FERS Employee Disability Retirement Benefits: Getting There

Where is the “there”?  What is the mode of “getting”?  Normally, we don’t even think about it, and in modernity where we rely upon a GPS tracking device, the mind has no concept of non-mechanical means of devising a pathway.

In centuries prior, whether by the direction of the sun or the constellation of the stars; or, more recently but of antiquated methodologies, we could competently use a compass or a Rand McNally map which folds out and where numbered and lettered graphs could pinpoint the roads and highways most efficient for travel.  But Google maps and other similar devices have changed all of that.  We barely give consideration to the question, “Do we know how to get there?” — other than the reflexive response of, “Oh, I’ll just punch in the address into my Smartphone”.

Yet, because of such thoughtless approaches which lull us into passivity and a false sense of security, we have become trained into become drones of monotonous routines, unable to think about the basic questions which can become complicated affairs in a different context.

“Getting There” — is an important consideration for Federal and Postal employees who are considering filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  What needs to be done?  How does one prove one’s case?  What constitutes sufficiency of evidence?  What is the legal criteria in proving one’s case?  Is it as simple as “all that”?

Consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law before and during the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement.  For, in the end, if you don’t know the pathway for getting there, you will likely end up lost in the morass of bureaucratic complications within a neighborhood of denials and disappointments.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Confronting Reality

When are the times we try and avoid it?  Is that the line between sanity and the “darker world”?  If we avoid it more than we embrace it, does it constitute a step beyond eccentricity and fall into the category of bizarre behavior?  If that were the case, how many of us would meet that definition?  Does engaging in entertainment — whether of the couch potato type or of the active one — constitute avoidance?

Say a person binge-watches a certain television series for 72-hours straight, then sleeps for another 72 hours; such a person has certainly “avoided” the reality of life’s responsibilities, duties, obligations, etc.  But would we deem such a person to be insane?  If he were a bachelor who has no commitments or responsibilities, and acted in such a manner during “vacation time” or during a period of unemployment, we would perhaps not give it a second thought.  But say the same person had a toddler whom he neglected for those 100-plus hours — then, of course, we would consider it as irresponsible behavior, if not criminal neglect.

“Confronting reality” is often deemed the antonym of “avoiding reality”; it is something we all do — both confronting and avoiding — and crosses the diving line between “responsible” and “irresponsible” behavior.  Of course, the latter is sometimes necessary in order to refresh one’s self in order to engage in the former, and so we embrace entertainment and leisure activities in order to adequately prepare ourselves to cross over from one to the other.

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 his or her position, confronting reality is often delayed in order to try and extend one’s career with the Federal government.  Often, early on in suffering from a medical condition, it becomes quite clear whether or not the Federal or Postal worker can continue in his or her chosen career.  This is the point where “confronting reality”, however, clashes with the desire to avoid it and to instead embrace the make-believe universe of “What ifs” — What if things improve?  What if the Agency or Postal Service is willing to be patient?  What if they can accommodate me?

Consult with an attorney experienced in Federal Disability Retirement Law; for as difficult as it may be in confronting reality, it is the reality of the law that will help you avoid the pitfalls which you will surely want to avoid in the days to come.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Those Glazed Eyes

We all engage in the act; of sitting or standing but not seeing beyond the bridge of our nose; of being lost in thought, perhaps in a daydream, or for a particularly difficult project that one is focused upon.  We even do it while driving, and when we arrive at our destination, we suddenly awaken and reflect: “Gee, how did I ever get here?  I don’t even remember stopping at any red lights or at any stop signs.”

The capacity for insularity within a private world is a condition of human existence that is particularly unique to the species, and likely within the species.  Is it of evolutionary advantage to “become lost in thought”, or is it a danger — an anomaly — counterproductive to our survival instincts?

If a vulnerable animal out in “the wilds” were to stand at a watering hole and — instead of being fully alert and aware of its surroundings, acutely sensitive to every movement of potential dangers lurking about — becomes lost in its “thoughts” (whatever form that would take — with or without language), would such a species last for long?

Did language, coupled with the skill of reading, writing and performing intellectual exercises, contribute to our capacity for thought, thoughtfulness and insularity of cognitive processes?  What makes us seek the refuge of our hidden soliloquies?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition has begun to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

If those “glazed eyes” are becoming more frequent because the world of insularity has become preferable to the world about because of the constant and persistent harassment imposed by the Agency or the Postal Service, it is well past time to consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.

There are times to “think” and times to “act”, and for the Federal or Postal employee whose medical conditions have now impacted one’s career, it is that time now — to act, by consulting with an experienced lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Certainty of Defeat

There is nothing more demoralizing than to “know” the certainty of defeat.  But that is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?  How does one “know”?  Certainly, one can balance the odds for and against; to take into account the factors which determine a statistical chance of success or failure; but does one ever have “certainty” in anything, or is it often merely a perspective of the glass being half full, or half empty?

Where the odds are overwhelming and objectively insurmountable: a 100-to-1 advantage that the opposing force has; a predetermined outcome that cannot be reversed; in such circumstances, then, what hope is there?  For, the only counterbalance to “certainty” is the glimmer of hope for some unforeseen “X-factor” that somehow saves the day.  On the other hand, it is the determination of “certainty” which extinguishes any flicker or flame of hope.

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, there is often the sense of an inevitability — a “certainty of defeat” — where the medical condition reveals a progressive march towards greater deterioration.

The counterbalance of hope is in the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement.  Yet, even that benefit — of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity — is not a certainty; it is, instead, a benefit which must be fought for.  The Agency which oversees the approvals and denials of a Federal Disability Retirement application — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — does everything to try and find reasons to deny, deny, deny.

Does this mean that every application will face the certainty of defeat?  No — but it must be carefully prepared and effectively pursued.  To provide the greater counterbalance against the certainty of defeat, consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement; for, as hope is the countermeasure to the certainty of defeat, so the lawyer is the one who can provide an objective perspective as to the potentiality for success.

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

 

Filing for FERS Disability Retirement: Hope for Hope

There is hope; then, there is hoping for hope.  Hope alone is the ability to see the distance between Point-A and Destination-B;  Hope for hope is the capacity to picture in one’s mind that one may be able to view that distance between A and B.

Few of us are in the former category; for those in the latter, it is the little step between the two that remains a wide chasm that keeps growing each day.  The concrete plans that are made; a sense that there is a destination which is reachable; an idea to strive for, a meaning to live by and a clear perspective upon which one may abide by — these give hope.

It is when one lacks that hope, but is yet hopeful to attain it — that means that the spark of life, however faded or jaded, still remains, albeit in a flickering, fragile existence.  Perhaps it is as a result of a trauma; or the chronicity of a problem, a disabling medical condition that progressively and steadily deteriorates, where the soul becomes so battered and wounded that one is on the verge of giving up any hope for hope.

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, it may be time to consider filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be ultimately submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

It is a long and arduous administrative process, and the process itself often picks apart a person’s hopeful reserves.  But it is a process which carries with it a hope for hope — away from the harassing nature of the Federal Agency, away from the constant battle against Postal Supervisors and Managers; and, in the end, it is the hope for hope that reinvigorates the belief that there is life beyond a career that has been slowly extinguishing the flickering hope that keeps one going.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement: Reminders

What is the proper balance in a person’s life — between leisure and work; between thought and living; betwixt the physical and the psychological?  How much is “too much” in getting lost in the fantasies we surround ourselves with: Of watching the news; of enjoying a movie; of “doing” Facebook posts or “surfing” the internet?

Have you ever driven on a sparsely populated road or perhaps late at night when the lights of passing cars become a blurred memory of fleeting blindness, and upon arrival to your destination, you remember not a moment as to how you got there?  Perhaps you drove and did all of the proper things in the mechanical acts of driving, and yet you cannot remember yourself having engaged in the act of driving?  How much time is spent within the insular caverns of our own thoughts — whether when “thinking” or “cogitating”, or in watching a movie?

We fool ourselves into thinking that we are “living life” when in fact all we are doing is staring into a mass of illumination pock-marked with letters and punctuations.  Then, something inevitably “reminds” us — that we have to eat in order to keep from starving; that we have to respond to a real question posed by a real person; or in the mere act of needing to take out the garbage before it begins to rot beneath the kitchen sink.  And of medical conditions — they constantly remind us of our own mortality.

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, the constancy of the imposition of the medical condition is a reminder that our deteriorating health is incompatible with continuation in the Federal or Postal job.

When the time comes where such “reminders” begin to dominate the life of the Federal or Postal employee, then it is no longer a “reminder” but of a jarring realization that no amount of getting lost in the distractions of life will change or alter the need: The need to file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an attorney to determine if such a course is the best path of action for you.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire