Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement Benefits: Where to Start

Of course, the “where” is not properly the true concern — for, it is not the location, but rather a different sense of the word that is applied.  The “where” concerns the juncture or the beginning point of a process; of what information to gather; the arguments to be made; the emphasis upon which to direct their attention; the nexus that must be established, etc.

While all that must be gathered, argued, collected, assembled, collated, described, delineated, combined, etc. — the “where” is often meant to merely be a beginning point that is logically ensconced within the entirety of the complex process.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who ask that question or query that puzzle, the answer is simple: Begin with the foundation.  And, what is the foundation?  The foundation is the medical concern itself; and once the foundation is laid, then to work towards the conclusion as to why the Federal or Postal worker can no longer perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

Where to start?  Contact a disability attorney who specializes exclusively in the field of OPM Disability Retirement Law, and begin from there.  For, in the end, that is clearly the logical beginning point of the complex process involving the bureaucratic morass of Federal Disability Retirement Law 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.

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Distorted Mirror

Have you ever looked at yourself in a distorted mirror?  You know, those which we encounter by chance — at an antique shop; an old hotel where the lobby hangs a mirror where the face expands horizontally while the body stretches vertically; or in one of those “fun houses” at a carnival — of distorted mirrors throughout as giggling children pass by with gleeful gibberish while wives and other women fret about how their reflections fail to flatter.

The distorted mirror is an object lacking objectivity, and is often deliberately meant to obfuscate the reality surrounding and instead to influence the subjective perspective in the very perceiving of the universe through a lens that misinterprets our surroundings.  We recognize the distortion of the distorted mirror; yet, we fail to recognize the distortion of our own subjective perceptions through error of thought.

Outside influences often help to distort our own thinking — like medical conditions which distort our perspective of the world in the same way that the distorted mirror contorts our own self-image.  With medical conditions — whether of physical or psychiatric — we tend to view the world in a more negative manner.

Contact a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and don’t let the distorted mirror of a medical condition rob you of your future security because of fears of the unknown which can contort one’s view like watching one’s self in the distorted mirror.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Disability Retirement under Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS): Continent of the Arbitrary

The metaphor encompasses an image of expansiveness; for, while a city, a town, and even a country can trigger an image which we can conceptually grasp, a “continent” — of Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia and Antarctica — simply boggles the mind and goes beyond our ability to put our arms around it.

And “arbitrariness”?  Life is so arbitrary that it can only be conceptually linked to the image of a continent.  Where we were born; in what state of health we came into being; who we met; how we became who we are — is it all by chance, by circumstance; or, does fate and predestination by heavenly influence play any part of it?

“What fates impose, that men must needs abide; it boots not to resist both wind and tide” — Henry VI, Part 3, Act IV, Scene 4.

The arbitrariness of life is, indeed, a continent of despair, and medical conditions appear as merely another facet of arbitrary causes without reason — why does it hit some people at certain ages and not others; and in the end, where is the fairness of it all within this vast universe?

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 your Federal or Postal job, consider contacting a Federal Lawyer to initiate the complex administrative process of Federal Disability Retirement.

For, while your circumstances may be the result of a continent of the arbitrary, your obtaining of Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS need not be, and having a legal expert on your side may greatly enhance your chances of success and minimize the arbitrary nature of the bureaucratic process.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Failure of Proof

What does it mean to “fail to prove” something?  Who, in the end, determines such a “failure”?

A benefit which is part of being a Federal or Postal employee — OPM Disability Retirement under the FERS system — must of course include “proof” that the Federal employee or Postal worker is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job; but what constitutes failure in meeting that burden of proof?

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, of course, is the “gatekeeper” at the Initial Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, as well as the Second, Reconsideration Stage of the process.  The “safety” mechanism is that, if OPM denies the application for Federal Disability Retirement at both the First Stage as well as the Second, Reconsideration Stage, a Federal Disability Retirement applicant can file an appeal with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board — taking it out of the hands of OPM and placing it before an administrative judge for an administrative, telephonic hearing.

For, OPM’s methodology of “proving” that there has been a “failure of proof” is by selectively choosing everything undermining a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement case, then proceeding to make conclusions based upon those selectively chosen bases and ignoring everything else.  It is, in the end, not a failure of proof that defeats an OPM Medical Retirement submission, but more often than not, a baseless claim by OPM that proof by a preponderance of the evidence has not been met.

To counter this, contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and meet the baseless assertion of a failure of proof by proving that the failure was a failure of proper adjudication.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Retirement for Federal Employees with Disabilities: Persuasion

Can the written word persuade?  Can “passion” be elicited by a series of letters, dots, crossing “t’s” and other such grammatical nuances?

Certainly, when language is spoken, we often hear discussions about the “passionate” delivery, or the fact that the speaker was “fiery”, a “true believer”, or even “inspiring”, etc.  Somehow, and for whatever reasons, we attach the emotional component of a speaker’s voice with the persuasive force of sincerity upon the words themselves.  Can it ever be “faked”?

We are too often too naive to think not; and that, of course, is what the con-man and the counterfeiter is banking upon.  Persuasion offered by an impassioned voice is much easier than the power of the written word; for, articulated with the right barometer of a voice’s pitch, it tugs at one’s hearts and confuses the otherwise skeptical mind.  A paper presentation must persuade through the force of logical argumentation; for, there exists no voice of passionate conveyance to do otherwise.

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 of Postal job, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management must by necessity be a paper-presentation to OPM.  To be persuasive is thus doubly-difficult, as you must make sure that all of your arguments are articulated with soundness of reasoning and forceful in their legal relevance.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that your method of persuasion matches the substantive weight of you circumstances.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Disability Retirement: Problem Solving

We are not all that good at it; some, better than others; the rest of us, standing by as watchful bystanders.  Is problem-solving done by methodological discourse, or by random attempts of trial and error?

Certainly, for engineering and scientific challenges, esoteric training and background has an advantage; but did the first person who came to the end of a peninsula and observed an island just beyond — did the thought of a bridge or a boat appear because of some specialized knowledge, or simply out of one’s imagination?

In modernity, problems and their solutions tend to be compartmentalized into specialized areas of training.  Aside from problems of the run-of-the-mill character (family squabbles, teenagers, lost pets and a leaky faucet, etc.), most are challenges within a specified field of expertise.  We no longer live in a world where mysteries abound and explorers wonder (wander?) whether there is an edge at the far side of the oceans.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have a problem with a medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to call an expert in the field of Federal Disability Law and prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.  For, problem solving is not merely a matter of a problem identified, but of a solution thoughtfully contemplated.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Life as a Series of Problems

There are television series; of “mini-series”; of a series of movie episodes once popularity of the first viewing has established the call for a following.

In television and theatrical drama, there has to be an opportunity for “character development” — of getting to “know” a person, of seeing him or her in various contexts in order to determine “who” a person is by what they do, how they react and the very essence of their belief-systems.  Rarely is a play, a story or a novel of any interest when it involves a person or multiple individuals sitting around expounding upon their beliefs or “principles” of life, and why is that?  Is it because a person who talks without being tested can offer nothing more than the sound of air?

The movie of life always presents us with a series of problems; that is what makes a good story, of course — of conflicts, their resolution; the way in which individuals are “tested”, and not merely by hypothetical presentations of analytical problem-solving gestures.

Medical conditions — whether later in life or occurring earlier— always present a challenge that tests a person in so many ways, precisely because medical issues hit at the core of everything about a person: How we see ourselves; what we are able to do; where we go and seek guidance and counsel; and all of the multitude of reverberating effects upon so many varied aspects of our lives.

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 a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS is just one of life’s series of problems.

It is never a guarantee; it is never a “sure thing”; and as OPM appears to be denying more FERS Disability Retirement cases under this Administration than ever before, it is important to prepare and formulate a plan for a Federal Disability Retirement application and to recognize it as another slice of life’s problems in a series of such problems.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Serendipity

It is a chance or accidental event which turns out to be a momentous, joyful one; and while its occurrence may have been unexpected, it is not unwelcome after the event takes place or reveals itself, precisely because of the joy it brings.  Thus does a serendipitous event surprise us; for, one’s daily experience is that the opposite is true: chance occurrences, accidental events and unexpected moments normally result in negative consequences we want to avoid.

A sudden windfall; an unexpected visit from an old and dear friend; a surprise party held by everyone you actually like; these are all serendipitous events; but of their opposite, we come to expect: bad news about our kids; friends who disappoint; a career that doesn’t turn out to be what it promised; a life that didn’t fulfill the potentiality which others had expected.

So, is it the expectations left unfulfilled or the accidental nature of an occurrence which makes the difference?  For the former — how does one come to assess and judge expectations, of others or from ourselves?  Were they realistic, within reachable goals and planned with achievable milestones?  As to the latter — is it because of the “surprise” nature of a serendipitous event in combination with the joyous outcome that makes it “special”?  For, if it was accidental, but nevertheless expected, would it detract from the momentousness of the event?

Life is full of mundaneness and repetitive monotony, and a serendipitous event is something to hold with special smiles and hearty laughters precisely because of their accidental and unexpected natures; for, its very opposite — of a calamity which may also be accidental or unexpected — occurs often enough.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition turns into the opposite of a serendipitous event by preventing the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management should be carefully considered.

It is a long and complex administrative process, with many and varied bureaucratic pitfalls.  But in the end, when an approval from OPM is obtained, it may be declared a moment of serendipity — of that rare exception to the general rule of life, where misgivings are plentiful and momentous ones a rarity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Formulating the argument

How does one formulate “the argument”?  Is it merely a reaction that comes naturally, like the person who has been tagged as one who is “constantly argumentative”?  Do all arguments need to provide a foundation of rational discourse — of coherence within an invective of counter-statements, and structure countermanding a deterioration of civility?

For example, when a person begins to answer the questions posed on SF 3112A, that is, the Applicant’s Statement of Disability, in preparing an effective Federal OPM Disability Retirement application under FERS — does one pause, consider the various answers that may be provided, and establish a methodology in proceeding to satisfy the question? Does the Federal or Postal employee contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits consider first the consequences of one’s answers, and do you weave throughout a thoughtful argument for an approval?  Or, should the “argument” be filed via a separate Legal Memorandum, pointing out the relevant laws, citing the statues and quoting from various cases that have previously addressed the issues posed?

Most people who file for FERS Medical Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management fail to consider the preemptive arguments that should be made within the answers to questions posed on SF 3112A, and thus are denied at the First Stage of the process because the applicant thought that a simple question asked required a similarly-simple answer as requested.

Then, of course, when the Initial Denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application is received through the mail, the Second Stage of the process — the “Reconsideration Stage” — merits further formulation of legal arguments.  At whatever “stage” you are at — whether at the First and Initial Stage; the second, “Reconsideration” Stage; or even at the Third Stage, an Appeal with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board — formulating a coherent, cogent and rational argument that persuades OPM to approve the Federal Disability Retirement application is an important component in a winning FERS Medical Retirement application.

Remember — to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is not like having an argument with a friend or spouse; it is an argument which must be based upon facts, evidence, and legal precedents, and to have the best “shot” at it requires the hand of an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Standard of incompatibility

How does one “prove” a standard of “incompatibility”?

Physical injuries often allow for a medical opinion to impose certain restrictions:  No lifting more than X-pounds; no standing more than 2 hours within an 8-hour period, etc.  These, then, can directly “prove” that a Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, by comparing such restrictions as against the positional requirements of a given job, and “showing” that the standard required can no longer be met.

The “other” cousin of the standard, as reiterated by cases represented by Henderson v. OPM and related precedents, allow for a “different” type of proof, where one may show that there is a general incompatibility between the entirety of one’s position and the medical conditions one suffers from.

It might be argued that such a standard is more “nebulous” and “harder to prove”, but in fact, the opposite is often true: specificity on a 1-to-1 ratio between a given medical condition or symptom and an element of one’s positional duties no longer becomes necessary.  Rather, a general showing of incompatibility between the “type” of job and the “nature” of a medical condition is enough to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement.

The trick, of course, lies in the manner of “proving” it, but it should be of some comfort to Federal and Postal employees that there is another type of standard beyond the 1-to-1 ratio standard that applies generally for “physical” duties; for, in the end, many psychiatric conditions can only meet the “incompatibility” standard, although some specificity of inability to perform a particular function of the job may be present as well.

To meet either standard is a burden of proof that must be shown by the appellant in all OPM Disability Retirement cases; to understand, apply and satisfy such standards, it is best to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire