

Thus, one would not want a philosopher pondering the conundrum of existential posits when the primary pipe draining sewage away from one’s home has a crack that is growing into an open fissure.  On the other hand, if repetition of recurring problems have haunted for some time, and the solution appears to require something beyond mere pragmatic settlement but a higher order of principled restraint, the factors leading to an overarching criterion may be mandated for a more far-reaching solution.

This is true in much of life.  There are many who repeat the same thoughtless actions only to find that the temporary solution comes back with ever greater fervor; few who ponder the underlying principles; and lesser still of a community of thoughtful cadavers who awaken from the slumber of daily monotony to consider the underlying factors that gird the first principles of life itself.

What factors need to be considered?  Where do we go from here?  Can we live on such reduced income?  Can we make it to the age of retirement, or the required combination of service time plus age, and still be in good enough health to enjoy some semblance of a retirement?  Will my agency continue to harass, employ mechanisms of onerous leave restrictions, and ultimately impose the sanctions of constant workplace hostility, and can I survive them all?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have come to a crossroads of sorts, where the medical condition, the inability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, and the pressure that can no longer be withstood with the coalescence of such onerous burdens, preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the first step in resolving the repetition of a horrendous culture of dismay.

Life is never perfect, but when a problem which appears persistent and chronic will not simply go away because being a first responder is not the right solution to the difficulty, then the Federal or Postal employee must consider the factors that underlie the problems which constitute the principles inherent, and move forward with pragmatic steps towards a brighter future for tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire