Columbus Day 2022

Whether as Columbus Day or as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it is an official day off for Federal and Postal employees.  Does it matter what and how we ascribe it?  It has been many centuries since the voyage of Columbus; each child born today, and for many centuries past, can hardly be blamed for the ill-deeds of past generations.

That being said — if we are blameless — is it merely in the beliefs to which we identify, which marks the differences between us?  Certainly, for a Native American, it is irritating to hear someone claim that “such and such discovered America”; for, by definition, a land already inhabited cannot claim to have been discovered except by the inhabitants themselves.

But the argument is that the present society into which people are currently born, cannot possibly be blamed for the genocidal extermination of its indigenous peoples; and so, what can it mean as to whether or not one calls it “Columbus Day” or “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”?

The counter to that, of course, is that the reservations into which Native Americans were forced to accept, still reverberates with current loss of water rights, mineral rights, etc., and is a constant reminder of what was lost.  And it may be of some restoration of dignity to insist upon historical accuracy, where insistent inaccuracy is the basis for acrimonious inter-cultural relationships.

Yet, in this Post-Factual Universe where the Western approach of the Correspondence Theory of Truth once prevailed but no longer dominates, is there even a difference with a distinction?

For most, where the meaningful divide is between those who are overworked, barely able to make a living, and are stressed to their limits — which constitute the greater majority of individuals — and those who live a fairly carefree life of leisure (the greater minority of people), the fact of a day off, whatever you want to call it, is what seems to mean anything.

And for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who can enjoy the day to spend with their families and loved ones, Happy Columbus Day and Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 2022.

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 Retirement: The Pause Before Advising

That momentary hesitation — is it because the answer is unknown, or because all other factors must be taken into consideration before sound advice is rendered?

If the former, then it is likely bad advice, if rendered regardless; of the latter, it reveals a thought process where all of the avenues to a potential answer, and their natural consequences gleaned through experience of prior similar instances, will likely ensue with what can only be declared “sound advice”.

Advising is what people love to do; unfortunately, it is the rare instance which results in rendering “sound and good advice”.  It is a cheap mode of feeling important and relevant; to render freely one’s opinion and advice on a matter; and even paid advice, whether in the legal field or financial investment arenas, can lead to dire consequences if followed inadvisedly.

The pause before advising — for an experienced attorney, that hesitation is always because the question posed must be seriously considered before rendering advice which is important and relevant to the query.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need guidance, advice and experience in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, contact an attorney who always pauses before advising; for, in the end, the best advice is the one which has first considered all aspects of the query posed, before giving a lifetime of experience in an art form which only rarely approaches science in its certainty.

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 Worker Medical Retirement: The Retreat of Solace

Everyone, without exception, must find that slice of heaven — that retreat of solace.  Whether it is found in reading; in a hobby; a dog to cuddle with; children, for a time, at least; kite flying; stamp collection; even video games????

Life is difficult.  As Hobbes would put it, the “life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short…”.  Has it changed much?  Certainly, some progress has been made.

Reading history, especially about the frontier days in late 18th Century and early 19th Century America — of the constant warring, torture and killings; yet, despite a more “civilized” world (minus Afghanistan and Chicago), life is hard and the retreat of solace is an important element to discover, preserve and protect.

Some find it merely in the lost world of fiction and the novel; others, in more physical activities — a friendly pick-up game of basketball; a weekend round of golf; a solitary walk in the woods.  Whether refreshing one’s insular universe by means of physical exercise of the body, or allowing for a respite of that private world escaping into a fantasy world, the means of such change of scenery depends upon the personality of the individual.

What happens when a medical condition interrupts that retreat of solace?  The insidiousness of chronic pain or constant anxiety makes for the retreat of solace to become untenable, precisely because a temporary escape from this hard reality called “living” is no longer possible.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits allows for the Federal or Postal worker to attain a future security in order to regain the retreat of solace.  Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of reasserting the lost ground of the retreat of solace.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal OPM Disability Retirement Law under FERS: Valid Arguments

Wittgenstein discusses extensively the concept of “language games” — that various subjects, circumstances and professions may require a different kind of such linguistic anomalies.

Thus, when going to a store to buy a computer, you will enter into an alien type of language game quite distinct and different from other modes of linguistic engagements — where certain terms such as “software”, “connectivity”, “applications”, etc., and a whole host of other strange concepts may be thrown about during the course of a sale.

Such a language game is appropriate within the context of a specific set of circumstances, and other forms may not constitute valid applications.  It would be, for example, inappropriate to suddenly interpose another type of language game during the course of a “computer-speak” language game — like suddenly engaging in “therapeutic” language games, of the X-steps in grief counseling, or marriage counseling, etc.

Legal argumentation is somewhat similar to the imposition of a specifically appropriate — or “valid” — language game.  Thus, in a Federal Disability Retirement case, it is important to recognize and apply valid arguments — ones which go to the heart and issue of a Federal Disability Retirement case.  While the “medical language game” will also be applied, it is the “legal language game” which persuades OPM when persuasive legal argumentation is the language game which must prevail.

Contact a Retirement Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application by recognizing and applying the valid arguments which comprise the language game of Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Preparing the Case for Submission

Sometimes, it only takes a matter of weeks; other times, months and months in the preparation period prior to submission of an OPM Medical Retirement package.  It is not something to be taken lightly.  Once submitted, your Human Resource Office will do their portion — of completing the Agency’s Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation, as well as the other and multiple bureaucratic processes.

Then, whether first to be routed through the finance office and then on to OPM, or if you are separated from service, directly to OPM without going through your Human Resource Office at all (except to separately secure a Supervisor’s Statement and the SF 3112D), the bureaucratic process of submitting and being reviewed for an approval or a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has begun.

“Preparing the case for submission” may have taken many months, and it is the crucial foundation in setting forth the success or failure of a FERS Disability Retirement application.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the preparation of such an important submission should fall short of meeting the complex criteria necessary for a successful endeavor.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Unknown of Which We Fear

In childhood, it is the unknown of which we fear; for, we hear the words and sounds around us, the events in other countries of riots, wars and ravages but are too young to place them in the context of our lives.  There is too much information for the youth of today; information that cannot be contextualized or processed without a properly delineated perspective; and so the fears and anxieties become magnified as there are no longer any “age-appropriate” zones of safety.  But that childhood fears were merely relegated to the fear of darkness; that would yet show an innocence that prevails, and understandably so.

In modernity, darkness is the least of a child’s fears; it is the greater world of light that perpetuates the haunting aspects of daily living.  Whether in past years or in the present, it is always the unknown of which we fear — the unknown future, the unknown risks of today; the unknown past that may come to haunt us.

For the Federal or Postal employee who suffers 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 still yet the unknown of which we fear — of the future yet to be decided.  Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and see if some of that unknown of which you fear may be unraveled in the proper preparation and submission of a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire 
OPM Disability Retirement Attorney

   

Federal Disability Retirement Representation: Ikebana and life

Flower arrangement is an ancient art form that reflects the conduit of living.  If you look up the etymology in wikipedia, the term is derived from 2 simple concepts in Japanese: “Ikeru” (meaning, “to live” or “living”) and “hana” (as “flower”).  Thus, the two concepts combined form the compound meaning that embraces multiple connotations — of paralleling one’s manner of living by the arrangement of flowers that fill the home; of the appreciation of such arrangement in reflecting the order or disorder in one’s own life; and of allowing the fragrance of life to permeate throughout one’s personal circumstances, etc.

The type of arrangement one engages; the sparseness or fullness that one orders; the manner in which color and form are aggregated, placed, trimmed and gathered — these can all mirror and duplicate the parallel universe of one’s own life.  An Ikebana arrangement can reveal much, both about a person and the inner soul, the life’s worth, the worthiness of deeds accomplished, and the lifetime of the values imparted.

Medical conditions can do the same — they tell not only about a person’s will to live and the endurance of pain and suffering within this world, but also about everyone else and how a society treats its workers.

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 the Federal or Postal job, the long and arduous journey through one’s medical condition must be met with the complex administrative process of filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Through such a bureaucratic process, one will encounter the same things that are reflected in Ikebana and life: of a life that must be rearranged; of colors, shadows and hues that must be mixed and matched; and of the ordering of priorities encountered, the changes of that which thrives or wilts; all of these, like Ikebana and life itself, must be considered when preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Representation: Trains of life

There are trains that come and go daily; others, with lengthy destinations, like the Trans-Siberian Express traveling from Moscow to Vladivostok or the Venice-Simplon Orient Express visiting Paris, Venice, Istanbul, and places in-between; and others merely for the monotony of going to work and coming home.

Those who engage the latter often find that vacations utilizing trains are boring and uninviting; yet, for others who struggle through the vehicular traffic jams by rush-hour standards prefer it because you neither have to man the controls nor keep your focus upon the roads to avoid those who are inattentive to the rules of the road.

Relaxation takes many forms, multiple definitions and countless contextual feeds; we are all different, as are the trains of life.  Where it is going; the ticket we purchase; whether we have boarded the “right” train; whether the mistake was made at the ticket office or our lack of identifying the proper one to take; and, if the wrong one, can we still enjoy the scenic view or do we become consumed by the direction we are being taken?

What if we boarded the wrong train, but it turns out that the direction it is taking us fulfills every hope and dream we ever desired – do we still get off at the next stop, or do we muster courage enough to remain still and enjoy the view?  What if we stepped onto the “right” train, but knowing that we don’t really want to go that way, realizing that it has always been a mistake and nevertheless do so with reluctance and dread – do we force ourselves to continue on the journey despite our unhappiness and angst of drudgery?

Or, take it a step further – what if we buy a ticket, board a train and realize that it is not the right one expected, but upon being asked by the ticket-taker mid-trip, the official – whether intentionally or by lack of observance – makes no comment, punches the proper hole and moves on; do we sit with gleeful quietude and just let the train take us where we did not intend but are happy to experience?

That is often how life works – of trains that we intend to board, sometimes mistakenly take, and otherwise inadvertently travel upon; and that is how a Federal or Postal employee suffering from a medical condition should view filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Sometimes, the ticket fails to match the trip; other times, while the intended destination corresponds perfectly, there is a “mishap” on the trip itself.

Perhaps the Federal or Postal employee never expected a medical condition; so be it, but plans for the ongoing train of life must nevertheless be made.  Preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is the next step where a Federal career must end because the Federal or Postal employee can no longer perform all of the essential element of one’s Federal or Postal position.

For, as the trains of life may be many, choosing the right “ticket” while waiting to board is just as important as identifying the train that will take you to the intended destination.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Magic & the laziness factor

Magic is something we cling on to, if only as a last vestige of the light of hope, flickering ever so delicately against the tumultuous winds of a world gone mad.  In childhood, it was an imagination enlivened by the pure delight of fairytales, mythologies and rhymes of wands in the single sweep where the golden dust of insurmountable problems is suddenly a trail of corrective bygones with mere words of incantations mysterious to eyes agape with wonderment and awe; and in the middle-to-growing times, the words altered somewhat, the concept changed and the linguistic construct evolved to imply an attitude, a hope, an approach to future life based upon hard work, honesty and mere cannibalism of negative thoughts.

To remain positive was to overcome the vicissitudes of reality; to forego immediacy of pleasure, a pathway to self-discipline.  But time has a way of defeating and beating down even the best of men; there are few limits to the unseen enemy, and much which constrains the visible.

Is there magic to be gotten?  That hope without substance which we pray for; that lottery ticket in the face of statistical impossibility; and that verbiage we throw about by inane moments of meaningless contexts — “There is always tomorrow”.  What have we not shed but to which we cling?  To what do we cling that no longer applies?  Or is it mere laziness, the factor that we dismiss but for everyone else?

In modernity, of course, such tendencies and proclivities toward the magic of superstitions have become exponentially magnified through games of virtual reality, and the numerical chimera of Facebook “likes” replacing actual friendships and human bonds.  Then, when reality hits us square in the face, we fall apart all the more easily, for want of preparation in the face of true vicissitudes that shake the cavernous combustions of this world we live in.

Medical conditions are just one of those realities that cannot be ignored.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who one day wake up to the realization that there is no magic to impart when a medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, and that the pragmatic step of preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application may be the best alternative available, the conjunctive one must often face — “and the laziness factor” — is a reminder in two ways:  First, in making sure that you do not allow procrastination to impede the path towards a future for success, and Second, to not be deterred by coworkers and others who criticize ignorantly by alleging that it is all “made up” in order to “game” the system.

The law is what the law is; and Federal Disability Retirement is a system reflecting a progressive perspective on workers who can no longer perform a particular kind of job in the Federal sector and the U.S. Postal Service, but who may be able to remain productive in some other capacity in the private sector.  That is why Federal Disability Retirement annuitants are allowed to make up to 80% of what his or her (now former) Federal or Postal position currently pays, in addition to the annuity being received, and continue to retain the Federal Disability Retirement annuity — precisely because it is a recognition that the Federal or Postal employee is not “totally disabled“, but rather, disabled only from performing one or more of the essential elements of a particular job.

The “real world”, as a grown-up views it, must set aside the magic of make-believe trailing upon a disillusionment wrought in the face of experiential encounters that incrementally beat down and squeeze out the wonderment of childhood thoughts; but hope for a better tomorrow should never be extinguished, and while the flicker of a dying flame emitting light in the deep abyss of despondency overshadowing the magic of bygone days may indeed threaten the future, never allow for the appendage of the laziness factor deter the best step forward in preparing, formulating and filing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement: Time, Memories and Forgetting the Never-ending Cycle

It is well that human beings have short attention spans and memories, lest the magnification of residual retentive powers should lead one to act.  Despite daily repetition of pain, frustration and humiliation or turmoil, we are ready to repeat the process, and let our memories fade into oblivion.

Perhaps it is merely another one of the genetically-engineered traits for survivability within the evolutionary context of epochs of adaptation; or, a more proverbial mis-attribution to P.T. Barnum that there is a “sucker born every minute”.  Whether the former (which merely describes a state of “how” we act) or the latter (which explains the “why” of behavior), the determination for self-immolation gladly volunteered on a daily basis, also reveals the strength of the human essence.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who daily suffer through the physical pain of a medical disability, or the cognitive dissonance of psychiatric conditions (which is also a form of pain, interpreted through depression, anxiety, uncontrollable panic attacks and other symptoms of psychological ideations), the daily encounter with one’s Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service can be a repetitive process of harassment, self-destructive engagements, and periodic spans of suffering.

Time is the void of space experienced throughout any given day; memories, the shutting aside of one’s experiential chaos; and the need to forget the cycle of turmoil reflects the necessary next step in order to separate one’s self from the repetition of progressive destruction.

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, is a means to break the tripartite cycle of daily turmoil, pain and suffering, by allowing for the Federal and Postal employee to reach a circumstance where rehabilitation of one’s deteriorating health becomes the pinnacle of concern, unlike the lack of empathy and impassive looks of unsympathetic coldness shown by the agency, the U.S.Postal Service, managers, supervisors, and H.R. Personnel.

Time is what precisely the Federal and Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition no longer allows for the full working of all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, needs and requires; memories are those which one cherishes for the sake of longevity; and forgetting the never-ending cycle of progressive deterioration can only be stopped by taking affirmative steps to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire