OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: The Peppered Denial

Take a handful of pepper and go out into the snow (which shouldn’t be too difficult, given the snow storms of recent vintage, at least in certain areas of the nation); throw it up into the air and let it “pepper” down.

What do you see?  Pock-marks of darkness, and as it dissipates with the melting cold, a spreading of dark spots — depending upon the kind of pepper it is. Or a shotgun blast from afar — see the spread of indented imprints left where the pellets become less constrained based upon the distance of the target.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management takes the same approach — of “peppering” you with reasons in a denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application.  X-medical report says Y; notation on the doctor’s progress note indicates Z; you didn’t have any service deficiencies; even though B says C, it doesn’t matter because OPM doesn’t believe D; and on and on.

One would think that, instead of such a meandering approach, the OPM medical specialist would present a tighter, more coherent basis for such an important issue.  The question is: Does each pepper-spot need to be cleaned with a salt-like application to answer them?  Or, can a more generalized approach be applied?  It depends.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Law and begin the process of responding to the peppered denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal Disability Retirement Lawyers: Guarantees

It turns out that — in this time of modernity where language can persuade anything and anyone on everything everywhere — that a guarantee is not quite what it proposes.

Is a “money-back guarantee” a guarantee at all?  To say to X, “I guarantee you an outcome-O; but if it doesn’t turn out that way, then I will give you your money back.”  Huh?  How is that different from no guarantee at all?

Okay, so maybe you receive a refund — but you are in no better position than if no guarantee was made to you to begin with; it’s only that you received a refund of your own money with nothing else to show for it.

Disjunctives essentially nullify the affirmative assertion of a statement.  Thus, to say that, Well, I guarantee you X or (beware of that disjunctive) if X doesn’t occur, then Y — is to merely give with one hand and take it back with the other.

Life in general, as we all know, rarely has any guarantees at all.

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 process of filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is complex enough without being mislead into thinking that entitlement is a guarantee.

It is a benefit that must be fought for, and as all fights worthwhile have a cost to be paid, it is well to consider that an attorney who “guarantees” an outcome should be approached with caution.  Seek the advice of counsel who provides worthy guidancenot one who “guarantees” something that cannot be guaranteed.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire