OPM Medical Retirement: Insularity of Silence

It is of comfort when needed; like a cocoon, or perhaps the desire of reverting back to a womb-like existence; and in times of sorrow, the need to be left alone.

Silence is often uncomfortable for many; in this world of endless cacophony, where noise is the necessity of Heidegger’s suspicion that we work, play and engage in hobbies merely to avoid the reality of our existence, of eventual mortality and the thought of nothingness; and of the constant clatter of social media, of being “connected” — in the midst of it all, insularity of silence is often a welcomed respite.

One only has to stay a night in a rural part of this country to realize the pervasive pollution of lights, sounds and — noises.  Lights can often give some comfort, for to “see” is the prevailing basis of a sense of safety.  Sounds, too, when they are familiar, create an invisible network of familiarity, and thus appease our fears.

Noise — that clatter of unfamiliarity, jumbled together — is what we often need escaping from.  Sometimes, silence itself is a comfort, and the insularity it provides can be the blanket of warmth we require.  For, are we organically organized to receive a constant and incessant barrage of metallic clanking?

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 insularity of silence often becomes a detriment, only because being silent and “bucking up” each day and working without complaining is often what OPM will argue as the basis of a denial.

If your Agency says you are doing a good job even though you are killing yourself in keeping up with your duties, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will use that as evidence that you are not disabled “enough” to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Contact an OPM Medical Retirement Attorney to discuss how to counter such inane arguments, and see whether or not the insularity of silence which you continue to cloak yourself in is helpful, or harmful, to your Federal Disability Retirement case.

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.

 

Postal & Federal Employee Medical Retirement: The Bumpy Road Ahead

Life is always a rough-hewn piece of wood; and yes, while the grains may possess and reveal beauty, and sanding or polishing may bring out the inner, granular quality which depicts the artistry of nature, still — the bumpy road ahead remains just around the corner.

Sometimes, you see two young people in a cafe gazing dreamily into each other’s eyes, and you have to resist going up to them, slapping them gently over their heads in order to awaken them from the unreality of the moment.  Or, perhaps the better approach is to leave things alone — as life is full of problems and disappointments, let them have their respite of escape from the harshness of reality.

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 Federal or Postal job, the bumpy road ahead likely includes the fight against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in getting a FERS Disability Retirement application approved.

It is always a fight.  And like the rough-hewn piece of wood, it takes hard work to get past the splinters and obstacles before the “beauty” part can be reached.  Contact a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and let the specialist handle the bumpy road ahead.

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 from OPM: The Uncooperative Doctor

Obviously, greater cooperation equals a smoother transition in every endeavor; it is the lack of cooperation which holds everything up.

In a Federal Disability Retirement case, a supportive doctor is almost always a necessary component in a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.  Yet, for the most part, doctors want to be — merely doctors.  That is, doctors generally hate the “administrative” side of practicing medicine — of the note-taking, dictation of office visits, annotating patient encounters, record-keeping; and, especially, of writing a narrative report in support of a Federal Disability Retirement application.  Why?  Simply because it is the tedious side of practicing medicine.

Sometimes, of course, depending upon the severity of the medical condition(s), a lengthy explanatory narrative is not necessary; but more often than not, an extensive, supportive narrative report is an important element in a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.  How does one “deal” with an uncooperative doctor?  There is no magical formula — but to simply attempt to garner a commitment from the treating doctor prior to initiating the complex process of preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, and to contact an OPM Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

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

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Conveyor Belt

Some marriages are like that; life, in general, often feels of a like manner; and ultimately the question becomes: How does one get off of it?

The conveyor belt takes an item, a medium or some product along the way on rotating wheels that endlessly spin.  Once on, the entity presumably reaches a destination point, at least in factories or stores that maintain and run them.  But the metaphor of a conveyor belt evokes an image of an infinite quality: once on, unless you are the operator of the system, there is no turning it off.  Some people become involved in relationships that feel like a conveyor belt; others, into divorces where neither party is excited about it, but nevertheless go along with it because there are irreconcilable differences that cannot be resolved.

Medical conditions, too, fit the metaphor of the conveyor belt — for, once a condition appears, it is most certainly merely a symptom of something greater, and the vast conveyor belt of the medical complex — of medication regimens, surgical intervention, therapeutic involvement, etc., all serve to place you upon the conveyor belt of no return.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who feel like their lives are on a conveyor belt upon which there appears to be no return because of a medical condition that prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal job duties, it may be time to consider getting off from the “conveyor belt” and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and consider stopping the conveyor belt that seems to be taking you down a path that is no longer a destination of your choosing.

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

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Something happened

Beyond a mundane declaration of befuddlement, it is also the title of a novel by Joseph Heller — his second novel published some 13 years after the successful first one that most people remember him by:  Catch-22.

It lacks the surrealism of the first novel; the absurdity of tragic events unfolding distinguishable from the logical and sequential manner in which we see the world, turned upside down by images of madness countering the reality of the insanity around.  The genre of the absurd — depicted in such movies as “Life is Beautiful” and in works such as Catch-22 — attempts to unveil the underlying insanity beneath the veneer of a world acting as if normalcy abounds.

Other movies that attempt to portray the absurd might include Sophie’s Choice, where the main character (played by Meryl Streep) keeps going back to the comfort of her insane boyfriend because that is the more comfortable reality she knows, having survived the insanity of the Nazi death camps.

But long before the genre of the absurd came to the fore, there was the brilliant short story by Cynthia Ozick entitled, The Shawl, which has been noted for bringing out the horrors of the holocaust through a medium — the short story — that captures the essence of absurdity and the surreal in a mere few dozen pages.  The story is a small bundle that reverberates so powerfully that it overshadows any subsequent attempts at depicting life’s absurdity.

Catch-22 elevated the absurd to a consciousness that brought further self-awareness of the unreality of the real — the Vietnam War — and tried to unravel the insanity amidst a world that tried to explain the event as something logical and sane.

Something Happened —  a book about a character who engages in a rambling stream of consciousness about his childhood, job and family — is perhaps more emblematic about the life most of us live:  seemingly logical, yet interspersed with events, reminiscences and memories that are faulty at best, and far from perfect.  The title itself shows a greater awareness of our befuddlement — of not knowing “what” happened, only that it did, and the inability to control the events that impact our lives.

Medical conditions tend to be of that nature — of an event that we have no control over, and yet, we are aware of its “happening”.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have come to realize that something happened — a medical condition; a chronic illness that simply will not go away; a traumatic event that has had residual consequences which are continuing to impact; whatever the “something”, the “happened” part still resides.

Such recognition of the “something” will often necessitate the further recognition that it is now time to prepare, formulate and file an effective OPM Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in order to secure a future that is presently uncertain.

Consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in getting Federal and Postal employees Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and take the necessary steps to ensure that the “something” that “happened” is not one more tragedy in this tragic-comic stream of consciousness we call “life”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire 
OPM Medical Disabilities Retirement Attorney

  

OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Responsibility

What is it about the ascription of such a word, that there can be a direct correlation or, if taken in a different context, some mere connection but no causality?  We can say of a person, “He is responsible for X”, and yet never have directly encountered X or (if a person) never even have met X.

Thus of monsters and thugs throughout history, for instance, we might say that “Stalin was responsible for 20 million deaths, at least,” or that Mao was “responsible” for a 100 million peasants dying during the late 50s; or, of course, of ascribing to Hitler the countless millions; and, so that we don’t leave out other “responsible” monsters of history, of Pol Pot, Idi Amin and many others besides, though we cannot link a causality that would pass Hume’s skeptical test of anything more than events following one upon another, we nevertheless accept that all such political figures were “responsible” for the deaths of millions.

What is the criteria in coming to such a conclusion?  Is it a negative proposition — that if X had the power or position to prevent such events from occurring, then Responsibility-Y can be ascribed?  Or must it be a positive declaration: If X engaged in Acts A, B and C, then Responsibility-Y can be attributable to Individual-W; and further, if only Acts A & B, but not C, then less so; and if only Act A, but not B & C, even less so?

Responsibility”, of course, is a malleable and transitive concept; it can change with the contextual winds of opinion, historical perspective and a cultural shift of viewpoints.  Look at how we approach our Founding Fathers — of responsibility for the slave issue in the United States, but somehow excusing each if (A) any one of them willed that they would be freed upon their deaths, (B) that one was “personally” against the issue but for economic, practical reasons were “forced” to go along or (C) they treated them “kindly” and “responsibly” (here, we have a double-meaning of the term, for such an individual was both “responsible” as well as being ascribed the “responsibility” of being a slave owner).

Or, look at the manner in which America treated Native Americans — of a genocidal history no less cruel than Mao’s starvation of the peasantry; and yet, because of such grand concepts as “manifest destiny” and the depiction of an entire populace as “uncivilized”, we can avert “responsibility” by distancing the causal agents; and the greater distance between the agents, the less we ascribe responsibility.

On a lesser scale, what about work?  If work suffers and there is no reason for it but laziness and lack of attention, we ascribe “responsibility”.  But what if a medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties — is that Federal or Postal employee “responsible”?

The short answer is a “no” — and that is recognized by “the Law”, in statutes, regulations and case-laws cumulatively aggregated under the conceptual aegis of “Federal Disability Retirement Law”.  It is precisely because society recognizes that a medical condition itself — and not the individual — is directly responsible for one’s inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, that Federal disability retirement exists as a benefit to pursue.

But it cannot be accessed until and unless there is an affirmative step taken by the Federal or Postal employee, by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.  That is where “responsibility” comes into play as a direct causal link — of initiating the steps and actually filing.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire