Tag Archives: federal air technician disability retirement

FERS Disability: Formulating the Reconsideration Rebuttal

It is a frustrating process when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issues a denial and the Federal employee or Postal Service worker must respond effectively within a limited prescribed time.  OPM has all the time in the world to prepare the denial letter, and will often take as long as they want in preparing a lengthy denial letter.

Once received, the denied Federal applicant has 30 days from the date of the denial to “Request Reconsideration” and will be granted 30 additional days beyond the time requested in order to submit any legal response and additional documentary evidence in support of your case.  Then, within that prescribed time period, a response must be prepared and submitted.

It is this formulation of substantive responsiveness that will determine the future course of the next steps — whether a subsequent denial will require a further appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, or with approval of the application, the end of the bureaucratic process has occurred and the next frustrating phase of waiting for the payment department to begin issuing annuity payments will ensue.

As with all things with unlimited time on one’s hands, OPM will extract every word and phrase from doctor’s notes and office visits, take them out of context and interpret everything in favor of denial.

It is often an overwhelming process of a “shotgun approach” where OPM attempts to make it appear as though (A) You were ridiculous in even trying to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits and/or (B) what you had submitted previously was entirely insufficient and need not even be considered any further.

The net effect of the denial letter is to leave you with the impression that you should forget about the whole thing and just give up.  Don’t be fooled by this tactic, because that is all that it is — a ploy to just convince you to give up.

Instead, break down OPM’s arguments into manageable categories, of which the two primary ones are: (1) lack of showing of a deficiency in performance, conduct, or attendance and/or (2) insufficient medical documentation.  Then, attempt to gather any further documentation to reinforce those weak links and argue how the caselaw or statute is met with the additional supportive documents.

One other reminder: So long as you have met the timeframe of requesting reconsideration  within that 30-day period, you have a chance at winning your case —so, make sure you file the request in a timely fashion.  And, furthermore, you may want to contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to help you formulate an effective 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.

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Just Beyond

That is what makes you pause, yet unsure — the “just beyond”.  Maybe its a dream — but it is just beyond your grasp.  Perhaps the directions you were given — just beyond the next corner, just beyond the next town; or just beyond what even Google Maps can lead you to.

Or, in a Federal Disability Retirement case, it is the argument that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management makes in denying your Federal Disability application under the FERS system:  the insertion of a word here, an unfamiliar legal phrase there, always “just beyond” a suspicion as to whether they are correctly stating the legal criteria or the statutory authority cited in denying your case.

OPM systematically engages in such word-usage — of using phrases and inserting words which go “just beyond” the law, but in fact do not comply with the actual legal requirements.  And, as the individuals who make the decisions at OPM are themselves just beyond any accountability, they engage in such misuse and mis-application of the law with impunity, knowing very well that they will never have to answer for such mis-characterizations.

Thus, for example, does a denial of a Federal or Postal Disability retirement application often refer to the fact that “Social Security did not find you unable to be employed” — which may be true, but is a statement “just beyond” the laws governing a FERS Federal Disability Retirement application because what Social Security determines has absolutely no relevance to your FERS Disability Retirement application.

Or, OPM might say something like, “There is no evidence that your Agency could not have accommodated you beyond all possible means”.  Yes, but that is not the law; rather, the issue is whether your Agency could have “reasonably” accommodated you; not, whether you could have been accommodated beyond all possibilities within the universe of theoretical possibilities.

Again, OPM engages in legal jargon “just beyond” the boundaries of truth and integrity.  To make sure that OPM stays within the boundaries of statutory authority, contact a FERS Disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and always make sure that you apply the law not just beyond, but within.

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 and Postal Employee Disability Retirement Law: At Its Worst

We can all be at our best — so long as we are never tested.  We can talk, and talk some more, about what we “would have done” had we been in such-and-such situation.  And since we relegate our military to men and women who are the economically-disadvantaged — instead of a draft which would impact all sectors of society — we can talk endlessly about what we “would have done” if we were in this situation or that.

We can say we will never do X — until we are actually confronted with the circumstances which constitute X; and a person can give a vow, have children based upon that vow, and years later renounce the vow without blinking an eye.  “Well, we drifted apart”; “The circumstances changed”; “He/she didn’t want to be married anymore” — and on and on.  But what about the vow?  Silence.

The test of virtue is not mere words; rather, it is the actions which result from actual circumstances encountered.

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, you may have seen your Agency or the Postal Service at its best — because nothing has tested its response to what you are going through.

Unfortunately, experience has taught that Federal Agencies and the Postal Service reveal their true character when confronted with an issue at its worst — such as treating an individual who needs to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Don’t be foolish and assume your Agency or the Postal Facility will respond and treat you the same as when things were going smoothly and everyone was at their best, for such is not the test of character; it is when things are at its worst when the true test is applied.

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 from the OPM: The Emotional Side

One side always accuses the other of having too much of it; and by merely alleging it, you immediately denigrate the opponent’s relevance, weight and substantive import of the argument engaged in.  It is a tactic often used in debate — of alleging that the other side has engaged in an “emotional” argument.

Showing it has been associated with weakness; admitting to it is tantamount to defeat.  Yet, we all have that side, don’t we?

Human beings are not mere automatons built with computer chips and Spock-like demeanors.  The Stoic, of course, has trained himself to deny that side of humanity; likewise, the Hindu priest, the Zen Buddhist, the warrior-brute.  Civilization itself has, in more modern times, declared that the emotional side is psychologically healthy to exhibit; and concurrently, there exists and has arisen a countermovement which believes that the pendulum has swung too far and that “real men” (whatever they are) need to reestablish themselves.

Clearly, wherever one is on the discussion-spectrum of this issue, there is a time and place for the emotional side to manifest itself.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is a relevant place for the emotional side.  Yes, legal argumentation is important.  Yes, a logical, sequential exposition of one’s case is needed.  But in describing the impact of one’s medical condition, there is clearly a relevant place for the emotional side.

Contact a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and discuss where and to what extent the emotional side of the process is appropriate.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Early Retirement for Federal Employees with Disabilities: Persuasion

Can the written word persuade?  Can “passion” be elicited by a series of letters, dots, crossing “t’s” and other such grammatical nuances?

Certainly, when language is spoken, we often hear discussions about the “passionate” delivery, or the fact that the speaker was “fiery”, a “true believer”, or even “inspiring”, etc.  Somehow, and for whatever reasons, we attach the emotional component of a speaker’s voice with the persuasive force of sincerity upon the words themselves.  Can it ever be “faked”?

We are too often too naive to think not; and that, of course, is what the con-man and the counterfeiter is banking upon.  Persuasion offered by an impassioned voice is much easier than the power of the written word; for, articulated with the right barometer of a voice’s pitch, it tugs at one’s hearts and confuses the otherwise skeptical mind.  A paper presentation must persuade through the force of logical argumentation; for, there exists no voice of passionate conveyance to do otherwise.

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 of Postal job, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management must by necessity be a paper-presentation to OPM.  To be persuasive is thus doubly-difficult, as you must make sure that all of your arguments are articulated with soundness of reasoning and forceful in their legal relevance.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that your method of persuasion matches the substantive weight of you circumstances.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Legal Representation on Federal Disability Retirement Claims: That voice within

Whose voice is debating within the insular corridors of the otherwise silent individual?  Which one is the dominant voice, and how does one determine if that particular voice should be the one which attains such a prominent status and stature within the cauldron of one’s own thoughts?

We assume, of course, that when we are pondering within the insularity of our own thoughts, that the voice which speaks within is our own voice; but is it necessarily so?  Yes, yes — the traditional concept of “madness” will begin to encroach, of strange voices which begin to invade and intrude, and where schizophrenia is considered the likely explanation whenever “other” voices are considered.

But that is not what is necessarily the case.  It may be that the voice within is simply a regurgitation from a memory stored long ago — perhaps of one’s parents; a friend; an old school chum; a brother, sister or a cousin; and it is retrieved as an amalgamation of many others, besides.  More importantly, who determines the validity of what is being said, the subject of debate and the substance of the winning argument?

The danger of a soliloquy is that the lone figure who tries to figure things out on his or her own may not have all of the facts or information at hand which can lead to the right decision being made.  An unheard conversation undertaken and engaged by a singular voice may be no discussion at all; it may merely be a wrong-headed delineation based upon errors in fact and missteps in logical analysis.  That is why it is important to consult a person who specializes in a field and is knowledgeable at the outset, so that the facts gathered and the analysis conducted are sound methodologies based upon superior analytical insights and resulting in expert advice.

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, it is important to gather the necessary and pertinent facts about the entire process, the known administrative facets and pitfalls, etc., so that a superior decision can be reached in 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, so that the voice within will avoid the mistake of listening to too many voices without which may lead him or her down the false paths of misinformation.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: The human drama

There are other dramas, of course — of lions and similar predators; of insects beneath leaves dripping in the steam of rainforests deep within the jungles of equatorial regions rarely visited; of dogs chasing cats and cats chasing mice; of rabbits scurrying to avoid the claws of a hawk or an eagle; and then, of the human drama encompassing life, living, pain, sorrow, happiness, joy, hope and failure, all bundled up into communities where strangers walk about with smiles no longer reflecting joy or a frown implying sadness, but just an empty stage echoing from the scene that was acted out the day before.

The human drama is distinct and distinguishable from other species’ discourses of acting that may embrace the spectrum of emotions, for it is played out not merely by facial expressions, roaring of voices or whimpering of cries, but through the medium of language.  Language is the manner in which the drama is played, viewed, acted and depicted; and that makes for all of the difference in the world.  It is, as Shakespeare’s character surmised, as if all the world is a stage where each bit plays his or her part; and it is by language alone that the human drama is played.

What entrance fee is charged; how much we are willing to pay in order to witness the playing out of a specific act or drama unfolding; and in what private living rooms or bedrooms we would select for a premier viewing, we all have our preferences.  What is comprised of in other species’ dramas, perhaps we will never know, and care not about; for it is the peculiarity of the intra-species comity of needs, wants, desires and clung-to hopes for the future that link us all within the drama of the human kind.

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 human drama has been magnified by the pain and anxiety compounded by the medical condition itself — of the daily fight against the pain or inner anguish; of the increasing pressures at work, complicated by threats of adverse actions, placing you or threatening to put you on a PIP; of possible termination looming on the horizon; and all the while, the struggle to maintain your health and equilibrium.

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, is an option that should be considered by all Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition is preventing the Federal or Postal employee from performing all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; and however one views the unfolding drama of the next scene or act, consulting with an experienced attorney who specializes in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits for Federal and Postal employees may be the best way of beginning the next Act of that human drama called “life beyond a Federal or Postal job”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The rate of return

At what point does the rate of return diminish to the extent that it is “no longer worth it.”?  And, what is the “it” referring to?  Is it the effort expended in contrast to the compensation received?  Is it the dividends paid upon an investment ignored?

Often, in all of the contexts just described, the focus is upon the wrong point; it is not the “end product” or the final sum that should determine the worthwhile aspect of the “rate of return”, but rather, the key term overlooked — not the “return”, but the “rate”.  One might argue that the two essentially are the same, inasmuch as the “return” (the sum received) is determined by the “rate” (the calculus that determines).  But are they?  Doesn’t it depend upon what context it is being applied to?

Certainly, when conceived of in a traditional investment category, the final sum received can be backtracked to the rate that has been applied; but what about other, more non-traditional contexts, such as friendships, work — even marriage?  Or does one never apply such cold-hearted calculations when discoursing upon the arena of human relationships?  Can we so easily drop friendships and end marriages based upon the same criteria applied in changing investment firms?

Come to think of it, our own lack of active interest is probably the single biggest reason that marriages and friendships last — because, like those investments that we allow to remain because we are too lazy to take an active interest in, many remain in marriages and friendships well beyond the love that has been lost long ago, or the affection that has waned all too subtly; for, in the end, it is our own laziness and lack of motivation that allows the fallowed pastures to let life slowly die in the uncaring tenements of thoughtless stupor.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers that suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent the full performance of one’s positional duties and the essential elements of the job, the conceptual paradigm of the “rate of return” should be applied in contemplating whether or not to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Surely, the Federal Agency or the Postmaster is thinking along the same lines — is he/she getting the job done?  Can I get more out of someone else?

That is the Agency’s perspective; but what about yours?  Such questions as: Is my health going to improve by remaining?  What will the future options be: remain, resign or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits?

If the first and second choices are no longer real options, then the third one is a necessity, as it becomes clear that the rate of return is no longer a worthwhile investment to remain in a job that clearly is destroying any semblance of one’s quality of life — and that, in the end, is what the purpose of the investment was all about to begin with.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire