OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Those Little Victories

Life offers few of them; thus do we turn to those little victories to make it all seem worthwhile.  Waterloo is almost always seen from the perspective of defeat, just as WWII is viewed from the perspective of the Allied victory, and history has always been seen as the story from the victor’s point of view except in those instances where, like Napoleon’s hubris, the single battle determined the course of world history.

Most wars are won or lost upon the incremental victories of smaller skirmishes; and so it is with life in general, where it is those little victories which make it all worthwhile.  And the victories themselves don’t need to be as a consequence of a “battle” or a “war”; it can be small things like: Making it through the day; having a sense of joy or contentment for an hour, or even a half-hour; of having spent five minutes with someone without provoking a fight; or even of having had a good night’s sleep.

Those little victories are often the ones which last the longest in memories short-lived and shorter still before the storms of life surge; and for Federal and 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 position, those little victories of making it through part of a work day without the debilitating impact of the medical condition shortening it further, is often viewed as one of those “little victories”.

At some point, however, when those little victories seem to be too few and far between, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefit through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For, when those little victories in life are nowhere to be found, it is time then to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to regain a sense of worth in a world which cares little for those little victories.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Fight or Give Up

Those are the only two choices for most of life’s challenges and encounters: To fight for something, or to abandon it completely.  Of course, the “middle ground” is often preached — as in some sort of compromise, or to learn the “tools” of “conflict resolution”, etc.  But that all depends upon the conflict itself, doesn’t it?

Some issues of contentiousness simply do not accord a middle ground; there is no compromise for the mountain climber inching up the North Face of the Eiger — going back down is just as dangerous as struggling upwards, and so it is to either fight or give up, where the latter results in sure death and becoming a frozen corpse of another defeated detritus.

And in the Animal Kingdom — is there ever an alternative third way?  The predator who chases after its prey; flight for the prey is tantamount to a fight — i.e., to “fight” for one’s life by trying to outrun the predator; or, to give up.  There is no “rationalizing” with the cheetah or the lion; one cannot “reason” with the predator in an effort to try and dissuade it from devouring you for its lunch or dinnertime meal.

And so it is with the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job — the choice is between fighting for the benefit or to simply give up.  There is no middle ground or “conflict resolution”; either the disability retirement is granted in full or not at all.

Further, resignation or termination from the Federal or Postal employment makes the choice as clearly defined in stark terms: continuation in the job is no longer an option, and inaction merely means you have given up because you only have one (1) year from the date of separation to file for Federal Disability Retirement.

If the choice is made to “fight” as opposed to “give up”, then it is best to have an advocate on your side and consult with a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  For, if the choice is between fighting or giving up, and the Federal or Postal employee decides to take the former course of action, then give it your best shot by having an attorney who knows the process, cites the relevant law and prepares your case to give you the best opportunity at winning.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Legal Representation for OPM Disability Retirement Claims: ‘To’ and ‘For’

What would be the difference if, in the title of Willa Cather’s novel, “Death Comes for the Archbishop”, she had instead chosen to use the word “to” in replacement of “for”?  Would empires have fallen, world wars have been averted or earthquakes and other natural disasters have been delayed?

Likely, not; but would the countless minds that have encountered the novel, enjoyed its beautiful prose and admired its humanity and warmth in the telling of a tale of a time long past and a period now gone — would anyone have even noticed?  Is there a difference with a distinction: “Death Comes for the Archbishop” as opposed to “Death Comes to the Archbishop”?

Some might dismissively declare, “In any event, the Archbishop died, didn’t he?”  The subtlety of distinction — should it even be brought up?  Would that the title was of the latter instead of the former — would anyone have even noticed?  Is there a grammatical point of difference; is one “more” correct than the other?

Certainly, the “sense” that is employed exists — where, the “to” has a much more objective and distant, impersonal “feel” to it, whereas the “for” personalizes it, gives it warmth, almost as if “death” is a person as opposed to an event, and the “for” makes it a personal possessive as opposed to the “to” that connotes an arms-length relationship between the object and subject.

Are the prepositions interchangeable?  If a person is stricken with grief over a tragedy and a close friend arrives to provide comfort and says, “I came for you”, it would be a statement that would be considered heart-warming.  If, under the same circumstances, the person instead declared, “I came to you” — would we, again, mark the difference or even notice?  It is, certainly, a statement of objective fact — the person objectively traveled and arrived at destination Point B from origination Point A.

Again, the subtle distinction — the “for” connotes a greater personal warmth as opposed to a simple statement of fact.  It is, in the end, the subtle differences that sometimes makes the entirety of a distinction that makes the difference.

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, the distinction between “to” and “for” is often the difference between living a life worthwhile and one that remains cold and impervious.

Human beings are often careless in their personal relationships; and the test of such caring or uncaring attitudes will often surface when a person is going through a trial or tragedy, and preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the complex and impersonal administrative process of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, will often test the workplace relationships because of the self-interested motives that exist with agencies and the Postal Service.

Some coworkers, supervisors and others will distance themselves immediately, and they will remain in the category of the “to” people; while other coworkers, managers, supervisors, etc., will surprisingly be there “for” you.  Willa Cather chose the preposition “for” over the “to” because she was an excellent author, and it is the excellence of a human being that is revealed in the subtle differences we often overlook.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Meaningful turns

How many turns do we make on any given day?  Not just actual ones, like those turns while driving a car, but figurative ones, as well.  If a person approaches you and asks, “Did you make the right turn?” — what is the response?  Is there a “right” answer?  Is there a relationship in the English language between the terms “right”, “left” and the physical attributes we possess?

If a person tells of another, “He’s way out in left field,” is that because we attribute the term “left” with residues of the negative?  And, how did the terms “left” and “right”, when referred to in politics, come to have a meaning of equivalency?  Was the fact that right-hand dominance was historically preferred to left-handedness, to the extent that teachers once used to punish those students who naturally attempted to utilize their left hands in handwriting, drawing, etc., account for the linguistic dominance and preference given to the term “right” as opposed to “left”.

Do we understand the concept with greater presumption when a person says, “He made a left turn and got lost,” even if the person actually made a right turn and found himself in an unfamiliar neighborhood?  And what of “meaningful” turns – are there such things, as opposed to spurious and meaningless ones?  How often we confuse and conflate language with figurative speech and objective facts; and then we wonder why most people wander through life with confusion, puzzlement and an inability to cope.

Russell and the entire contingent of British linguistic philosophers, of course, attempted to relegate all of the problems of philosophy to a confusion with language – and, of course, only the British, with their history of Shakespeare and the sophistication of language, its proper usage and correctness of applicability could possess the arrogance of making such an argument.

But back to “meaningful turns” – in one sense, in the “real world”, every turn is meaningful to the extent that we turn and proceed towards a destination of intended resolve.  But in the figurative sense, it refers to the steps we take in mapping out consequential decisions.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal worker’s position and duties, the “meaningful turn” that one must consider should by necessity ask many questions:  How long can I continue in this job?  What are the consequences of my staying, both to my health as well as from the Agency’s perspective?  How long before my agency realizes that I am not capable of doing all of the essential elements of my job?  Will my excessive use of SL, AL or LWOP become a problem with the agency?  And what about my health?

These are just a series of beginning questions on the long road towards making one of the meaningful turns that confront the Federal or Postal employee in the quest for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire