Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: Spectator Sports

Psychologists and commentators in general have had a field day (yes, the bad pun is intentional — but who can avoid it?) with analyzing and providing “expert” opinions on the matter, which essentially plays with (yes, yes, another bad pun) the following question: Why are people so enamored by watching others play a game?  What is it about the concept of spectator sports that draws such a crow?  What is it about being part of a “team” that results in people acting in such bizarre ways?

It is, of course, an easy transition to other areas of one’s life — from spectator sports to the political rally; of parades and cheering crows; of legions of a cheering populace gathered to welcome the Roman troops returning from battle; of D-Day and V-J Day; of the stadiums filled for the World Cup in Soccer to the excesses of the Super Bowl; of March Madness and the tradition of Friday Football (High Schools), Saturday Football (Colleges) and Sunday Pro football games; and what the Covid-19 Pandemic reflected when everyone was shut in, but with curtailed capacity to view such spectator sports.

What does it reveal about us?  Had the Romans, with their vast coliseums, already figured out the human psychology — of the need for spectator sports — in order to satisfy the blood-thirsty need of a restless populace?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are needing to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, hiring a disability attorney who specializes in Federal Medical Retirement Law is often approached as one does a spectator sport: Who has the highest winning percentage?  What Law Firm will treat me as a “team member”?  And, the flip side is also true, concerning the perspective of the Agency: “How will my ‘team’ (the Agency) treat me?” “How will my team react?

Whether fortunate or unfortunate, the psychology of spectator sports is how everyone views things, but for the Federal or Postal employee who is ready to contact a FERS Disability Lawyer to initiate the process of OPM Disability Retirement, understand that trying to get an Federal Disability Retirement is ultimately not a spectator sport; for, it is the reality of a life endeavor, and your full participation will be needed on the “field” of the early retirement process.

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 Disability Retirement Law: Philosophy Gone Awry

Philosophy was always about asking universal questions.  What is the meaning of life?  What is truth?  What is Being?  Does God exist?  Are there eternal principles of moral import?

Philosophy self-imploded when it exhaustively asked such principled questions, failed to answer them, then questioned itself for failing to arrive at conclusive answers.  But the questions left unanswered were never meant to present an unfinished query.  Universality in the question itself did not mean that universality in the answer would ever be achieved.

The questions were to be answered for the individual; the universality of the question was merely meant to indicate a wider sense of applicability — not to fit every circumstance, everywhere, for everybody.

Philosophy took a wrong turn when Wittgenstein mistook the need for relevance greater than for the individual.  To that extent, he was correct to abandon philosophy in his early days and instead to become a primary school teacher in a small town in Austria — Trattenbach — for, the experience of daily drudgery, ending finally in striking a poor student for not being able to answer a question posed, then lying about it.

A logician who cannot abide that a conclusion reached in the particular can follow from a premise of a universal, philosophy had gone awry when the answer became more important than the question.  In the end, not all questions need to be answered; for, some questions are important merely in the questioning itself.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need answers to questions concerning the particulars in a Federal Disability Retirement application, you need not worry about the ‘universals’ concerning OPM Disability Retirement Law — for, it is the ‘particulars” of case laws, decisions from the MSPB and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals of precedents already established, which become the “arguing” points in putting forth your application.

Let philosophy die, as Richard Rorty used to say, its quiet death, but let Disability Retirement Law be argued by those who are competent to do so.  Contact an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and do not concern yourself with Philosophy gone awry.

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 Benefits: Word Games

Playing word games — like the New York Times Spelling Bee, or “Wordle” (a game which was just recently bought by the New York Times, and thus will likely require a fee in order to play) entails some reflection and methodology of thought.  Word games are meant for fun; they are often challenging, and prompt us to engage in an intellectual exercise devoid of reality.

There are, of course, other “word games” — ones which are played in the field of reality and the objective world.  It is how human beings engage with one another, and it is seen each day throughout the world in courtrooms and battles utilizing and applying the law.  Unlike word games where there are no real consequences in “real life”, the other kind of word games results in an impactful determination upon individual lives.

FERS Federal Disability Retirement Law is no different.  As every Federal Disability Retirement application is a paper presentation to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it must by necessity involve a certain level of word games — of presenting the applicable case-law; of formulating the proper language; of engaging in the give-and-take of legal argumentation, etc.

Wittgenstein called it a “language game”, but in the end, they amount to the same thing: Words, as parts of a language, engaged in a “game” which must be played.  And in doing so, it is a good idea to contact a FERS Attorney who is experienced in the word game of Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the twisting tunnels of legal language lead you to the ends of the earth where a gaping hole of a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management leaves you speechless in a word game of real-life consequences.

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 for Federal Government Employees: Avoidance

It is a common tool of the psyche and ego; by engaging in it, one skirts around an issue, and like its cousin, procrastination, it allows for a period of calm respite.  Avoidance is a form of procrastination; both allow for the subject of their common focus to fester, to grow, to loom large in the background without attending to its causes.

Say you are standing in your bedroom; it is raining; there is a patch of discoloration in the ceiling.  You wonder if the roof is leaking.  You pass it off as bad eyesight, or some other reason, and turn away, avoiding the problem by simply ignoring it.  The next time it rains, you sneak a peek and, sure enough, the discoloration has expanded, but you say to yourself, “Well, there is no actual drip from the ceiling, so perhaps it is not a leak, after all, but merely some accumulating condensation”.

Now, whatever “some accumulating condensation” may mean, it still points to a problem that should be attended to, but instead, the obscure-sounding phrase seems to explain an otherwise clearly-growing problem, and thus the next step in the avoidance-process has begun: Explaining it away, as opposed to tackling the core of the problem itself.

Avoidance is a natural defense mechanism inherent in us all; it allows us to extend our need to limit confronting something which we do not desire to engage.

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 all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, avoidance of facing either the medical problem itself, or its impact upon your capacity and ability to perform your job, is often a problem which allows the issue to loom larger than necessary.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and allow for the avoidance to be confronted by an experienced attorney, thus further avoiding direct engagement with the issues, yet allowing for the attorney to address the core issue: Preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Lies We Tell Ourselves

The linguistic/philosophical conundrum, to begin with, is the question: Can a person lie to one’s self?  Conceptually, it is an interesting phenomenon; for, the same person to whom one is lying to is identical to the one who is conveying the falsehood, and so — assuming that individual X does not suffer from some psychological state of a “split personality” or has a disengagement between one side of the brain with the other — is it even conceivable that a “lie” could be told if the person to whom it is told cannot possibly be duped into believing it?  For, isn’t the purpose of lying to someone to persuade that someone of its truth?

But if the falsehood is known from the outset, then what would be the purpose of lying to that person in the first place?  Of course, there could be a more subtle form of the phenomenon — sort of like the “world’s best-kept secret — known by everyone” type of experience where, although X knows that it is a lie, X feels comfortable in living the lie and thus continues on “as if”.

Take the following hypothetical: X’s kids are spoiled brats.  Everywhere they go — to restaurants, friend’s house, Grandma’s home — they fuss and whine and throw tantrums.  But instead of trying to correct the problem you say to yourself (and everyone else affirms it): Oh, they are just such brilliant kids that their rambunctiousness is merely a testament to their inner creativity — or some such similarly meaningless fodder as that.  Or, what about a health issue which is becoming progressively debilitating?  Don’t we lie to ourselves about that?  Oh, it’ll go away.  It’ll get better.  Today, I feel better, etc.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition continues to progressively worsen, and has impacted one’s ability to continue in one’s career — it may be time to stop lying to yourself, and to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  For, while the lies we tell ourselves may not always be harmful, it is often the one that we secretly know to be a falsehood that comes back to haunt us.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Retirement for Medical Incapacity: The boxes in Standard Forms

For some forms, it is a convenience to have a restrictive, limited “box” in which to put the “x” into, or maybe the needed “Not Applicable”; others, however, try and contain a limited narrative and force succinctness into the standardization of answers.  That is all well and good, and perhaps from a bureaucratic standpoint and perspective, the conformity of forms and the mandatory “answers within a box” makes for streamlining of paperwork.

The reality, however, is that some questions cannot be answered — and more importantly, should not — within the proposed space allocated, and so you have two (2) choices: decrease the font size in order to fit a greater substance of the narrative within the provided box, or attach a continuation sheet despite no indication in the standard forms for allowance of such cheekiness of presumptuous creativity.

How does one identify which Standard Form should be prepared and completed within the confines of standardization, and which ones should not?   First, a conceptual identification should be applied: Which ones are merely “informational” that request only singular answers, and which forms make queries that compel for narrative answers?  Once that initial, identifying bifurcation is made, then the next step is to determine whether an adequate and sufficient response can be stated within the “box” provided within the font-size allowing for regular eyesight that does not require extraordinary magnification, or if a continuation sheet is necessary.

Thus, in a Federal Disability Retirement application, certain Standard Forms are merely informational — for example, the SF 3107 series which asks for basic, factual information.  Then, of course, there is the SF 3112 series, and especially SF 31112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.

For the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker under FERS, who is considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the greater mistake has often been to quickly annotate within the boxes provided a swift “jotting down” of the medical conditions one “feels” — as if the body parts providing temporary sensations for a given day, or even the lack thereof, will sufficiently satisfy the eligibility requirements that must be met in order to become approved for a Federal Disability Retirement annuity.

Make no mistake about it: there can be dire legal consequences if SF 3112A is not completed properly and sufficiently.  And always remember the philosophical dictum: That which is necessary may not be necessarily sufficient, and that which is sufficient may not be sufficiently necessary.

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

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Government Employment: Chekhov’s gun

It is the ultimate principle of substantive minimalism, where extraneous and peripheral elements should be eradicated unless used, essential, or otherwise central to the narrative.  Teasing merely for the sake of itself is denied; a serious venture if always pursued, and open honesty with the audience forever relied upon.  Chekhov disdained and avoided the superfluous; his short stories and other works were paradigms of linguistic economy, where words were valued and cherished, without room left for an unused element.

Compare that to modernity; of Franzen and works where volumes are spoken to merely illustrate a simple point contrary to Ockham’s razor.  The “gun”, as the metaphor of utility or otherwise, first introduced in the first chapter or Scene I of a play, must by a few chapters hence or a scene or two later, be fired, pointed or struggled over; otherwise, never introduce it in the first place.  And of the razor of rational argumentation, the lex parsimoniae of scientific observation, let not human complexity and self-delusions of grandeur in constructing untenable principles of convoluted thought-processes cloud the simplicity of nature’s design; for, in the end, it is in the simple that complexity finds its apex, and of the complex, where simpletons gather.

In the end, economy of words allows for room of thought and invitations of acceptance; it is only in the crowded gallows of condemned men where cries for space echo into the chambers of unheard cries.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are in the process of preparing, formulating and 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 principle of Chekhov’s gun, or its correlative paradigm of linguistic economy, Ockham’s razor, should always be applied:  Keep to the centrality of one’s narrative, and never allow the teasing of an unloaded gun direct the masthead of a sinking ship to tip too perilously towards the unforgiving winds of want and self-importance.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Federal Medical Retirement Help: Paroxysm of Fate or Faith

Of the former, it forces us within that fitful slice of time to endure the determined events beyond our control; and as to the latter, it does almost the very opposite:  it grants us a reprieve of sorts, and draws us into the delusional universe of believing without cause.  Causation is indeed the harbinger of validity and scientific accountability; whether and by what means the short-lived fit of revelatory insight occurs, the paroxysmal opening of one’s eyes to the reality of a matter can result in truth unveiled, or falsehood concealed.

We tend to live life like that; one moment, we sigh and throw up our hands to the gods of determinism and complain that we have no control over whence we came, the essence of our present being, and where the journey will take us; and in the very next instant, we fervently believe that if only we were to make our urgent pleas more loudly known, our very belief would impart the causation of a cold and impervious universe to move mountains and shift the tectonic forces of nature’s aplomb.

Man — that animal half caught between instinct and rationality, betwixt carnivorous vengeance and civility with a clink of teacups; yet, subject to the whims of gods and determinism.

Medical conditions will often exacerbate that tendency towards the extreme of one side of the spectrum or the other; tendencies tend to magnify when the human condition deteriorates.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact and influence the ability and capacity of the Federal or Postal employee to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, it is important to maintain an equilibrium of sorts.

Medical conditions, by their very nature, will often skew the linear reality of a situation, and therefore it becomes important to seek out advice, counsel and wisdom in determining the best course of actions to undertake for securing one’s future and stability.

Federal and Postal employees, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, need to take care not to allow themselves to wither and bend by the vicious winds blown thoughtlessly by the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, and instead to retain that balance of foresight, between the paroxysm of fate and that of faith, and instead to partake in the essence of the angels above, and not the imprints of our animalistic past, in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application for submission to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Happy Meter

We have metrics for everything, now; devices simultaneously wearable as necklaces to gauge heart rates and exercising of limbs; of crystals which tell of emotive alterations throughout the day; and connective apparatus lest we lose a signal within the vast field of human interactions with the greater world in distant horizons.

Then, why not a “happy meter”?  How would it determine the accuracy within a spectrum of a day’s journey?  Would it be based upon a pinnacle on a graph? Or, perhaps it would calculate the average temperature between qualitative quotients of sad, neutral and ecstatic?  Or, maybe it would provide a needle prick, or a gentle nudge with a vibrating sensation or a humming sound which reminds us that we are now in the state we seek, of a joyous moment within the historicity of our own emotions.

But would it work, and would a happy meter merely gauge our state of being, or fulfill a self-fulfilling prophecy of self-aggrandizing need for knowledge reflective of foolish accounts as seen by other cultures and societies?  For the most part, any quantification of self-satisfaction would still require the affirmative input of the subject being studied.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties with the Federal government or the U.S. Postal Service, the idea of gauging happiness as the sole criteria for seeking Federal Disability Retirement benefits is merely to identify one criteria among many.

For, in the end, “happiness” is just a byproduct resulting from multiple other factors, including a future sense of security; an idea of where one fits within the larger schematic plans of the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service; where one’s career path will go if the Federal or Postal employee attempts to remain in the job and the agency which cannot be completely fulfilled; whether a viable “accommodation” can be provided to allow the Federal or Postal employee to continue in the same position such that the Federal or Postal employee can perform all of the essential elements of the position; and multiple other and similar elements to consider.

Ultimately, one’s “happiness” cannot be determined by a mere quantification of heart rate, level of perspiration, or the stability of emotions and thought-processes; and while there is no mechanism discovered or invented, yet, which is encapsulated by a commercially salable Happy Meter, perhaps there will be one in the near future.

For the time being, however, one could nevertheless do what men and women have done for centuries, and simply reflect seriously for a moment upon one’s past accomplishments, determining present needs, and plan for one’s future security by taking the affirmative steps necessary to prepare, formulate, and file with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, an effective Federal Disability Retirement application — today.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire