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

 

Help with Disability Retirement from Federal Agency or USPS: Fences

“Good fences make good neighbors” — a proverb we are all familiar with.  It is a saying which recognizes with suspicion and realism the inherently evil nature of man in his natural state.

It draws up, encapsulates and summarizes well the philosophical lineage of Hobbes, Rousseau and Locke concerning the distinction between Man’s State of Nature and the contractual empowerment achieved by the constraints of agreement, laws, civil society and the collective powers gained and applied with the rise of a government, state, and nation.

Fences establish the first border separating anarchy from civil society.  It recognizes the line which cannot be crossed; the restraint which is imposed in favor of both sides; and reduces the tensions resulting from misunderstanding and misapprehension.  Laws do the same — they provide the acceptable demarcations and impose a standard and criteria for decision-making.

The “fences” in a Federal Disability Retirement case are comprised of the statutes, regulations and case-laws handed down both from the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, as well as from the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals — which constrains and restricts the otherwise unfettered and capricious decisions render by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and make sure and impose the necessary fences upon OPM in a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

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

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: The Preparation

There is enough success by merely “winging it” — of coming into a “situation” without adequate preparation; of stories where luck just happened to accompany the moment, etc.  The vast majority of “other” success stories, however, are accounted for by hard preparatory work, long hours of training, research, review of the evidence, etc.  Perhaps there are some of those who can walk into a meeting and immediately impress the participants; or to cut short a practice and still dominate on a basketball court or field of play; but in the end, it is the preparation which insures the success of the “after” — of the actual game, the real deal, etc.

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, preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is a necessity which likely cannot be avoided.  It is that first part, however, which will be the most crucial step — of the preparation involved, before the final formulation and filing.

Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer as the first step in the preparation of your application; for, in the end, it is the proper beginning which always counts the most.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: What we Seek

Can everyone’s desire be placed under a single rubric, a single conceptual umbrella which captures the essence of human want?  Is it happiness we all seek?  A sense of security, or perhaps of joy, contentment, peace or love?

And if we were to all agree concerning the single most important goal for which we seek and strive, would we agree as to the definition of what it all means to each of us?  If of happiness, what would constitute the particulars of it?  For some, perhaps unlimited wealth?  For others, of love, endless satisfaction, or a single lifelong partner to share one’s dreams and aspirations?

What about for the person who suffers from a medical condition — perhaps of being “pain free” is what he or she would seek?  Of “good health” — is it something which we all seek but often take for granted and overlook?

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 job, what is sought is often a return to health.  Federal Disability Retirement is one component of a wide variety of elements which assists in returning to a level of health, by relieving the stresses inherent in attempting to juggle work and health-issues.

While filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits may not be the final goal or solution to that which we seek, it is one component within the multiple elements which make up for the array of those things we seek.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to attain and satisfy at least one of those components.  It is, in the end, an often-overlooked element necessary as a prerequisite for any of those other human goals — whether of happiness, contentment, peace or joy; and even of love.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: The Inconsequential

In the annals of history, most of us remain as the inconsequential.  Not even a footnote, nor even a passing reference, we are lumped into generations of third-person subjects unnamed and faceless.  We might read, for instance, that during the “Sixties” or “Seventies” (or beyond), this group of people or that community of individuals did X or participated in Y, and we might say to ourselves, “Oh, that is a reference to my generation”.  Yet, as an individual, it is rare to be identified by name.

History always fails to recognize the inconsequential; except, perhaps, by memory of relatives and faded photographs barely remembered in gatherings where old folks once chattered about this or that person whose absence emphasizes the starkness of the inconsequential.

Is that what many of us fear?  Not just about being ignored; and perhaps not even of leaving this world without a mark of recollection; but of being one of the inconsequential within a mass populace of unknown graves, unmarked but for those faded memories of vestiges in whispered conversations once echoing down the forgotten chambers of time.

And of that place where we toiled for a decade or more — where so much time was spent, so much effort and expenditure of labor: The workplace.  Once we are gone, will we even be remembered?  Will a fellow worker say, years hence, “Oh, remember that guy who…?”

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 fear of becoming one of the “inconsequential” is often what makes the Federal or Postal worker pause before considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

But just remember this: There is life after work, and whatever “consequential” work you believe you contributed to the Federal Agency or the Postal Service, there is nothing that cannot be replaced, and the greater consequence of failing to attend to one’s health is what makes for the inconsequential to loom larger with greater consequences down the road.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: Footprints in the snow

Snow makes a flashlight irrelevant.  Even without a moon to shine, and of clouds to mask the twinkling stars, somehow the pure whiteness allows for visual acuity.  At dawn, the footprints betray the activity that once was; and the current inactivity shadowed by the early morning yawn makes one wonder: who noticed, and what if I were standing quietly under the elm tree, making myself a part of the stiff objects in the wintry twilight?

It is similar to the Zen query of the Sixties — of a falling tree with no one around, and the pondering: Was there a noise?  And then the rush of activity as the daylight dominates and the darkness recedes and the purity of the blanket of white that once betrayed the footprints in the snow is replaced by human trudging, winds blowing and the mere vestiges that are now only images in one’s memories.

People are born daily, live their lives and die; and like footprints in the snow that appear for a moment in history’s unmentioned footnotes, they disappear with barely a trace but a few words in the obituaries. Oh, try as we may in our futile attempts at being remembered — of graveyards with larger stones; of “memorials” pasted on the back windows of cars; or even of yearly vigils; the fact is that we are mere footprints in the snow.  Yet, what is important is that the footprints did, in fact, once exist, even if the windswept vanishing of once-seen imprints disappear like vapors of steam curling into the midnight sky.

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 sometimes like footprints in the snow — you realize that you were once “relevant” in this world and that the Federal Agency once looked upon you as a “valuable member of the team”; but now, you are treated as the windswept footprints that were once clearly visible in the snow, and now no longer.

Filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is the last act before the wind sweeps away the footprints; it is a means of recognizing what is important in life, and to focus upon your health and well-being and to leave behind the footprints in the snow that are so easily forgotten in the hubbub of the world’s daily activity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Happiness Lasting

Can the precipice of elation last for long?  What of contentment — a seemingly “lower-level” joy that pervades and remains for the duration of a season?  Does evidence of its durability depend upon a smile frozen upon one’s face, or can it continue to establish its existence with gleaming eyes and a perpetual grin that seems never to go away?  Is glee in youth different from a winter’s discontent followed by a summer of joy, and does a period of happiness fostered by nostalgia the same as two young lovers who proclaim the currency of an unfettered passion for life?

Modernity celebrates the cult of youth, and it is thus assumed that happiness is the sole possession of those who look and declare youthfulness; but in the end, is it just wasted energy that dissipates because the young have no knowledge of how to handle such emotional turbulence?  What does it mean to “be happy”, and should it ever be considered as a worthwhile “goal” as opposed to a byproduct of a life well lived?

When a person feels elation, should the advice be: Temper it, for such a spectrum of heights will never last and you will find its opposite and negative effect at the end of it all — of dread and dismal desolation.  Or, should one just enjoy it while it exists, and deal with its opposite when it comes about?

Aristotle’s approach of finding the middle ground — of a moderation of temperament and approach to life — may allow for happiness lasting precisely because the height and depths of the spectrum of human emotions are never allowed to consume us.

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 idea that happiness lasting can no longer be attained is a pervasive feeling because of the medical condition itself and the effects upon one’s life and career.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may not be the “solution” to attain happiness, but it can be a process where intermediate goals can be achieved — of what to do during the pendency of one’s medical condition; of how to change careers; of how to attain a sense of stability for the future while attending to one’s own health and well-being.

It is a means to an end, where happiness lasting can be seen in the short-term goal of securing one’s future by filing for, and obtaining, a FERS Disability Retirement annuity before the next set of challenges in life’s fulfillment of changing circumstances must be faced again.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The formulation

There is, first, the preparation; then, the formulation; and finally, the filing and the waiting.  Are the sequence of steps necessarily separate and identifiable — cleanly bifurcated such that there is no overlapping of concerns?  Of course not; but the three elements in a OPM Disability Retirement application are necessary for the successful outcome of the endeavor.

The “preparation” is often skipped in order to get to the “filling out the forms” portion, which is contained somewhere between the preparatory stage of the process, extends into the formative arena and comes to fruition just before filing, as the finishing touches are placed in refinement of the final product.

The analogies are numerous: of baking a cake — first, one must have a “recipe” (the preparatory stage of the process); then, in between the preparation and the formulation, one must gather all of the ingredients necessary to fulfill the recipe: i.e., the medical documentation; the legal citations to be applied; perhaps other ancillary supportive presentations; the Applicant’s Statement of Disability; and the multitude of other papers which will ultimately accompany the Federal Disability Retirement filing; then, the filing itself — of placing it into the oven and waiting while it bakes to final product.

It is, in many ways, the “formulation” part of it that fails the Federal employee or Postal worker putting together an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset — for, the rush to get it done is often comprised by a furious sense of desperation in gathering whatever medical records can be amassed in the shortest time possible; of quickly jotting down the things “wrong” with you on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability; and then quickly “shoving” it into the oven hoping that it will bake quickly and come out well.

Yet, while the “recipe” is important, and the filing is crucial, it is the “formulation”of the OPM Disability Retirement packet — of the putting together in a thoughtful and persuasive manner the legal memorandum which cites the case-law, argues the evidence and providers a “road-map” for OPM to approve one’s Federal Disability Retirement application — that is often overlooked and becomes the unintended nemesis for a successful outcome in a OPM Disability Retirement application.

In skipping over that part —the formulation of a Federal Disability Retirement application — it is likened to that “uh-oh” moment when you realized that you had forgotten to put any butter, milk or other essential ingredients into the cake after you have already put it into the oven.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire