OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: Holding on Too Long

We all have that tendency; we live with the old rule & adage: “throwing good money after bad”; “to abandon is to admit failure”; “maybe tomorrow will be different than today”, etc.

Few of us are able to cut the string or the proverbial umbilical cord when time, circumstances and all indicators reveal to us the wisdom of doing so.  We hold on for too long; we don’t want to admit and face “the facts”; we want to believe that tomorrow is that ray of hope where yesterday was the shadow of darkness, but where darkness was a thing of the past.

Yes, there are rare instances in which stories of hope and rejuvenation profited the stubborn exception; but that is why there are such stories in the first place — they are the exceptions which defied the normal course of most circumstances.

For the Federal employee or U.S. Postal Service worker 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, holding on too long has more than a price to pay in terms of time wasted; it has to do with your health.

Holding on too long can continue to help deteriorate the health which you are attempting to preserve.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of “letting go” — an act of the will, and not merely the words of a Shakespearean fool who brings down the King and his kingdom with a crash of tragedy echoing beyond Lear’s empty ravings.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Medical Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Isolation

It is a state which many declare to be desired; but, in reality, human beings are social and political animals (the latter term applied in an Aristotelian sense), and a true state of it becomes an insular havoc of desperate insanity.

Isolation is used in penal institutions as a means of punishment.  Whether it has a rehabilitative effect is questionable, but the policy is generally to impart upon the prisoner a stripping and depriving of a needed human experience — that of contact with others — and by punishing the individual, to allegedly “motivate” the offending party into behaving in an orderly manner in the future.  However, human beings possess great forces of creativity.  Stories from the Guantanamo facilities reveal a wide range of ingenuities in communication methods employed when “solitary confinement” is imposed upon multiple individuals.

In the end, the policy of isolation is often ineffective, and merely serves as an extreme measure of punishment which motivates not the human appetitive sense of behavioral modification, but cuts deeply into a profound sense of resentment and hatred.

In the general population, we have come to fool ourselves into believing that a blinking screen can replace actual human contact.  The worldwide pandemic has revealed the fissures of such thinking, and has tested the extremes of isolation.

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 under FERS, the sense of isolation can be felt from not being able to engage in the multiple essential elements of the position — of participating in conferences; of engaging with other coworkers; of missing time from work because of doctor’s appointments, etc.

Further, actual isolation is often exaggerated in the mind, where the mental isolation becomes disproportionately viewed and exponentially harmful to a person’s self-image.

Contact a retirement attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider the option of filing a FERS Disability Retirement application.  As isolation is the harbinger of a future yet uncertain, FERS Disability Retirement may be the ray of hope which opens the jailhouse door to a mind which is willing to be motivated.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

OPM Disability Retirement Law: The Village

On the political spectrum, conservatives scoffed at the idea (represented as a target of a book written by a hated political figure on the left); and liberals constantly embraced the idea, despite repeated labeling of socialism and unwanted interference from others.

The idea of the “rugged individual” as opposed to a cradle-to-cremation nanny state — the conceptual opposites are characterized by the false narrative of extreme choices, of a disjunctive which is no longer applicable, and a failure to have a productive discussion.

Most people actually hold dear the idea of a “village” — of a caring and close community.  On the other hand, most people also want the opportunity to be able to become “successful” without the burden of over-taxation and government interference.  Can both be concurrently established?  Can a balance be attained?

Federal Disability Retirement is a paradigm for that balance.  For, while it pays an annuity to the Federal retiree based upon a disability which prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, yet it allows for that individual to remain productive and go out into the private sector and make up to 80% of what his or her former position currently pays.  It is a system whereby “the village” allows for both — an annuity from the “nanny state”, and an allowance to remain productive and “successful”.

Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether or not you can qualify for entrance into the Village.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

OPM Medical Disability Retirement: The Swing of Things

How do you explain such an idiom to a foreigner?  How do you explain it to yourself, or to a friend or family member?

It is a phrase which is often used, rarely considered, and never questioned.  We say such things without thought and, if it fits the context, no one ever pauses or stops to question its applicability.

The Holidays are over; people have been on a somewhat extended break; and in returning to work, someone says, “It’ll take some time to get back into the swing of things”.  Others smile, nod in agreement, or utter supportive addendums.

Someone comes back from maternity leave; an elder person enters as a Freshman/Woman in college; a young novice begins a job; to all, someone declares, “It may take some time to get into the swing of things.”  All appropriate applications?

A person has been working at a job for over 2 decades.  Someone says audibly in the middle of the day, “It takes time to get into the swing of things.”  People look up quizzically.  An inappropriate application?  But why?

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, is the idiom, “It is difficult to get back into the swing of things” appropriate?

If not — both because there are no potentialities for ever “getting back” what has been lost, and because the medical condition has gone beyond the ‘difficult’ and into the ‘disabling’ stage — it is time to consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement.

The “swing of things” must now be something different from your current Federal or Postal job.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Die Trying

We hear about that — of people dying while in the process of trying to work.  We push ourselves daily because we have no choice but to bear the unbearable, as if the work we do is more important than life itself.  We give lip-service to so much pablum — that “life is sacred”; that we live in a “caring society”; that “in the end”, what matters are “relationships” and not material possessions, etc.

But do we believe it?  What constitutes and validates “believing” in something as opposed to not?  Is it to simply assert and declare without such words ever being tested, or can “belief” turn into “true belief” only after an action has followed a proposition?

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 his or her Federal Job, the question that must be raised is whether it is all 
“worth it”, isn’t it?

Whether continuing on towards that goal of “retirement” can be achieved; if it is worthwhile to die trying — or, is Federal Disability Retirement an option to consider?  Certainly, to “die trying” can be a noble effort, but only if the goal to achieve possesses some inherently noble characteristics.  At the end of that effort, what will be the reward?

OPM Disability Retirement is a benefit accorded to all Federal and Postal employees under FERS when it becomes clear that a medical condition is no longer compatible with continuation in the job, or any similar job.  Seek the counsel and advice of an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before forging ahead, lest you decide to ignore all of the symptoms of a declining health resulting in the tragic result where whispers and shaking heads would declare in a low voice, “Well, he died trying!”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The Garden of One’s Mind

The metaphor has been used often enough; whether it enhances or enlightens one’s knowledge of one’s self is of dubious prospects.  The physical, objective entity identified as a “garden” is simple enough in being defined: it must include some plants and soil; perhaps a few rocks or boulders to enhance the natural contours of the landscape; and a person who “tends” to the garden — i.e., a “gardener”.

Can there be wild gardens without a gardener?  In other words, can you walk through a forest and come upon a clearing where there are flowers and various plant lives, and declare, “Oh, what a beautiful garden!”?  Similarly, can a person who lives in an apartment who has a collection of potted plants have the “right” to say to someone, “You should come and admire my garden sometime.”?

Purists may object to the application of the term “garden” to either of those described scenes, but a looser definition is still widely accepted in this modern age where malleability of language is a given.  Then, of course, there is the “stretching” of language’s boundaries by applying the metaphor of a “Garden of one’s Mind”.

What can it mean?  It often refers to the state of one’s mind: Of whether one has allowed for too much neglect and has failed to “prune” the overgrowth or let the weeds overtake; of failing to replenish the soil or allowed by disease and decay to overshadow.

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 concept encapsulated in the metaphor of the garden is appropriate.

For, like the untended garden, the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition must apply the same principles as the gardener who must begin to prune and replenish: decisions about the next steps, of what to cut out or whether one can leave things as they are; these are all contained in the metaphor within the Garden of One’s Mind, and it may be a first step to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before making important decisions like career changes and leaving the Federal government.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Law: Greener pastures

We all engage that game of the “other” side of things, don’t we?  Greener pastures; the pristine lawn on the other side; the “why-is-it-that” game, as in, Why is it that the ‘other guy’ has a better life than I?  Is it merely because of the age-old problem that Plato pointed out – that appearances are deceptive?

The problem is that one will never truly know the circumstances of another unless one has an “insider” perspective on the matter.  The neighborhood that you drive through that always seems like a friendly conglomerate of families laughing, having picnics together, presenting with a coherence not known in your own neighborhood; or the “perfect family” that seems to always get along and shows such support and love for one another; do these entities of inviolable perfection really exist?  Likely, not.

That is why an interview with an “insider” always turns one’s ear and contains revelations of salacious details of internal discord, concealed disharmony and bitterness untold.  Thus do the halls of the Vatican scream with priests who committed unforgivably abusive acts towards children – yet, to the “outsider” for all of those years, the men in flowing robes appeared upstanding and caring; and what about the actor and actress with the perfect marriage – how many times have they appeared since on the cover of multiple tabloids once the crack of separation and divorce occurred?  But for the publicist who wanted to control the exposure, no one would be the wiser.

Greener pastures are always attractive nuisances; they attract precisely because they do not reflect the reality of one’s own situation, and they are nuisances because we know inside that it cannot possibly be real, but the appearance of perfection is oh-so salivating by invitation of concealment.

For Federal or Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition necessitates the filing of an effective 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, the greener pasture may be a Federal Disability Retirement benefit.  However, before one goes down that road, the Federal or Postal employee contemplating such a move should get an “insider” perspective on the matter, and this is done by simply getting the facts.

Obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity may not be the answer to every problem, but it can certainly resolve some of them.  The Federal Disability Retirement annuity itself will be a pay cut of sorts, but the focus upon one’s medical condition and its treatment, as opposed to continuing on in the turmoil of a hostile work environment, may be green enough to consider those “greener pastures”.

Whatever the appearance, it is obtaining the facts that is most important, and consulting with an experienced Federal Disability Retirement attorney is the first important step in getting an “insider’s viewpoint” on the matter.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal and Federal Employee Medical Retirement: Preponderance of the Evidence

It is the legal standard by which civil (non-criminal) adjudications are based upon, and whether or not it can be rationally demarcated as against other standards – i.e., “Clear and convincing evidence” or “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is a question for legal theorists and the schools rendered under the general aegis of, “The Philosophy of Law” – is a valid question in and of itself.

For, we can dress prettily and puff up the definition of what it all means, and bifurcate and explain how the three standards are distinct and differentiated by the increasing severity of the criteria to be applied, but in the end, the juror who goes back into the room to consider the guilt or innocence, the fault or apportioned negligence, is entirely subjective.

For, is there a clear demarcation as to what “reasonable” is?  Can one delineate what is “clear” to one and “convincing” to another?  If a witness has perfect recall and a persuasive manner of telling a “story”, if one juror blurts out, “Oh, but his eye twitched and he was clearly lying through his teeth!” – what then?  And the concept that one side has a “preponderance of the evidence”, or to put it in different but equally confusing terms like “more likely than not” or “the greater weight of truth” – what do all of these analogies and metaphors mean, in the end?

Surely, there are the “easy” cases – an entire football stadium who saw a man shoot another, and the assailant who confesses to the murder; these, we can say are “beyond a reasonable doubt”, but even then, a single juror who has a beef against societal constrains can “nullify” a verdict by holding out.  So, what is the answer (or, for some who are still confused, “what is the question”)?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are entering the legal arena of preparing 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, the expectation, of course, is that the OPM Medical Retirement application will be approved at the first or second stages of the process – i.e., at the Initial Stage of filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM, or at the “Reconsideration Stage” of the process after an initial denial.

That being said, the Federal or Postal employee must – and should – consider the Third Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, which involves an Administrative Judge before the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.  That is when the legal standard of “Preponderance of the Evidence” will ultimately become relevant and operative, and where the evidence gathered and the amalgamation of arguments proffered becomes a basis for testing the validity of legal standards and the meaningful application of the law, evidence, and statutory interpretations.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire