OPM Disability Retirement Law: Perfection’s Harm

It has been stated by many, that one should never let perfection be the enemy of the good; in other words, one can always delay and delay, arguing that whatever the project being attended to, the goal aimed for, it is simply not good enough because it is not perfect.

Can imperfect beings ever achieve perfection?  Or, is perfection merely the justification for procrastination, knowing that the goal which never can be attained will forever remain as a potentiality steeped in the angst of our own imperfections?

“Good enough”, of course, is a relative standard which all perfectionists are uncomfortable with; for, an employer who accepts such a standard is in danger of relinquishing high standards replaced by an ad hoc, mediocre acceptance of “less than” — which is never a paradigm one attempts to aspire to.  But perfection’s harm is of eternal procrastination; for, we can always find a reason why something is not “good enough”, without ever asking the natural follow-up question: Good enough for what?

In the abstract, “perfection” is an admirable goal to achieve, for it involves a standard envisioned by the visionary few; but in the practical world, perfection’s harm is the aspiration of a would-be god, an idol of idiocy, an apex of folly.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition continues to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the procrastination resulting from perfection’s harm is that the Federal employee believes that his or her medical condition will miraculously resolve itself, and allow for continuation in the Federal or Postal job.  But that is perfection’s lair — of tomorrow, or the next day.

Contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider perfection’s harm — of the impracticality of which you already know, precisely because the medical condition itself has already established and revealed that man’s life on earth is one of perpetual imperfection.

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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement Law: Place in the World

It is one of the hardest things to find.  The old metaphor of “finding a needle in a haystack” is easier than finding your place in the world.  What education to attain; of finding a lifelong partner to share your hopes, dreams and disappointments; of what career to choose; of which relationships to foster, and those to sever; and of activities worthwhile, others to abandon; these, and the global compendium of present choices and future conduits to embrace — these all, in their aggregate, result in one’s “place in the world”.

Modern life makes it difficult.  It used to be, half a century ago, that if you walked into an ice cream parlor, you had 3 choices — Vanilla, chocolate, and maybe a third.  Nowadays, there are so many flavors that it makes for paralysis of thought.  Part of the problem, beyond the infinite range of choices, is that the transience of life is available everywhere and opportunity to break the mold of generational stodginess is no longer an obstacle.  The antiquated idea that the children of X would “follow in the footsteps” of X — by tradition, by custom, by limitations of choices and “just because” — is no longer even considered.  Does anyone know what it means, anymore, to “follow in the footsteps” of your father?

Transience is to modernity as the horse & buggy was to the modern-day car, or as it is today, the EV, or electric vehicle.  It is difficult, these days, for a child to find his or her place in the world, precisely because there is no longer any stability of choices, along with an endless array of choices.  As multiple philosophers have stated many times, if everything is available, then the very concept of “everything” becomes a nothingness.

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, “finding one’s place” must be revisited, even in later life, because one’s place in the Federal or Postal job is in danger of becoming lost.

To find “another” place in the world, you may have to file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, precisely because one’s medical condition has meant a loss in your place in the world, and discovery of a new place may be a necessity.

Contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and begin the new process of finding another place in the world before the availability of such places becomes a place of nothingness in this world of everything.

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 for Federal & Postal Workers: Light Duty

Light duty” is a term often associated with Worker’s Compensation cases, and rarely has significant relevance in a Federal Disability Retirement case.  It can, however, be a temporary form of an “accommodation” — but one which still does not prevent a Federal Employee or Postal worker from obtaining and becoming qualified for FERS Disability Retirement benefits.

Light duty can range anywhere from the physical to the administrative — of allowing for work without performing some or many of t he essential elements of one’s positional requirements.  Thus, in the “physical” area: Of allowing a person not to have to stand, walk, lift heavy parcels, etc.  Or, to limit travel.  In the “administrative” area: Perhaps a limited and reduced time on the computer; allowing for more frequent breaks during extended periods of sedentary work; of working half-days and allowing for use of SL, AL or LWOP.

These are all generic examples of what may constitute “light duty”.  A Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service may allow for such light duty even on a permanent basis.  However, understand that even if the Federal agency or Postal Service allows for “permanent light duty” (which, in conceptual terms, is somewhat of an oxymoron), such an allowance does not preclude a Federal or Postal employee from being eligible throughout for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Contact a Federal Disability Lawyer and become informed about your right to Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The Venn Diagram of Life

Venn diagrams reveal the logical relationships between a finite collection of different sets.  Unlike concentric circles which all share a common center and thus fail to show their interconnectedness, Venn diagrams unravel both the connected relationships as well as the disjointed and isolated parts.  Thus, while all of X may also share in Y, some of Y may not connect with X or with Z, etc.

It is emblematic of our personal lives — where some part of us may be shared at work, but not all; and the personal side which is “not known” at work may be a private side of us that no one ever knows, and need not know.  Medical conditions are often those sets of conditions which represent a part of Y (personal side) but which are left isolated and private, outside of the reach of knowledge, yet nevertheless a part of X (work side) precisely because we bring to work our medical conditions (because we have no choice about the matter), even though we try and hide them.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition has begun to increasingly impact one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the Venn Diagram of Life is a familiar concept — trying to leave the impact outside of the circle of work becomes increasingly difficult, and the “work-circle” more and more notices the infringing nature of the medical condition itself through greater use and exhaustion of Sick Leave, LWOP and reduced performance efficacy.

The key, then, is to recognize the logical and real relationship between one’s medical conditions and their impact upon one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s job.  Once that relationship has been realized, then you can make the proper decision as to whether it is time to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

As part of that Venn Diagram of Life, you may want to look at the diagram of concentric circles, as well — where the common center of a successful disability retirement application is often in consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Answering the question

What constitutes “answering the question”, and more importantly, how does one determine when its opposite occurs — NOT answering the question?  Does the former occur if the questioner fails to follow up, and does the latter become an issue if the person asking responds with, “That doesn’t answer my question,” or some such similar declarative assertion?

Take the following hypothetical:  Person A asks Person B, “So, where do you come from?”  Person B answers, “The skies of Normandy were grey on that June day in 1944.”  Now, Person A could have various responses to such a statement, as in:  1.  “No, no, I asked where you came from.” 2. “Are you telling me that you come from Normandy, France?”  3.  “That doesn’t answer my question.”  4. Or, silence, with no follow-up.

Person B, of course, could similarly respond in variegated ways, as in:  A.  “I just told you.”  B.  “Yes” or “No” (in response to the follow-up question, “Are you telling me that you come from Normandy, France?”).  C.  Silence, or “Yes it does.”  D.  Nothing further.

It may be that Person B simply has a poetic bent, and from his perspective, the mundane query was answered in a metaphorical, literary manner.  More to the point, however:  Who determines if a question has been answered (leaving aside the further query of whether the answer itself has “sufficiently” or “fully” been responsive to the question) — the one who asks, or the one who answers?

In a normal conversation, of course, the issue rarely comes about; in an argument where one or the other side, or both, are trying to get answers and defeat the other side, the heat of the moment may determine the answer to the question; and the penultimate paradigm of the question, “Who determines whether the question has been answered?” occurs in the highest form during a deposition or cross-examination in the legal arena.

Observing what occurs during a court proceeding is an interesting experience of human behavior; of the back-and-forth between counsels and the witnesses being deposed or examined, as in:  “You didn’t answer the question.”  “Yes, I did.”  “I asked you…”.  “Asked and answered.”  “Objection, the question has already been asked and answered.”  And on and on until a singular point is pursued to an exhaustive level ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

Is the issue of what constitutes an answered question somewhat akin to the question or “original intent” — i.e., that just like an author’s original intent as to the meaning of a written document is what should rule, similarly, the person who asks the question has the sole power to determine whether or not the question asked has been answered, and moreover, adequately and sufficiently answered?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are beginning the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective 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, these questions concerning the “answering of questions” will and should come to the forefront when confronted with the questions asked on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.

Inasmuch as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has promulgated the questions in a carefully-crafted manner, there are some inherent pitfalls and dangers in what constitutes an adequate response, a sufficient answer and the complete delineation that rises to the level of a satisfactory statement.

SF 3112A is replete with unanswered questions within the very substance of each question, and the answers you provide are best guided by an attorney who has had the experience of legal encounters previously, and who specializes in the Law of Federal Disability Retirement.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Those intersecting connections

We hear all the time about the shrinking world, the smaller universe, the global village – all metaphors to help and understand, to comprehend and be able to withstand within the insanity of a world that continues to intrude, intersect and impose itself upon every corner and aspect of lives lived and daily interrupted.  It is a way for people to cope with the fact that we can no longer avoid the reality of those intersecting connections from worlds, cultures and universes that make up the daily reality of our walking lives.

The newspapers globalize each and every issue; the television and cable news outlets care little for local news unless it, too has some national consequences; and so we live with the anomaly that the only time you might hear about your own hometown is if some horrific event occurs that other people in other towns might care about.  And, even when a story is reported about an event that occurs just around the corner from the news station, headquarters or whatever manner of identifying the central place where all of the equipment, studios and personnel gather to emit their airwaves of newsfeeds, they act as if it is occurring in some distant county or country, with perhaps a bit of weeping as an afterthought with a statement like, “And it makes it all the worse because it happened just in our own neighborhood!”

The world is indeed one comprised of intersecting connections, and we voluntarily allow for those connections to make our own perspectives molded into “theirs” by inviting various cable channels into our living rooms.  Do we really have a choice?  Can we just remain ignorant and ignore the reality of the global economy, the extended village and the universal concerns of the day?  How do we live with the complexities of intersecting connections, when we can barely deal with the local problems that beset us within the cocoon of our own lives?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact the daily ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, the microcosm of intersecting connections may well be magnified to a level where it competes with what is occurring on a more global scale.

Suddenly, the Federal Agency is moving to put pressure on you – like those competing foreign companies you hear about in the world economy.  Or, the Supervisor is no longer being cordial – somewhat like the world leader who doesn’t return calls to the President.  Coworkers no longer treat you as an equal – like nations that suddenly go rogue without explanation.  You have to file a complaint – like submitting to a U.N. vote for sanctions.

We have all been groomed and prepared to think in terms of intersecting connections, but for the Federal and Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition such that preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application becomes a necessity, it all comes back to a more local and personal connection: one’s health, and the need to focus upon one’s personal life.

No matter how global the world has become, never forget that it is the personal life of close connections that really only matters in the end.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: The character of each day

What does the day bring?  Do we awaken, put our finger up to the winds of time or the breeze of the day and ask that question before getting up, dressing and opening the door into a world beyond that may or may not fulfill the promises we believe to be granted?  Or, regardless of the indications, the barometers that forewarn or the compass that fails to direct, do we nevertheless move forward and tackle the challenges faced or otherwise deliberately and willfully avoid?

Does it make a difference, in an “objective” sense, whether we consult the horoscope or check the biodynamic calendar to see if it is an “unfortunate” day to engage in this or that activity; or to stay away from groups of people identified by certain signs or symptoms, revealed or otherwise concealed?

What determines the character of each day – the world at large, the elements within, of the person who steps out into the world?  Or, like the old puzzle that even the Sphinx could not answer, is it by genetic dominance, predetermination and the innate structure of our DNA, or the environment that one is brought up in that forms and conforms the individual personality, content and essence of an individual?

It is always interesting to observe the ritualistic tendencies of each individual that one engages in before battling the turmoil of the day’s challenges; whether one exercises before or after; does eating a meal energize or bloat; are there superstitions embraced before the car door is opened and shut and the engine of time begins the day; these and more determine the character, for many, of each day.

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who must by necessity battle with the medical condition unasked for, unsolicited and without regard to a choice of superstitions allowed, the character of each day has already been somewhat determined.  The only question remaining is, can you endure the harassment from the job, the lack of respect and the constant undermining of accommodations requested by forging forward despite the lack of character in others already shown each day, or is it time to prepare an effective 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?

Sometimes, the character of the each day is determined not so much by the content of one’s own inner strength, but by the lack thereof in others, and that is something that you cannot do anything about except to “move on” and leave behind the Federal agency or the Postal facility that fails to show any character at all, each day or any day.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire