OPM Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: Agency Actions

Agencies possess a great deal of power.  When a Federal or Postal employee is subjected to the actions of an agency or the postal facility, future consequences yet undetermined may reverberate without full knowledge to the employee.  The results may be subtle, but just enough to minimize the chances of successfully obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement.

The same goes for Federal and Postal employees who go through the First and Second Stages of a Federal Disability Retirement application process without an attorney.  OPM, as a Federal Agency, wields a great deal of power over an individual — determining the future course of a Federal Disability Retirement application, for one; and just as their actions can impact the decision-making process of a Federal Disability Retirement applicant, so too can other agencies during the procedures of processing a Federal Disability Retirement application.

How an SF 3112B is completed and the language used; what is stated or attached to SF 3112D; what the applicant says in response to the questions posed on SF 3112A; all of these can have subtle reverberations down the line.  Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer before you go down another rabbit hole that may result in agency actions which negatively impact you.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Encouragement

Can one have too much of it?  What happens if it is sparingly dispensed?  Is there a balance where it is “just the right amount”?  Is giving or receiving encouragement like the way porridge is made in The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears?  Can “too much” destroy, just as “too little”?

Of course, there are different “kinds” of encouragement — one, for example, which is specific to a certain deed, action, project, etc., as in recognizing a person for a specific accomplishment.  Then, there is the form applied when an individual encounters a problem, difficulty, a blocking of forward progress, etc — in other words, it is not encouragement for having met a goal or having accomplished something, but to try and persuade the individual to keep trying, to persevere, etc.  Further, there is the “pep talk” — of giving encouragement in a general way, neither to persuade to persevere nor as a recognition of accomplishment, but just in general to prop up the attitudinal positives in order to become more productive, etc.

And, there are surely many more “types”.  Encouragement, however, is difficult when a medical condition intervenes — although, it is probably a time when it is most needed.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job — it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.  Sometimes, encouragement must be sought for in a different arena, a change of scenery, etc.

If discouragement has become the pattern of daily life, consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement — it may be the spoonful of porridge that is “just right”, as an encouragement in and of itself.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Gap Between

Sometimes, it is wide and unable to be closed; in other instances, the distance is just enough to present a challenge, but by no means unreachable; and in rare instances, we shrug our shoulders because of the insignificant width encountered, as if the irrelevancy is too unimportant to even bother with.

Why is it that we so admire those who have overcome adversities of greater chasms?  If one is “privileged” with all of the inherent advantages of life, and one succeeds, is it because the expectation of success was taken for granted?  On the other hand, if one is born with the proverbial “silver spoon” in one’s mouth, and fails miserably to achieve anything in life, do we disdainfully roll our eyes because we expected so much out of the person and make spurious judgments as to the inner character of such an individual?

Likewise, why do we admire a person who began life in the gutters of disadvantages, and yet made something of him or herself?  Is it because we are all, by nature, “betting people”, and where the odds are stacked against an individual and nevertheless the underdog prevails, we admire such qualities of fortitude and success in the face of such odds?

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 odds are great that you will need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

In order to close the gap between success or failure against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, however, it is best to consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer — lest the odds are stacked against you, and you need to better those odds to make them more favorable for a successful outcome.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Uncertainty, Hesitation, Trepidation

All three are nouns; they begin from an implication of a factual posit within an objective world, and slowly move towards the purely subjective universe with a human being’s psyche; and all three imply an encounter between the subjective and the objective, or between a person and the greater world.

The first refers to a state of being — of some conscious being acting in a manner which implies a lack of something; the second, an action implying a thought process within the acting individual; and the third, an emotion, a foreboding, a thought process of haunting causal consequences.  It is the encounter between the subjective and the objective which results in a lack of certainty, a state of being resulting in an action that robs the actor of confidence in moving forward, and a feeling that something is not quite right.

A Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition may experience all three nouns — of uncertainty for the future; of hesitation in knowing what to do; of trepidation in determining one’s future.

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, consult with an Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and get rid of the uncertainty, wipe away the hesitation and set aside the trepidation concerning the entire process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

It is, in the end, lack of knowledge which results in uncertainty, hesitation and trepidation.  Replace such nouns with certainty, confidence and action by seeking the counsel of a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer today.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Boundaries

We set them for a reason: To prevent future conflicts; to establish clearly when trespasses occur; to allow for the maintenance of compartmentalization in order to preempt overlapping potential conflicts; to teach societal conventions in a safe, artificial context; to demarcate the lines of acceptable behavior, etc.

Boundaries are set in law, in conventions, in neighborhoods, communities, nations and continents. Remember when we learned in Geography Class about the various countries and their disputed boundaries?  Or of early lessons where we were told not to cross the street unless a school safety guard bade us forward?  And what of mental boundaries — of not answering the phone after a certain hour; of boundaries that prevent us from working ourselves to death; of not responding to emails after “work hours” (is there such an animal, anymore?), etc.

And those subtle boundaries we all seem to learn — of conventional behaviors acceptable in society, including invisible ones of “personal space”, of declarations in public both allowable and prohibited; and even of eye contact, how much is offensive, to what extent a “look” becomes a “stare”, etc.

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 may be time to cross the boundaries into considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement.  Medical conditions themselves have no boundaries, know no boundaries and respect no boundaries.  It becomes all pervasive — crossing into one’s personal life, and disrupting one’s career and work life.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider re-establishing those important boundaries that keep in place the lines of sanity necessary for one’s own health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal and Postal Workers: Beaten

It is a strange word.  In the past tense, it implies that nothing can be done about it.  When applied to an individual, it describes a haggard portrait of profound hopelessness.  It is the past participle of the verb “beat”, but when the “en” is added, it has a modern connotation of hollowness, of a sense of utter futility and nihilism that cannot be overcome.

Did Sisyphus have that perspective?  As he rolled the boulder up onto the next and endless precipice, did his shoulders sag, his head and eyes remain downcast, and was he forlorn and without hope?  Of course, Camus refashioned the anti-hero into such a figure of futility, which is what existentialism declares life to be: Meaninglessness with the freedom to choose meaning; futility from which manufactured human activity can originate.  Whether that can actually be accomplished, or whether Camus, Sartre and the whole bunch of those French Existentialists who sat around at street cafes and deliberated about the times of dangers and rebellion during the Nazi occupation, now seems like a far-off dream.

Today brings about a new set of problems.  No longer from an occupation force, nor even an identifiable enemy; in modernity, the daily stresses of technology — of simply trying to make a living; of the constant barrage of information; of demands in daily life which stretches the ends of human capacity; and then, when a medical condition intrudes, interrupts and interferes, it all seems to be so overwhelming that we suddenly feel “beaten”.

The beaten individual is the one who has reached his or her limit of human capacity; it is when the intersection of life’s demands exceeds one’s tolerance for sustaining the stresses of everyday life.

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 position, it may be well past the time that one should have, but still must, file for Federal Disability Retirement.  Do not wait until the term “beaten” applies; instead, try to beat the beaten, and consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application, lest you hear someone whisper to another, “Oh, that person — he/she is beaten.”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Responding to a Denial

More than ever, OPM is denying Federal Disability Retirement applications.  Whether by deliberate design, tightening of legal criteria, imposition of an informal quota system or “just because”, it is clear that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has instituted a campaign of denying Federal Disability Retirement benefits to applicants seeking it.

Is there a basis in the law?  Are all denials justified?  Have they become more focused upon certain aspects of the legal criteria while ignoring others?  Is there a “typical” denial letter?

Some denials retain little to no justification; others appear to provide some rational basis; still others counter with detailed reasonings as to the legal basis for the denial.  The spectrum of the legal basis varies; and then, of course, there are approvals that seem to pass through with nary an objection.  Each case is unique because of the inherent circumstances surrounding the basic foundation of the health or medical condition and its relationship to the Federal or Postal worker’s specific job elements.

FERS Disability Retirement is unique and different from Social Security Disability benefits because the standard of eligibility is distinctively and identifiably unique: Social Security, generally speaking, requires a showing of “total disability”, whereas FERS Disability Retirement merely mandates a much lesser proof of being”unable to perform” one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job functions.

In the end, whether OPM has instituted a policy showing greater arbitrariness in its last Federal Disability Retirement determinations — or not — there is “The Law” which continues to guide and define. Consult with an experienced Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before frantically trying to respond to a denial of a Federal Disability Retirement Application.  For, after the First Denial and the need to go to the Reconsideration Stage of the process, it is all a matter of the law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Living Life’s Lessons

It is a conundrum to speak in such terms; for, one must step outside of one’s being in order to reflect upon “living” as something separate and distinct from what one does within the insular consciousness of one’s life; and to learn the “lessons” of life, and to live such lessons, is to have the capacity for detachment from a third-person perspective and not to be lost in the first-person consciousness.

Most of us simply “live life” without having a conscious sense of having an outsider’s perspective on how it is that we are “doing it”.  We believe that we are good at what we do; that we are efficient and fairly competent; and though there may be some mistakes made along the way, we can passably waive such moments away with the dismissive truism that, “Well, to err is human; to forgive, divine” — a line from Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Criticism”.

The concept of living life’s lessons must necessarily entail a more objective view of ourselves than the purity and insularity of one’s life as lived from a personal-pronoun “I” perspective.  It requires the capacity to “step outside” of one’s self, to view the self as a third party, to then apply lessons learned both from life’s gifts as well as misgivings, then to adjust that “other person” accordingly, and only thereafter, to proceed to step back into the self and proceed with the modifications and adaptations proposed.  Otherwise, we just blunder through as most people do, and continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers seeking to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS, “living life’s lessons” and the capacity to step outside of the first-person and into the third-person is an important element for preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application.  For, to have an “objective” viewpoint is essential in putting together a persuasive Federal Disability Retirement application — in writing one’s Statement of Disability; of recognizing the sequence of events, medical conditions and evidentiary legal citations to include; and, more importantly, in maneuvering through the complex administrative process of a bureaucratic morass.

In the end, living life’s lessons may come down to simple adages that one has already learned, but perhaps forgotten — not the least of which is that a person who represents himself has a fool for a client.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: When once…

When once the dream was left unfulfilled, and yet the future appeared so boundless and promising; when once the time spent was so precious as to bring memories and tears of joy for the privilege to live; when once the rains came but not to dampen the sorrows of yesteryear, but to wash away the scars of today’s longing; and when once, there was a time forever bottled so that tomorrow would be remembered as a mere passing thought, and the day after a haven for memories yet to be forgotten.

When, once, we took for granted that which we never think about, reflect upon, and youth’s folly continued for a day and a dawn only to be wistfully forgotten when once the call from Mom’s flustered voice shouted at us to come in for dinner, when the crickets were still singing their mournful melodies in the quiet of evening’s end.

Looking back can hold one back, especially if the remorse of what once was makes you pause in a day when even an hour cannot be spent whittling away the time that cannot be recaptured.  There is time enough for remorse and regret; time yet to remember and recall with nostalgic warmth for days of yore; but as the world turns in the “here” and “now”, the daily grind of duty’s call and obligations which cannot be avoided, must first be attended to.

“When, once…” is to be set aside until the last breath when the drifting dreams of yesteryear’s pausing regret begins to foreshadow today’s memories of a bygone time.

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, time remains of the essence, and while sickness and deteriorating health may freeze one into desiring a time of remembrance back, “when once…” — it is not the right time, yet.

This is still the time to fight on; it is the moment to preserve and protect; and while a Federal Agency or a Postal Facility may have dampened your spirits or attempted to make you into a downtrodden employee whose best years are behind you; nevertheless, it is time to assert your rights and carry on the good fight.  Preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether you as a Federal or Postal employee are under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is a good part of that fight to preserve and protect your rights.

Why should you fight for them?  Because, when that time comes when you say to friends or family that, “When, once…” — the “filler” should be: “When, once…they tried to deny me, I fought and won.”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire