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

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The facade of happiness

There are weather-related “fronts” — of “cold fronts” and “warm fronts” bringing in the freshness of change, a sudden modulation of temperature and a gust of windy hollows echoing through valleys and down into the chill of our bones.  They change the temperature of the air around us, and often moods are impacted as well.

Then, there are also “fronts” of human characteristics — of “putting on a brave front”; of making a “frontal assault”; and of these latter, we realize that there is always something behind, like the wizard concealed by the curtain undrawn.  We all of us put on “fronts” — and like the weather fronts that fool us at first that Spring may be nigh or Winter’s discontent may be around the corner, the “brave” front may be just a put-on, just like the “frontal assault” is likely a ruse to deploy one’s forces all at once to meet the enemy head on.

Of all the fronts, it is the facade of happiness that fools the most, even one’s self, into thinking that contentment is the amassing of objects surrounding, careers advancing and problems left avoiding.  The facade of happiness works well for a season, so long as the fool who buys the bridge of smiles never lifts the veil an inch to peer into the darkness of a soul in anguish.  Happiness is a fleeting state of existence; here for a moment today, it vanishes like the spirits of yesterday’s underworld where gods were chosen to wander the earth in ashen looks of greying days.

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 facade of happiness has likely been an essential tool for survival in this past year, if not longer.

It allows for the Federal or Postal worker to put on a “brave front”, to fool the others for a time — somewhat like the cold front that descends upon the south in the middle of summer to remind one that change is in the air, or the “architectural front” that gives an old building a facelift and draws people inward as an inviting new asset.

But don’t be fooled; for the facade of happiness can never hide for long the suffering beneath, and for the Federal or Postal worker, preparing a 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, is often the first real step towards an abiding and real happiness, as opposed to the fake smile that conceals beneath the facade of happiness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Fair Games

It depends upon how you read the concept, which word or syllable you place the accent or emphasis upon, doesn’t it?

In one sense of the concept, it has to do with games found at the county or state Fairs — you know, where cotton candy is sold and prizes are awarded for the largest potato grown or the fattest pig shown.  In another sense, it is in contrast to its opposite — of games where you have a good chance because rules are imposed and upheld, as opposed to “unfair” games where the proverbial deck is stacks against you.  It is in this second sense of the term that we apply.

Fairness itself is a difficult concept, precisely because of its malleability.  One concept of fairness is an arguable delineation based upon rules, perspectives, and even perhaps of cultural backgrounds.  Rules themselves can be attacked, and are “fair game” when it comes to disputatious boundaries, where there are essentially none to circumvent.

You can argue that such-and-such a call was unfair, and that obnoxious fan sitting next to you might counter, “But that’s within the rules of the game,” and you might then counter to the counter, “Then the game is rigged and the rules are unfair!”  What would be the counter-answer to the counter of the counter?  Perhaps, to say: “Listen, buddy, I don’t make up the rules.  It’s fair by definition if everyone who plays the game has to play by the same rules.”  Is that the silencer — the conversation-stopper — that cannot be argued against?

But what if everyone theoretically has to “play by the rules of the game”, but the rules are administered in a lopsided manner?  Is that what makes the game “unfair”?  Isn’t that what fans the world over complain about when the umpire, for example, sets the “strike zone” (or in other contexts, the “foul zone” or some such similar animal) too wide for some pitchers and too narrow for others?

Or, wasn’t there something like the “Jordan Rule” where a certain player was allowed to take an “extra step” (or two or three, for that matter) and no “traveling violation” was called, because the beauty of his fluid movements surpassed and transcended any “rules” that might disrupt the mesmerizing effect of such human defiance of gravity right before our eyes?  Could you imagine what an uproar that would have caused, where the player-in-question flies through the air with such acrobatic display of gravity-defying beauty, slam-dunks the ball to the rising wave of appreciative fans, and a whistle is blown — and the basket is disallowed?

That awkward motion that the referee engages in — you know, where both hands are balled up into a fist and made into a circular motion, indicating that a traveling violation has occurred — and then pointing to the scoring table and telling them to subtract the 2-points just previously awarded…is it “fair”?  Should fairness sometimes be overlooked when beauty-in-mid-flight entertains us to such ecstatic delights?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, life often begins to appear as if “fairness” is no longer an applicable rule — for, is it “fair” that one’s health has deteriorated despite doing everything to take care of it?  Is it “fair” that others seem to have lived a life of excess but seem not to be impacted at all by the abundance of maltreatment?  Is it “fair” that others appear to be receiving favoritism of treatment, while your Federal Agency or the Postal Service appears to be targeting you for every minor infraction of the “rules”?

Life, in general, is unfair, and when a Federal or Postal worker seems to be the target of unfair treatment because of a progressively deteriorating medical condition, it may well be time to prepare, formulate and file 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.

Life is often unfair in general; but when it comes to applying and enforcing “the Law”, it is best to consult with an experienced attorney, especially when seeking to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM.  And like the “Jordan Rule” concerning extra-rule-violation treatment, it is best to make sure that your attorney makes the Rules of the Game enforced — and fair.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire