OPM Medical Retirement Under the FERS System: Mistakes

We all make them.  Some, because of complicated issues, can never admit to them.  Perhaps you were shamed at one time in making them, and will do everything to cover up any mistakes, hide them, act as if you never made any, or otherwise avoid any indicia of being less than perfect.  Perfection as a self-image is never a healthy state of affairs; for, to err is to be human, and we are never anything less than the graven images we create for the mantle of worshipping.

Some mistakes, of course, are harmless and without any consequences; others, of greater impact, whether limited to the one having made them, or beyond to third parties; and still others, of an irreversible, permanent stain.

Admissions often need to be clothed with euphemisms: “Oh, it was a youthful indiscretion” (What? Even though the mistake was made while he was 40-some years old?); “It was not on purpose”; “It was a momentary lapse of judgment”; etc.  Then, there is the haunting shadow of an overbearing parent who never softened the blow: Instead of, “It’s okay; everyone makes mistakes every now and again”, but of — silence, heavy with judging eyes.  How we handled such responses from an early age heavily influences our ability to admit to them later on.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are seeking to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS, because of a medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the basic elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is important to keep the mistakes at a minimum, for the mistake which leads to a denial from OPM of a Federal Disability Retirement application can be one mistake too far, like the bridge which needn’t have been fought over.

While most mistakes are correctible, the one mistake which cannot be amended is to put blinders on OPM once they have seen something.  Like a Lockjaw who will never let it go, the clamp of OPM upon a mistake revealed is one which is difficult to pry loose.  To prevent this, contact a Federal/Postal Lawyer who is experienced in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and thus minimize the mistakes from the outset through competent and effective legal representation.

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 Application: The Facade

In its simplest definition, it is simply the frontal face of a building, expression or impression.  In its more insidious connotation, it is the mask which hides an ugliness within, and thus is meant to deceive.

Or, perhaps not even an ugliness, but of something secretive, of a necessity to cover, to conceal, to brush over in order that people will only notice the skin-deep impression left, the appearance upon first encounter, and not to notice the substance beneath or behind the facade.

Can a mask be kept on for long?  Will the concealment cover for long enough, or wide enough?  And long enough — for what?

Perhaps it is merely a smile to conceal grief; a smirk, to mask pain; or in reverse, of tears in order to contain disgust or anger.

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, having a “facade” is most natural, if not a necessity.  You want to seem “as if” — as if you are still able to do your job; as if nothing is wrong; as if….

At some point, however, the facade may not work, and you may have to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

At that point, the facade which you wore so well may not be the mask you intended, for some may have come to believe that the facade was the actual you without the facade, in which case the facade may have been one facade too many.

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 Law: Disappearing Fences

That pithy old adage; of “good fences make good neighbors”; it is a saying which old people used to say in delineating acceptable social norms; of an ethos which was generally known, frowned upon when violated, and reflects an antiquated time in our society when everyone “knew” their place.

In modernity, the large corporations have convinced us all that fences are unnecessary; that boundaries are meaningless; that bifurcations no longer apply. Instead, to be “connected” is of utmost importance, and loss of connectivity — even for a day, an hour, a minute — means that your entire source of self-identity may have become expunged from the ethereal universe.

It is all well and good for the wealthy to declare that there should not exist a “division” between one’s personal and professional lives; that your job should be enjoyed as much as in your personal sphere; or that taking calls, doing work, etc. while on vacation or on off-days is completely acceptable.  Fences have all but disappeared.  What was their purpose?

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, erecting and maintaining — even building new ones — is important; for, in the end, one’s “quality of life” begins with maintaining one’s health and well-being, but when that health deteriorates and cannot keep up with the demands of work, it might be time then to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, if only to establish again that, indeed, good fences make good neighbors.

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 Lawyers: The “Money-Back Guarantee” Attraction

Yes, it is attractive — but how much effort will actually be applied?

If you obtain your Federal Disability Retirement benefits through a law firm at the first stage, then you are likely going to be satisfied.  If you get it denied and you receive your money back, what good has the refunded amount done you?  Did the law firm abandon you after just the First Stage?

You lost your case; you lost the time it took to lose your case.  Yes, you did receive your money back; but does it make up for the lost time and the lack of effort expended?

In any Attorney-Client relationship, there is an “investment”, as well as “chance-taking” on both sides.  Consider what you are getting for the money you are expending.

Contact a Federal Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal or Postal Disability Retirement, and understand that, in the end, you “get what you paid for”.

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 Government Employee Disability Retirement: “Difficult”

It is not the same as “unable to”, or even one of “incompatibility”; rather, it merely means that here are some impediments, but if one’s performance ratings are still fully successful, then it shows that — despite being “difficult” — the Federal or Postal worker is still able to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

To qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, certain legal criteria have to be met, and the mere fact that it is becoming increasingly “difficult” to satisfy that criteria does not mean that you would qualify.  Having “difficulty” doing your job, but still being able to do it, means that you are still performing all of the essential elements of your job.

If your agency thinks that you are doing a great job by giving you “fully successful” performance reviews, then where is your argument that you are unable to perform all of the essential elements of your job?  Yes, yes, I know — the question often asked is, “Do I have to end up in a wheelchair before I can file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits”?  No, not quite; but the mere fact that you are having “difficulties” doing your job, but are still doing it, may not be enough.

There is a middle ground, a “flash point” that goes slightly beyond “difficult” but somewhat before becoming wheelchair bound, where the criteria of “incompatibility” comes into play.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and discuss the legal ramifications of where you might be in the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective FERS Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Thought versus thoughtless

Does the former have an advantage over the latter?  Our tendency is to think so — as in, “Being a thoughtful person is better than being a thoughtless person.  And, in any event, it is always better to think about things than not to.”

Really?  Does reality bear such a thought out, and does thinking about something as opposed to its opposite — not thinking about it — gain any advantage?  Does Man’s biological advancement through evolutionary selectivity of genetic dominance necessarily favor those who engage in the activity of “thinking” over those who do not?

Take the following hypothetical: An individual must make a “serious” decision — i.e., perhaps about one’s future, career, marriage, etc.  He is told to “take some time to think about it”, and does so dutifully.  He speaks with others; does some reading; mulls over and “reflects” upon the issue; takes out a yellow-pad and writes the columns, “Pros” and “Cons”, and after days, weeks, perhaps even months, comes to a decision.  Within a couple of years of making the decision, he realizes that he has made a fatal error.

Now, the counterexample: Same scenario, but in response, the individual says, “Naw, I don’t need to think about it.  I just go on what my gut tells me.”  He goes out, parties, avoids “thinking” about it, and the next morning makes that “important” decision.  He remains happy with the decision made for the remainder of his life.  So, the obvious query: What advantage did one have over the other, and what fruitful outcome resulted from “thought” versus “thoughtlessness”?

Yet, we persistently hear the phrase, “I should have thought about it,” or “I should have given it more thought” — always implying that, had further reflection been accorded, had additional wisdom been sought, or multiples of contemplation allowed, ergo a different result would have been achieved.

The error in the logic of such thinking is that one assumes a necessary connection between “result” and the activity of “thinking”, when in fact it is the very activity itself which retains a value in and of itself.  “Thought,” “thinking” and “thoughtfulness” are activities which have a value by themselves.  The satisfaction of a result-oriented, retrospective according of value based upon an outcome achieved is to place the value upon the wrong end.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are “thinking” and engaging in “thoughts” about preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, there comes a time when a “decision” must be made.  “Thoughtfulness” is an activity worth engaging in, regardless of the outcome of the activity itself.

In engaging such an activity, it may be worthwhile to seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law — if only to consider the evolutionary advantages in thinking about thoughtful activities as opposed to the thoughtless decisions made by an unthinking thoughtlessness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Gatherings

What is it about human beings that compel and necessitate it?  Unlike the wandering Cheetah or the lone wolf, human gatherings have been the imprint of psycho-social requirements since the dawn of day.  The tribal gatherings around the campfire; the Thanksgiving feast that celebrates survival and the new season; the corporate board, the large-scale concerts and the network of social media; and then, of course, that which is all but forgotten, and yet always yearned for: the private gathering of “just the family”.

Somehow, we lie to ourselves and soothe our own egos, suppress the truth by – again, “gathering” – the number of “friends”, “likes”, etc., and it has now become a quantitative game as opposed to a qualitative reality that determines how “happy” one is.  In modernity, we have lost the whole purpose and underlying foundation for what gatherings are meant to be – of the interchange between neighbor and neighbor, the opportunity to listen to elders and the basis for which a society survives.

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers 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, does the Agency, the immediate supervisor or fellow coworkers even “know” about the medical condition, or even show any concern or care?

Each day, we “gather” together for a common purpose – for work, for the Agency’s “mission” and the “work-for-paycheck” agreement between employer and employee.  And, yes, there is a distinction to be made between a “social gathering” and a gathering intended for purposes of work and productivity.  Yet, there is something inherently amiss when one’s humanity is lost in the process of this thing called “employment gathering” – where no one seems to care about the next person, and when once the clock ticks to the closing hour, everyone departs to their own private gatherings, whatever that may be and wherever it may end up.  Of course, to invite a coworker to a home meal may constitute some form of harassment, and any gatherings to “pray” for another – regardless of what religion or denomination of belief it may originate from – is automatically excluded because of the offensive connotations of such an act; and so we are left with going home, each of us, and gather from a distance through the technology of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and email.

And yet, the Federal or Postal employee who has all along suffered from a medical condition, suffers still, and the only option left is to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, just because the “gathering” at work didn’t care enough to try and find a suitable accommodation for that Federal or Postal employee.  Go figure.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Servitude

It is a term that is viewed as neutral in one sense; for, the concept itself, while implying subjection to an owner or master, does not require it.  “Slavery”, on the other hand, necessarily connotes a system of ownership and involuntary compulsion; “servitude” can quite simply be tied to the idea that there exists a lack of freedom.

Taking it a step further, one can experience servitude if one has complete freedom; for, the excess of X often results in the opposite of X, as in the statement, “If everything is nothingness, then nothing is everything.”  Thus do we believe that, in modernity, everyone has greater liberty and freedom.  Fewer and fewer issues are any longer societal taboos – from what entertainment we prefer to any constraints on the choice of a career, Western society claims to have the greatest extent of freedom.

Yet, why is it that people don’t “feel” free?

That economic limitations and restrictions seem oppressive; that no one has time to gather together as families; that the more technology accords and claims to give us greater freedom to do “other things”, the less time we feel we have to do anything but work and rush about in this world where the intrusiveness of technology has had its opposite effect – not of granting greater freedom, but of voluntarily goading us into a servitude of acceptance.

Medical conditions, too, have a way of creating that bondage of servitude.  Somehow, when a medical condition begins to develop, it ties us down, requires us to change the way we have been living, and forces us to think again about the priorities in our lives.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have “served” their Federal and Postal “masters” well, the rise of a medical condition often magnifies how much we are a “slave” to time, to productivity and to the pursuance of goals that somehow, in light of the medical condition, become less and less of importance.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application is often a necessity required by and resulting from a medical condition that makes the Federal or Postal employee realize that he or she can no longer perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

All the while, the anomaly of life intrudes: One had believed that one had chosen freely one’s Federal or Postal job, but when the medical condition began to impede, and the demands of the Federal Agency or the Postal Facility made it clear that it had become a job of servitude, it may be time to cut those chains of bondage and free one’s self to attend to the greater arena of liberty – one’s health, by preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Staring into nowhere

Except in the slumber of darkness, it is an impossibility of a feat unperformed; yet, the metaphor itself works well, because we all engage in those periods of vacant stares where someone suddenly nudges you back into reality and comments, “It was as if you were lost in thought.”  What does that really mean?

The fact that we can stare, perceive through organically mechanistic means of refractive light upon the cornea of our eyes and yet fail to be “conscious” about the bodily functioning of organs designed to perceive, evaluate, analyze and judge so that other predators may not surprise us for their mealtime delights, is indeed a mystery that evolution cannot fully account for.  Staring into nowhere is the physical capacity to be awake, fully conscious and have perfect vision and eyesight, and yet “see” nothing beyond the point of one’s protruding nose.

In an analogy or even a metaphorical sense, it is the loss of hope because of an inability to see a future bright and with excitable anticipation.  Remember those youthful days when the future yet remained as a potentiality unfulfilled and unable to be fully foreordained because of the unfettered plenitude of energy unbounded to be released forevermore?  We could barely contain the excitement to “get out there” and “show the world” what we are made of, the unleashing of one’s creative energy ready to “wow” the universe that had never seen the likes of such talent and reserve of energetic innocence.

And then something happened.  Life intervened; love paused; a leave of senses occurred.  Or, more likely, we encountered others who had the same hopes and dreams, and recognized that others had already trampled upon the unspoiled grounds of sacrosanct altars, and there was little left for us.  Then, with wisdom and experience somewhat under that proverbial belt, we moved on and adopted some more “realistic” goals, and were perhaps all the more happier for it.

Then again, perhaps a medical condition intervened, and a further and “real” reality set in – one that continued to debilitated and progressively destroy.  Medical conditions can do that to a person, and an agency’s insistence upon antagonizing and creating a hostile work environment somehow adds to the turmoil.

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, is often the only way to ultimately escape that vacant staring into nowhere, precisely because it allows for a vantage point of future security to be recognized.

Staring into nowhere, while escaping into the impractical world of daydreams, may allow for relief for a moment, but the more effective perspective is to look at one’s circumstances, assess the Federal agency or Postal Service’s capacity to denigrate and destroy, and begin taking those steps in preparing for one’s future by considering filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Medical Retirement: When the superior argument no longer prevails

The potentiality of applying “jury nullification” opened the door to defiance, in a society constructed upon recognition, application and enforcement of “the law”; but of course, one may argue that such wholesale rejection of a conceptual construct deemed immoral or otherwise unfairly prejudicial, is itself a moral judgment which is allowable.

Would anyone argue that a jury which refused to convict during a trial in a repressive and totalitarian regime — say, in North Korea today, or during the Stalinist era — constituted “jury nullification”?  Or, would one simply declare that “the people” rightly and collectively decided to “stand up” against injustice, and applied a higher standard of the law — one which transcends the state’s attempt to impose an otherwise self-declared code of injustice by means of fiat and force?  It all depends upon the perspective; for, when the state empowers a group of individuals to possess, grant and apply the power of judgment rendered in the form of a verdict, then that collectivism of declared consensus constitutes the rightness or folly of a moral code itself.

In the end, the term itself is likely inappropriate; for the concept of “jury nullification” necessarily implies something underhanded or nefarious, as if the “jury” acting to “nullify” the law is somehow suspect, when in fact it is a declaration of rights asserted by means of granted power to do so.  The jury, by definition, is a law unto itself, as recognized by the state, and is therefore wholly independent and cannot be castigated for undertaking the very duty for which it was appointed to perform.

Now, as to whether or not it was receptive to, and embraced a lesser argument, as opposed to a superior one, is a fundamentally different question.  Were emotions swayed?  Did the eloquence of the opposing side overwhelm?  Did rationality and force of evidence persuade, or did the defendant’s mother back in the corner where spectators sat, weep silently and blow her nose into a soiled kerchief just enough to draw the attention of wandering eyes left pondering the fate of a devastated family? And does rationality always have to rule?  By what criteria do we demand that rationality always rule the emotive and appetitive?  Is it based upon the ancient code derived from Plato and Aristotle, of the various parts of the soul where the mind should govern the cosmos of the barbaric nature of our base selves?

But if circumstances and situations rule the day — such that in a “State of Nature” it is more advantageous for an individual to survive by pursuing instinct and animalistic aggressiveness, but in the more refined “Social Contract” basis the forms of civility and restrained interaction becomes the normative and accepted foundation, is not judgment of a fellow man a netherworld of intersecting universes, where the contradictory combining of war (a form thereof, as in a trial) and civility (of a jury deliberating in the quietude of a sequestered room) clash in culminating in a momentous fate of judgment?

The conclusion from modernity has already been rendered, of course; for, in the end, young people today care not for the force of rational argumentation, but rather, whether it “feels good”.  What reverberating consequences does such a force of change have upon society as a whole, and more specifically, for the Federal or Postal worker of today who must consider arguing to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management that the Federal Disability Retirement application should be approved?

Superior arguments, of course, should always be employed; and the Federal or Postal worker should never underestimate the power of legal persuasion, or the citing of relevant laws, statutes and applicable regulations.  But there is a distinction to be made, between demanding and dereliction of decision-making.  The former is to use a hammer; the latter is to posit a systematic methodology of courteously opening the door for recognizing the sunlight of “being right”.

For the Federal or Postal worker who wants to submit an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal worker is under CSRS, CSRS Offset or the FERS retirement system, remember that the concept of “jury nullification” applies only when the right to decide is somehow deemed improper or unsanctioned; but when it comes to a bureaucracy which possesses the sole power to decide, it is an inapplicable construct, and must be approached in a manner more akin to the grieving mother whose murderous son suddenly appears with a suit and tie for the first time in his hideous life, and speaks eloquently of his undying love for family and the victim upon whom he perpetrated his crime, and when the wink-and-nod between son and weeping mother remains unnoticed but for the love forged in treachery, justice yet smiles even in verdicts which betray the greater society.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

b