OPM Disability Retirement: Stress and the Harassment Factor

Stress is a reality which has become a normal aspect of everyday living.  The more stress we feel, the greater interpretation of outside actions as harassment; and thus does the vicious cycle begin.  Life is stressful enough.  When another ingredient is added — like a medical condition that weakens one’s body and mind — the tolerance for stress becomes reduced and the capacity to keep things in its proper perspective becomes impossible to manage.  Stress always seems to come in bunches, doesn’t it?

When you are dealing with a medical condition, everything and everyone you interact with becomes a stressful encounter.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your job, the stress of dealing with the medical condition itself is more than enough.

Add to it, your agency or the postal facility will inevitably begin to pressure you to return to work, to file this or that request, to follow their “procedures”, etc.  Whether such actions are objectively considered “harassment” or not is beside the point; you, as the Federal or Postal employee, are dealing with enough factors without having to deal with the harassment factor.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of reducing your stress levels by initiating a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Righting the Mistakes

Some have posited that we actually need 2 lifetimes: One for living, and another for righting the mistakes made in the first lifetime.  Then, a “Mark-Twain humorist” once quipped that, No, human beings need at least 3 lives — the first to live; the second to right the mistakes of the first; and another to do all of the things we always wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to because we were too busy worrying about it.

Life, indeed, is a series of regrets, and most of us still have consciences such that we worry and ruminate about the mistakes we made; how we go about “righting” those mistakes; and finally, on our deathbeds, to simply cry out for forgiveness because the weight of our past is too much to bear.  We can spend most, if not almost all, of our lives trying to correct the errors of our error-filled past; and, if not that, to worry about it.  Often, we don’t even know that we are making the mistakes until it is too late, or until that moment of revelation when we say to ourselves — How did I get myself into this mess?

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 try and file an effective and — as much as possible — an error-free Federal Disability Retirement application.  There is much to be worried about in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application: the complexity of the process itself; the legal hurdles which must be overcome; the bureaucratic morass that must be fought.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and try and avoid the mistakes at the outset. In Federal Disability Retirement, you surely do not want to spend your “second life” righting the mistakes of your first life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Law: The Chasm between Reality and The Law

Non-lawyers will often read “The Law” and expect that reality will conform to the language as it is stated.  That is actually a good sign, in that the expectation of the layperson is that respect for the law will necessarily result in compliance with its dictates.  But language is malleable.  It is subject to interpretation, and that is the field of play which allows for elasticity and the chasm which develops between Reality and The Law.

There are, first and foremost, “The Facts” — and whether or not “The Law” applies to a particular set of facts.  Then, from that application of facts-to-law is the further problem of deciding its significance and relevance, and whether or not there are other contravening facts or opposing case-law or statutory citations which may also impact the direct argument of sound legal analysis.  Then, of course, there can be the further difficulty of people, companies, entities and agencies which completely ignore the law and, more recently, of creating one’s own set of “alternative facts”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition has begun to prevent 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 apply “The Law” precisely, relevantly and comprehensively.

More recent cases of a precedent-setting nature may have altered the meaning of statutory interpretation in a subtle, more favorable manner, and thus is it important to consult with an an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to obtain the greater benefit in evaluating your case, lest the chasm between Reality and The Law be so great as to defeat one’s own attempt within a greater pool of lacking the proper knowledge in applying the law to your particular set of facts.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement: The Dystopian Perspective

Books from all ages depict such a view: The classic one, of course, is Orwell’s 1984; or of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451; but more recently, of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and even more recently of Ogawa’s, The Memory Police. They all possess a thread of commonality: Of a society both frightening and oppressive, based upon human fears and the insecurity wrought by where we are going, the trends of modernity which succumb to believability, and the suspicion that such dystopian consequences are actually possible.

Orwell was wrong, of course — Big Brother did not have to forcibly place tele-screens into people’s homes; instead, each of us volunteered to go out and purchase such spying screens, and with our own hard-earned money in the form of Smartphones, televisions and laptops.  And while no one comes and burns our books, we have effectively accomplished such a misdeed by slowly and incrementally converting them all into digital devices, thus ensuring that we won’t actually know whether the published content of a book is what was originally intended; for, he who controls the digital device has ultimate control over its content, whereas a book published in its original form cannot be altered except by forcible means.

As for Atwood’s theme and Ogawa’s portrayal of the world — they deal with the two aspects of a life in a frightening way: Of the subjugation of the body (The Handmaid’s Tale) and of controlling the mind (The Memory Police).  All are fictional works; yet, somehow we can “relate” to the stories being told. How is that? Is it because we have a dystopian perspective already prepared within us by society’s callous conduct?

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 his or her Federal or Postal job, the Dystopian Perspective is a very familiar one.  For, being ostracized; being condemned; being harassed and being subjected to unfair treatment — it all comes in a bundle once you can no longer “perform” at the level expected by the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.

When that Dystopian Perspective becomes unbearable, then it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  And, while the Dystopian Perspective may not turn into an Utopian Reality, it is far better than the subjugation of the human mind and body that gets increasingly worse under Big Brother’s eye.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: Not as Before

Before what?  That is the natural response.  We tend to bifurcate our lives into segments which are palatable and comprehensible; of a time before X happened, and then our present existence after X; before we had children, and after; before we became married, and after; before some traumatic incident, and sometime thereafter, etc.  The present “I” is never the same as “before”, and one could even say that truthfully about every minute, every hour and every millisecond of a distinction between the “I” in the current state and the “I” of a past state of being.

Whether on a physical, cellular level where genetic structures alter and decay even by the minute; or on a cognitive level where new information, additional data is being processed by our brains every moment of our lives.  We are not as before; we are constantly changing; and like the river which Heraclitus identified an analogy for human existence, so the vicissitudes of the world surrounding impacts us daily such that we are not as before.

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 likely bifurcating event is the medical condition itself.  No, you may not be the same as before, and it is that identifiable change which forms the basis for eligibility of a Federal Disability Retirement benefit under FERS.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider applying for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; for, not only are you not as before, but likewise, your Federal Agency or the Postal facility are viewing your work and future not as before, as well.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Treading Life

We don’t often think of it in those terms; but, in fact, that is how most of us live.  Like the meek swimmer who does not want to drown, we merely tread water — sometimes calmly, often with a sense of desperation; and too often, with a fear that results in a frenzied struggle.  We invent euphemisms for that: Keeping out “heads above water”; Not drowning; “Sink or swim”; “Like being on the Titanic”; and other similar statements emanating from water-based fears.

We tread life like we tread water; just to survive, never taking the chance to swim in this direction or that; and when finally fatigue sets in to remind us that going nowhere is tantamount to waiting to be drowned, we are so weary from so much time and effort to keep afloat that we can no longer muster the energy to even swim to the edge of the pool in order to hang on or lift ourselves out.  And when those unexpected tugs, tides and tidal waves suddenly appear, we thrash about and forget the basics of how to even float, allowing the vicissitudes of life’s mishaps to determine the course of our lives, the quality of how we live and the manner of who we are.

Medical conditions have a way of doing that — of making us forget how to even swim.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal Worker from performing one of more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Treading Life is what we are often forced to do; drowning in life’s problems is what we are too often faced with; swimming with a purposeful destination is what we need to do —and that is the purpose of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Seeking

Isn’t that the condition for life?  That we continually engage in the very human act of seeking, whether for personal growth or professional aptitude; but it is always that constant need to know, to expand, to cross borders and extend beyond the invisible ceiling or barrier that is placed from our birthright to explore and to seek.

Seeking is a hallmark of human behavior; it is the constant seeking that keeps us reinvigorated, alive, instilled with hope and painted with the colors of future dreams. Without seeking, we become staid, unadventurous, static and timid; the world becomes threatening because we have stopped and stunted our own growth potential.  Seeking is always coupled with hope; hope, often seen with future aspirations; and when the seeking stops, it is normally a symptom of a disease which destroys hopes and aspirations.

Medical conditions often undermine the human desire to seek; for, the disease that destroys and disrupts is the same which diminishes one’s hopes and aspirations.

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, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits becomes an important next step in order to regain that human desire for seeking — for one’s future and one’s hopes and aspirations.

Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to move beyond the morass of struggling daily to maintain a Federal position when it has become clear that one’s future is no longer compatible with the Federal or Postal job one holds.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Confronting Reality

When are the times we try and avoid it?  Is that the line between sanity and the “darker world”?  If we avoid it more than we embrace it, does it constitute a step beyond eccentricity and fall into the category of bizarre behavior?  If that were the case, how many of us would meet that definition?  Does engaging in entertainment — whether of the couch potato type or of the active one — constitute avoidance?

Say a person binge-watches a certain television series for 72-hours straight, then sleeps for another 72 hours; such a person has certainly “avoided” the reality of life’s responsibilities, duties, obligations, etc.  But would we deem such a person to be insane?  If he were a bachelor who has no commitments or responsibilities, and acted in such a manner during “vacation time” or during a period of unemployment, we would perhaps not give it a second thought.  But say the same person had a toddler whom he neglected for those 100-plus hours — then, of course, we would consider it as irresponsible behavior, if not criminal neglect.

“Confronting reality” is often deemed the antonym of “avoiding reality”; it is something we all do — both confronting and avoiding — and crosses the diving line between “responsible” and “irresponsible” behavior.  Of course, the latter is sometimes necessary in order to refresh one’s self in order to engage in the former, and so we embrace entertainment and leisure activities in order to adequately prepare ourselves to cross over from one to the other.

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 his or her position, confronting reality is often delayed in order to try and extend one’s career with the Federal government.  Often, early on in suffering from a medical condition, it becomes quite clear whether or not the Federal or Postal worker can continue in his or her chosen career.  This is the point where “confronting reality”, however, clashes with the desire to avoid it and to instead embrace the make-believe universe of “What ifs” — What if things improve?  What if the Agency or Postal Service is willing to be patient?  What if they can accommodate me?

Consult with an attorney experienced in Federal Disability Retirement Law; for as difficult as it may be in confronting reality, it is the reality of the law that will help you avoid the pitfalls which you will surely want to avoid in the days to come.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement under FERS: The Internal Web of Deceit

The quote is often attributed (wrongly) to Shakespeare, when it was Sir Walter Scott in his lengthy poem, Marmion, which conceived it: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.”  It is the internal web caught within the circular insularity of one’s thought-processes which allows for the capacity to deceive — but of or for whom?  Is it ourselves we deceive, or others, or both?

The problem with internalizing one’s thoughts is not that they are necessarily invalid; it is that there is no objective basis upon which to test their viability.  We all engage in private thoughts; carrying on conversations with ourselves, the problem lies not in whether or not we have interesting ones or not, but whether and to what extent the exaggerated absurdity of circular discourses take on a more bizarre aspect.

Fear does this; and when we fail to test our thoughts against the reality of the world, the web we weave becomes more and more tangled, until the practice of self-deception takes on an enhanced and serious result.

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 often necessary to consult with an attorney before considering the difficult bureaucratic path of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Your medical condition is no doubt “real”.  The problem lies not in the medical condition, but upon the administrative procedures which must be passed through in order to present a credible case of eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

For that, it becomes necessary to break out of the internal web of deceit — of the cage within one’s insular thought-processes — and to test the strength of the web as against the laws which govern the administrative procedures involved in formulating an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire