OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Quality of Life

It has never NOT been an issue in American life; for, with the opportunities available, modernity has placed a focus not just upon “living”, but upon a more grand concept:  That of “living well”.

The cemeteries and unmarked graves of silent history’s fallow grounds are filled with unstated sorrow and grief; and while modernity now knows of wealth and luxuries beyond the wildest imaginations, the past has known great poverty and suffering.

Prior to the age of refrigeration, much of every day was obsessed with preparing the next meal.  Between work just to eke out a living and considering what the next meal would be, survival was the point of existence — until the rise of the “middle class” upon the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

Quality of Life?  Was that even a concept conscious for consideration?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that medical condition will no longer allow you to perform all of the essential elements of your job, the concept of “quality of life” must by necessity enter into the equation.

The endless cycle of work-to-weekend and back to work, where the weekend is merely for purposes of resting those chronic medical conditions in order to have some minimal energy-level to make it into work — well, you know the routine, and that vicious cycle is certainly without any “quality” to the life one leads.

Federal Disability Retirement benefits are meant to rescue you from the loss of quality of life.

Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and let not your life reflect a period of history which was supposed to remain quiet in the fallow grounds of past burial grounds.

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 Denied: The Response

How do we learn how to respond?  Are all responses appropriate?

If a person you pass along the street says, “Hi, how are you doing?” — is the appropriate response to actually stop and give an hour-long dissertation about your life history, how your cat recently was run over by a car, and about your kid’s problems in school?  Or, do we just tip our head with a quick nod and respond with: “Good. Have a nice day”?

And of that irritating car in front of you in a one-lane road going 25 mph when the speed limit is 50 — do we honk aggressively, try to pass even though there is a solid yellow line, and finally accelerate illegally on the shoulder, on the right side, and speed past him?  Of course, when the police officer stops you and tickets you, it is hardly a response to say, “But officer! He was going 25 in a 50 mph zone!”

Every society possesses established conventions to follow, and “appropriateness” is generally defined by recognition of, and adherence to, such conventions.

And to an OPM Denial in a Federal Disability Retirement case:  Do you write a long dissertation and attack each point — or do you call a Federal or Postal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law?  Or, even if you haven’t filed, but you know that you cannot reach retirement age because of your deteriorating health — do you just submit a letter of resignation and walk away?

No; the proper response is to contact a FERS Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and to discuss the strategy and the proper response in order to file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, under FERS.  For, in every endeavor of life in this complex world of conundrums and perplexities, there is a “response”, and then there is the “proper response”.

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 under FERS: Knowing the Law

Is it important?  How can the U.S. Office of Personnel Management make a proper decision on a Federal Disability Retirement application without knowledge of the law?

Yes, yes — the ones who make decisions are “medical specialists” — but that is only one-half of the equation.  That is precisely why the bureaucratic process of a Federal Disability Retirement is so frustrating — because OPM looks at 1/2 of the equation for the first 2 stages of the process — of the Initial application stage, then the Second Stage, the “Request for Reconsideration” Stage — and then leaves the Second Half of the process (the “legal stage”) to the paralegals and lawyers who represent OPM before the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

Wouldn’t it be wiser and more efficient if there were a legal department which oversees and supervises the denial letters issued by the “medical specialists” at OPM for the first 2 stages, thereby making sure that the denial is based not solely upon medical issues, but on the legal issues underlying them?

Of course, it is rarely the case that a Federal Disability Retirement application is ever validly denied based upon the medical conditions alone; for, the benefit of “Federal Disability Retirement” always involves the legal criteria for eligibility, and that is why the applicant who wants to pursue the benefit should contact a disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law. For, in the end, knowing the law is what will prevail in a 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.

 

Federal & Postal Workers with Chronic Medical Conditions: Unexpected Changes

Why are changes so often unexpected?  Do we expect that everything will always remain the same?  Is it our expectations which require stability, or our needs?

Change is all around us.  Decay and death are a daily part of nature.  The incremental nature of change — of the slow, degenerative process of life which is barely perceptible from day to day, but clearly evident when one views frozen snapshots from decade to decade — allows us to fool ourselves that change is not inevitable.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who never expected that filing a FERS Disability Retirement application would ever be necessary, the resistance to change is a natural response — resistance first to the medical condition itself, of not accepting that it could “happen to me”, etc.  Then, the resistance to taking the next steps in preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Yet, it is clear that the opposite is true: That change is to be expected, for that is the nature of the world.

Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.  Change is a natural part of the process of life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

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

Medical Retirement for Federal Workers: Happiness revisited

What is it that makes people happy?  Is it constituted by generic categories (like “wealth”, “fame”, “friendships”, “popularity”, etc.), or is it specific to each individual (i.e., for Joe, it is to have sufficient time daily to become lost in reading; for Alice, the opportunity to go out with friends at least once a week; for Mary and Steve, to be in one another’s company, etc.) such that, while specific conditions can be described as the prerequisite for individual happiness, they can nonetheless be categorized into more generic forms while never losing the unique content of that which constitutes the essential ingredients for such individual happiness?

If generically-based, can it be “bottled” — i.e., advertised and sold?  Isn’t that what much of commercial advertising is all about — not the product itself, although that is the ultimate goal, but of the underlying message that by means of the product, the end will result in happiness?

Thus, teeth whiteners and dental conglomerates don’t just sell straightened teeth or gleaming smiles; rather, they sell happiness.  Otherwise, why else would everyone be smiling stupidly and pretending (for that is what actors and actresses do) that they are ecstatic in their roles?  And car insurance, life insurance, reverse mortgages and financial institutions — what are they selling but happiness through security and a sense of peace?

More importantly, should happiness ever be a goal, or is it best to allow it to remain as a byproduct and a natural consequence of a worthy life’s endeavors?

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 issue of one’s happiness is always present in stark contrast to the current human condition of deteriorating health: for, misery is the flip-side of happiness, and to that old standardized testing torture we all had to undergo as school children, happiness is to health as misery is to ___?  What would be the appropriate word used to fill in the blank?  Ill-health?  Sickness?

When one’s health deteriorates, the priorities of life suddenly come into sharper focus, for health is the foundation from which all else flows. Happiness, one begins to realize, cannot be the center and foundation; it is, instead, a byproduct of good health, solid relationships and productive careers, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement is a means to an end, whether you are under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Thus, for the Federal or Postal employee who begins to 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, serious consideration should be given to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, to be submitted, reviewed by and approved by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Information: Action after words

Does the failure of an action to succeed a string of words make it automatically into a lie, or can it merely indicate a delay between thought and action, spoken words and action, or misinterpretation of words followed by non-action?  Are there phrases and afterthoughts that undermine and negate the initial statement of promised and anticipated actions, such that they “justify” the non-action?

For example, if a person says to another, “I will meet you at X restaurant at noon tomorrow,” but upon showing up at the place, the other person never appears; later, you bump into that same person and inquire about his non-appearance, and he states, “Oh, I became too busy and couldn’t come.”  Does that succeeding statement negate the previous statement; does it “explain” it; does it “supersede” it; or was it merely a statement that tells you that the person making it is rude, a bore, and someone to henceforth be suspicious of and mistrusting towards?

What if the same person had said some other things, like: “I thought better of it” or “I decided that I didn’t want to go out to lunch with you”.  As to the former, one might conclude that the person was somewhat odd; as to the latter, that he or she was unfriendly and did not deserve further consideration.  But what of the following statement: “I am so sorry. My mother was taken to the hospital suddenly and I completely forgot!  Please accept my sincere apologies!”  This last admission, of course, is the one that “justifies” the breaking of the prior commitment, and can be seen as the one where “forgiveness” and further consideration is accorded.

In every case, the action which follows after words determines the future course of how we view the person who spoke the words; yet, context and content do matter.

Take for example another scenario, where the person says, “I may be at X restaurant at noon tomorrow, or I may not.”  You show up at the place at noon and the person who made the statement does not show up.  Later, when you “bump into” the person, you say, “Why didn’t you show up at X restaurant,” and the person responds with, “Oh, as I said, I might have, but decided not to.”  Was there a broken promise?  Did the actions performed fail to “meet” with the words previously spoken?  No, and not only that – one could even argue that the person was quite true to his “word”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering 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 connection between “action” after “words” is always an important consideration to take into account, for there will be many steps through the administrative process where compatibility between the two will have to take place.

Will your doctor support your Federal Disability Retirement case when the “crunch time” arrives?  (The doctor will need to).  Will your Human Resource personnel do as they say? (Likely not).  Will your supervisor timely complete the SF 3112B? (Hmmm…).  Will OPM “act upon” the Federal Disability Retirement application after “saying” that they will? (Again, hmmmm…..).

Action after words – the foundation of sincerity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire