Medical Retirement Benefits for Federal & Postal Workers: Expectations versus Reality

The dawn of the American century arrived sometime after the First World War.  America’s entrance into the world stage; its dominance in influencing culture, economics, politics and social upheavals cannot be ignored.  At home, too, kids were brought up with a view that expectations were limitless; that everyone could achieve anything and everything so long as you put your heart, mind and soul into it.

The reality, of course, is quite different.  For, the fantasy of expectations fails to take into account individual limitations, whether in the arena of creativity, intelligence, circumstances or just plain luck.

We taught our kids the false pablum that in America, everything is possible for everyone, and thus do we have the reality-check upon millennials and others that, NO, not everything is possible, and sometimes you have to accept the plain fact that reality imposes a check upon your expectations: You cannot win at everything; you cannot succeed at every crazy venture; you are not always going to come in first; and, in fact, you may not even be given a pat on the back just because you show up.

Medical conditions, likewise, provide a reality check.  We are not all of us triathletes; our bodies are, indeed, vulnerable; and though we may think we are a species which can multitask better than other specialized animals (i.e., the predator cats are good at chasing and killing; the falcon at zeroing in upon its prey, etc. — but the human animal, though not the best at any one thing, is good enough at a multitude of different tasks), there is a limit as to how much we can do before the stress and anxiety of becoming overwhelmed sets in.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition has given you the reality check against expectations of continued employment with your Federal Agency or the Postal Service, contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of initiating the preparation, formulation and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application — where you are finally recognizing that there is a substantive distinction to be made between expectations and reality.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: The Peppered Denial

Take a handful of pepper and go out into the snow (which shouldn’t be too difficult, given the snow storms of recent vintage, at least in certain areas of the nation); throw it up into the air and let it “pepper” down.

What do you see?  Pock-marks of darkness, and as it dissipates with the melting cold, a spreading of dark spots — depending upon the kind of pepper it is. Or a shotgun blast from afar — see the spread of indented imprints left where the pellets become less constrained based upon the distance of the target.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management takes the same approach — of “peppering” you with reasons in a denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application.  X-medical report says Y; notation on the doctor’s progress note indicates Z; you didn’t have any service deficiencies; even though B says C, it doesn’t matter because OPM doesn’t believe D; and on and on.

One would think that, instead of such a meandering approach, the OPM medical specialist would present a tighter, more coherent basis for such an important issue.  The question is: Does each pepper-spot need to be cleaned with a salt-like application to answer them?  Or, can a more generalized approach be applied?  It depends.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Law and begin the process of responding to the peppered denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: The Art of the Story

There is the subject itself, and then there is the art of the subject thus identified.  At some point in every civilization, the academic study of a subject becomes pedantically necessary, and a “cottage” industry developed.

Once upon a time, the “story” was an important and inseparable component of a culture; the storyteller was the keeper of the village’s identity, the protector of its essence where mythology and folklore provided meaning, relevance and its self-knowledge of who one was, where one came from, and what the whole purpose of existence meant.  Without The Story, people wandered off despondent, lost, and without a teleological force to hold the unit of peoples together within a coherent whole.

Then, writing came along and as the technological tools of the craft disseminated to other and wider cultural arenas, the shared ideas and adventures of each culture became better known, and assimilated by each over and within others.  The “Art” of the story became the study of it — of what constituted an effective story; what made people laugh, cry, and the erudite articles that explained that which was once obvious and self-evident.  Categorization and specialization soon follows; whether as it becomes more sophisticated or intellectually advanced as a reflection of it, or merely because complexity follows upon a self-satisfaction of what we deem as “progress”, who will ever know?

The “Art” of the story somehow came into being — of the study of a once human need began around a campfire where a village told of its origins, now relegated to the halls of academic “science” where dissection, analysis and discussions ensue.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have a “story” about a medical condition that is beginning to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the Art of the Story becomes a necessary form of application, because SF 3112A —Applicant’s Statement of Disability — requires not only the telling of one’s story about the medical condition, the impact upon one’s ability and capacity to perform one’s job duties, and how it has dominated all aspects of one’s professional and personal life, but beyond: it must comply with and meet the legal eligibility criteria by a preponderance of the evidence, thus forcing the Federal and Postal employee to go beyond the story itself, and to be fully aware that the Art of the Story has more to do with the proper and effective presentation of it, than the story itself.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Information: The shaken confidence

Tree limbs can be shaken; hands can shake, evidencing some agreement or initial salutation of a wordless sort, or even accompanied by some utterances; and the earth can shake as the subterranean tectonic shifts invisible and otherwise unnoticed, which then can result in tsunamis and other natural disasters.

The shaken confidence can take many forms; and the forms themselves cannot so easily be identified.  It presumes, first of all, that there was “confidence” to begin with, lest that which is shaken could not possibly have occurred unless it preexisted the loss of it.  Yet, too often, the evidence of its very existence is merely the lack of any contrary characteristic — i.e., a negation that fails to manifest existence and thus cannot actually be proven.  Of a person who walks about without any noticeable trace of lack — do we say of him or her, “He has confidence’?  Or is it just the one who has an overabundance of it, who struts around like a proud peacock or a rooster who takes no guff of whom we attribute “overconfidence’?

In normal discourse we just assume that, unless there are indications to the contrary, everyone who stands and walks amidst and among us possess some level of “confidence” or, in more particularized form, of “self-confidence”.  What are the events or issues that “shake” it, and what can an attribution of such an event mean?  Perhaps it is triggered by some tragic source — a trauma of a very personal nature, of death or an accident, perhaps; or can it be by mere utterance of words, of a berating boss or an insensitive spouse?  Or, how about a realization that one’s presumed immortality is simply not so?

None of us believe in immortality — at least, not in the sense that we will live forever walking about this earth.  Yet, until an event “reminds” us of our mortality, we take it for granted that life goes on as the day before, and the day before that; and so the concept of immortality resides by avoidance or ignorance, until something “reminds” us that, indeed, mortality is the nature of life, and flesh is by each instance and in incremental subtlety progressively deteriorating within the microscopic cells of slow degeneration.  And of a medical condition — can it be the source of the shaken confidence?

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 shaken confidence resulting from the progressively deteriorating medical condition is just as real as the earth that trembles and groans from tectonic shifts that moves and crumbles the structural integrity of high engineering feats.

Federal Disability Retirement is often not a choice made in confidence, but from a lack thereof; for, a medical condition cannot be viewed within a vacuum of a mere diagnosis that can be surgically extracted; rather, a medical condition is a sequence of aggregated tragedies — of the medical condition itself; the symptoms which result; the impact upon one’s personal and professional life; of the effect upon family and friends; of the triggers upon one’s psyche as well as the physical pain and mental anguish experienced.

In short, the shaken confidence of the one who used to walk about the earth as if you owned it, and preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is simply the first step in regaining that “shaken confidence” that was once a day before in a time now long forgotten presumed to have always been there.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Comparative Living

We all engage in it; it is the genre of modernity by which one values and estimates.  With the shrinking world through sharing of information in this technological age, the greater minds have proposed that poverty can be erased and world hunger can be eradicated.  But in the reality of the microcosmic world of daily living, it has allowed everyone to peer into the living rooms of all, and in the process, the heightened camaraderie through shared information has become exponentially magnified.

There are positives for every change; but then, the negatives quickly follow.  Comparative living results in having a rigid sense that a linear form of life must be embraced, at all times, in all circumstances, and anything out of the ordinary constitutes failure of the first order.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition impedes and interrupts the planned flow of one’s life, and where the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, consideration must be given to a changed life outside of the realm of comparative living.

Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit which allows for the essence of that which is most important:  focus upon treatment of the medical condition; prioritizing of that which is of the greatest impact:  health, life, and securing one’s future.  What other people do; how others think; where others are going; they all become comparatively of little worth.

For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management must be the focal point in securing one’s future, and any comparison of one’s life to others who continue on with their linear goals in a world consumed with measuring worth against everyone else, must be cast aside to secure the reality of a present need.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire