FERS Disability Retirement Law: The Great Lesson

Once upon a time, people went through experiences without the need to put them to some greater advantage.

Stories abound of WWI and WWII veterans who earned medals for bravery — even the Medal of Honor — and never mentioned it to anyone, until some grandchild wandering up into Grandpa’s attic found a shiny ornament in some dusty old chest, brought it down and asked the old man, “What is this?”  Or, of the Olympic Gold Medalist who similarly went to work, got married and lived a “normal”, unassuming life without make a big todo about his or her accomplishment of being the top athlete in a chosen field.

Nowadays, everyone who experiences anything has to turn it into The Great Lesson.  It becomes an awakening; a springboard to some Eureka moment that propels the person into a higher purpose, a metaphysical transcendence to attaining a greater consciousness, and then to become a corporate motivational speaker who has some profound insight into life, its misgivings and that “Great Lesson” that was allegedly learned from some traumatic experience or other.

The reality is that, the greater lesson beyond any “great lesson” is that the experience itself — whatever it is — is not the hard part; the hard part is to go beyond that experience, and to continue to live a quiet, productive life without trying to sell to everyone how “The Great Lesson” lead you to profound, metaphysical insights which corporate motivational speakers can charge an arm and a leg to hear about.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a disabling 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 Great Lesson of a medical condition is quite simple, and will not get you to some metaphysical consciousness beyond the simplicity of the lesson itself:  Get a Federal Disability Retirement annuity, and begin to focus upon the priority of your health.

There — that’s all there is to it.  Of course, maybe you can package it into some extended motivational speech and make up to 80% of what your former Federal job pays today, so that you can WOW them with some transcendental meditational speech and charge them that arm and a leg, but only after you have regained your health.

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.

 

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement: Sufficiency

There is always a measure of subjectivity involved, of course.  Following the Council of Trent, the issues which prevailed as a response to the Protestant Reformation involved Church doctrine and clarifications needed concerning issues involving “sufficiency” of grace, whether the human will could engage in acts of the “Good” without it, and so many other interesting minutiae of proper wording which is now irrelevant in this postmodern era.

What is sufficient; what qualitative or quantitative determinations meet that criteria; is there an objective set of rules and regulations requiring sufficiency, and how is it determined to have been met?

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, “sufficiency” of information is a critical criteria to be met in every Federal Disability Retirement case.

There has been no “Council of Trent” to clarify what would meet the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s criteria for what constitutes sufficiency of medical and other information; although, there have certainly been many “edicts” issued, both by OPM and the Federal Courts, as well as by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (the “MSPB”).

What is sufficient; how is it determined; who decides on the issue; what can be done to meet the criteria — these are all questions which can differ from case-to-case because of the inherent uniqueness of each case.

Contact an OPM Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement benefits and avoid the proclamations issued concerning heresies and violations of doctrinal clarifications, whether by the Council of Trent or by 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.

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Stress and the Hectic Life

Most of us have little choice in the matter.  There are, of course, those very few who have the opportunity to control the pace of life — the Royal Family, perhaps, who can have servants and butlers, cooks and maids perform all of the “chores”, allowing for greater leisure time and reflective postures of contemplative living.

Wealth has always been a component of leisure; yet, the self-contradiction is evident all around us: It is the pursuit of wealth which is the obsession of modernity; wealth is allegedly pursued in order to have a life of leisure; and yet the pursuit itself is what creates the hectic life and the stresses we live in.

That is also the advertising gambit, is it not?  Almost every product sells the commodity of the “better life” — that X-product will save you time; Y-product will make you “feel” more peaceful, more powerful, more whatever.  That which we pursue to escape is the very basis of our self-immolation; that is the rule of modernity.

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, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits may not get rid of — entirely — the stress and the hectic life.  However, as medical conditions are often the greatest stressor in life, to at least alleviate the hectic part of your life by allowing you to retire on disability and give you more time to focus upon your health — well, at least it is a start.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin to reduce the stresses in an otherwise hectic life we seem caught up in.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The World We Create

It is a Kantian question which always remains a riddle: Of the extent to which our cognitive structures impose and mold the world around us; of the objective world that impinges and forces us to conform; and between the two, somehow, “reality” is encountered.

The world we “create” cannot be too far outside the periphery of the objective world; otherwise, the objective world will deem us insane and place you into protective custody — whether on the notion that you will potentially be a harm to yourself, or to others.  Thus, any world that we create must be within certain boundaries.

We cannot, for instance, create a reality where buses do not exist when we cross the street; but we can create one where outside intrusions are minimized, while riding a bus, by putting earphones on and listening to music, the news, etc.  We can create havens of respite, where we confine ourselves to our homes for a time in order to escape the stresses of the outer world; but we cannot seclude ourselves forever, because the reality of needing to interact with the outer world becomes, at some point, a social necessity.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS is a way of creating our own world; for, the Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform all of the essential elements of his or her job must still survive, and obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity allows for a lifestyle to be maintained and a career to begin in another world we create.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and investigate the reality of the world we create — different from the one as presently lived.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Conflict of Priorities

It happens within friendships, within marriages; within all interactions of relationships, where contending forces of wants, desires, needs and goal-oriented activities intersect between one’s own and those of others.  Whether we can reorder and reorganize our own; to what extent the “other” is willing to subjugate or subordinate theirs in order to compliment your own; these are the filaments which bring about the illumination of a relationship, or leave it behind in the darkness of yesterday’s dreams.

The conflict of priorities is what destroys relationships, splits up marriages and divides friendships.  We often hear the euphemisms of life: “We drifted apart”; “We just didn’t see eye-to-eye on some things”; “We found ourselves arguing more than it was healthy to”, etc.  These are declaratives where conflict of priorities destroyed the friendship of relationships.

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 conflict between taking care of one’s own health and performing at an acceptable level at one’s Federal or Postal job should never be in question.  Health should be priority number 1; all else, secondary.

If Federal Disability Retirement needs to be applied for because priority number 1 (one’s own health) ever comes into question, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.  For, in the end, a conflict of priorities should never allow for the conflict to question the priority of one’s own health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Kettle’s Whistle

Why do we invent such irritating devices?  When the jarring whistle of the kettle’s boil screeches to gain our attention, is it precisely for that reason — in order to remind us that there is water boiling, that a fire or burner is causing it, and that you cannot just leave it like allowing for the needle on a record-player to turn endlessly upon a music-less disc with soft scratches upon a rotation that is going nowhere (ah, those days when music was truly enjoyed!).

Are noises created to always reflect the reality of its source?  Does the sound of the waives match the soft lapping of the ocean’s beauty, just as the raging storm’s fury mirrors the torrent of rain and thunder?  When first a child hears the sound of a distant train, and only later sees the monstrosity that forms the engine and the caboose, does he or she reflect, “Well, that certainly didn’t turn out to be what I thought” —? Similarly, does pain match the warning of a body’s injury?  Does a voice that sounds purring parallel the gruffness of a wrestler’s weight?

If the kettle’s whistle is meant to irritate and to alarm, it is doing its job; and the kettle that fails to so whistle is one that has lost its purpose and utility, even though it still boils as well as the next one purchased in replacement of the one which lost its capacity to irritate.

Medical conditions are like that, as well — of the capacity to alarm, to trigger warnings, to possess a reason thereof.  We resist it; of the voice that says that change needs to be forthcoming.

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 his or her Federal or Postal job, it may be that the kettle’s whistle is warning of an impending need — of a change.

Getting up, taking the kettle off of the burner and stopping the whistle is akin to preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS: For, in the end, the kettle’s whistle is merely the warning we needed, prompting us to act when all around us are indicators that what once was can no longer be.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney for Federal Disability Retirement Claims: The Whisper of Discontent

Seasons come and go; it is one of those ponderous “throw-away” lines that people utter without much thought, somewhat akin to the customary “hello, how are you” declarative that is stated without a pause as the speaker rushes quickly past without waiting for an answer.

Yes, and there are also winters of discontent — borrowed from the line in Shakespeare’s Richard III, and also, by happenstance, the title of the last novel by John Steinbeck; but more often, it is the whispers of discontent that prevail more pervasively, for “discontent” is not necessarily a lasting emotion, or even one that endures for a season; rather, it is whispered precisely because of its fluctuating characteristic.

We whisper it because we know that, like seasons and emotions, time may heal and further time will alter it; and others may whisper it because the fleeting nature of it may not stand the test of objectivity.  And when the whispers of discontent turn and become the louder shouts of adversity, we often failed to listen carefully and instead ignored the voices that forewarned of foreboding toils.

Medical conditions have a tendency to provide such preludes, as well.  One often knows well before a doctor tells us, whether and to what extent the chronicity and severity of the condition foretells; and whether and to what extent the impact upon one’s Federal or Postal career will be.

The law concerning Federal Disability Retirement requires that the medical condition must “last at least 12 months” — but that does not mean that one must endure a 12-month period of suffering before filing a Federal Disability Retirement application; rather, that the treating doctor or medical provider must provide a prognosis that the medical condition will last, at a minimum, that length of time.

For the Federal or Postal employee who is considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the whisper of discontent comes about with the realization that the medical condition suffered is impacting upon one’s career by preventing the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.

Although seasons do indeed come and go, and there may well be winters of discontent, the Federal or Postal employee who hears one’s Federal Agency or the Postal Service whisper utterances of discontent, may deem it advisable to begin to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, before such whispers become a winter of discontent where the avalanche of a proposed removal becomes initiated.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Lawyer Representation OPM Disability Retirement: Reality versus fantasy

What is the difference between reality, fantasy, dreams, nightmares and pure hallucinatory visions not otherwise categorized?  At times, we engage in the madness of asking such questions, all the while forgetting that the very reason why we are capable of making such a query is precisely because we already know the distinctions that divide the differences.

In philosophy, there is often the pure pablum and sophistry of asking questions that, at first sight, might be taken seriously.  For example, to the question: How do we know that the reality we are presently experiencing is not merely a dream of a butterfly?  Or: Upon exiting a room, how can we be certain that the objects left behind still exist despite our inability to observe them (similar to the query, Do mountains exist on the far side of the moon?  Or, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is nearby, does it make a sound?).

What we forget when we ask such questions is the precondition to the query in the first place: namely, the fact that we can talk about fantasy presupposes an acknowledgment of a reality that is distinct from fantasy, and it is precisely our “forgetting” such a presupposition that allows for the question to even make any sense in the first place.  It is similar to playing a video game, or watching a movie that skirts outside of the boundaries of believability; the mechanism to suspend disbelief is the pathway towards allowing for unserious questions to gain some credulity.

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 the Federal or Postal job, it is often this capacity and ability on the part of ordinary human beings to suspend disbelief in the reality of one’s situation that perpetuates a refusal to take the necessary next steps — of preparing, formulating and filing 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.

Thus can we suspend the disbelief of reality that tomorrow will be any different from today; or that the doctors will find a miracle cure; or that the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service will actually attempt to accommodate the medical condition for the Federal or Postal employee.  On the other hand, fantasies allow for the continuation of hope to fester, as the reality of working for a Federal agency or the Postal Service itself often represents a surrealism that cannot be believed.

In the end, however, the reality of one’s circumstances will “catch up” with you, and the fantasy that the Federal Agency or the Postal Service would do something to accommodate the Federal or Postal employee will ultimately turn into the nightmare that it always was, and only the replacement of a reality that is recognized will awaken you from the slumber of indifference or menacing glare.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: The Reconsideration Stage

Much time is often wasted upon rebutting incoherent arguments.  Such a statement is true in a great many sectors of life, as well as with an initial denial received from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The first reaction in response to an Initial Denial received from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is to panic and become disheartened:  The Federal Disability Retirement applicant has waited many, many months, just to get to this point of being denied an application which was thought to clearly meet the legal standard of preponderance of the evidence, and perhaps the medical narratives and treatment records clearly and unequivocally established the nexus between one’s medical condition and the essential elements of one’s job.

What could have gone wrong?  What was deficient?  What unanticipated mistakes were made?

To top it all off, a quick perusal of the denial letter makes it appear as if the application never had a leg to stand on –  seemingly contradictory statements extrapolated; selective quotes from doctors, supervisors, etc., that tend to undermine the proof needed; deficient documentation and multiple garbled references to the “Disability Retirement Law” that has simply not been met.

How does one counter and rebut such an overwhelming denial of one’s carefully gathered and constructed information?

There is the “proper” and “effective” way, but one’s initial inclination in reactive form is normally not the way to go about it.

The Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who finds himself/herself in such a situation – of facing an initial denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management – will often want to just “give up” and try to endure the pain, anguish and cognitive deterioration by going back to work (if that is even possible and the Federal or Postal employee has not yet been separated from service), or just simply walk away from one’s well-deserved Federal Pension and early Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and forego the benefits earned and vested.

Of course, that is precisely the thought-process that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management wants you to embrace.

It is often stated (erroneously) that filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is not an “adversarial” process – and that OPM is not there to “fight you”, but rather, to ensure that all Federal Disability Retirement applications fulfill the requirements of the law.

If that were truly the case, then why does an OPM denial point out only the deficiencies, and never the positive aspects of a Federal Disability Retirement application?  Why do OPM denials always present themselves as overwhelmingly unqualified and argued as if there is absolutely no basis or chance of an approval?

Precisely – because, despite stating otherwise, the administrative process of trying to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM is just that:  an adversarial process which requires an advocate to fight for your rights.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: The numerical veil

Statistical constructs indicate group shifts and movements; numbers, based upon controlled samplings, provide the substantive fodder for analysis of trends and patterns of population deviancies.  There is, however, the question of the incommensurate nature between mathematical paradigms and linguistic application; stated more simply, Do numbers hide more than reveal, and can anything be extrapolated from them and interpreted in terms we can understand and comprehend?

To a winner of the lottery, the numerical phantasm “one in a billion” remains meaningless; and to the dismissive statistical irrelevancy stated in language more readily comprehended, that there is a greater chance of dying in an automobile accident than from a shark attack, becomes inconsequential and of little comfort if you are laying in a hospital bed with a good part of your flesh missing from such a traumatic event.  That’s the problem with numbers, of course, and the use, misuse and abuse of statistical analysis; in the end, it depends upon how it is used, the methodology of discourse, and the manner of application.

To be hit by lightening may well be more uncommon than death by drowning, but if your job is to be a caddy for an eccentric billionaire who enjoys golfing on days of severe weather patterns, the generalizations ascribed by comparative mathematical analysis may be somewhat skewed.  And, of course, for romance of young couples who scoff at divorce rates and patterns affirmed by celebrity lives and the cultural meltdown pervasive throughout, the lack of life experiences, the want of provocation through trials and turmoils yet to be encountered and not yet encumbering, allows for hope, charity and a sense of optimism despite the universe which surrounds of cynical diatribes.

We take comfort in the veil of numbers, precisely because we can manipulate them in the ways we want.  Facing a bleak outlook, we can justify resistance with a dismissive wave of the hand (or that invisible wand of magic and sorcery) and declare, “Well, the chances are…”  Numbers never tell of the human emotions and toil of reality; they remain as cold mathematical calculations, jiggered and manipulated by the picture of emotionless bureaucrats who wear spectacles to magnify the inconsequential harm imparted upon the lives left behind.

And for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management?  Such individuals, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, become part and parcel of the statistical conundrum who once had names, faces and identities, but somehow became relegated into the numerical aggregate of “those” people who departed by filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through OPM, all because they could no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of the positional duties assigned.

Does such fear of becoming a mere irrelevancy of statistical obscurity make the Federal or Postal employee pause, despite the chronic pain or the psychiatric despondency which tells of the urgency to file for the benefit?  Probably.  Yet, beyond the numerical veil which hides, each Federal or Postal employee who departed and left behind such a statistical imprint, go on to live productive lives thereafter, with ongoing emotional ups and downs, as real people, living authentic lives untold by the hidden abyss echoing from the chambers of silent digits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire