Federal Disability Retirement: This is Happiness

It is the title of Niall Williams’ recent novel; a story about a young man’s coming of age; and yet, beyond a story about a small town and the movement of progress, electrification and the defining moments of what constitutes “happiness” in the small sense of the word, human trials and miseries, as every story must include both happiness as well as sadness, and no story can be believed without the inclusion of either.

It is, ultimately, not in the accumulation of wealth or fame (for, in the small town where the story is set, neither can even be conceived as to the extreme nature that modernity has embraced), but in friendship and human interaction, of love and admiration.  It is set in a time before electricity was known; when innocent love was from afar; and where death was accepted as part of a natural process.

The undersigned rarely recommends a novel to others, but Niall Williams’ work, “This is Happiness”, is well worth a slow and enjoyable read.  It is like an Irish Ballad written in prose, and you can almost hear the melody within the pages of the novel.

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, what “happiness” is comprised of is often — like Niall Williams’ novel — in the smaller things of life: Of acceptance; of being treated with dignity in the workplace; of being able to obtain an annuity because of one’s medical condition when the need arises and the circumstances warrant.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of early retirement so that you can focus upon the smaller things in life, and declare that yes, This is Happiness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Those Days of Luster

Perhaps it is a captured moment of memory; or, more likely, just a feeling of a time long past; there were those days of luster when everything seemed to be working in cadence, the pistons were firing away in perfect unison, the children were all behaving (relatively speaking), and life was a golden horizon yet to fulfill the dreams and hopes dared to be dreamed and hoped for.

Some days are like that; certain moments when friends and family gather together and laughter abounds; and even a year here or there throughout a person’s lifetime, where the luster of life is reflected by the sheen of success, the joy of laughter and the bright rays of hope for the future.  Those days of luster, however, can easily fade with the creases of time — by a mud splat, a moment of tremulous hesitation, or an unexpected interruption by life’s ravages, such as a medical condition.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal employees 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, those days of luster may have come to an end and consideration must be given to filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Time is never on our side; those days of luster were always fleeting and momentary; but it is the hope for tomorrow that needs always to be sought, and preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application may be the best bet in reclaiming those former days of luster.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement from OPM: Crisis Before and Problem After

A crisis is often the problem which was previously procrastinated.  Allowing it to build up to a point of a crisis-event — an emergency that needs to be immediately attended to — is something which many of us do.  It is the immediacy of anything that finally focuses us to attend to the issue; with our busy lives, we tend to ignore, put off and delay that which does not “have to” be dealt with.

But it is often the problem after that continues to haunt and nag.  We can attend to this or that crisis, but the resultant consequences trailing thereafter will often be the long-term conditions which have a residual impact long lasting, and while the crisis may have been handled, it is the problem after that will often defeat.

Look at our national debt.  So long as our country can continue to borrow, it is not a crisis, and so none of the politicians deem it a necessary issue to discuss.  By the time it becomes a crisis, none of the politicians who are in office today will be there, and so there will never be any accountability.  Yet, the problem after the crisis will remain for decades thereafter, if not longer.

And what about a health crisis?  Delay, procrastinate and disregard — until the health issue becomes a crisis; and the problem thereafter is often the chronic, progressively debilitating disability that remains.

And what about one’s job or career?  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that it is becoming apparent that the medical condition will no longer allow you to continue in your job, consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.  Deal with the coming crisis now, lest the problem after becomes unsolvable.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Accommodations

In everyday, common and familiar usage, what does the word “accommodations” mean?  It is to go out of one’s way in order to meet the needs of someone else.  It is to try and allow for another person to fit in, to find comfort or to be allowed to remain even though some extra effort may have to be expended.

In legal terms, especially in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, the term “accommodations” has a similar meaning and import.  It is that “something” which the Federal Agency or the Postal unit must do such that a person who suffers from a medical condition or disability can continue to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.  It may well be that the Federal Agency or Postal Service is unable to accommodate the medical condition and, try as they might, a determination and conclusion is made that no such accommodations exist, or can be allowed for, because of the nature, extent and severity of the medical condition itself.

The “accommodation” question is one of the hurdles that must be overcome in a Federal Disability Retirement application.

It is a complexity in Federal Disability Retirement Law that poses many problems and greater questions.  Is the accommodation permanent or temporary?  Will it allow for the Federal or Postal worker to perform the essential elements of his or her position?  Can a future supervisor “take back” the modification allowed for, or does it become a permanent feature of the position description?

These and many other questions surround the issue of agency efforts for reassignment and accommodations, and in order to obtain clarification and move forward in a Federal Disability Retirement application, consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Chess

Two quick observations about the game of Chess and those who play it:  Few are actually very good at it; and, like self-image and a false sense of confidence for many in the United States, too many who play it believe themselves to be very good at it.  Stefan Zweig wrote about the game brilliantly in his novella, the “Chess Story” (or otherwise translated or sometimes referred to as “The Royal Game”), and debunked the notion that the greatest of players are by implication, necessity and prerequisite of an intellectual character, either as brilliant mathematicians, logicians, musicians, philosophers, etc.

The “brilliant” chess player, Czentovic, is a moron at best, and a blithering idiot at worst — but boy, can he play chess and beat everyone and anyone.  To some extent, the reality of Bobby Fischer confirms the skepticism of Zweig as told in the Chess Story — of the idiot savant whose distorted singularity of brilliance being limited to the ability for adeptly maneuvering within 64 squares of white and black spaces and utilizing 16 pieces each in a game that requires foresight and some amount of insight.

That is not to say that one should minimize or diminish the attributes of a Grand Master and, indeed, many such people were “brilliant” in other ways, as well.  One cannot make generalizations and say that every good chess player is a blithering idiot; but nor can one assume that, because one is good or great at the game, ergo he or she must be an intellectual, philosopher, physicist, etc.  The downfall of most is in the notion that you are good because you think you are good; for everyone else, the tempering of reality normally comes about when one’s own notions come into contact with the reality of the world.

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, initiation and submission of 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, may become a necessity.

Filing an OPM Disability Retirement application is somewhat akin to playing chess — from the crucial initial “move” of the pawn, to maneuvering your way through the landmines of a complex administrative and bureaucratic process, until the final stage of a “checkmate” that results in an approval from OPM.  But the game of chess is not merely the physical aspect of it, and encompasses a wide range of psychological characteristics — of fooling one’s self into greatness; of becoming overconfident; of underestimating one’s opponent.

Similarly, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM is not just the “physical aspects” of filing — it must encapsulate proper legal citations; persuasive argumentation; careful gathering of information, evidence and documents, etc.  And like the fool who believes himself to be a great chess champion, one should always remember that being the “best” at something doesn’t just involve thinking that it is so, but should include consultation with an expert to objectively determine it to be so.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Retirement for Disabled Federal Workers: Playing with words

What does it mean when a person alleges that you are “just playing with words”?  It is like the non-lawyer public who charges that a certain criminal “was gotten off on a technicality”, whereas the universe of lawyers sees that as a tautology:  Of course the person was found innocent based upon a “technicality” — for, isn’t all of law just that: a technicality?

There is, of course, some kind of implication that seeps beneath the surface of such a charge — that there is an inherent dishonesty in the manner of speaking certain words; that there is an “intended” or primary meaning of the usage of certain words, phrases or concepts, and that when they are taken out of context, seemingly used for a different, perhaps nefarious or self-interested purpose, then one is “playing with words” because dishonesty must by consensus be the condemnation of words used as toys in the hands of a thief.

What would the negation of the allegation be: of a person who declares suddenly, “You are not playing with words”?  Is that the appropriate charge when a person is blunt — like the current political arena of this new breed who says outright that which others merely reserve thoughts for in the privacy of insular lives?

Is that what diplomacy is substantively about — of “playing with words” so that double and triple meanings can be conveyed, leaving everyone paralyzed and motionless because no one knows what everyone else is thinking — at least, not in any precise manner?

Or, perhaps there is a different sense, as in: Words once upon a time held a sacred status and when we demean, abuse or misuse words in a certain way, then we can be charged with “playing with words”.

Sometimes, there are instances in which meanings are “stretched”, or when conclusions that are declared in an unequivocal manner do not coincide with the findings made or the evaluative analysis conducted, and so there is a “disconnect” between fact-finding and conclusion where a person declares unequivocally:  They are just playing with words.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where 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, 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, may become a necessity.

In that event, recognize that the entire endeavor is a complex administrative and bureaucratic action that must engage the arena of “words” — and some of it may involve the “playing of words” in the sense that you may have to tinker with different sets of words where comfort and becoming comfortable with unfamiliar concepts and phraseology “come into play”.

When an individual — you — who suffers from a medical condition which you must then step “outside of yourself” in order to describe yourself in “objective” terms, then it can become an oddity which may seem like you are “playing of words”.  In such an event, it is often of great benefit to consult with an attorney so that the very person utilizing the vehicle of words in describing one’s self is not the same person “playing with words” as the very person who suffers from the descriptive words being played with.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Legal Representation for OPM Disability Claims: The stand-around guy

It is pointed out in contrast to the other finger pointed towards another — not the “stand up” guy (or girl), but the “stand-around” guy (or girl).   The former refers to a person who can be trusted at all times, is straightforward when asked about his or her opinions on a matter, and is generally known as an individual of “good character”.  By contrast, the latter describes a person who is unsure of himself; who loiters because he cannot decide what his purpose is for being anywhere; and is generally picked last, or next to last, when teams are chosen for a pick-up game of basketball or touch football.

It refers to a person who is the “extra” and the odd-man out where, on dinner dates of foursomes or six-somes or whatever-somes, arrives alone and makes it into an awkward three-some, five-some or other-some with an odd number.  She is the little sister tag-along, the younger brother pop-up character and the whac-a-mole that keeps reappearing no matter how many hints are given that his or her company is no longer needed, is undesired or otherwise disinvited; but to be direct and pointed to the stand-around guy would be cruelty in its worst form, as he or she doesn’t quite understand or would rather be subjected to the indignities of being the butt of all jokes rather than to be sent off into the lonely despair of self-confinement and isolation lost upon an island of one’s own thoughts.

He is the person who arrives and never knows where to stand; the last one to be seated, and only if their is an available chair vacated; and yet, the last one to leave despite the desertion of a party where he was unnoticed, never talked to nor engaged and included in conversations where circles and semi-circles of people gathered but no one noticed.

The stand-around guy is the “extra” on a movie-set hoping to get noticed, yet too fearful of such notoriety; and as the activity of the main set continues to focus upon the stars and central figures upon the stage which we call “life”, he or she shuffles about for years and extending into decades, unknowingly contributing to the drama of civilization’s inertness where kindness is rarely shown, humanity is concealed from history, and the cruelty to life’s misery keeps bubbling to the surface like a volcanic eruption percolating unnoticed beneath the seething surface of hidden appearances.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, does it often seem like the rest of the Federal Agency or the Postal Service is beginning to treat you like the “stand-around guy”?

Is it recognized and subtly acknowledged that you are no longer part of that “mission”, and because of your extensive leave-usage or LWOP excessiveness, or merely because you asserted your rights under FMLA, that now relegated into that status of persona non grata, the leper who was mistakenly given a pass out of the leper colony, or like the individual who says things embarrassingly in crowds of socialites who snub their noses at those who feign to be a part of the pseudo-aristocracy?

If you are beginning to be treated like that stand-around guy, it is likely time to begin to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset — lest the stand-around guy becomes the invisible man whose memory is quickly extinguished because of a removal action that came suddenly and unexpectedly from the upper echelons of powers-that-be, who decided to rid the Agency or the Postal Service of that stand-around guy whose presence was no longer needed.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire