OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Is It Enough?

That is always the question, isn’t it?  Especially, these days, when there are so many options, so many avenues, so many ways to get off of the proverbial path and become a wayward nonconformist.

Is love enough to last a lifetime?  Is a sense of obligation enough to be committed for the agreed-upon enmeshment?  Is religious fervor enough to maintain one’s faith even in the face of secularism’s hedonistic pull?  Is pleasure enough to sustain one’s sense of wanting to exist?  Is duty enough to compel a soldier to sacrifice for his country?  Is life enough to sustain?

That was the ultimate question for French existentialism, especially as delineated in Camus’ set of essays, beginning with the Myth of Sisyphus.  What is “enough”?  How can it be quantified?  Underlying it all, isn’t the ultimate question beyond whether something is “enough”, actually an irrelevant question?

For, as Aristotle would put it (and in this Post-Factual World, where Aristotle and Plato are no longer read, and thus, no longer relevant), we must go back to the basics, to the “foundational principles” underlying our belief systems: What is meaningful in our lives?

When there is a void in meaningfulness, hedonism fills that emptiness.  That is why teenagers turn to drugs; that is why adults succumb to alcohol; and that is why, when ISIS came into existence, and when the war in Ukraine began, thousands of Americans flocked to join in the “cause” — because, when the void of meaninglessness pervades, people jump to join anything and everything which becomes the cult of relevance.

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 that career of choice — the work which gave “meaning” to your life — it is important to recognize that, indeed, there is “life after a Federal career”.  Likely, you may be somewhat saddened by the fact that your Federal or Postal career is over.  However, beyond your career, there is no meaning to life without your health.

And yes, there actually is “life after getting a Federal Disability Retirement” — and there abounds countless testimonials which attest to the fact that it is, indeed, “enough” to get a FERS Disability Retirement annuity, focus upon your health, then go into some other line of work in the private or state sector.

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 Medical Disability Retirement: Ostensibly

It is a funny word, in many respects; for, it presumes and assumes what may not actually be the case.  The word, “Ostensibly”, is used to describe that which is apparently so, or purportedly assumed, but may not actually be so.

Thus, one might say of an individual who is wearing clothes appearing to suggest that he or she works in a blue-collar job, and perhaps wears a tool-belt which suggests and confirms him/her to be such, that “he is ostensibly a carpenter”.  How does the adverb qualify the noun?   Because we don’t actually know, do we?

By his appearance and the fact that the individual carries around a tool belt which contains, perhaps, a saw, a hammer, a nail gun and other pertinent and revealing instruments indicating what a carpenter would require, we make an assumption that he is “ostensibly” a carpenter.

Now, it would be strange if you were to ask the individual what his profession was, and he confirmed that yes, he was a carpenter, then to state to a friend later on that “Joe is ostensibly a carpenter”, because if you have confirmed that the person “Joe” in reality is a carpenter and there is no longer an assumption, then to apply the word “ostensibly” would be rather odd — unless, of course, you thought that he was lying and that he only wore the tool belt to fool you, or was a half-wit who was engaging in “make believe” that he was a carpenter, etc.

In other contexts, the term “ostensibly” often applies, as well — as when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management denies a Federal Disability Retirement case and makes a multitude of arguments which, in the end, implies that you are merely “ostensibly” disabled (although they will never use the word itself).

For, what OPM is saying in a Federal Disability Retirement case under FERS in denying the Federal employee’s application for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits, is that while you may allege to be disabled or unable to perform one or more of the essential elements of your job, you are actually not disabled.

If that happens, you will need to contact a disability attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law; for, you will need more than an attorney who “ostensibly” does Federal Disability Retirement Law — rather, one who is, in reality and in fact, an attorney who specializes in it.

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 Law: Thoughts

Can they be controlled?  Or, are they independent conceptual Forms, sort of like Plato’s Ideas of Goodness, Truth, Beauty, etc.?

Aristotle, of course, thought that Plato’s Forms were a bunch of bosh; and so we have two lineages of Western Thought, neatly bifurcated: That of Aristotle’s school, leading linearly to the “scientific” methodology, and Plato’s more “artful”, cinematic approach, involving metaphorical and analogical thought-processes.  Both are legitimate ways of approaching the world, and both involve that ephemeral conceptual constructs designated and labeled as “Thoughts”.

Have you ever obsessed over things?  Worried?  Have thoughts “controlled” you throughout the day?  If you are unable to contain and control them, then aren’t they independent and separate from the “you” which “thinks” them?  Have you experienced that sensation of an “earworm”, where an unwanted “catchy” tune keeps repeating and looping itself in your mind?

Thoughts are interesting entities; for, they are the foundation of meaning in our lives; guide us in utilitarian ways, as well as in intellectual pursuits not otherwise applicable.  They are the product of worries and anxieties; of dreams and plans; of needs and wants.  They both exist independently, like Plato’s forms, and in controlled disciplines, like Aristotle’s logical analysis.

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, here is a thought: Consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and let the worries of your health take the priority they deserve, by moving forward beyond your Federal or Postal career, thereby taking “hold” of your thoughts and applying them for the virtue of your own good.

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: Knowledge & Application

We tend to separate the two, and have generally been taught that the former — even without the latter — is a “good” thing.  Our grade school teachers certainly repetitively pounded it into our thick skulls; and higher academia relies upon the belief that knowledge, “in and of itself”, is a valuable thing.  Application — or utility — is of the “business” world, and for academicians, somewhat sullies the purity of knowledge.

Perhaps it began with Plato — on the other hand, doesn’t all of Western Civilization begin with Plato (and by fiat, Socrates)?  Knowledge of the Forms; the metaphor of the famous “Cave”; the conceptual ideal of the purity of ideas; the Socratic method of questioning for the sake of attaining wisdom — all of it, without the worth based upon application or utility.

The first poor fellow who discovered a vein of gold — certainly, the beauty of the glitter must have astounded, but even with that “knowledge” of beauty, did he understand the future application of value in the commodity markets?  And of those oddball individuals who love to collect bits of information — of knowledge — without any practical application — we have all met them; of people who suddenly spout statistical data just to show off their knowledge, etc.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who, because of a medical condition, need to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, be fully aware that both knowledge (of the laws pertaining to Federal Disability Retirement) and application (of the persuasive authority of statutes, regulations and case-law) are needed to win a Federal Disability Retirement fight against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Knowledge is good; knowledge and application, in the “real” world, are better.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of not only knowing about the complex laws governing Federal Disability Retirement, but moreover, to have the powerful asset of applying that knowledge where it really counts — in the application itself.

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 Law: The Grand Plan

It would certainly be nice if we all possessed one — set in stone, written and accompanied at our birth, mapping out our future and showing each of us what steps to take.  Perhaps, some would interpret such a fantasy as one inviting totalitarianism, and a rebellion would be incited based upon the notion that we all should be entitled to liberty — to have the freedom to choose our own destiny.  Yes, but look where that has gotten us.

The “Grand Plan” — that plan of all plans, the roadmap for our lives, the destiny-setting details already fated without our input; now, who wouldn’t want such a treasure trove?  There are, indeed, some individuals who seem to possess and follow such a map, while the rest of us struggle to “find our way” or to “know what to do”.  The world is full of individuals who fall in the category of “undecideds”.  We refer to them with euphemisms like, “He is a late bloomer”, “She’s taking off a year to get her bearings”, or “He just hasn’t found himself”, etc.

To paraphrase a character from an old movie, “I can’t even figure out how to use the can opener; how am I to know what to do with the rest of my life?”  As an old Chinese proverb states, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”.  Take life in increments; begin with small projects and build upon them.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have encountered medical conditions which have become an impediment to “The Grand Plan”, you may want to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS.

Each of us has a contribution to make; each of us has plans for the future; but when a medical condition necessitates a Federal or Postal employee to alter or modify that “Grand Plan” of a career, you may need to consider Federal Disability Retirement as an added feature of that Grand Plan which never appeared when the birth certificate was first written.

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 Medical Retirement Benefits: Swords and Shields

It is often in the manner by which one utilizes and applies an implement, which determines whether or not to characterize the tool as either a “sword” or a “shield”.  Thus, a shield used to pummel an opponent is to use the defensive tool as an offensive weapon, and the use of a traditional sword in parrying in order to ward off an attack, is to use the sword as a shield.

Words; language; “the law” — all can be used in offensive ways, as well as by defensive maneuvers.  Preemptive argumentation can be considered as both a sword and a shield, depending upon how the reasoned soliloquy is presented.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS, it is important to weave one’s legal argument both as swords and shields — providing legal citations, argumentation, reasoned explanations, etc., in presenting why you meet all of the legal requirements and criteria encompassing the global compendium of issues which need to be addressed, from invoking the Bruner Presumption when applicable; to explaining why the Bracey standard of accommodations has been met, and to preemptively strike against anticipated objections which will be plentiful and appearing to be valid, as argued by OPM.

Contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that your swords and shields are adequately used and properly 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.

 

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.

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Logical Consistency

For even the general population, it used to be that “logical consistency” mattered.  To be “inconsistent” showed a semblance of unreliability, and even of suspicion of truthfulness.  The difference between mere “consistency” as opposed to “logical consistency” is one that demarcates between living a life based upon principles and holding contrary opinions simultaneously.  Thus, a person may live inconsistently — a pastor who preaches fidelity to marriage but is himself a philanderer — but live with great logical consistency in expounding upon his theological belief-system.

In argumentation, the “weak link” is both the logic of the statements posed as well as the consistency of opinions held.  In a Federal Disability Retirement case, “logical consistency” is based upon the appropriateness of the statements made, the medical conditions asserted and the laws which apply in order to meet the legal criteria to become eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Mere “consistency” is not enough — i.e., to have a medical condition, to be unable to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, to be in chronic pain, etc. “Consistency” may get you a step closer to an approval from OPM, but it is “Logical Consistency” — the arguments made, the evidence produced and submitted and the requirements met in a Federal Disability Retirement case — which will cross over into an approval for Federal Disability Retirement.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest consistency alone fails to get you far enough and logical consistency awakens the slumber that results in an approval from OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: If life were a story

Could the First Chapter be changed?  Who will write the final chapter?  Does memory serve the dictates of truth, or does a bit of “fudging” occur as with every narrative told, taking liberally the artistic license to its extreme?  Will it be a Dickensian opening or a Salinger’s scoffing of the details of birth?  What genre would be encompassed: Fiction; autobiography; Science Fiction; a Narrative Poem, perhaps?  Can fact and fiction be interwoven, and will the middle parts include characters long forgotten, and some individuals be left out deliberately just out of pure spite?

But that we could write the ending to our own story — of dreams that were fulfilled, loves that embraced, regrets that could be erased.  To that extent, every life would then be a work of perfection, where each chapter being written as the experience of this encounter with the world became an undifferentiated reflection of a phenomena encased in self-fulfillment: As life is lived, the story is written; as the story is told, life follows upon the very telling.

Isn’t that what “virtual reality” is; or even of being lost in one’s daydreaming, and wishing for things beyond the bubble of real life?  If life were a story and we were the authors, every dream would be fulfilled, every fantasy satisfied, every thought completed, and every sentence punctuated with exactitude.

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 “life” that becomes the “story” is the completion of SF 3112A — Applicant’s Statement of Disability.

That is the narrative, or the slice and portion thereof, that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will be reviewing and analyzing, and perhaps even “picking apart” if it is not told persuasively, punctuated punctiliously, and provided with clarity of purpose.  It is, indeed, the story of one’s life — a slice thereof, but one which must be a narrative in response to specific questions posed by SF 3112A.

Consult with an attorney before formulating and narrating; for the next chapter beyond, after the Federal Disability Retirement application has been filed, will be determined by how one tells the story of one’s medical condition and the nexus with one’s employment capacity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire