FERS Disability Retirement: Internal Order, External Chaos

Whether the cult of Marie Kondo will last beyond a faddish response and 15 minutes of fame, only time will tell.

Japanese minimalism lends itself to making order out of chaos by discarding unnecessary clutter in one’s life.  The key word here is, of course, “unnecessary”, and how we categorized which items in our homes and offices to keep, and to what extent external chaos impacts one’s internal sense of order in this universe.

Does organizing everything in one’s home and office lead to greater internal calm and peace?  Does a person who has an overstuffed bookshelf — with books “arranged” in every which way upon a shelf, with no apparent order in the categorization of titles possessed — reflect a manner of internal chaos?

Conversely, does a person who appears to posses a sense of internal peace and order necessarily have a home and office which reflects that apparent order and peace?  Does the interior world of a person necessarily indicate the exterior state of one’s life?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition that impacts his or her ability and capacity to continue in the Federal or Postal career of choice, the chaos of a medical condition — whether of an “external”, physical condition or of an “internal” psychiatric break down — should lead to a consideration in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Consult with a Federal Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether or not the order of the day through proper representation by legal counsel might be the best course of action for both internal order as well as external competence in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Chessboard of Life

Is there a difference between an “Eastern” and “Western” perspective of life?  Does the fact that we play one kind of game (Chess) while Eastern nations play another game (“Go”) give us any metaphorical insight into such differences?

The Game of Go uses the intersecting points on a line full of square spaces; on a similar-looking board (depending upon the size of the Go Board), Chess uses the square spaces themselves.  The Game of Go is a more “fluid” one, where the black and white stone pieces will fill the board at the intersecting lines, and thus can move up or down, sideways or diagonally, depending upon the initiation and response of the players to one another.

Chess, on the other hand, can only essentially move forward.  Yes, the pieces can move sideways (the knight, queen and rook, for example) and diagonally (the bishop & queen), but the object of the game is to reach the opponent’s farthest line of square spaces, whereas the Game of Go utilizes the entire board with equal value.

Do the two “games” tell us anything about the way in which we live?  Do we “view” life as a chessboard, as opposed to a Game of Go, and is there a difference in such ways where one can make a conceptual distinction between the two?

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 Chessboard of Life becomes a “match” between yourself and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

To “capture” their queen, you must maneuver your way past all of the threatening “pieces” of a Federal Disability Retirement application, and “checkmate” OPM with legal arguments and medical evidence that is persuasive enough.  Whether a different strategy as that applied in the Game of Go should be considered, depends upon the unique nature of your individual circumstances.

In either case, it is good to consult with a “Master” of either Go or of Chess — a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The “Right” Way

There are many ways to do things.  Often enough, we have heard our parents say gently, “Yes, you can do it that way, but the better way is…”.  The increasing superlatives — “good”, “better”, “best” — are like the houses in the story of the Three Little Pigs, of the house that was made of straw; the one constructed of sticks; and the last one, of bricks.

Can we say that all three were “good” houses?  It depends, one supposes — upon the utility, the comfort, and the “reason” behind why and what the house was built for.  As a matter of mere location for sleep and comfort, one could argue that any of the three homes were adequate.  If, however, as the story unfolded and revealed, for protection from predators, then there was indeed only one which was the “right” one — the one constructed of bricks.

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, it is important to prepare, formulate and file a Federal Disability Retirement application in the “right” way.  Yes, there are many ways to do it, but in the end, the sequence of how one formulates and puts together a FERS Disability Retirement application is, indeed, the “best” and “right” way.

Consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of preparing your Federal Disability Retirement case in the “right” way.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Benefits: Descending Into

Whether into the arena of the devil’s playground or into insanity, the metaphor always seems to include a descent, and not its opposite, an ascent.  Why heaven is above and hell is below has been lost for its context and underlying meaning; the perspective of “up” as opposed to “down” must somehow be relevant, but science has certainly diminished the metaphorical significance by debunking any notions about time and place.

We now know that the sun does not “rise” and “set” in the rotational movement of the earth; that from the perspective of deep space, there is no “up” or “down”, and that our place within the universe is but a small, insignificant pinhole within the context of a greater universe.  But the human story, regardless of the cold perspective provided by science of an “objective” world, is that we descend into madness, descend into hell, and descend into chaos.

Language is a peculiar animal in this way; it uses its ordinary sense within a culturally relevant context, but when that context disappears or is no longer “alive”, the old manners of usage become an anomaly of puzzles.  Yet, even with its loss of cultural significance, “descending into” somehow maintains its appropriateness when it comes to mishaps, tragedies and difficulties.

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, descending into greater chaos and difficulties may be mitigated by preparing and filing an application for disability retirement.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of ascending towards another life beyond the Federal or Postal sector, thus preventing descending into a state of turmoil and possible termination.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Deterioration

It is a process; a cellular degeneration that time inevitably forces; and the word itself evokes images of rusting old cars in junk heaps hidden behind high walls of metal fences where usefulness has long been abandoned.  The deterioration of the human body is a progressive process of inevitability, and while we fight in futile efforts to slow it down, much of our efforts are merely cosmetic and have little or no impact upon the underlying progress of the cellular breakdown.

We can eat healthily; maintain good posture; take supplements and vitamins; exercise; stretch; attempt to restrict activities which may be harmful, etc.  Yet, and nevertheless, the deterioration of the human body persists despite all such efforts to employ tactics to reverse the normal course of human destiny.

The workplace — and certain types of jobs — certainly contribute to the deterioration of both the human body as well as the psyche.  Even in this day and age, we perhaps dismiss the psychiatric deterioration as opposed to the bodily degeneration, minimizing the impact of stress upon one’s mental health.  In the end, however, deterioration can apply to both physical as well as cognitive health.

For Federal employees and Postal workers who suffer from either physical or mental deterioration, and where the Federal or Postal employee can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, such deterioration may require filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and see whether the extent of your physical or mental deterioration qualifies for Federal OPM Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Consider the Alternatives

In making any decision, it is always important that one consider the alternatives available.  It is the decision made in isolation — of contending with thoughts, fears and misinformation within a vacuum of not knowing — that often results in disastrous decisions made without consulting and considering the alternatives available.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that 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 choices are often stark and clear: Stay at a job or career which is no longer sustainable, and where the Agency will increasingly harass and punitively initiate actions in an effort to remove you; resign and walk away with nothing; or, in the best alternative available, file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Sometimes, of course, the “unexpected” alternative can occur: For example, a person who has filed for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is offered a reassignment that is both acceptable and accommodating to one’s medical condition, and continuation in the Federal Workforce is thus possible.  In most instances, however, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is “The” alternative, and the only viable one available, but even such an alternative must be considered carefully in light of the existing laws, the potentiality for problems to be encountered, and the resistance met by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for the multiple and varied reasons that OPM bases its denials upon.

Considering the alternatives is not just a matter of whether and when to file, but to be cognizant of the difficulties ahead in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; and in order to do that, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employees Disability Retirement: The Obituaries

Why are they published, and who reads them?  Is it when a person reaches a certain age and wants a sense of security that death and age are relative issues — that there is not a necessary connection between the two?  Was mortality ever questioned?

When we come across an octogenarian’s obituary, we may merely marvel at such longevity and perhaps with some admiration declare, “At least he lived a long life”; but when we view a young person’s description on the next page, we wonder with sadness at the suddenness of it all.  Was it necessary or inevitable?  How must the parents feel —for that is the horror of every parent, is it not, to bury one’s child before one’s self?

Obituaries provide some level of comfort — of a final testament and declaration to the world that seemingly never cared; on a practical level, to provide whatever social or legal notice to surviving beneficiaries; and as a reminder to us all that life should be celebrated and not mourned — at least for those still living.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from ill health and where health becomes a daily reminder that there are some things in life which are not worth sacrificing, reading the obituaries should jar one into realizing that being a sacrificial lamb at the altar of a Federal Agency or the Postal Service is never a worthwhile goal.  If your health is deteriorating and you have a medical condition which prevents you from performing all of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job, it may be time to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

In the end, you do not want to read your own obituary and shake your head saying, “Too young, too foolish, too late.”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Who I Am & Who Am I

One is a question; the other, a declarative statement.  The latter of a more subjective nature; the former, perhaps a composite of observations by third parties together with self analysis.  Both must begin with a query — of analyzing a statement “about” myself, through others who are well-known as well as of opinions rendered and judgments passed by acquaintances and passersby strangers barely acknowledged.

“Who I am” is often answered in response to a preceding query by a third party: “Who are you?”  It might be answered with fairly objective and short statements which are incontestable: I am X’s brother in-law; I am the husband of Y; “Oh, I am Sarah’s father” (in response to Sarah’s classmate who sees you standing outside of the classroom); or, “I am nobody”.  This last statement, of course, has implications well beyond being an unresponsive nullity; for, it goes to the heart of one’s own assessment of one’s self, one’s consequential impact upon the limited universe of one’s role, and the very essence of an ego left abandoned.

The other — Who Am I — is often followed by the grammatical punctuation of a question mark.  It is often a self-reflective query — one which causes a pause, a momentary furrowing of eyebrows raised, and then a regrouping of having just previously been taken aback by a question which stabs too closely to the essence of one’s being.  Perhaps a soliloquy follows.  One will normally cast the question off with a shrug and answer the self-query with, “I am X” and then move on to take out the garbage, watch a movie, see a documentary or engage in what Heidegger refers to as an activity which allows us to forget our mortality.

Will the question inevitably haunt us and force us into facing ourselves at some point in our lives?  Perhaps.  Can we avoid the question entirely?  Maybe.  It is the former, asked by others, which fails to have the force of the latter, and merely because of the placement and substitution of positions of the two words after the “Who” that makes all of the difference.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and who must face the prospect of facing the question, “Who I am” in reference to one’s position and role in the workplace, it is often the medical condition itself which prompts the second, more incisive query of “Who Am I?”

Does a medical condition define a person?  Certainly, the Agency or the Postal Service makes it the primary issue by questioning one’s competence or capabilities based upon your condition.  Both questions go to the heart of the issue in a Federal Disability Retirement application; for, in the end, the Federal Agency and the Postal Service treat both questions with a foregone conclusion of an answer: You are Nobody if you are no longer part of the “Mission”, and that is why filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes a necessity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for FERS Disability Retirement: The Time to Decide

The process of decision-making comes in all forms: Of procrastination until one is forced into making one; of deliberative thoughtfulness until all logical possibilities are exhaustively analyzed and a default judgment is entered through rational elimination of available options; of basing it all upon an “instinct” or a desire; of randomly choosing based upon the belief that — as the universe itself is arbitrary and capricious, so should all matters be decided in a parallel fashion; of considering the alternatives and eliminating them based upon a gut-feeling; and multiple other nonconformist manners, often combining a multitude of various methodologies — if in fact one can even refer to “madness” as a method.

Regardless — whether of one method or another — there comes a “time” to decide, and that time is often relevant based upon additional factors to take into consideration: Others are dependent upon your decision; there is a time-limit on making a decision; certain contingencies have occurred which require a decision to be made; or, to simply let outside circumstances dictate the decision by deciding to engage in the act of a non-decision.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are struggling with the decision of whether to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the question of “timing” is often decided by the extent and severity of the ongoing medical condition itself.  The anomaly of when is the “right time” is often offset by circumstances beyond one’s control: of actions perpetrated by the Agency; of the worsening of one’s medical condition; of the exhaustion of FMLA, SL and AL and the denial of extending one’s LWOP status; and the combination of any or all of the complex interaction of pressures and stresses which impact perfect timing.

Time is an artifice of relative events; often, there is no such thing as “perfect timing”; but what we do know is that there is a time to decide, and that time is when a Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The words we never use

Are they like scraps of papers left in one’s back pocket, or in the vast chasms of oversized purses that seemingly have no bottom and certainly reveal no corners?  Do we keep them in our wallets, reserve them for special occasions, or otherwise allow them to float in the ethereal universe of unclaimed inventions?  Is there a Lost-and-Found Section within an agency entitled, “U.S. Department of Words” (or, should there be) that deals exclusively with ones that are never used?  And in a pragmatic society where utility is the key for relevance, applicability, value and worth, is there any sense to pointing out that which is never used, never recalled, rarely regurgitated and almost certainly never thought of even in the privacy of soliloquies left unstated?

The words we never use can be categorized into: A. Ones we’ve never learned about nor looked up, B. Ones we once knew when once we were serious-minded students who diligently looked up every word we knew not the definition of because we wanted to better ourselves, sound more intelligent and appear with greater utterances of sophistication at cocktail parties we were never invited to — therefore, we once looked them up, memorized them, tried to use them in sentences, and then promptly forgot them, or C. Ones we never came across, have now no interest in using them because we have become old and lazy.

There is a fourth possibility — that we “know” them but “fear” that the mere utterance of them will make a nightmare of a reality we want to avoid.  “Divorce” is one such word for kids who watch their parents fight, and wonder about their own security in the universe of unstable families; “Chronic” or “intractable” are two others — for those with medical conditions who do not want to hear their doctors talk about the consequences of certain disabilities which have developed over the past couple of years.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where such medical conditions have now come to the point of being chronic and intractable, and thus prevents the Federal or Postal employee from continuing in his or her career with the Federal government, it is time to consider another set of words which were previously never used: Federal Disability Retirement.

Avoiding the use of words will not undo the reality surrounding the conceptual paradigms encountered; and procrastinating the thought, initiation or formulation of an effective FERS Disability Retirement application will not make such words go away; they will remain, even if they are words which we never wanted to use.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire