OPM Medical Retirement: Wisdom amidst noise

There is much of the latter, and too little of the former.  Further, the latter tends to drown out the former, and while it is the former which should gain prominence within the spheres of influence, it is the latter that dominates and strangulates, leaving only the emptiness of seeming profundity and relevance so that what remains is the hollowness of inaneness.

Do we consult the Aged?  Or, in this era of modernity where the cult of youth predominates, is it back to the blindness and ignorance of Plato’s Cave?  Noise is more than the drowning sounds of a multitude of chatter and drum beats; it is the sheer volume of words spoken without meaningful discourse.  How many corners in forgotten Old People’s Homes reside the wisdom of timeless insight, and yet they are left to shuffle about and stare with vacant eyes upon a world that cares only for celebration of the young.

There is noise; then, there is wisdom amidst noise; the question is, Do we listen and can we learn when the din of irrelevance takes the form of profundity when logic is lost in a world that has renounced rationality in favor of celebrity?

Those old dusty books — of Plato’s Republic to Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics; the writings of the Medieval Scholastics; of Schopenhauer, Heidegger, and of recent vintage, almost anything written by Roger Scruton — who reads any one of them, anymore, and less likely, do we approach them with curiosity as once in the child’s eyes wide with want of wisdom in search of it?

Wisdom is a rarity in a universe of noise, and it is the noise which deafens for timeless eternity.

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 important to seek wisdom as opposed to the noise of the moment.

Federal Disability Retirement Law is a complex bureaucratic process which involves many levels of administrative perplexities, and while there is a lot of hype and noise “out there” among H.R. Specialists, coworkers and even among lawyers, it is always the best course of action to seek wise counsel and advice, and to be able to distinguish wisdom amidst noise.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Standard of incompatibility

How does one “prove” a standard of “incompatibility”?

Physical injuries often allow for a medical opinion to impose certain restrictions:  No lifting more than X-pounds; no standing more than 2 hours within an 8-hour period, etc.  These, then, can directly “prove” that a Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, by comparing such restrictions as against the positional requirements of a given job, and “showing” that the standard required can no longer be met.

The “other” cousin of the standard, as reiterated by cases represented by Henderson v. OPM and related precedents, allow for a “different” type of proof, where one may show that there is a general incompatibility between the entirety of one’s position and the medical conditions one suffers from.

It might be argued that such a standard is more “nebulous” and “harder to prove”, but in fact, the opposite is often true: specificity on a 1-to-1 ratio between a given medical condition or symptom and an element of one’s positional duties no longer becomes necessary.  Rather, a general showing of incompatibility between the “type” of job and the “nature” of a medical condition is enough to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement.

The trick, of course, lies in the manner of “proving” it, but it should be of some comfort to Federal and Postal employees that there is another type of standard beyond the 1-to-1 ratio standard that applies generally for “physical” duties; for, in the end, many psychiatric conditions can only meet the “incompatibility” standard, although some specificity of inability to perform a particular function of the job may be present as well.

To meet either standard is a burden of proof that must be shown by the appellant in all OPM Disability Retirement cases; to understand, apply and satisfy such standards, it is best to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Lawyer Representation for OPM Disability Retirement Claims under FERS and CSRS: Rebirth

The term and the conceptual attachment possesses a connotation that is often repugnant to atheists and pagans – although, if reincarnation and a circular vision of regeneration of life are the belief-systems embraced, the declaration of “rebirth” or being “reborn” are not that foreign.

It can, too, have a very elementary meaning, to encompass merely a “new beginning” or a sense of transcending or climbing into a different stratosphere of thinking; sort of like “thinking outside of the box”, or of entering a “different phase” of life.  That, too, is interesting, is it not – where we never think in terms of “descending”, but always of “ascending” – as if the former is always related to death, catacombs and unmarked graveyards with cemeteries full of weeds and overgrown ivy?

Rebirth is physiologically an impossibility, and thus do we ascribe to a cognitive or spiritual transference where change is often dramatic, originating from a trauma of experiences that must be left behind.  But the experience itself – of a rebirth – can come about in a mundane, systematic, thoughtful and often enlightened means by nothing more than mere cadence of monotony – retirement; having children; getting married; becoming old; moving to a different country or even across a state line; these, too, can constitute a rebirth.

Or, how about adopting a dog from a rescue kennel and giving it a “rebirth” of sorts – doesn’t it reverberate back to the rescuer as well?  What we find when we do that is this:  We believe we are doing the “favor” for the abused animal, when in fact it is often the very reverse, where the animal brings out from within us a capacity for caring, empathy and love that we would otherwise have never known, and that, too, is a form of rebirth.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset – can that, too, be a form of rebirth?  It all depends upon the attitude of approaching such a “next step” – Is it to escape, or to refocus?  Is it an indicator of a reshuffling of priorities?  Will it allow for an easing of debilitating pain and allow for a journey to attain a plateau of rehabilitation, such that a second career or further vocation will be possible?

Surely, rebirth is a wide enough concept to encapsulate a pathway through the bureaucratic morass of getting a Federal Disability Retirement application approved, and why not?

After spending years trying to hide the medical condition and the symptoms that naturally go along with it, moving on to the next phase of life can be nothing more than a rebirth, of sorts.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirements: The predetermined, “Let’s discuss it”

You can often tell from the eyes and the mannerism whether the opening prelude is meaningful, or predetermined to merely manipulate to an intended end.  The opening interlude which allows for the conduit of engagement:  “Let’s discuss it”; does it next encapsulate an ear which listens, or pauses which allow for conveyance of communication – or merely a diatribe of invective meant to dissuade and demean?

It is a rare character, indeed, that states and means in a coalescence of sincerity; instead, the danger signs should be evident at the outset:  The end has already been predetermined; your words are merely allowed to provide a setting of appearance, or to give you the rope in order to coil it and hang yourself.

Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing (or does that metaphor even apply, today?); there is rarely a cast of shadows without the darkness elongated, and it is indeed a rarity to find sincerity in an insincere world.  Discussion requires a prefatory contingency of openness to logical argumentation (or even emotional appeal), persuasion, dissuasive comportments, and a sense of listening.

Is there a fine line between that, and a preset paradigm of an already-established course?  Take the following hypothetical:  Some figure of authority – the “boss”, or a manager, supervisor, etc. – grants a forum for a “discussion” of the “issue” (whatever they may be), but during such an exchange it becomes readily apparent that the counterpart shows no signs of actual interest – the fidgeting, the proverbial “looking at the watch”, the furtive eyes, the yawn; all together, showing a complete disinterestedness in the process.

But something during the discussion sparks, and an unintended consequence (to paraphrase the well-worn American Lore from Adam Smith and the economic entrails of systematic chaos) suddenly rears its beautiful head; eyes sparkle; the head and chin tilt slightly back, and intelligence (which heretofore was merely a dark abyss of eternal vacuity) gleams in the eyes of the “boss”; “Now, that is an interesting proposal…” comes the refrain.

In such a scenario, was the fact that predetermination of outcome altered during the course of the foray, changed the entire episode into one which embraced a sincerity of motives?  Or, is it merely that the counterpart changed his or her mind, and “openness” to such an exchange was a farcical prelude to an otherwise meaningless exchange?  Does the mere fact of allowing for a discussion – an opportunity to voice one’s concerns or to “vent” through a diatribe of invectives – establish a sincerity of allowances, even if the original intent was otherwise left unstated?

Which brings us to the point of this exchange – for, in 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, the thing that many Federal and Postal employees fail to realize, is that there is contained within the bureaucratic system of the administrative process, a procedure which essential does constitute a “Let’s discuss it” trigger.

For, that is precisely why there are multiple stages of the administrative process – of the “Initial Stage” in filing a FERS or CSRS Disability Retirement application; then, if rejected and denied at the First Stage, a second “opportunity” of a “Let’s discuss it”, represented by a “Reconsideration Stage”, where additional medical documentation and legal argumentation can be empowered; and, then again, a “Third Stage”, where the Federal or Postal employee may disagree with OPM’s determination, and file an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.  Additionally, there is even a Fourth Stage – of a Petition to a panel of MSPB Judges for a legal review of the process.

Such an Administrative Procedure reveals and establishes an aversion to what most people experience, in that there is a process of listening, appealing and persuading in a Federal Disability Retirement application – something which is rarely found in the world at large, where the refrain, “Let’s discuss it”, is normally anything more than a prelude to a predetermined course of action.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement Benefits: Writing a life

It is lived; or so we attempt to do so.  This thing called “life”; neither an art form, and forever unaccompanied by instructions or even a cheap compass; most are abandoned at the junkyards of forgotten corners, where the trifecta of raw sewage, mistreatment of body and spirit, and the crass exposure to the detritus of human discontent coalesce to present the irony of birth preceding an inevitable death.

Heidegger taught that we engage in projects in order to avoid the ultimate outcome; for Nietsche, nihilism opened doors for optimism contrary to the preceding generations of convoluted castaways; and while Zen and Hindu mysticism explained away the agony of the body, the remaining torture of living the reality of the now somehow wasn’t enough to extinguish the suffering groans of an impervious universe devoid of feeling, empathy, regard or constancy.

If the implements to create are not provided, and cannot be afforded no matter the toil from birth to death, of what use is the life given if living it cannot be achieved?  Moreoever, how can one engage in the writing of a life, let alone the living of it?

Autobiographies are mostly forgotten narratives undertaken merely to dispose of haunting ghosts of passing groans; and biographies, only for those who become a footnote in the dustbin of society.  And thus are we forsaken, like the cross abandoned on the hilltop where agony was first embraced in an effort to expiate the sufferings of our forefathers.  And then we are asked to write a life — no, not merely to live it, but to engage in art as reflective of ugliness.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are attempting to prepare an SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability, the arduous expenditure of describing even a slice of it can mean the difference between securing one’s future or losing a lifetime’s career of investing in the Federal sector or the U.S. Postal Service.

Whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the labor of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application must by necessity describe the impact of the medical condition, its nexus to the Federal or Postal worker’s inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal position, and to “prove” it by a preponderance of the evidence.

Such a daunting task is tantamount to writing a life — perhaps, one could appease, merely a slice of one, a portion of a greater whole, and an abbreviated compendium in an abridged form.  Nevertheless, the task involves the aggregation of descriptive narrative, a coherent structure of prose encapsulating facts, evidence and a legal argumentation with a focus towards meeting a statutory criteria for eligibility; indeed, some could argue that the entire project is one demanding something well beyond the mere writing of a life; it is, moreover, to convey and communicate the most private of concerns before a public forum in a maze of bureaucratic complexities amidst an administrative nightmare in a sequence of conundrums.

Yes, living a life is hellish and unaccompanied by direction or explicit purpose; writing a life is even worse — for it entails the remembrance of things past, the present undone, and a future filled with uncertainties but for the successful execution of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement from Federal Government Employment: Right Thinking

Thoughts are essentially neutral, until they interact with the greater community of ideas.  Once introduced before the judgment of others, the validity, rightness or fallacy of the substantive content can be challenged, and ultimately tested in the arena of reality.  Life can often present a harshness of consequences; ideas left in the insular universe of solitary contingencies, confined as unchallenged and ultimately deprived of consideration, are mere artifices of impotence otherwise lost in the vacuity of meaningless tropes.  “Right” thinking becomes so when thrown into the arena of a community.

The rightness itself is already presumed by the very introduction into the Wittgensteinian language game of challenging and challenged constructs; and the paradigms left in dusty drawers and closets never opened, remain as dungeons of worthless residues too timid to touch, too hesitant to open, and too afraid to reveal.  Wrong thinking, thought deprived of the fanfare of acceptance, may yet come back another day, and replace the outdated paradigms once considered paramount and of penultimate designation.

Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, often engage in the “wrong” thinking process precisely because of the inherent hesitation in changing course.  It is, indeed, a wonder and a befuddlement that the Species of Man has propagated so successfully, despite the wrongheadedness of the genetic latency as reflected by foolhardy artifices of thoughtless vacuity.

Some instances of “wrong” thinking by Federal and Postal employees:  “The medical condition will go away”; “My agency will work with me in accommodating my medical conditions”; “Tomorrow, or next week, or perhaps next month, my Agency or the Postal Service will do the right thing.”

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is essentially a “neutral” matter, until the pragmatic steps of preparing, formulating and filing for the process of OPM Disability Retirement is actually engaged.  “Right” thinking is not a matter of political leanings, but of practical steps taken to secure the future of a Federal or Postal employee.  “Wrong” thinking is to think that actions necessarily follow by mere engagement of a conceptual construct.  For, remember that old adage of the philosopher who was so lost in “deep” thoughts upon the heavens above, that he fell into a cavernous ditch and died there starving under those very stars he maintained his gaze upon.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire