Federal Medical Retirement under FERS: Vicious Circularity

There is a direct correlation between the growing mental health crisis and the increasingly focused reliance upon cognitive insularity — where engagement with “the world” is not between the subjective (our own thoughts, senses, moods, etc.) and the objective (the world “out there” in what Kant deemed unknowable, as encountered in the noumenal — not the phenomenal — universe), but rather, between the subjective and the perceptual apparatus of the meta-universe.

Whether at work or play, everyone, everywhere, at most times, is engaged on the computer, Smart Phone, etc.  A growing consensus says that a healthy mind requires engagement with the objective world for some period of time each day — of taking a walk and leaving your Smart Phone behind; of making some connection beyond the vicious circularity of your own thoughts within the meta-universe of a virtual reality.

The corporate giants clearly have a monetary self-interest in having the world become insular; for, the greater use of the electronic devices results in greater profits and increased dependency.  No one asked the common man whether we wanted a world made up of this vicious circularity, but here we are.

With the growing mental health crisis, more Federal and Postal workers need to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.  Fortunately, the MSPB and the Federal Courts of Appeals have recognized that there is no stigma to be placed on psychiatric medical disabilities.

Psychiatric conditions are just as valid a basis in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS benefits system, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as physical, non-psychiatric conditions.

As for the vicious circularity magnifying our mental health crisis?  That is for Psychiatrists and Therapists to deal with; but in the meantime, take their simple advice: Leave the Smart Phone and the Computer behind, and take your dog out for a walk.

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 Claims: Things We Didn’t Ask For

Perhaps the list is long; or, somewhat shorter than expected.  If it is a long list, one must question whether or not you actually didn’t ask for the items on the list.  If it is comfortably short, then it may reflect a greater control of one’s life.

Some things which the list may include: Financial problems; difficulties at work; a dog, a cat or some other stray animal having made it to your home; unruly kids; unappreciative kids; kids who never grow up.  Marriage often adds to the list — not because you don’t love your husband or wife, but because marriage is often an involvement of complex compromises where not everything is agreed to.

Can a shorter list reflect a greater capacity to control one’s life?  Perhaps — but the one column you cannot control is: A disabling medical condition.

That’s one of the things we didn’t “ask” for, although living a certain type of lifestyle may implicitly be interpreted as having “asked” for it, like: Jumping out of airplanes while being in the military (with later consequences of degenerative arthritis in the knees, for example); living in an unregulated state where upriver or downwind is a chemical pant spewing out dubious toxins which rain onto your lawn, forever killing anything and making those tomatoes a strange grey pallor, as in the state of Texas and perhaps some others; or of excessive use of drugs and alcohol in self-medicating for stressful issues, etc.

But, for the most part, a medical condition is one of those on “The List” which we didn’t ask for.

For Federal Gov. employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition — whether you asked for it or not — the prospect of preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS may well be necessitated by one of those things you didn’t ask for.

When a medical condition prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your job, it is time to ask for something which you need — a Federal Disability Retirement Annuity — because of that which you didn’t ask for — a medical condition.

Hopefully, your application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will fall into another known category: Of Ask, and You Shall be Granted: An approval, from OPM.  Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Medical Retirement Law and begin the process of asking for a benefit which is your right under Federal Law.

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 Disability Retirement Benefits: Drifting

We all do it; or, more likely, it merely happens to us.  The importance is not so much whether we are, but whether it is towards something, or away.  If it is drifting away, without a direction towards something, then there is the danger of isolation, desolation and despair.  If it is being adrift — but with some direction and ultimately “towards” some direction or goal — then it is a positive thing, and not merely a negation and a chasm leading to nothingness.

We cannot — all of us, every waking moment and every minute of our lives — be purposeful, goal-oriented, and with certainty of hope.  If we were, we would merely be angels and divine agents, and not the fallible human beings we are meant to be.  Don’t be so hard on yourself; for, drifting is part of life’s meanderings, and there is nothing wrong with being lost every now and again, especially when such drifting may lead us to encounters more fruitful than merely existing as the busy little beavers we are always asked to be.

When drifting is a merely an interim period, a temporary state, then it is merely a “stage before” and will likely lead to something positive.

For Federal employees, of course, as well as U.S. Postal workers (both of whom fall into the category of FERS employees) who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition leads one adrift, consider contacting a FERS Disability Attorney when you are ready, in order to guide and direct you in the right direction, in preparing, formulating and filing an effective FERS Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS.

Drifting is good; purpose is even better; and when the drifting is over, it is a good thing to redirect your goals and obtain a Federal Disability Retirement annuity in order to redirect your priorities so that your health becomes the end-goal in the drifting period of your life.

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 Disability Attorney Blog: Life With Abandon

Some would say that it is the only way to live life; others, that caution and thoughtfulness before proceeding is the wiser course of action.  Are the choices merely a reflection of age, as opposed to a life lived resulting from upbringing or personality?  Does youth and inexperience reflect the yearning to live life with abandon, whereas old age brings about the cautionary tale of the brother to the prodigal son who stayed behind and attended to his duties?

Upon watching a young child play with abandon, an old man remarked to the concerned mother, “Life will teach the young lad soon enough, and the cynic will foster from the experience of abandon”.

But do we all learn from experience?  Why do we idolize the successful person who “goes for broke”, and quickly forget the ones who do that but “fail” in life?  Do most of us relate to the football team that tries to preserve its 3-point lead in the fourth quarter, but loses in the last 30 seconds of the game because of cautionary trepidation? Do we all think we are that quarterback who plays with abandon, or the one who tries to preserve the lead?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal employee to continue in his or career in the Federal government, “life with abandon” is sometimes merely the next step in one’s career and life by preparing a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application under FERS, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, may be the Fourth quarter pass which wins the game.  It is all in the way and manner you see things.

Contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider whether filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application may not be the admixture of both — a cautionary life with abandon, done the right way.

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.

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Success or Failure

We tend to overstate such concepts.  Life is never static; the measure of a person’s character, career, family or friendships cannot be conclusively determined by some global, singular standard.  There is a spectrum to be applied — of periods where a measure of success is attained, and other times when some judgment of failure may be appropriate.

Rarely can an entire life be measured by such an all-encompassing criteria.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are preparing to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is often an apologetic attitude which prevails — the very same attitude which compelled you to delay filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits to your own detriment, health-wise and with consequences to your family.

Somehow, you “feel” guilty, as if you are letting others down; that you have worked all of your life and you don’t “deserve” to access a benefit such as Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits.  Bosh! (One can, of course, think of more colorful language, but perhaps we should keep it clean, here).

Federal Disability Retirement is a contractual benefit which you signed on to when you became a Federal or Postal employee and met the 18-month minimum threshold for being a Federal or Postal employee.  You have every right to file for it and access that benefit if you meet the eligibility criteria.  No need for apologies.  No need for guilt. It is not a measure of whether you are a success or a failure.

Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of submitting a successful OPM Disability Retirement application, lest you allow yourself one more day of wrong-headed thoughts about success or failure.

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 from the OPM: The World in Chaos

Watching the news, one witnesses a world in chaos.  Yet, for many, there is very little difference between a personal life in chaos and a public world in a similar state; the distinction is without a difference.  The objective world is merely a reflection of the inner disorder of lives innumerable; the walking psyche that views the universe through a lens of an unhinged universe merely provides the punctuation to sentences already made meaningless; the commas inserted merely makes for greater pauses.

Medical conditions, too, tend to do that — create a chaos out of order, disorder from seeming calm.  Yet, for Federal and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the chaotic life of losing one’s career and livelihood is just as “real” as the chaotic upheaval of a world gone mad.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider whether a FERS Disability Retirement may provide some stability for a future yet uncertain.  For, it is out of chaos that order can come about, and a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer may be able to provide some semblance of calm in a world that seemingly has lost its bearings.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
FERS Disability Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Uncertainties

This is a universe of uncertainties; and yet, we are creatures who rely upon certainties.  We are certain that tomorrow, the sun will rise again; that the world we inhabited just before sleep overtook us will resemble the one we awaken to; that our cellphones and laptops will function in a fairly consistent manner; that the world of yesterday is a prelude to the universe of tomorrow.  Until it is not.

Tumultuous times render us impotent; we rely upon a constancy of yesterdays; but when the future becomes uncertain, when the times that surround become destroyed in an upheaval, the certainties we rely upon become all the more relevant.

These are, indeed, uncertain times, and for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where those very medical conditions can no longer allow you to perform the essential elements of your job, it is within the context of uncertainties that you should seek a semblance of certainty: Of an annuity that will secure your future financial health.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and see whether you qualify to begin the process of securing a more certain future, especially given the uncertainties of the present.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Smelling the roses

It is a simplistic attitude, but one whose truism dominates and attracts: to enjoy life and have the capacity to relish in it.

“Stopping to smell the roses” is all well and good to declare when you don’t have much to do, or when you are in a position to reverse life’s onward march; however, for most of us, the stresses of daily living, of trying to make a living, and of the uncontrollable demands that beset us every day, undermines the advice of the sage: yes, tranquility can reflect a healthy mind and slowing of pace can lead to longevity and stave off mortality’s inevitable decline; but how does one contend with and control modernity’s screaming frenzy?

The appendage to the image of “smelling the roses,” of course, is the admonition to “pause” or “stop and” take the time; but is our loss of olfactory sensitivity a result of our lack of use?  How many of us even notice the scent of a flower, whether when we walk into a room or meander along a country path? Instead, most of us sneeze with irritation, beset with asthmatic symptoms of allergic disdain, and view such niceties as merely one of life’s obstacles to overcome and ignore.

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 job, the concept of pausing and “smelling the roses” is the last thing to consider, and life’s travails will only continue to shout and scream to prevent such a prosaic declaration.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will not necessarily allow for greater time to smell those roses, but it will allow for more time to attend to one’s own health — and isn’t that the point?

We take for granted our health, but when our health begins to deteriorate, the stresses begin to compound and exponentially aggregate.

Smelling the roses comes only after the priorities of our life have been placed into proper order, and preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits when it becomes necessary is the first step towards reaching for the ultimate paradigm of life’s resistance to the stresses inherent and overwhelming: Health; life; relationships — then, to pause in order to smell the roses.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Information: OPM’s Methodology

There may be a single criteria to meet, with subsets of requirements that must be complied with; yet, multiple methodologies in approaching the singular.  How can that be?  Isn’t it all simple, where you read what is required, then gather up all of the evidence that appears to meet it and simply send it all in?  That is the “volume methodology”.

Can a single sentence in a medical report ever meet the legal criteria in an OPM Disability Retirement case — i.e., a “qualitative” methodology, as opposed to a quantitative one?  Sometimes.

Isn’t the law clear in what is required, and isn’t it a matter of just amassing the medical evidence to meet the requirements as stated?  Hmmm…. For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical conditions 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 understand, somewhat, OPM’s Methodology in reviewing and deciding upon a case.

First of all, not all medical conditions are equal.  Perhaps that is self-evident, but for the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from one or another medical condition, and must endure the daily pain, restriction and limitations imposed thereby, it may not be so self-evident.

Second, OPM is not some “neutral” Federal Agency that reviews a Federal Disability Retirement application with dispassionate objectivity, ready to grant an “approval” because you “believe” your medical evidence is “sufficient” to meet the legal requirements as stated.  Sufficiency is the gatekeeper that denies many a Federal Disability Retirement case — and it is not a methodology that is satisfied by quantitative (volume) means, not even necessarily by qualitative standards; rather, it is the reviewer (i.e., the “Medical Specialist” at OPM) who determines by some unknown and unknowable standard when the goal-post has been crossed.

Thus, in an OPM Disability Denial Letter, one may read a reference to one’s doctor’s note or a quotation from a medical report from one’s doctor, and think, “Good, this is very supportive” —then, with an appended end to the paragraph stating, “Such medical evidence does not sufficiently meet the standards to qualify for OPM Disability Retirement”.  Huh?

Think about it this way: “Sufficiency” may mean different things to different audiences; for example, what is a “sufficient” amount of food for a lion, as opposed to a domesticated kitten?

OPM’s methodology is, at best, malleable, as language in law is likewise changeable.  It is good to know this for Federal and Postal employees who are either getting ready to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, or who are in the middle of a fight to obtain it; for, in the end, consulting with an OPM Disability Retirement lawyer allows you to arm yourself with knowledge for the battle that OPM’s Methodology in determining Federal Disability Retirement cases must be prepared, like any legal battle that involves “criteria” to be interpreted.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: Force of laughter

Is language necessary for laughter to follow?  If so, what accounts for the slapstick comedy that erupts with uproarious belly-shaking guffaws that reverberate throughout?  What is the fine line between laughter and sorrow — of the man who slips and upends upon a slippery banana left unnoticed on the sidewalk, to realizing that the injuries are serious enough to land him in the emergency room; what divides the chasm between comedy and tragedy?  And of the force of laughter — can it be forced and, if so, does the force of laughter have the same effect as laughter naturally erupting?

Say you live in an Orwellian state — a totalitarian regime somewhat like the one prevailing in North Korea — and you stand beside “The Great One” who cracks a joke.  You do not find it funny, and nor does anyone else; but you laugh, anyway, because you are expected to laugh on pain of death.  Is there a difference between that laughter and the one that you cannot help because the punch-line is so deliciously delivered that self-control cannot be exercised even upon pain of death?

What if a contest were held — of “Who can tell the funniest joke” — and it is between a known comic and again, “The Great One”.  You are one of 3 judges on a panel, and you know that if “The Great One” does not win the contest, you will likely be sent to a Gulag on the next train the morning after.  First, the known comic does his or her routine for half an hour, and everyone “loses it” and laughs with abandonment.  Next, “The Great One” goes through his routine, and everyone laughs just as hard, if not harder.

Can one distinguish between the first half of the contest where everyone has “lost it”, and the second half where the laughter is louder, the rolling on the floor exceeded exaggerated enjoyment, and by all accounts, “The Great One” received the louder laughter?

The force of laughter always possesses that duality of a conundrum: Laughter can be forced, but the force of laughter may not have the same force if force is derived from the forcing of it.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition has in recent times denied one the genuine force of laughter, it may be time to consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, submitted ultimately to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Laughter can be infectious, but when a medical condition deflates and dissipates the quality of one’s life, one’s career, and the incongruence that can come between health and continuation in one’s job, filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application may become a necessity.  When the force of laughter is robbed because of a medical condition that has become chronic and intractable, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through OPM may be the best option left in order to avoid that hollow laughter that comes from laughing at a joke delivered by “The Great One”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire