OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: Holding on Too Long

We all have that tendency; we live with the old rule & adage: “throwing good money after bad”; “to abandon is to admit failure”; “maybe tomorrow will be different than today”, etc.

Few of us are able to cut the string or the proverbial umbilical cord when time, circumstances and all indicators reveal to us the wisdom of doing so.  We hold on for too long; we don’t want to admit and face “the facts”; we want to believe that tomorrow is that ray of hope where yesterday was the shadow of darkness, but where darkness was a thing of the past.

Yes, there are rare instances in which stories of hope and rejuvenation profited the stubborn exception; but that is why there are such stories in the first place — they are the exceptions which defied the normal course of most circumstances.

For the Federal employee or U.S. Postal Service worker who suffers 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, holding on too long has more than a price to pay in terms of time wasted; it has to do with your health.

Holding on too long can continue to help deteriorate the health which you are attempting to preserve.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of “letting go” — an act of the will, and not merely the words of a Shakespearean fool who brings down the King and his kingdom with a crash of tragedy echoing beyond Lear’s empty ravings.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Waiting Game

Doctors are good at it.  They have studied the psychology of impatience.  First, the 15 minute wait in the reception room.  Impatience sets in around that time.  Thus, the transfer into the private patient’s room — but still no sign of the doctor.  No matter; the transfer itself has “renewed” the patient’s patience.  20 minutes there.  Then, an “intake” person asks some questions, then disappears.  This allows for another 10 – 15 minutes.

It is the “incremental” approach — of satisfying the irritation of waiting just enough so that another duration of waiting is allowed for.  If you break up an hour’s worth of waiting into increments of 20 minutes, it doesn’t seem so bad.

Bureaucracies, however, don’t care.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is often the “waiting game” which is most difficult.  Then, of course, when there is a denial from OPM, it takes that much longer.

No one can guarantee a first-stage approval from OPM, but making sure that an OPM Disability Retirement application is formulated and prepared as best as possible will at least enhance the chances of an approval at any stage, and thus will subvert and undermine the waiting game.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: The Other Person

When we were young, a sense of invincibility can set in even when tragedy strikes others, and we are always — somehow — left to spare.  Perhaps we begin to believe that we are “special”, or that fate has something unique for us; or even that our genetic make-up is somewhat superior than others.

Whatever the reasonings, it is always “the other person” who is hit with the bad luck, the seasonal flu, the chronic illness, the bad relationship, left without an umbrella on a rainy day, and multiple other small and larger calamities.  But time and age take care of such things; at some point in life, the “other” person becomes you — and the youthful you becomes the other person who looks at you and says, “I must be different”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition now prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal position, you are now that other person — the one who needs to consult with an attorney to discuss the possibility of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

What you do not want to do is to become like the other person who fails to act, and instead lives out the calamity without a hopeful future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Disability Retirement: Competing Interests

It is a concept which is familiar to all; for, within a society where various individuals interact, where each person represents a self-interest and groups of individuals combine to form aggregate (or “corporate”) interests, the competition that develops and erupts is a natural phenomena.

For the most part, society operates well and rather smoothly; courts allow for competing interests that have reached a point where resolution must be arbitrated by a third-party authority; physical violence where competing interests resulted in an altercation are resolved by a criminal judicial system; and a well-trained police force deals with competing interests where laws have been violated.

Between nations, competing interests are often resolved by diplomatic negotiations — or end up in wars, resulting in devastation and famine for the general population.

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 competing interest which should be identified are: The applicant, whose interest is to obtain a Federal Disability Retirement benefit; the Federal Agency or Postal Unit, who may or may not be supportive of the employee/applicant, and thus may represent a “first order” competing interest; and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whose competing interest is to deny, where possible, the employee’s application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

There is also a fourth “competing interest” — that of a Federal Disability Lawyer who will effectively represent the Federal or Postal employee.

Such a lawyer, however, “competes” against the Agency and OPM, and advocates for the Federal or Postal employee.  Consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether or not you need proper legal representation in competing against the competing interests you will be facing in a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Preparing the Case for Submission

Sometimes, it only takes a matter of weeks; other times, months and months in the preparation period prior to submission of an OPM Medical Retirement package.  It is not something to be taken lightly.  Once submitted, your Human Resource Office will do their portion — of completing the Agency’s Certification of Reassignment and Accommodation, as well as the other and multiple bureaucratic processes.

Then, whether first to be routed through the finance office and then on to OPM, or if you are separated from service, directly to OPM without going through your Human Resource Office at all (except to separately secure a Supervisor’s Statement and the SF 3112D), the bureaucratic process of submitting and being reviewed for an approval or a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has begun.

“Preparing the case for submission” may have taken many months, and it is the crucial foundation in setting forth the success or failure of a FERS Disability Retirement application.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the preparation of such an important submission should fall short of meeting the complex criteria necessary for a successful endeavor.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Pushing Forward

This is a society that always pushed forward.  Older societies; countries and groups that have been around for a long time; established families and ones declaring aristocratic lineage — they all rely upon the past.  It is the glory of the past that gives credence and status to most other societies; ours is a personality for the future, and so it is difficult when an illness, injury or disabling medical condition holds us back, keeps us static or restrains us from pushing forward.

Forward progress has always been the gauge of success, the measurement of merit and the stature of upward mobility.  The frustration felt because of this recent pandemic is emblematic of our inability to remain in place.  Pushing forward has always been our identity, our force of attraction, and to hold back goes against our very nature.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition is holding you back from performing successfully all of the essential elements of your job, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application may be the way to push forward.  Yes, it is a sort of “pulling back” — but only as a temporary measure.

Federal Disability Retirement encourages the medical retiree to work in the private sector and make up to 80% of what your former position currently pays, and in that sense, retiring on a medical disability is simply another way of “pushing forward” — just in a different career.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employment Medical Retirement Benefits: Answering

There are a wide-ranging set of rules when answering — whether to a question, a query or the need to rebut a determination of some sort.  Etiquette often plays a large part in social situations; or of common conventions and unspoken rules of interpersonal interactions.  Different situations call for tailored responses, and often we confuse one sphere of responsive need with another. “Do I owe an explanation” often depends upon the circumstances — the status between the query and the deposed; the relationship fostered; whether there would be consequences in failing to provide an answer, etc.  Then, of course, there is the issue of timeliness.

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, much of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is a matter of answering questions — questions posed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management on Standard Forms 3107 and 3112.  How one answers the questions; what answers are formulated; when to file a response; where to file the response — they are all relevant in preparing an effective FERS Disability Retirement application.

Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Laws and set the path of “answering” not only in the right way, but in an effective manner in preparing, formulating and filing a successful Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Employee Disability Retirement: Sequential Arrangement

If an individual was about to move into a home or an apartment, but the place needed a fresh coat of paint, would you advise that person to move all of his or her furniture into the place first, then paint the place — or first paint the place, then move in?

The question seems rather redundantly unnecessary, and the answer rather redundantly obvious; but, then, if one doesn’t think about the sequential arrangement of tasks to be accomplished, or even that the person in question simply has had no experience in such matters, perhaps the obvious must be pointed out for its logical consequences.  Clearly, it would make things easier to paint an empty premises as opposed to having the place cluttered with furniture and knick-knacks, exposing everything to paint droppings and just to even consider the logistical nightmare of trying to paint around a cluttered apartment or home full of furniture, etc.

Sequential arrangement is important in most matters — which should be done first; what needs to be accomplished as a preface to the step following, etc.

For Federal and Postal employees contemplating Federal Disability Retirement as an option to pursue, the fact that the forms presented — both the Standard Form 3107 series as well as the SF 3112 series — come in a sequence does NOT mean that you should complete them in the sequence arranged by the Federal Government.  Sequence is important because the information you provide depends upon the previous information you have gathered, and the sequence of such information is important and relevant in preventing any developing inconsistencies.  Just because SF 3107 and SF 3112 come in a neat and tidy packet arranged in a sequential manner does not mean that the sequential arrangement should be followed.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and discuss the sequential arrangement of steps to follow that will benefit your particular case, and not the case that can be made against you by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement under FERS: Performance, Conduct or Attendance

Those are the 3 areas which the U.S. Office of Personnel Management looks closely at when evaluating a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS — “performance”, “conduct” and “attendance”.  There is a 4th criteria — that of “incompatibility” — but that issue is normally applied when a medical condition manifests itself as being inconsistent with the positional requirements of a job.

Performance” is determined objectively by whether one has fully met annual performance evaluations/ratings; “conduct” concerns any record of adverse proceedings initiated by the Agency or the Postal Service, including written warnings, reprimands, on or off-duty allegations of misconduct, charges and/or convictions; and “attendance” deficiencies are determined by the remaining level of accrued leave, whether of SL, AL or use of LWOP and the exhaustion of accrual.

These — OPM has determined — comprise a more “objective” basis upon which a Federal Disability Retirement application is determined.  Of course, one’s medical condition is further evaluated based upon the severity, type and category of the medical condition itself, as well.

When considering filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits, ask yourself the question, “Do I have any deficiencies in performance, conduct or attendance?”  Next, Are there objective factors that can show definitively that I am no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of my job?

Having a supportive doctor is crucial in a Federal Disability Retirement case, but other indicators as well can be used in arguing in favor of one’s case, and objective indicators can make the difference between success or failure in all cases reviewed and evaluated by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an experienced Attorney who specializes in Federal & Postal Disability Retirement Law to determine the viability of your case; for, in the end, it is the presentation of objective factors which will win your case, and not your “feelings” as to whether you can do your job or not.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Die Trying

We hear about that — of people dying while in the process of trying to work.  We push ourselves daily because we have no choice but to bear the unbearable, as if the work we do is more important than life itself.  We give lip-service to so much pablum — that “life is sacred”; that we live in a “caring society”; that “in the end”, what matters are “relationships” and not material possessions, etc.

But do we believe it?  What constitutes and validates “believing” in something as opposed to not?  Is it to simply assert and declare without such words ever being tested, or can “belief” turn into “true belief” only after an action has followed a proposition?

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 his or her Federal Job, the question that must be raised is whether it is all 
“worth it”, isn’t it?

Whether continuing on towards that goal of “retirement” can be achieved; if it is worthwhile to die trying — or, is Federal Disability Retirement an option to consider?  Certainly, to “die trying” can be a noble effort, but only if the goal to achieve possesses some inherently noble characteristics.  At the end of that effort, what will be the reward?

OPM Disability Retirement is a benefit accorded to all Federal and Postal employees under FERS when it becomes clear that a medical condition is no longer compatible with continuation in the job, or any similar job.  Seek the counsel and advice of an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before forging ahead, lest you decide to ignore all of the symptoms of a declining health resulting in the tragic result where whispers and shaking heads would declare in a low voice, “Well, he died trying!”

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire