OPM Disability Retirement Law: The Door Ajar

It might be the security entrance to an apartment complex, but for some reason the door had failed to swing back completely, leaving it slightly ajar; or you pass by a door where voices are heard, of warm music soothing to the soul, perhaps some distant laughter, and you look upon the door ajar and pause, thinking, “In life, how often do you hear such pleasantries; should I just open the door and look inside to see from whence the happiness emanates?”

Or the teenage child’s bedroom door left ajar — it is at a critical point in the growth of a person; does the door left ajar indicate an invitation for the parent to come in and say hello, or is it mostly closed in order to deny entrance, exhibiting the rebelliousness and defiant independence of the age of such youth — or, perhaps a little of both?

The door ajar is the anomaly of life — of half closed and half opened; of an invitation or a denial of entrance; of a midway point indicating contradictory messages.

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal Worker who suffers 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 career one has chosen is akin to a door left ajar — you are caught in between and left standing, isolated and unable to determine what to do next.

You can’t do your job but your agency or the Postal Service is just keeping you in limbo.

Open that door ajar wide, and contact an OPM Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in obtaining from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) this work benefit called “Federal Disability Retirement”, that is, allow the lawyer who specializes in that area of law to guide you through the morass of a complex bureaucratic process where the door is never left ajar, but opened with greater information.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Failing to Act

Ours is a society of inertia.  We talk a lot; move around much papers and information; sit and post on various social media outlets; watch movies and shows; and within that flurry of seeming activity, we satisfy ourselves that we are doing things which matter.  But when it comes time to act, when action actually actuates — we so often fail miserably.

It is as Heidegger once quipped — that we have our distracting projects in life in order to avoid thinking about substantive issues and the inevitable.  There is a time to act — of initiating a course of action; of taking preparatory steps; of formulating a plan for the future.

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 Federal or Postal career, the time to act is now.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of reversing the usual inaction of inertia, and refute the customary approach of failing to act.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Unique Circumstances

They arise when the isolation becomes all the more magnified; and they close upon you and make you believe that you are alone in the world.  Each circumstance, by definition, is a unique one: Unique because all previous such circumstances never involved you; unique because the time and place never encompassed you; unique because it has happened to you, as opposed to someone else.

When a medical condition is involved, you somehow know that others have also suffered from similarly illnesses, disabilities or diseases (unless it is the Corona Virus — which, again, is not so much “unique” as it is a different strain from other viruses which has infected the greater universe), and yet the isolation it imposes, the sense of “separateness” it necessitates, makes it profoundly unique.

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, just remember that —yes, your condition is unique; but that no, the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is not unique to your particular circumstances; rather, it needs the guidance and advice of a Federal Disability Lawyer who is experienced in taking your unique circumstances and applying it to the complex administrative process of obtain a Federal Disability Retirement.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin to conform your unique circumstances to the particularity of Federal Disability Retirement Law that governs the unique circumstances and turns it into an ordinary annuity to protect your important future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Denials: Selective reasoning

Of course, we all engage in it; some, merely by withholding certain known facts; others, by emphasizing and asserting portions of the logic employed while ignoring or deliberately averting the focus of other aspects.  Selective reasoning through deliberate omission is the height of pragmatic oppression; for, when it is accomplished with knowledge and self-admission of premeditation, it involves a mind that knows the difference between proper application of logical reasoning and the intentional misrepresentation of facts.

We engage in such folly during the course of normal fights and argumentation; for, to win is the basis of arguing, and the ends often justify the means.  Logic is a learned tool.  It is the foundation of sound reasoning.  It is not an inherent, in-born or even in-bred character of man, but it can bring out the evil therein.

As a tool, those who are good at it have a greater responsibility to use it wisely, honestly and with proper motives.  It is the “selective” part of the reasoning that makes for honesty of dishonesty in the reasoning process, and the anomaly and irony, of course, is that the process itself — of reasoning — necessarily involves selectivity, for logical argumentation encapsulates proper and effective selection of facts, syllogistic approaches and propositional logic all bundled into one.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management engages in selective reasoning, and their denials of Federal Disability Retirement applications reveal a level of such selectivity that one must conclude that it is being done intentionally and with deliberate knowledge.

Beware of denials; for, they try and make it appear as if you never had a chance to begin with in your FERS Disability Retirement application. OPM will selectively choose to extrapolate from various medical reports and records, and fail to mention or highlight the selective portions omitted, then reason that there was “insufficient” medical evidence despite facts and rational argumentation to the contrary.

Do not despair, and do not simply allow for the 30-day time period in which to file for Reconsideration to lapse; for it is precisely such selective reasoning that is meant to discourage, and to make you think that the denial is dismissively disproportionate so as to justify giving up altogether — which is precisely what their selective reasoning is meant to accomplish.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Square peg in a round hole

You know the old adage; it is when a person is trying to do something that is frustratingly obvious that it cannot be done, yet persists in it despite the reality of resistance.  The truism itself by necessity requires one of three courses of action: You either cut off the edges of the square peg in order to shape it into a form where it can fit into the hole, or you smooth the edges of the circular hole and widen it such that the square peg can fit into it.  The third option is: You continue to try and force the issue.  And the fourth way is: You give up and walk away with obvious discontentment and frustration.

You want to remain friends with X, but X is a cad and no matter how much you try to change X, X will not change; and so you try and ignore X’s idiosyncrasies in an effort to extend the friendship, and remain frustrated at your attempts to change reality.  Or, you try and please everyone but end up angering all — you cannot shape the square peg or widen the hole, because there is simply too much resistance from both to alter its shape, size or essence of being.

Reality has its limits; that’s the beauty of the life we lead: virtual reality can be altered with a click of the button, but the reality of the real is that the quirkiness of life defies fullness of understanding, and the mystery of each individual denies total control.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who continue to struggle with a medical condition that prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal job, the choices are clear: Stay and suffer; walk away and lose everything; or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. In such a case, this third option is tantamount to shaving the edges of the square peg in order to fit into the hole, as opposed to trying to stay when it is no longer medically advisable, or to walk away and abandon everything in frustration.

Old adages remain relevant for a reason; the truth behind the words is retained and, indeed, there is still a recognition that truth prevails.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

How much OPM Disability Retirement Pays?

“What will the benefit pay?”  That is often the primary concern of a Federal or Postal employee who must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), and it is certainly a valid first question.

The greater concern that cannot be overlooked, however, is the one that involves calculating the cost of NOT filing.  In the end, those Federal and Postal employees who must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits have three fundamental options: Stay put; resign and do nothing (or wait for termination/separation proceedings to occur, which amounts to the same thing); or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

The benefit of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity is quite simply calculated as 60% of the average of one’s highest three consecutive years of service for the first year (offset by 100% of any Social Security Disability benefits received during the concurrent payments received) and 40% of the average every year thereafter (offset by 60% of any Social Security Disability payments received during those years), until age 62, at which point the Federal Disability annuity is recalculated as “regular retirement” based upon the total number of years of Federal Service, including the time that the disability retiree has been on Federal Disability Retirement.

Thus, the “greater” benefit in calculating the cost has to take into account the fact that one is actually “building up” one’s own retirement by the years one stays on disability retirement — for, those very years that you are receiving a disability retirement annuity count towards the total number of years of Federal Service when it is recalculated as “regular” retirement at the age of 62.

Yes, it is true that on the cost/benefit ledger that one should review before filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, you need to take into account the lesser income and the lengthy bureaucratic process that must be engaged, but you should also never forget what the originating basis for considering such filing compelled the consideration in the first place: Your health.

Calculating the cost of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits too often places the emphasis on what is lost — in terms of monetary gain and loss, etc.  But in calculating the cost of filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted and considered to and by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the primary issue involves one’s deteriorating health and whether you can continue to remain in a job which has clearly become inconsistent with the medical conditions one is suffering from.

In the end, calculating the cost must go beyond the lessening of income; it must calculate the cost of one’s health, which is the single greatest asset one possesses.

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