FERS Disability Retirement: The Dream Fading

The two primary meanings of such a concept: Of awakening, and there is a mist of sleepiness and a vague memory of dreams dreamt; but if one fails to pause for a moment to capture the dream, to think about it, cuddle with it, hug and embrace it; and instead, we often say to ourselves, “Oh, let me remember it later” and go on with our morning chores, only to never regain the dream fading.

It is like the elusive elf or fairy; unless we take the time to seek them within the deeper forest, they disappear, never to return.

Then, of the second meaning: Of our hopes and dreams; of a world slowly descending into madness, and with it, the dream fading.

Sometimes, some things are best ill-defined; for, to define something is to forever capture it and contain it, restrict it.  That is why many “primitive” cultures refused to have their photographs taken; for, to have a picture taken is to have your image captured and imprisoned; and worse yet, to then have the photograph later “framed” is to have the imprisonment further boxed into a restraining enclosure of permanency inescapably determined, as fate without hope of options.

And so, when we talk about a person’s or a society’s “dreams”, it is best to leave it undefined so as to give it room for the imagination.

Do all peoples, civilizations, societies and communities have “dreams”?  Do all parents everywhere and all across the spectrum have “dreams” for their children?

In both and either conceptual constructs, the key is to embrace it upon awakening — before it fades, before it becomes imprisoned into the nether world of forgetfulness.  The Dream fading — before it does, grasp it, embrace it, hold it tight.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers all across the world who once had dreams of an extended and successful career with the Federal Government, it may seem like a dream fading when your medical conditions impact you and prevent you from continuing in your career.  Yet, always remember that there will be another night of dreams and other opportunities for dreaming.

FERS Disability Retirement is not an end in and of itself, but rather, a “beginning” of sorts — of allowing you to regroup and to dream beyond your present career.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and let not last night’s dream be the one you forgot, or tonight’s dream you failed to remember; rather, let tomorrow’s dream be the one which establishes a greater future for another day.

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.

 

Federal Disability Retirement Law: Obstacles

Some avoid them completely; others, shy away when they can; still others, make a feeble attempt, then easily give up; and yet, there are those who relish the challenge and even seek out in order to test their mettle, their competence or other such virtues real or imagined.

Obstacles exist throughout, whether sought out or avoided; some, no matter the extensive efforts to avoid, appear immovably in every conceivable pathway of one’s “journey” through life, making it impossible to avoid.  Most of us are not self-flagellating egoists who want and desire the challenge of obstacles; rather, the easiest line of travel with the least amount of obstacles is the means to a comfortable life.  We are presuming that the people at Google thought in a like manner, and that is why they invented Google Maps or other such “Apps” for convenience’s sake, in order to avoid those obstacles which delay and frustrate.

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, filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may be a necessity, and if so, two obstacles immediately come to the fore: First — the one you already know — is the medical condition itself, which impacts every aspects of your life and is becoming progressively debilitating, and Second: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, who looks at every Federal Disability Retirement application as a bank robbery which must be prevented.

In order to overcome the first obstacle, you should do everything to get the proper medical treatment, and to make your health a priority.  As for the Second Obstacle, contact an attorney who specializes in countering the denial of OPM, lest the avoidance of the obstacle unnecessarily becomes a greater one of burdening impossibility.

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.

 

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Retirement: The Law’s Mandate

What does it mean to “apply the law”?  Does mere mention of the fact — often, at the end of a lengthy paragraph, almost as an afterthought and merely an appendage to satisfy the criteria of “consideration of the law” — satisfy the requirement?

Does a jury who collectively convicts a defendant because they didn’t like the way he looks, satisfy the obligation of considering “reasonable doubt” if, just before agreeing to render the verdict of “guilty”, everyone in the room nods the consent that there is “no reasonable doubt to consider”?

Or, must a jury deliberate upon the issue and definition of reasonable doubt for a lengthy period of time in order to “appear” that they have considered the law’s mandate in a serious fashion, so that each juror can say, “Yes, we gave the criterion of ‘reasonable doubt’ due seriousness, and concluded that none of us had any reasonable doubt to prevent such a conviction”?

In analogous form, does the U.S. Office of Personnel Management satisfy the law’s mandate if they merely mention the multitude of case-law requirements, or if not even mentioning them, to “refer” to the variegated issues?

In this writer’s opinion, the Law’s Mandate requires more, and it is the job of the attorney to point out what constitutes and satisfies the law’s mandate, and to force OPM to do their job properly.  If you are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS, contact a retirement lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that the Law’s Mandate is fully satisfied.

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 Employees Medical Retirement from the OPM: In a Vacuum

We often try and look at a thing “in a vacuum” — meaning, by viewing it without relation to other things, we believe that we can approach the viewpoint in a more “objective” manner.  But objectivity itself takes on many forms, and often objects, words, concepts, etc., possess their meaning and identity precisely because of the relationships established, and when you strip away the nexus between A and B, the loss of meaningfulness is profound.

Such is the case with Federal Disability Retirement Law.  While Social Security requires a higher standard of “total disability”, and thus will view a medical condition within categories of differentiated severities, a medical condition in a Federal Disability Retirement case cannot be viewed in a vacuum but, rather, in relationship with the type of duties the Federal or Postal worker must perform.

When a Federal Disability Retirement application is being reviewed by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, they will often try and argue the case in a vacuum — for, that is to their advantage, in order to deny a claim.  But it is the job of the attorney representing a Federal or Postal worker to point out the statutes and case-law, and to always bring OPM back to the reality of their legal obligations — that a medical condition can never be viewed in a vacuum, but only in its relationship to the positional requirements of the job.

Contact an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and don’t look at your situation in a vacuum — but always in relationship to the laws which protect you.

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.

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Casting Aside the Armor

The armor we refer to is the shield we all wear.  It is for protective purposes.  But not every armor is suited for every kind of battle.  Sometimes, the very armor we wear becomes an impediment, and weighs us down so that we become a danger to ourselves.  We speak, of course, of such armor in a metaphorical sense.

Sometimes it is referred to, in other contexts, as having a “thick skin”; of being standoffish or reserved in order not to allow for hurt in our lives; or to always put on a facade of knowing what to do, being the “leader” even when the conundrum of life’s puzzles creates chaos and confusion.  How many conflicts could have been avoided if we set aside the armor we have chosen to put on?

Casting aside the armor is a difficult act; for, it then allows for vulnerability to overtake.

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, casting aside the armor becomes important — of recognizing that you cannot continue as before — and to consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and consider the next important steps in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Future Dreaded

We often avoid the subject; of futures yet to be contemplated and images triggered by fears; of questions pertaining to old age, retirements, early onset of dementia and the fearful “A” word — Alzheimer’s.

Are such fates certainties?  Or, do we just shrug them off with a flippant side-step, like the partner dancing with a clumsy other who is nimble enough to avoid being stepped on, making dancing with the stars seemingly like a cakewalk.  “We can always get hit by a truck tomorrow, so why worry about the day after?”  Is that a philosophy of life which can long endure, or a truism which guarantees our fated dread, anyway?

Medical conditions of any form and type remind us of the future dreaded; it points to our mortality, our vulnerabilities and our lack of security in this world where communities are non-existent, empathy remains in short supply and families break apart as easily as the crumbling crust upon an overcooked apple pie.

Future dreaded — it is a feeling felt at the pit of one’s stomach, and nightmares which shake one from the slumber of midnight terrors; and, in the end, we feel sorrow for ourselves in an echo of soliloquies where a singular voice calls for help and no one is there to listen.  The bleakest of ends does not need to be one where the worst fears are realized.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates consideration of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the future dreaded is the one around the corner, triggered by the increasing hostility of an agency or the postal facility which sees no future in your contribution or membership in that community of workers which once provided a sense of security.

When your medical condition has come to a point where you can no longer perform all of the essential elements of your job, call a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  For, in the end, the future dreaded is often one based upon lack of understanding, and it is knowledge of the process of Federal Disability Retirement which can feed the information necessary to prepare for a future brightened, and not a future dreaded.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The Picture We Want to See

Most of us think that we are the opposite of the designated, “Photogenic Individual”.  Setting aside those who crave to be in every picture (including the egomaniacal and perversely pervasive “selfies” which are posted daily and minute-by-minute), the picture we want to see, the photograph we would care to share and the image we would want to be presented to friends, family, third parties and others — they are rarely captured accurately, or at least to our satisfaction of how we see ourselves compared with “what” or “who” we see captured within the confined borders of an image depicted.

Similarly, we all hold an image of who we are within the framework of our own egos — whether of a successful individual or a failure; of self-confidence or lacking in great measure thereof; and of the little boy or girl we remember, before entering into the harsh reality of the world at large, with a past and background of security or insecurity, with loving parents or of cold, dispassionate and distant fathers and mothers; in the end, the picture we want to see is often at odds with the ones we actually hold on to.

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, perhaps filing for disability retirement benefits under FERS is not the picture “we want to see”, but rather, is the picture depicted and represents the reality of what we must see.

No one wants to see the picture — and least of all the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition necessitating Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  However, it is often the picture which we least want to see that represents the reality which we must see, and that is what consulting with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Employee Disability Retirement Law is there for: To paint an objective picture which depicts as accurately as possible whether you qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Refutation of Stefan Zweig’s Essay

FERS OPM Medical Retirement: Refutation of Stefan Zweig’s Essay, “Books are the Gateway to the World”.

Not quite a refutation, but merely a protest — and perhaps a defense of illiteracy.  Zweig writes beautifully; persuasively; in colorful prose that captivates; in convincing form — if not in logical argumentation, but more as a poet who is convinced that words, books, literacy and the spread of the written word is indispensable to life itself.

He ends with this poetic flourish: “The more intimately the man associates with books the more profoundly he experiences the unity of life, for his personality is multiplied; he sees not only with his own eyes but with the countless eyes of the soul, and by their sublime help he travels with loving sympathy through the whole world.”

Who can argue with that?  Who can so poetically refute and rebut a sentence of such insightful beauty?  Yet, it is not with the argument for books and literacy that is objectionable, but rather, the notion that the man with whom he met and befriended but who is later found to be illiterate — that this rampage of sorrow and defense of literacy is at the expense of this unfortunate man.

Consider how he describes such a person: “He is walled in by himself, because he knows nothing of books; his life is dull, troglodytic (Definition: a “member of any of various peoples (as in antiquity) who lived or were reputed to live chiefly in caves” — i.e., “cavemen” or “cavewomen”).  And: “I was shocked to think how narrow the world must seem to the man who has no books.”

True, Zweig may have felt pity for his new-found friend, whom he previously described as a person who possessed a “genius for mimicry and caricatured everybody”, and whom he found fascinating and of enjoyable company — until, it turns out, that he discovered his illiteracy.

The essay ends without a conclusion; perhaps he took the time (without writing about it) with the friend and taught him how to read.  More likely, they went their separate ways — the other fellow pitied for the remainder of Zweig’s days, the author convinced that he was an individual to be pitied.  But that is the criticism to be posited, isn’t it?  That we make judgments without judging ourselves, and unjustifiably when we have the power to do something about the ills we encounter.

For Federal and Postal employees who have encountered that very circumstance — of facing judgments by others while nothing is being done — of a Federal Agency or the Postal Service that has determined that you are not worth “saving” because of a medical condition that now prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job; it is then time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Don’t wait around for help from your Agency or the Postal Service; it is likely that you will not receive it.  Instead, consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  For, in the end, the decision to take the next step to “help yourself” will be up to you, and you should not consider the Federal Agency or the Postal Service to help you as your “friend” — leaving aside whether they will even feel a scintilla of pity for you; they won’t.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM FERS Disability Retirement: Coordination of Elements

There is no question about it: It is a complex process.

Administratively, it must be passed through multiple levels of agency review in order to get a completed packet — the Supervisor’s Statement (SF 3112B); Agency’s Efforts for Reassignment and Accommodation (SF 3112D); effectively answering the Applicant’s Statement of Disability such that it provides the proper nexus between each of the questions on SF 3112A — for, although it may not be so obvious, the questions must both be answered separately as well as viewed in the totality of each as being a component fitting in with each other, in order to answer it to completion.

Then, there is the coordination of internal and external elements, and the intersecting impact within and without — of a medical report effectively prepared and consistent with the history of treatment modalities; of a nexus persuasively argued establishing the connective impact between the medical condition and the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job elements; and the interconnectedness of essential elements to the physical or cognitive inability to perform one or more of the essential elements, etc.

Throughout the process — whether for a denial and a rebuttal response at the Reconsideration Stage, or at the initial preparation stage in the First Stage; or, even of an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board — the coordination of elements is important in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law in order to more effectively establish the coordination of elements.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement from Federal and Postal Jobs: Inconsistency and specificity

The two legal standards dominant in a Federal Disability Retirement case must often be alternatively applied depending upon the nature of the positional duties involved.  It may be appropriate to speak in terms of “functional capacities” and specified duty restrictions when it comes to physical work that involves descriptive mechanical work — i.e., being able to lift a certain amount (for most Postal employees, up to 70 pounds); bend, lift, stand repetitively throughout the day; or even in climbing ladders, remaining balanced while working on a scaffold; utilizing power tools, etc.

For more cognitive-intensive, focus-driven administrative/executive positions that require sustained and sedentary periods of consistent application, the more generalized standard as pronounced in Henderson v. OPM may be better argued — one of inconsistency and incompatibility between the job duties as a whole because of the cognitive dysfunctioning that results from the high distractibility of pain, lethargy from Major Depressive Disorder or paralyzing panic attacks from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, etc.

Or, take the work engaged by an Air Traffic Control Specialist — there is an admixture of the “inconsistency standard” as well as “specific” elements where sustained focus and concentration is reliant upon the safety and lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

The two legal standards in a Federal Disability Retirement case are not mutually exclusive, and they need not be argued so before the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and beyond, at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).

Medical conditions need to be described in a “nexus-form” to the positional demands of a Federal or Postal job, for ultimately that is what a Federal or Postal employee who is filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is retiring from — a position description, and not necessarily the actual job that one is working at.

The disabling medical condition that the Federal or Postal employee is suffering from may both be inconsistent and possess descriptive specificity which require restrictions; and, conversely, it may be that certain elements of one’s Federal or Postal position description may require restrictions, leading to the conclusion that the position as a whole is inconsistent with the suffered medical conditions precisely because of the specific, 1-to-1 ratio of “essential element” to “identified medical condition.”

Thus can both standards be argued and used as a sword against OPM”s argument that “specific elements” need to be shown in each and every case, which is simply NOT the case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Postal & Federal Disability Attorney