U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board & Disability Retirement: The Quiet Case

There are a significant amount — of the one’s without a fanfare, no formal MSPB opinion, but nevertheless, a “win”.

Many Federal and Postal employees get to that Stage — Stage 3 — an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.  At this Stage, all reasonable attempts to persuade the medical specialists at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management have failed.

At the First Stage of the process, you filed your best shot and provided the utmost of medical documentation, but they denied you, anyway.  Perhaps it was because your previous year’s performance ratings were excellent, and you may have even received a cash award.  Or, maybe the medical opinions of your doctors were not sufficient.  Maybe OPM wasn’t persuaded that your condition would last at least 12 months.

Whatever the reasons, you had to go through the Second Stage of the process — the Reconsideration Stage.  You gathered whatever else you could, and submitted it within the timeframe allotted.  You hoped for the best.  When the denial came — the Second Denial — you knew you were in trouble.  The MSPB?  How are you going to maneuver through that complex maze before an Administrative Judge?

And this is essentially the “last stop” — for, if you don’t win it here, you will likely not prevail at a Petition for Review, and going to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals is prohibitively expensive, and likely not winnable.  Yet, the MSPB opens up a great opportunity — for, what most people don’t realize, is that it is an opportunity for “the Quiet Win”.

Before you ever go to a Hearing on the case; before you have to prepare your Pre-Hearing Submissions — it is an opportunity to listen carefully to the OPM Representative assigned to your case.  If you listen carefully, you will have the opportunity to quietly and behind the scenes, submit additional evidence which could result in that 2.5 Stage of the process — between the Denial of the Reconsideration Stage and the Hearing before an Administrative Judge at the MSPB.

Of course, it will help if you also have an experienced FERS Disability Retirement Attorney involved, who can help you through the “Quiet Case.”

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 Application: Beyond Excess

This country has always espoused the virtue of excess — in terms of wealth; of debt; of individuality; of exercise; of work; of different forms of diet; of opinions; of laws.  The laws of logic and of life generally dictate that if there are no constraints to excess, then it will exponentially continue to go beyond — beyond excess.

Is there a definition for such a phenomena?  Or, as the concept of excess is precisely that which is the “extra” beyond the normative constraints, already, is there any point in being redundant by placing the pretextual addendum of “beyond”?   Of course, “excess” can only have any meaning within the context of some restrictive norm; otherwise, without a comparative contrast to X, how would we determined if Y “exceeds” X in any way?

Thus do we compare the present-day national debt against the GDP, what amount of debt the nation held previously (as in the total cost expended in the effort to defeat Nazism in WWII), the subsequent impact of the ratio, etc.  Or, in terms of wealth, what it means to amass “billions”, own 20 different properties, purchase a yacht as large as a cargo ship, have 50 luxury cars in a garage the size of a football field, etc. — and then compare it to a person who works two jobs but is unable to afford enough food to get by.

Is the amassing of such wealth “beyond excess”?  Or, does it perpetuate the myth of this country, that “anyone” can become wealthy, the President of the United States, or begin a “start up” company in one’s garage and make it into an internationally-dominating company?  And what about the price which must be paid for going beyond excess?  Does it impact the health of the individual?

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 any longer extending one’s career in the Federal Government, the concept of “beyond excess” takes on a new meaning: of the comparison between one’s health and the excess of a demanding job.  And while the concept may not have much to do with wealth or the national debt, it does share a metaphorical synchronicity with the general concept: That there now exists an incompatibility between your deteriorating health and the excessive demands of a stressful job.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of reigning in the demands which have taken a toll, and which have become beyond excess.

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: The Reasons Given

How did we learn how to give the reasons given?

We often meander through life doing the things which we do, not because we have analyzed or assessed those things we do, but because of habit and convenience of monotonous refrain.

Did you actually ever learn how to prepare, formulate and provide a “reason”?  Or, perhaps you came from a family where your parents were too busy to provide the proper “reasons”, which is the basis of forming the “process” of adequate “reasoning”?

Did your parents say things like, “Just because…”.  Or — “I don’t know; go ask your mom.”  Or even: “Don’t bother me with your questions!”

Furthermore, if you went to college, were the classes mostly a drone of lectures, or were you subjected to the Socratic method of questions-building-upon-questions in order to doggedly require the fine-tuning of the reasons given?

And, as you entered the Federal workforce, how much of your work is merely based upon the attitude of, “This is done this way because it is the way it has always been done”, or do you have some creative leeway for your own input?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must contemplate preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application under FERS because of a medical condition which will not go away, preparing such a disability application must by necessity involve reasons given which must address both the “things which have always been done” as well as the uniqueness of your particular situation.

In a Federal Disability Retirement application which has any chance for an approval at all, the reasons given to justify your FERS Federal Disability application must include a sufficient legal basis in order to successfully persuade the U.S. Office of Personnel Management as to your eligibility.

Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to ensure that the reasons given meet that sufficiency test, and not be denied because your reasons given are essentially the age-old failing attempt of, “Because I said so”.

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 Employee Disability Retirement: The Words We Choose

Is there a psychological study of those who choose certain words as opposed to others?  Does the choice of words reveal who we are?  Antiquated words — like “husband and wife” — as opposed to the modern usage of “partners” or “significant other”; do they merely unravel a generational divide, and has the replacement verbiage been thoroughly vetted, thought out, considered, reflected upon?

“Partners” certainly implies an equality of station, as does “significant other” (where “neutrality” of gender identification appears to be the primary purpose) — but in the end, someone has to empty the dishwasher, take out the garbage, pick up the dog poop, cut the grass, change the diapers, work to make enough money to earn and make a living, etc.; and when all is said and done, the division of labor seems to naturally work itself out such that the words we choose matter less as one grows older.

The words we choose often reveal more of the innocence of our inexperience, more than some politically meaningful apparatus of choice.  In fact, what we think we choose is often done without thought, is forced upon us, or we are hoodwinked into thinking that certain words — by merely stating them — somehow empowers us, when in fact they merely conceal our insecurities.

“Husband” is the guy who takes out the garbage and opens the door for his wife to enter; “Wife” is the woman who softens the coarseness of a still-insecure guy who fell head-over-heels to marry his wife.  “Disabled”, too, is a relative term, but in a Federal Disability Retirement case, it has a special significance which requires thoughtfulness in the words we choose when preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

The word-usage and choosing of words is relevant and significant; for, as the legal standard to meet for eligibility purposes in a Federal Disability Retirement application is different from other venues, the words we choose are important in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and take care in the words which are chosen.

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: The State of Affairs

It can possess a multitude of connotations and meanings; some, rather clever; others, of a mundane nature.  In a specific sense, it may involve a country’s economic and domestic standing; or, in a general sense, concerning the circumstances and situation of an individual or family.  A clever connotation evokes the consequences following infidelity in a marriage; and in every sense of the phrase, context is important in order to clarify the centrality of meaning, significance and relevance.

Thus does the phrase begin with a general sense, which we approach with a quizzical perspective because of the multitude of possible meanings within the limitations of a universe of linguistic possibilities.  That is the beauty of language; unless it is a stagnant one on its way to extinction, the richness of potentialities allows it to expand and trigger curiosities beyond a child’s imagination.

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 basic elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the state of affairs may specifically hinder and prevent one’s ability and capacity to continue in one’s career.

If that is the case, contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and don’t let the present state of affairs remain as the pinnacle of your dreams and hopes; rather, build from the state of despair so that the future will evoke and connote a more positive state of affairs by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, under FERS.

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 under FERS: The Salve of Talk

We used to recognize the distinction between “talk” and “action”, but modernity has blurred the difference through social media outlets which purport to elevate words as “action-words”.  It is enough in this day and age to merely state that “X is Y”, even if there has been no actual transformation of X becoming Y other than a declarative sentence stating it as a fact.

Some philosophers have, of course, posited that certain words do, indeed, constitute “actions”; but for the most part, the history of linguistic malleability has resisted, and the distinction still holds between words and actions.  Thus, to say that “X was run over by a truck and lay in the hospital” is quite different from the fact of such a description; and anyone who has experienced pain can attest to the differentiation posed.

Talk in recent times, of course, has become a kind of salve.  There is therapy where once there was penitential confession; and families in general believe that “talking about things” is a good thing.

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, talk only gets you so far.

Preparation, formulating and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is the step beyond the salve of talk, and to take that first “action-step”, you may want to contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

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: Beware the Goal Reached

Beware the goal reached; for, it often results in the loss of vigilance, a sense of completion, a notion that being ever protective can now cease.  We tend to think in terms of “finish lines” and projects completed; and upon reaching and satisfying that goal, a “letting up” occurs.

The underachiever who believes that he or she need not put any further effort into things because of an early series of conquests and accomplishments; the marriage partner who concludes that no contribution is further required once the proverbial knot is tied; the traveler who let’s his guard down upon avoiding the highway robbers known to lurk in a given area — all, wrong assumptions and dangerous presumptions.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and for those who obtain an approval from OPM — remember that getting an approval from OPM does not mean that OPM cannot take away your benefits in the future.  Maintaining and safeguarding your OPM Federal Disability Retirement benefits is just as important as securing it in the first place.

Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, and beware the goal reached.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Federal Disability Lawyer

 

FERS Medical Retirement Benefits for Federal Employees: This Difficult Life

Life is difficult.  “Living” always has roadblocks, obstacles, challenges and concerns.  We try and teach our kids enough optimism to meet those challenges, with a peppering of cynicism to recognize that very little comes easily; nothing — or almost nothing — is free; and that we are not invincible beings, but vulnerable, and ultimately mortal.

The frailty of our society was always there — it is just that this pandemic brought it out into the open.  It is like our bodies and minds — it was always susceptible to illness, disease and breakdowns; and when it happens, we are too often surprised and come to realize that this difficult life presents too few options.

One option, at least for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, is to file for OPM Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  It is a benefit open to all Federal and Postal employees with a minimum of 18 months of creditable Federal Service.

Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who Specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider that even in this difficult life, there are options to consider in order to secure a future yet uncertain.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
OPM Medical Disability Retirement Attorney

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal and Postal Workers: Beaten

It is a strange word.  In the past tense, it implies that nothing can be done about it.  When applied to an individual, it describes a haggard portrait of profound hopelessness.  It is the past participle of the verb “beat”, but when the “en” is added, it has a modern connotation of hollowness, of a sense of utter futility and nihilism that cannot be overcome.

Did Sisyphus have that perspective?  As he rolled the boulder up onto the next and endless precipice, did his shoulders sag, his head and eyes remain downcast, and was he forlorn and without hope?  Of course, Camus refashioned the anti-hero into such a figure of futility, which is what existentialism declares life to be: Meaninglessness with the freedom to choose meaning; futility from which manufactured human activity can originate.  Whether that can actually be accomplished, or whether Camus, Sartre and the whole bunch of those French Existentialists who sat around at street cafes and deliberated about the times of dangers and rebellion during the Nazi occupation, now seems like a far-off dream.

Today brings about a new set of problems.  No longer from an occupation force, nor even an identifiable enemy; in modernity, the daily stresses of technology — of simply trying to make a living; of the constant barrage of information; of demands in daily life which stretches the ends of human capacity; and then, when a medical condition intrudes, interrupts and interferes, it all seems to be so overwhelming that we suddenly feel “beaten”.

The beaten individual is the one who has reached his or her limit of human capacity; it is when the intersection of life’s demands exceeds one’s tolerance for sustaining the stresses of everyday life.

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 position, it may be well past the time that one should have, but still must, file for Federal Disability Retirement.  Do not wait until the term “beaten” applies; instead, try to beat the beaten, and consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application, lest you hear someone whisper to another, “Oh, that person — he/she is beaten.”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire