Columbus Day 2022

Whether as Columbus Day or as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it is an official day off for Federal and Postal employees.  Does it matter what and how we ascribe it?  It has been many centuries since the voyage of Columbus; each child born today, and for many centuries past, can hardly be blamed for the ill-deeds of past generations.

That being said — if we are blameless — is it merely in the beliefs to which we identify, which marks the differences between us?  Certainly, for a Native American, it is irritating to hear someone claim that “such and such discovered America”; for, by definition, a land already inhabited cannot claim to have been discovered except by the inhabitants themselves.

But the argument is that the present society into which people are currently born, cannot possibly be blamed for the genocidal extermination of its indigenous peoples; and so, what can it mean as to whether or not one calls it “Columbus Day” or “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”?

The counter to that, of course, is that the reservations into which Native Americans were forced to accept, still reverberates with current loss of water rights, mineral rights, etc., and is a constant reminder of what was lost.  And it may be of some restoration of dignity to insist upon historical accuracy, where insistent inaccuracy is the basis for acrimonious inter-cultural relationships.

Yet, in this Post-Factual Universe where the Western approach of the Correspondence Theory of Truth once prevailed but no longer dominates, is there even a difference with a distinction?

For most, where the meaningful divide is between those who are overworked, barely able to make a living, and are stressed to their limits — which constitute the greater majority of individuals — and those who live a fairly carefree life of leisure (the greater minority of people), the fact of a day off, whatever you want to call it, is what seems to mean anything.

And for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who can enjoy the day to spend with their families and loved ones, Happy Columbus Day and Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 2022.

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: Mind/Body Distinction

Perhaps in other cultures, different civilizations, foreign philosophical foundations, the distinction was never made.

In the West, the “Cartesian model” — of Descartes’ alleged search for truth and the bifurcation between the “physical” universe and the “cognitive”, subjective phenomena; and, of course, the Freudian focus upon that inner consciousness and subconsciousness which further divides the objective from the subjective.

In the East (generally speaking, and of no geographical or geopolitical ascriptions of borders or boundaries), there never was a separation of the mind from the body, as the two were intimately and inseparably connected.  Tai Chi is based upon this concept, as are the martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Karate, etc.).   The mind is considered as an extension of the body, and in reverse conceptual order, the body is merely part of the mind.

Whether the Mind/Body distinction itself is the culprit for so many ills in Western societies (of treating psychiatric conditions, as an example, as something separate from a physical manifestation of a condition), is a question left for science.

For Federal Government and Postal Service employees, however, who are contemplating the need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS system, the important thing to note is that applicable Federal law does not make a distinction between “mental” conditions as opposed to “physical” conditions.

Both are valid reasons to file for a Federal Disability Pension under FERS code, and this attorney always reminds OPM that under the case-law, there is no discrimination of validity between one or the other.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Law, and let not the Mind/Body distinction so prevalent in the West defeat a valid basis for an OPM Disability Retirement application under the FERS retirement system.

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: The Adversarial System

Commentators often note the proportional imbalance reflected by the number of lawyers in this country.  Is it s good thing?

One can argue (yes, the irony cannot be avoided, that we begin with an “argument” when discussing the “adversarial” system), of course, that the number of lawyers merely reflects the origin of Western Society — for, isn’t the foundation of Western Civilization based upon Greek Philosophy?  Specifically, isn’t the foundation of intellectual endeavors founded upon the “Socratic Method”, which is the precursor of legal argumentation?

The Adversarial System, at its core, is a dialectical methodology of attempting to arrive at “Truth” — or so it is supposedly intended.  In a vacuum, that is the context of the system; in truth (yes, that age-old irony, again), because there is involved human emotions, underlying subterfuges of intent, the pure “competitive” desire to sin, and the sheer motivation of simply wanting to defeat the other side — in the end, what the adversarial system lacks, in most instances, is the exact counterpoint and self-contradiction of the necessary context in order to make it work: Civility.

The Adversarial System, without the outer clothing of civility, merely becomes reduced to linguistic battle.  But that is the system which we are left with when — over decades and even centuries — the natural course of every and any legal system becomes barren with the coarseness of its skeletal foundations.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, under FERS, don’t get fooled by the admonition that this is merely an “administrative process”, and that OPM is merely an “umpire” to make sure that you have met the statutory criteria for eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement.

To be sure — even umpires don’t just call “balls and strikes”, but get into heated arguments with the players and, similarly, OPM is just as much a part of the adversarial system as in any other legal process.

Contact a FERS Medical Retirement Lawyer, that is, a legal expert who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that you have acquired the necessary arsenal to win the battle in this adversarial system of preparing, formulating and filing an effective application for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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.

 

Federal OPM Disability Retirement Law under FERS: Humming Along

Or, perhaps a person who is “whistling along”; either way, it is an indication of contentment.  People don’t even seem to have the time to “hum along”, anymore.  One doesn’t do that on Social Media; there is never any time on Zoom; and when there is ever an encounter in a public place, everyone is too busy and in a rush to be “humming along”.

And so the phrase is left as a metaphorical anomaly — of a life in contented fashion, a sense of self-satisfaction which is rarely seen these days.  It was perhaps also a concept applied to a well-oiled engine — of a vehicle “humming along”, indicating that all mechanical elements were working properly, and there was no fear of a sudden breakdown.

We can “hum along” in life; where things are going fairly smoothly; there is a sense of contentment, and even moments of “happiness” as a byproduct of our accomplishments.  Medical conditions, of course, can disrupt that characterization; it is an unfortunate but very human element which impacts everyone’s life.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition is interrupting and impeding the “humming along” scenario, contact an OPM Medical Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.

Humming along is a state of being; a medical condition can interfere with that sense of contentment; and where the collision occurs between one’s ability and capacity to continue in one’s Federal or Postal career, it may be time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal Disability Retirement Benefits: Sacrifices

We all make them; well, perhaps there are some few in the world who never do, and it certainly reflects upon them quite noticeably.  People who don’t sacrifice their own personal interests, at some point in their lives, have a tendency towards selfish behavior, self-centered egotism and a callous disregard for others.  They lack empathy — a quality which is valued in most societies.

During this time of global illnesses and a pandemic which has wreaked havoc upon the livelihoods of countless individuals and businesses, the sacrifices which have endured are innumerable.  Social isolation; being prevented from operating one’s business; of complying with a state’s mandate in a “lock-down” mode; of living amidst fear of an invisible enemy of uncertain mutational capabilities; these, and so much more, have been testing the mettle and extent of sacrifices and the willingness of a society to endure such calls for society’s greater good.

For Federal and 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, “sacrifices” is a familiar term.

It is nothing new for the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition to sacrifice one’s health in the name of, and for the sake of, furthering the “mission” of the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.  But at some point, one must look after one’s own health and self-interest, and preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, becomes a necessity.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law today, and see what sacrifices may still have to be made before you can medically retire.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Lying

It is a peculiarly human endeavor, not known to be prevalent — if in existence, at all — in other species of the animal kingdom.  Shakespeare references it often; criminal behavior is detected within the web of it; and in everyday life, half of the population in courtrooms across the world engage in it; or, is that fair?  Can it be that there are “differing perspectives” or “alternative truths” (the lexicon of modernity)?

For instance, when an eye witness to an event swears under penalty of perjury that “I saw X stab Y” when, in a closed-circuit video replay, it clearly shows that it was Y who stabbed X — is the “eye witness” lying?  Is being mistaken the same as lying?  Or is it good enough that the prefatory qualifier of “I saw” enough to justify the mistaken encapsulation of an event having occurred?

Does intention matter?  Does it make a difference if, prior to making the statement under oath, revenge was a factor in one’s motive?  What if the eye-witness said to her/himself prior to taking the stand, “I’ll get X back for being mean to me by testifying that he stabbed Y first before getting stabbed himself”?

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 is often the case that — unfortunately — lying abounds when it comes to others in the agency filling out the Agency’s portion of a Federal Disability Retirement application.  Whether in stating that the Agency tried everything they could do in their power to “accommodate” a person — when the truth is, they did nothing and didn’t care to do anything — it is unfortunately a pervasive fact of life in the kingdom of man.

We are a species with a proclivity for lying, and the best we can do is to counter our own proclivities by trying to present the truth in as strong a light as possible.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The fallacy of just-ology

It is the manner in which we dismiss the relevant, the attitude of minimizing and the conduct of our nature in modernity; just-ology is the capacity to turn one’s back upon something and dismissively wave a hand and declare, “Oh, it’s just___”.  It’s just a minor set-back; it’s just X being X; it’s just a passing phase; it is just….

The mindset itself is one that can incrementally, insidiously creep beneath the surface of what we actually believe; for, the word itself — ‘just’ – is a peculiarly insignificant word, and one that is surreptitiously inserted amongst other words, concepts, hidden between phrases and carelessly dropped between lines of greater thoughts.  As an adjective, it connotes the moral compass of a person or society; as an adverb, it often implies precision or exactness; but in common, everyday usage, it is that word which minimizes, limits and casts away into the garbage heap of irrelevance.

It is precisely by the exactness of defining something so narrowly that the precision itself makes it irrelevant.  It “puts X into its proper place” by defining it “just” so.  Precision is good; precision for accuracy’s sake is even better; but when precision minimizes to the extent of insignificance, it can be misleading.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition for many years just won’t go way, and just keeps getting worse, and just continues to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it just may be time to begin 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.  Just in case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Affirmation, Affiliation and Affectation

But for the middle syllable (the extra “ta” in the word), it is what people strive for; and like the thief in the night who leaves behind earthen footprints of his twilight misdeeds, the insertion of that additional combination of a consonant and vowel turns the meaning of the word upon its head, and leaves us with an artificial prose devoid of poetry and warmth.

The middle term is a favorite of sociologists and other “soft” sciences where anthropological studies determined the course of serious studies or of mere pretentiousness of purpose; associations, initiation into phi beta whatever and epsilon in uppercase or lunate form, characterizes the human need to belong, despite our contrary assertions and protestations that man, machine and a wagging dog’s tail are enough in this world of virtual reality where communication is accomplished primarily through pushing a button via glowing faces of blank pages and fluorescent screens.

As for the first in the tripartite series of syllabic partnerships, it is that inner essence which the child in all of us seeks, but which Dickens, Salinger and Capote all cried out for lack thereof, and depleted their souls in the course of searching for that which was never lost, rarely to be found, and tenuously held by a mere thread of hope and longing.

It is funny how much time we waste upon past hurts.  Most such narratives deserve, at best, a single night at a bar, a few sobs, and perhaps the generosity of the proprietor giving the gift of a free beer; and then it is time to move on with life.  Some stories, of horrors unimaginable but for the telling in quiet whispers in bedrooms locked, but then those who survive such tales are often the very ones with impeccable and impenetrable fortitude, and they don’t need the free drink anyway, leaving aside the heaving sobs and a momentary sympathetic ear.

Narratives are important for people to carry about; like manuscripts hoping to be discovered, we cherish them in binders of protective combativeness.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have managed to cull together multiple years of survivorship despite the thickets of affectations imparted by so many elements of narcissistic behaviors, it is in the end the true affiliations which come to the fore when a crisis erupts.

If the singular sob-story told at the corner pub was not enough to replace that lack of affirmation wanted and desired for as a child, and throughout your career you have striven to replace it by becoming lost in work, career and sheer busy-ness, then the sudden loss of that coalescence of unending activity can indeed have a traumatic impact.

If a medical condition interrupts that innocent search, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal positional duties, then it becomes necessary to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

But in doing so, just remember that, while the process of separating away from a career which engulfed so much of your time and energy may be an emotional turmoil of sorts, especially because of the wide affiliations garnered over those many years, it is the medical condition itself which must be first and foremost in contending with the crisis, and not the affectation of coworkers who suddenly show their true selves and gather like a pack of predators ready to pounce, no more than the affirmation you may have wanted from a bureaucracy which, in the end, cares not for your narrative, other than the effective one you must write for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in order to win an approval for your Federal Disability Retirement application.

In the end, all stories are told and forgotten at the corner pub of our hearts, in the fading suds of a beer gone stale, only to be retold by the next patron of the establishment where the jukebox fades with a selection of a song yet to be sung.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: Frustrated Purposes

The linear attempt is the methodology of direct purpose; it is the measurement of length — of a straight line from point A to point B, of a one-dimensional character.  Any obstacle placed in its path represents a frustration of that purpose, and merely delays and obfuscates the attempt to accomplish a stated goal.

How to ad lib in circumstances where obstacles appear; the consideration of options and alternatives in the face of detours and unexpected deterrences; what malleability of core values must be shown when necessity arises; these are all challenges within a universe of expectations otherwise untested.

The hardest of these, of course, relates to deliberate attempts by outside forces to frustrate one’s purposes — whether by other people, coworkers, Supervisors, Managers, or perhaps even the microcosmic body politic of an organization or entity as a whole; or by circumstances otherwise unexpected, like a medical condition.  It is bad enough for one or the other to be the sole cause of turmoil; when both conspire jointly, they become a source of angst and agony.

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties in the Federal job or Postal position, it is that fight against both fronts simultaneously which becomes unbearable.

Not only must the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker contend against the challenges of the deteriorating medical condition, but concurrently, at every turn, the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service works day and night to seemingly frustrate the sincere attempts of the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker to return to a level of functionality such that the positional duties may be fulfilled and satisfactorily completed.

Thus does preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, become an important consideration in the delayed destination of frustrated purposes.

That linear sight of myopic perspective — of a career of accomplishments set over a lifetime, with retirement as a byproduct in a future destination and contribution to society as the groundwork of contentment — must be allowed to swerve, overcome and become a series of schizophrenic lines of zig-zagging spectrums, lest the frustration of purposes defeat the need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire