OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Knowing What We Do

Human beings are the only species who pause and reflects upon whether or not what he is doing is done knowingly.

Self reflection; the ability to learn from past mistakes; the capacity to improve; the capability of admitting that we know not what we are doing, and to seek advice in order to fill the void from lack of knowledge — these are all qualities shared.

On the other hand, recent cultural and social upheavals in this country might test that concept.

Knowing what we do is important beyond doing what we do, because — if we are to still adhere to the Aristotelian concept in Western Philosophy that we are “rational” animals (and this may be a questionable presumption, these days) — knowledge, self-awareness and the capacity to comprehend the world around us are the very characteristics which lift us above the beasts abreast and allow us a glimpse of the angels above.

The primary prerequisite in knowing what we do, however, is to (A) Know when we do not know, and (B) have the humility to admit when we do not know what we are doing.

To that end, 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, knowing what we are doing in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the Office of Personnel Management is a crucial step in winning the fight against OPM.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who actually knows what he is doing, and begin the process of preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application 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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement Law: Perfection’s Harm

It has been stated by many, that one should never let perfection be the enemy of the good; in other words, one can always delay and delay, arguing that whatever the project being attended to, the goal aimed for, it is simply not good enough because it is not perfect.

Can imperfect beings ever achieve perfection?  Or, is perfection merely the justification for procrastination, knowing that the goal which never can be attained will forever remain as a potentiality steeped in the angst of our own imperfections?

“Good enough”, of course, is a relative standard which all perfectionists are uncomfortable with; for, an employer who accepts such a standard is in danger of relinquishing high standards replaced by an ad hoc, mediocre acceptance of “less than” — which is never a paradigm one attempts to aspire to.  But perfection’s harm is of eternal procrastination; for, we can always find a reason why something is not “good enough”, without ever asking the natural follow-up question: Good enough for what?

In the abstract, “perfection” is an admirable goal to achieve, for it involves a standard envisioned by the visionary few; but in the practical world, perfection’s harm is the aspiration of a would-be god, an idol of idiocy, an apex of folly.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition continues to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the procrastination resulting from perfection’s harm is that the Federal employee believes that his or her medical condition will miraculously resolve itself, and allow for continuation in the Federal or Postal job.  But that is perfection’s lair — of tomorrow, or the next day.

Contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider perfection’s harm — of the impracticality of which you already know, precisely because the medical condition itself has already established and revealed that man’s life on earth is one of perpetual imperfection.

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 Law: Place in the World

It is one of the hardest things to find.  The old metaphor of “finding a needle in a haystack” is easier than finding your place in the world.  What education to attain; of finding a lifelong partner to share your hopes, dreams and disappointments; of what career to choose; of which relationships to foster, and those to sever; and of activities worthwhile, others to abandon; these, and the global compendium of present choices and future conduits to embrace — these all, in their aggregate, result in one’s “place in the world”.

Modern life makes it difficult.  It used to be, half a century ago, that if you walked into an ice cream parlor, you had 3 choices — Vanilla, chocolate, and maybe a third.  Nowadays, there are so many flavors that it makes for paralysis of thought.  Part of the problem, beyond the infinite range of choices, is that the transience of life is available everywhere and opportunity to break the mold of generational stodginess is no longer an obstacle.  The antiquated idea that the children of X would “follow in the footsteps” of X — by tradition, by custom, by limitations of choices and “just because” — is no longer even considered.  Does anyone know what it means, anymore, to “follow in the footsteps” of your father?

Transience is to modernity as the horse & buggy was to the modern-day car, or as it is today, the EV, or electric vehicle.  It is difficult, these days, for a child to find his or her place in the world, precisely because there is no longer any stability of choices, along with an endless array of choices.  As multiple philosophers have stated many times, if everything is available, then the very concept of “everything” becomes a nothingness.

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, “finding one’s place” must be revisited, even in later life, because one’s place in the Federal or Postal job is in danger of becoming lost.

To find “another” place in the world, you may have to file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, precisely because one’s medical condition has meant a loss in your place in the world, and discovery of a new place may be a necessity.

Contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and begin the new process of finding another place in the world before the availability of such places becomes a place of nothingness in this world of everything.

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 from OPM: Identification

It is through identification that constancy is maintained.  When we look in the mirror in the morning, we identify that reflected individual as the same person whom we knew a decade before — despite the greying hairs, the tributaries of creases and wrinkles; we brush the gray and wash the rivulets, and turn away knowing that our identity of today is the same as before.

Similarly, when we recognize a childhood friend from long ago, we greet him or her through identification.  We might say flattering (and perhaps somewhat untrue) things like, “You haven’t changed a bit!”  Or: “Gosh, you look great!”  In either and both cases, it is the identification itself which establishes the constancy of life.

One does not sever that constancy by pointing out the changes — of saying, “Wait a minute.  You didn’t have those wrinkles, and you were just a skinny little guy when I knew you 20 years ago.  You are not the same person, and therefore I do not know you!”  Such failure of identification — would it be true, or not?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition  no longer allows you to continue in your choice of career with the Federal Government, always remember that identification still exists and constancy may yet be maintained — the only change is not in the person, but the incompatibility between that same person and the job which one has.

You will remain the same person — albeit with a medical condition.  The change is not in you, but in the fact that the job you hold is no longer compatible with the you of today, of the same identification with the you of yesterday.

Contact a FERS Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider the constancy of your identification for your future of tomorrow.

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 for Federal Employees: Life Goes On

Americans make of politics the same as everything else we do: It becomes a passion with a responsiveness tantamount to life and death.  We do it in almost all else, as well, as in sports — if our team doesn’t win, it is as if the world has come to an end.

We do it in marriage — we put on a great show at tremendous expense to announce that it is an event which will last forever.  We do it in religion — where every denomination and every pokey-little church has a corner of truth in interpreting “the doctrine”.  We do it in Supreme Court nominations, who our Congressman or Senator will be, and in every other sector of life.  We act as if the world will come to an end — like Y2K, Climate Change and the Presidential Election.

But Life Goes On.

The “day after”, everyone else has to move on and make a living and deal with life, no matter who won, what occurred or which side prevailed.  And 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, dealing with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is still a reality which must be faced.

So, recognize your priorities in life and realize that whatever happens, you will still need to consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, because no matter what, life goes on.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Workers: Light Duty

Light duty” is a term often associated with Worker’s Compensation cases, and rarely has significant relevance in a Federal Disability Retirement case.  It can, however, be a temporary form of an “accommodation” — but one which still does not prevent a Federal Employee or Postal worker from obtaining and becoming qualified for FERS Disability Retirement benefits.

Light duty can range anywhere from the physical to the administrative — of allowing for work without performing some or many of t he essential elements of one’s positional requirements.  Thus, in the “physical” area: Of allowing a person not to have to stand, walk, lift heavy parcels, etc.  Or, to limit travel.  In the “administrative” area: Perhaps a limited and reduced time on the computer; allowing for more frequent breaks during extended periods of sedentary work; of working half-days and allowing for use of SL, AL or LWOP.

These are all generic examples of what may constitute “light duty”.  A Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service may allow for such light duty even on a permanent basis.  However, understand that even if the Federal agency or Postal Service allows for “permanent light duty” (which, in conceptual terms, is somewhat of an oxymoron), such an allowance does not preclude a Federal or Postal employee from being eligible throughout for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Contact a Federal Disability Lawyer and become informed about your right to Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement: Judgment and Discretion

In many ways, the two are inseparable; for, to make good judgments is to necessarily have the proper discretionary approach, and to possess the quality of discretion is the foundation for making good judgments.  It is discretion which allows for good judgment; good judgment that is dependent upon discretion.  To lack discretion, however, does not mean that one will necessarily make a bad judgment; but then, as the old saying goes, even a broken clock is “right” twice in a 24 hour period.

The judgement to prepare and formulate an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS, should be based upon sound discretion in determining the available resources: Is there supportive medical documentation? Is the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service initiating proceedings to make staying in one’s job untenable? Has one’s medical condition come to a point where the Federal or Postal employee can no longer continue in one’s position?

These and many more questions are often at the heart of considerations in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and consulting with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is often the first test in determining whether one possesses the judgment and discretion to proceed on a path which will lead to a successful outcome.

For, in the end, judgment and discretion is just as much about understanding one’s limitations in knowing about something, as it is about knowing enough about something to have the judgment and discretion to seek good counsel and advice.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Answering the question

What constitutes “answering the question”, and more importantly, how does one determine when its opposite occurs — NOT answering the question?  Does the former occur if the questioner fails to follow up, and does the latter become an issue if the person asking responds with, “That doesn’t answer my question,” or some such similar declarative assertion?

Take the following hypothetical:  Person A asks Person B, “So, where do you come from?”  Person B answers, “The skies of Normandy were grey on that June day in 1944.”  Now, Person A could have various responses to such a statement, as in:  1.  “No, no, I asked where you came from.” 2. “Are you telling me that you come from Normandy, France?”  3.  “That doesn’t answer my question.”  4. Or, silence, with no follow-up.

Person B, of course, could similarly respond in variegated ways, as in:  A.  “I just told you.”  B.  “Yes” or “No” (in response to the follow-up question, “Are you telling me that you come from Normandy, France?”).  C.  Silence, or “Yes it does.”  D.  Nothing further.

It may be that Person B simply has a poetic bent, and from his perspective, the mundane query was answered in a metaphorical, literary manner.  More to the point, however:  Who determines if a question has been answered (leaving aside the further query of whether the answer itself has “sufficiently” or “fully” been responsive to the question) — the one who asks, or the one who answers?

In a normal conversation, of course, the issue rarely comes about; in an argument where one or the other side, or both, are trying to get answers and defeat the other side, the heat of the moment may determine the answer to the question; and the penultimate paradigm of the question, “Who determines whether the question has been answered?” occurs in the highest form during a deposition or cross-examination in the legal arena.

Observing what occurs during a court proceeding is an interesting experience of human behavior; of the back-and-forth between counsels and the witnesses being deposed or examined, as in:  “You didn’t answer the question.”  “Yes, I did.”  “I asked you…”.  “Asked and answered.”  “Objection, the question has already been asked and answered.”  And on and on until a singular point is pursued to an exhaustive level ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

Is the issue of what constitutes an answered question somewhat akin to the question or “original intent” — i.e., that just like an author’s original intent as to the meaning of a written document is what should rule, similarly, the person who asks the question has the sole power to determine whether or not the question asked has been answered, and moreover, adequately and sufficiently answered?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are beginning the process of preparing, formulating and filing 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, these questions concerning the “answering of questions” will and should come to the forefront when confronted with the questions asked on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.

Inasmuch as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has promulgated the questions in a carefully-crafted manner, there are some inherent pitfalls and dangers in what constitutes an adequate response, a sufficient answer and the complete delineation that rises to the level of a satisfactory statement.

SF 3112A is replete with unanswered questions within the very substance of each question, and the answers you provide are best guided by an attorney who has had the experience of legal encounters previously, and who specializes in the Law of Federal Disability Retirement.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire