Filing for Federal Disability Retirement: Damaged goods

Perhaps it is of a fine porcelain statue; or a painting that depicts perfection in a pastoral panorama presenting a private purview of picturesque purity (sorry for the alliteration that cannot be resisted); or a first edition book that is without blemish; or a host of other “goods” that one values, admires, cherishes — and is purchased with anticipation of contentment.

Upon returning home, one notices an imperfection not previously spotted: a small “crack” on the forearm of the porcelain figure; a tear in the upper right portion of the canvas, just below the line where the frame casts a shadow and becomes almost imperceptible; or a crayon marking on page 324, in the middle of the book, unnoticed unless one inspects each and every page.

The item cannot be returned, because of either distance (perhaps it was purchased on international travel in a small shop in a foreign country not known for return policies); policy (the sign clearly stated, “All sales are final and the purchaser bears all responsibility in inspecting the condition of the item prior to buying”) or some other impracticable reason.

The imperfection is so minor that no one else knows, would notice or otherwise cares to comment on such an impurity of the state of the condition, except for one small and irritating fact: You know.  It bothers you.  The fact of the damaged goods betrays something about yourself — not merely that a contrast against a paradigm of perfection has stirred an irrationality that struggles against good judgment, but moreover, that there exists an intolerance for a standard of less than the penultimate apex of an unreachable standard.

What does one do?  You can: Hide and stash away the item (but it yet remains with the knowledge that, hidden or not, the aura of imperfection exists); you can give it as a gift, or sell it to a third party (but what if the potential purchaser recognizes the imperfection and bargains for a better price, leaving you with a loss — will that constantly remind you of your lack of judgment when once you thought that your expertise in such matters was the paradigm of perfection itself?); justify to yourself over and over that, “Yes, it isn’t perfect, but boy is it a great piece regardless!” (perhaps, over time, this approach may work); or, do the most drastic of solutions: destroy the item and trash it.

Medical conditions have a way of impacting individuals in a similar manner as the discovery of imperfection in what one once thought was a paradigm of perfection: somehow, it is even worse, because of the personal manner that medical conditions impact: it touches upon one’s self, one’s self-image and the crumbling sense of self-confidence one possessed when health was taken for granted.

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, always try and keep in mind that the diminution of the “product” concerned (i.e., yourself, the Federal or Postal employee) is not discovered by the mere fact of filing for Federal Disability Retirement — rather, the fault is in the system of the Federal Government for not being able to be patient as you struggle to recover from you illness or injury.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset is not a reflection on the “value” of you; it is, instead, the reality of a system that fails to recognize the difference between the relative value of “goods” as opposed to the priceless perfection of a human being and his or her contribution to society.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Weight of evidence

When you walk into a room full of people, how does one differentiate, define, separate and discern?  Remember that once-popular fictional work entitled, Tarzan of the Apes by (originally) Edgar Rice Burroughs?

There is a scene (whether from one of the various versions depicted on screen) where young Tarzan is surrounded by a crowd of “civilized” individuals staring, prodding, looking on with curiosity — and the young man who had been brought up in the wild lacks the capacity to compartmentalized the sudden bombardment of overstimulation, and runs amok amidst the finery of a social setting.

How is it that we learn to differentiate and categorize from among the massive aggregate of stimuli directed at us?  Do we, as Kant posits, impose mental categories upon the chaos of the world?  How do we learn to determine the “weight” of importance, significance or even of relevance upon the various activities that surround, impart and become directed at ourselves or around and about our purview?

And in the legal context, how do we know what weight of evidence should be submitted, and how to organize it into a priority of relevance?

You know the old joke — or is it merely a “trick”? — Of telling a person to “listen carefully,” and misleading the listener into thinking that the question you will be asking concerns the number of people left, when in fact you are deliberately misguiding them, saying: “Now 5 people entered the elevator and it went up 2 floors, then 3 people got off and 5 more got on, then the elevator went up again 2 more floors, where 1 person got on and…”.  At the end of the “story”, the question posed is not, “How many people are left?”, but instead, “What floor are you on”?

The evidence for both are there; it is the weight upon the relevant information that was missed.

Or, of that eccentric oddball who watches an action-packed movie or episode, and at the end of it, while everyone is commenting about this or that favorite scene of explosions, mayhem and bad-guy-got-his-due scene, the odd-man-out says, “Yes, I thought that the person who wore the yellow tie should have retied it, because it was a bit crooked.”

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, it is important to recognize the weight of evidence, the relevance of the information submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the significance of guiding OPM into viewing the evidence with a roadmap of persuasion.

Legal memorandums that delineate the evidence compiled, argue the law that is persuasive, and preemptively organizes the basic components in answering “why” a client is eligible — nay, entitled — to Federal Disability Retirement benefits, is important in light of the variety of evidence being submitted, not only by the applicant, but also by the Agency or the Postal Facility (which is not always favorable).

Is the Federal Disability Lawyer you have consulted or are about to consult, doing this?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The difficult good-bye

It is always difficult to say good-bye.  Whether of a long duration, or with a quick ending to an already fast-deteriorating relationship, the good-bye that brings sorrow, tears and a sense of unease is the one that once was never thought of.

Separating from loved ones; the end of a stay that may have begun with trepidation, hesitation or even loathing, but which turned out to be an embracing of past memories forgotten, revitalizing conversations and enlivening moments of collective reflections; or even of a chance encounter with someone, or with the lengthy last moments with a bedridden relative who wants the warmth of human contact nearby before departing into the netherworld through gates of wandering souls.

Whatever the circumstances, the good-byes we fear, the ones we think will be a relief, and even those that turned out to end merely with a half-hearted wave of the hand — it is the difficult good-bye that echoes within the hollow of one’s mind, squeezing between schedules full and memories touching upon a conscience that will not abide.

Careers have good-byes, as well, and not just between people; for it is the career that defines so much of who we are.  It is never just the “what do you do for a living” part of it, but the title that comes with it, the identity that is attached to it, the camaraderie that accompanies it and the past memories that haunt one; these are the cementing tributaries that form one’s personhood.

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, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the difficult good-bye is the one that separates the Federal or Postal employee from the Federal Agency or the Postal Facility — not necessarily because of the circumstances compelled by the medical conditions themselves (although that is admittedly difficult enough), but often because the job itself was and has been an integral part of one’s life, livelihood and identity, and because any change in one’s routine is hard enough.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is essentially saying good-bye to a good chunk of one’s daily routine of life and living — of spending about 50% or more of one’s life (including preparing for the day, commuting, doing work-related emails and similar activities, etc.) — and thus will be, even under the best of circumstances, a difficult separation and departing.

But always remember that the difficult good-bye is the one that retains an abiding meaningfulness within the souls of worthwhile characters, which then forms the seeds of hope for a future yet untold, as opposed to the half-hearted wave of the hand that dismisses so casually that we remember not even which hand with which we waved good-bye.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability: The constant struggle

It does appear never-ending, doesn’t it?  And what of that dream – of some windfall, or perhaps the lottery pick of numbers that somehow keeps people coming back to the corner Mart and purchasing tickets despite the astronomical chances that defy the odds of probability?  Why is it that people are more apt to believe in conspiracy theories that the moon landing or aliens from Mars have been concocted and coopted by some nefarious government, but no one believes that those “winners” of multi-million dollar lotteries have been a “set-up” to keep people enticed into buying more and more worthless tickets?

Is it because life is a constant struggle, and so long as there is some fantasy to believe in, some pie-in-the-sky probability to reach for and dream about, the misery of today’s misfortune can be borne with aplomb “so long as” … so long as there is some hope for tomorrow?  And even if the lottery were to be won, by some unforeseen whim of a chance begotten, would life no longer be that constant struggle, and does financial freedom guarantee happiness, joy, freedom from the struggle and liberty from the daily fetters of life?  Why is it that we believe that winning a treasury trove of sudden infusion of financial depth will suddenly resolve all ills of life?

And then, of course, there is the medical condition.

What most people would not trade for good health – and, for some, even a day’s worth, an hour’s splice of that day, or even a few minutes free from the pain, the anxiety, the worry of ill-health?  It is one of those statements of proverbial “throwaways” that we all pay lip-service to, isn’t it?  That one that goes something like: “Oh, I would trade in all of my wealth, status and everything I own to get my health back.”

We hear other people say it, and nod with quiet agreement, but somehow, we don’t quite believe it – until our own health begins to deteriorate.

The key to wisdom in life’s journey is to come to a point of recognition that the constant struggle never ends; and by such recognition, to savor the moments of beauty and those “little joys” of life.  Yes, yes, that is the basis of another “conspiracy” or sorts – of the wealthy and powerful to make the “little people” believe in such joys as flowers, children and puppy dogs, while they go out and sun themselves on the extravagant yachts of life.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers whose health has been deteriorating, who recognize that one’s career is more than just the constant struggle of daily living, it may be time to consider filing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Yes, you cannot any longer do all of the essential elements of your job; yes, life is a constant struggle, and your medical condition makes it all the more so; no, you are not going to win the lottery; and finally, even if you did, it won’t make the pain or depression go away, and winning the lottery, in the end, won’t make the constant struggle disappear, and probably won’t even make it any more bearable; and thus the need to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Private thoughts, public offerings

The bifurcation of human contemplation can take many forms, and rarely do they conflict with each other, unless the former is involuntarily injected into the cauldron of the latter.  One can hold private thoughts contrary to one’s public image; and the public self can contradict the private soul without a condemnation of hypocrisy, so long as the two are never manifested as unconcealed revelations of surprised protocols.

We suspect that exacting consistency between the former and latter has never existed in the history of mankind – beginning with the dawn of hunters who trembled with an inner fear so violent that want of flight was paused only by the shame that would prevail at the tribal dance where bravery, conquest and manhood are celebrated; or in more “civilized” settings when socialites raised eyebrows upon behaviors deemed uncouth and agrarian, where divisions of social consciousness resulted from the miscreant amassing of wealth previously unknown.

Can resentment be concealed in a long-enduring marriage, or fear of death be tightly coiled within the heart of a warrior?  The samurai who gave his fearless allegiance to the daimyo, who in turn swore body and soul to the Shogun – did they avert the openness of their trembling by dispensing favors and accolades to the underlings who disseminated the fearsome bloodlettings?  And what of politicians today – the acceptability of having a “private belief” contrary to the “public stance” – do they constitute a hypocrisy, or an acceptable division of setting aside personal feelings for the greater good in public service?

Often, the misguided confusion arising between a conflict of contrasting private thoughts and public offerings, is just that:  We fail to contemplate the ends thought, and mix the means for motives untold, and in the muddle of such a conundrum of confusion, think that it reflects upon the meanness of our own souls, without recognizing that human frailty must always allow for a bit of good humor, if we are to survive the self-flagellation of our inner desires.

Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers have this same problem – of fealty and loyalty to a Federal daimyo or Postal Shogunate without considering the misguided and irrational basis of such compelling inconsistency.  The thought that loyalty to an agency or fealty to the Postal Service must continue despite hostility and abuse perpetrated merely for suffering from a medical condition brought on through no fault of the Postal worker or Federal employee, is tantamount to the bifurcation between private thoughts and public offerings:  publicly, in the company of coworkers, supervisors and managers, the smile of contentment and membership in the agency’s team spirit must be on full display; privately, the suspicions and paranoia mount because of the workplace hostility engaged by others.

Betrayal itself is often a misguided embracing of a blind trust; you cannot betray those who have already undermined your every turn.  Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is a very private matter, precisely because it involves the most private of information – one’s medical condition and the records which reveal the intimate and private details of it all.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, first through one’s own Agency or H.R. Department, then to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is a “public” act in many ways, and it is that act alone which often makes one pause.  But this is where the “rub” must be faced:  In order to access a public right (filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits), some extent of the private information (the medical condition; doctor’s narratives, office and treatment notes, etc.) must be “offered”.  Yes, it is a difficult decision – but one which must be faced in order to get beyond the private hell within the cauldron of the public hostility and workplace harassment which will only continue until an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is approved by OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Annuity: The mindset resulting in a witch’s brew

We can often dismiss antiquity with ease by relegating personalities to caricatures and stereotypes.  Thus, of the Crusaders, that they were merely simple folk unsophisticated in the evolutionary Darwinism of modernity; of Roman legions, fearful of punishment and brought up to bear the cruelty of his environment; or even of more recent vintage, the gunslinger out West — of Billy the Kid or Wild Bill Hickok, where legend surpasses the individual and becomes fact.

But a slight alteration of a vantage point can skew the perspective; and thus, when we focus upon the cauldron of the witch’s brew, as opposed to the personality who stirs and skims the steaming pot and tastes with a silent laugh the compilation of herbs, incantations and bones of lizards extinct but for the ghostly aura of a hand which discovers the mist of superstition, then we begin to truly understand the nature of human beings.

Even the modern day “curandera”, or traditional healer who must speak to the Andean underworld and mix the exacting drops of bat’s blood and seek out the plants and herbs in the harsh mountainous enclaves, possesses an aura of mystery unable to be discerned, unless one averts the eyes from the window of the soul and instead transposes upon the metal source from whence the steam arises.  Then, there in the transfixed embrace switching from the deepened riverbeds of facial ravines of the one whom we cannot comprehend, and corners instead upon the objectified universe out of the contextual historicity of predetermined ideas, we begin to understand.

We put faith in others, and repetitively so, and when the self-flagellation wrought by dependence upon the kindness of others is crushed beneath the weight of rejection and rebuttal, then and only then are we able to “move on” and pick ourselves back up in order to advance towards goals abandoned and dreams unfulfilled.

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 realizing the fruition of one’s career as a Federal or Postal employee, and must by necessity forego the compensatory benefits of job, career, TSP build-up and years of in-service accumulation; it is, then, time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Once a Federal Disability Retirement annuity is obtained, the time that one is receiving a OPM Disability Retirement annuity counts towards the total number of years of Federal Service, so that when recalculation occurs when the Federal or Postal employee reaches age 62, those years of Federal Service while receiving the Federal Disability Retirement annuity counts towards the recalculated annuity.

But first, the refocus of one’s perspective must occur, in order to alter the mindset from whence to proceed.

The Federal employee or U.S. Postal Service worker must begin to think “differently” from the personality occupying the identical space as “before”.  Like the mouth agape with wonder and the eyes of disbelief, the parameters of transfixed minds must change in order for change itself to occur.

Focus not upon the personality in history, but the object which remains constant throughout.  For, the cauldron which bears the aroma of a witch’s brew is not the same as the hand which stirs the pot; though, the ingredients of mystery and secrets unrevealed are lost in the historicity of timeless knowledge, and that is why the thought-process resulting from the witch’s brew is often as important as the personality who gathered the aura of potency lost in the steaming mixture of life’s hidden darkness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire