FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Good to be Wrong

Every Federal Disability Retirement application contains some problems.  The ones which don’t — and they are few and far between — are what some call that rare “slam dunk case”.  But when it is characterized as such, the honest attorney — and the undersigned author of this blog considers himself such — simply tells the caller:  “Gather your medical records; fill out the forms and submit the packet; you don’t need a lawyer.”

All other type of cases have inherent problems, which comes with the territory.  For, when you deal with an agency which neither applies the law, nor is unbiased in its review and evaluation of each case; and, where the Agency believes that the money it is saving is tantamount to a protection of the evaluator’s personal bank account — well, you know and can guess what happens.

As every case is problematic, so every case has to be fought for.  A lifetime Federal Annuity (well, somewhat, as it is actually only until age 62, and then the Federal Disability Annuity is recalculated based upon the total number of years of service, including the time spent on FERS Disability Retirement) is not something that is easily given up by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management or the Federal Government; as such, it must be fought for.

This FERS Disability Attorney — the author of this blog — fights on behalf of his clients throughout all 3 stages of the process.  Other firms will often charge for each stage separately, or only for the first 2 stages, then abandons the client after that.

In having represented many, many clients over many years, one gets a “sense” of whether a Federal Disability Retirement case will be approved at the First Stage of the process, or whether there will be a “fight” and it will take either the Reconsideration Stage or the MSPB before a “win” is acquired.  Yet, there have been many, many cases when this attorney has also been wrong about this alleged “Sixth Sense” on any given case, and where OPM approved the case at the First Stage, even when the case is not overwhelming strong.

In such cases, it is good to be wrong.

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.

 

OPM Disability Attorney Help: The Paralysis of Indecision

There is, on the one hand, an approach of charging forth with a decision; on the other, a more contemplative manner of considering the options, letting various arguments be heard, then taking into account the pros and cons and coming to a deliberative conclusion and decision.

Such differing approaches often reflect the personality of the decision-maker; and, of course, between the two extremes on a spectrum of decision-making approaches, there are various “middle-ground” ways.

One often hears about the need for “decisive” action, where such an approach is often viewed as more effective and enveloped with great confidence.  Military responses are often characterized by the “charge forth” approach, whereas political expediency is too often reflected in the long and tiresome “consideration of all sides” approach.

In the end, whether one takes a lengthy, deliberative approach in making a decision, or immediately issues a definitive command to perform a deed, it is the paralysis of indecision which fails to abide.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service 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 paralysis of indecision often comes about because of the hope for recovery of one’s health.

And that is often a good thing.  Hope springs eternal, but when the reality of one’s medical condition becomes chronic and never-ending, the paralysis of indecision merely exacerbates and worsens.

Contact a disability attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and do not allow the paralysis of indecision to keep you stuck in the quicksand of your medical condition.

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.

 

Medical Disability for Federal & Postal Employees: Once Known, Now…

Writers and other artists populate that field — of being once known, mostly during their lifetime; if lucky, for a period of time thereafter, but now….

The ellipsis is meant to convey the idea of the opposite — that a person once known, but now is unknown; has shrunk back into the arena of anonymity; of having been once famous, or at least “well-known”, but upon death, has now passed among those who, like most of us, barely require an honorable mention, let alone a footnote in history; and, instead, like so many graveyards long forgotten and buried beneath the crawling summers of weeds and the drifting beauty of dandelions’ dispersing seeds, once known, now….

For example — Carlos Baker; who was he?; who remembers him?  He wrote the definitive biography on Ernest Hemingway, and was himself an accomplished short story writer, poet, and well-known during his time.  Most of us would like to have had even a fraction of the reputation and popularity he enjoyed during his lifetime; but in the end, we all return to the dust from whence we came.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition now prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the prospect of returning to total anonymity may be a falsely-motivating element in trying to continue and to “fight on”.

Health should be the top priority.  Yes, once you receive an approval for your Federal Disability Retirement, you will no longer be known as “Tom the X, Sally the expert-on-Y, or Julian who is V”; but you will begin to get your health back.

Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and fear not the loss of a footnote where you were once known, and now…

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer
Federal Disability Retirement Attorney

Attorney Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Steps of Deliberation

Steps of deliberation must be taken to accomplish anything.  By deliberation is meant: A plan based upon knowledge; actual progress towards a goal; a recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of a case; and the application of any and all advantages which can be engaged.

Obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity requires those steps of deliberation: Knowledge of the process; steps toward the end-goal; assessment of the legal criteria and their applicability; citing of past case-laws which possess persuasive influence in arguing your case.

Consult with a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin actually moving forward in the steps of deliberation which will result in a successful outcome.

For, it is those first steps of deliberation which determine the course of one’s future, and Federal Disability Retirement is ultimately nothing more, and nothing less, than securing one’s future by stabilizing your financial outlook in a retirement you have worked so hard to obtain.

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
FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: The Cadence of Life

We all “have” one, or at least sense it; and when we do not, it means that the tune to which we march is so coordinated that we don’t even realize that there is one; for, it is only when the song is “out of tune” or the marching footsteps are out of sync that it becomes apparent that the cadence of life is left askew.

There are days when the cadence of life is so perfectly attuned that we need not pause to consider it; then, there are other days when everything is out of tune — when the feet trip over one another, the dexterity of hands become all thumbs and nothing seems to work and the cadence of life has been disrupted.  Most days are somewhere in between upon the spectrum of daily living — of being in tune most of the time but with disruptions and pauses; “pregnant pauses”, at that, which make for embarrassment and disjointed agonies of trepidation and concern.

We say things like, “I feel out-of-sorts” or perhaps a slight cold or “bug” has infected us; but whatever the cause, we know that we must get back into the step of things and march along with the rest of the crowd, lest the band leave us and the quietude of isolation engulfs us with a fear of loneliness.

Medical conditions — whether of illness or injury — can likewise disrupt the cadence of life, and 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, filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits — to be ultimately submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — is one step towards regaining that step to bring yourself in cadence with the cadence of life once lost, and now to be found.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits under FERS: Who we are

That is a rather presumptuous title, one might declare; for, it is always the “we” that others presume to know, as opposed to limiting the declarative within the restrictive confines of one’s self, family and surrounding community.

What is the great equalizer that allows for the collective plural pronoun?  Is it television (i.e., do “we” all watch the same shows and thus form a conglomerate of a universal consciousness)?  There was once a time when one could argue that a unity of convention existed — especially harkening back to the days when there were essentially 3 networks to choose from, and where all three were similar in content, thought and approach.

In modernity, is it the Internet?  But the worldwide “web’ is too diverse to narrowly formulate a cumulative effect of similar normative beliefs.

Perhaps that is why society in general is so diverse and fractured; where even a simple consensus amidst a small community cannot be reached, and how geographic differences have become exponentially and irreversibly altered and separated from one another.

Who are we?  Yes, the inversion substitution of the second word with the third makes the declarative into a query, and changes the entire subject matter.  It is, perhaps, both a statement and a question, and neither make sense, anymore.  And so we are left with a singular voice — of a monologue and an aside, or as in a play, a soliloquy, where the character asks the universal question, Who am I?  Am I the collective consciousness of my direct descendent, and does that have meaningfulness, anymore?  Why do we seek answers by purchasing and sending away “DNA kits”, as if the spiral spectrum of cellular anomalies would be able to answer the question which haunts us all?

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 potential loss of one’s identity within the community of Federal and Postal workers is often the step that is difficult to take.

One’s identity, purpose, drive and dreams are often bundled up into an inseparable conglomeration of work and identity, and to separate from that self-identification is often a difficult venture to undertake.  But the danger, of course, is that you may be forcibly separated if you do not take the steps necessary to protect your identity.

The Agency will ultimately terminate you, and the harassment because you have taken too much Sick Leave, Annual Leave, FMLA or LWOP is inevitable.  Better that you file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits and retain a semblance of who you are, lest the Federal Agency or the Postal Service does that to you unilaterally, leaving you with the question, Who do they think they are?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Responsibility

What is it about the ascription of such a word, that there can be a direct correlation or, if taken in a different context, some mere connection but no causality?  We can say of a person, “He is responsible for X”, and yet never have directly encountered X or (if a person) never even have met X.

Thus of monsters and thugs throughout history, for instance, we might say that “Stalin was responsible for 20 million deaths, at least,” or that Mao was “responsible” for a 100 million peasants dying during the late 50s; or, of course, of ascribing to Hitler the countless millions; and, so that we don’t leave out other “responsible” monsters of history, of Pol Pot, Idi Amin and many others besides, though we cannot link a causality that would pass Hume’s skeptical test of anything more than events following one upon another, we nevertheless accept that all such political figures were “responsible” for the deaths of millions.

What is the criteria in coming to such a conclusion?  Is it a negative proposition — that if X had the power or position to prevent such events from occurring, then Responsibility-Y can be ascribed?  Or must it be a positive declaration: If X engaged in Acts A, B and C, then Responsibility-Y can be attributable to Individual-W; and further, if only Acts A & B, but not C, then less so; and if only Act A, but not B & C, even less so?

Responsibility”, of course, is a malleable and transitive concept; it can change with the contextual winds of opinion, historical perspective and a cultural shift of viewpoints.  Look at how we approach our Founding Fathers — of responsibility for the slave issue in the United States, but somehow excusing each if (A) any one of them willed that they would be freed upon their deaths, (B) that one was “personally” against the issue but for economic, practical reasons were “forced” to go along or (C) they treated them “kindly” and “responsibly” (here, we have a double-meaning of the term, for such an individual was both “responsible” as well as being ascribed the “responsibility” of being a slave owner).

Or, look at the manner in which America treated Native Americans — of a genocidal history no less cruel than Mao’s starvation of the peasantry; and yet, because of such grand concepts as “manifest destiny” and the depiction of an entire populace as “uncivilized”, we can avert “responsibility” by distancing the causal agents; and the greater distance between the agents, the less we ascribe responsibility.

On a lesser scale, what about work?  If work suffers and there is no reason for it but laziness and lack of attention, we ascribe “responsibility”.  But what if a medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties — is that Federal or Postal employee “responsible”?

The short answer is a “no” — and that is recognized by “the Law”, in statutes, regulations and case-laws cumulatively aggregated under the conceptual aegis of “Federal Disability Retirement Law”.  It is precisely because society recognizes that a medical condition itself — and not the individual — is directly responsible for one’s inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, that Federal disability retirement exists as a benefit to pursue.

But it cannot be accessed until and unless there is an affirmative step taken by the Federal or Postal employee, by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.  That is where “responsibility” comes into play as a direct causal link — of initiating the steps and actually filing.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: And then we are gone…

The trailing ellipsis establishes a pause for reflection, and the finality of three periods for an emphasis upon the irreversible nature of the statement.  “And then” connotes that something preceded – a lifetime of activities, a century or less of human historicity involving birth, growth, work, struggles, etc. – existed before the conclusion of the life.

The “we are” slice of the sentence implies two additional variables: the universality of involvement – an event that excludes no one – and the present tense of that which is inevitable.  And what about the final word before the ellipsis?  The eternal nothingness; the inescapable conclusion to every novel, every short story, every figure of historical significance or otherwise; we all die.

We somehow try and escape or avoid that fate.  Heidegger’s observation that the whole of human activity is merely a project of distraction and avoidance – that we perform this busy-ness and that all-consuming work or hobby, not because it is inevitable, important, relevant or even interesting, but because to do nothing would be to face the reality of our own demise daily.

Perhaps that is somewhat of an overstatement.  And yet… In the end, plastic surgery, herbal teas and strenuous exercise may only prolong the terminal exit ramp for a fortnight or even a calendric cycle or two, but it is the “in-between” times that make all the difference in a person’s life.  And what of quality?  Does quantification by pure duration determine the worthiness of that “in-between” period, or is it better to have lived a short but “full” life, before the finality of nothingness comes upon one?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are suffering from a medical condition, such that the medical condition is making that preceding period before the universalization of finality becoming a reality “less than worthwhile”, the time may have approached, and perhaps even passed, that preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application has become not merely a necessity but a crisis of mandate.

Sometimes, in life, the choices are limited and the options presented somewhat less than the best of life’s offerings; yet, to live out that duration of what is future-oriented by enduring pain, suffering and illness in an atmosphere of hostility and adversarial contrariness for the remainder of the days yet to come, often become unbearable and unthinkable.

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, is often the only solution to a problem unsolvable. It is that moment before the part that goes, “And then…”, where the ellipsis has not yet reached the “we are” portion, and thus a crucial section of a life still to be lived.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: Means to an end

There is a difference, with a real distinction, between utilizing a process as a means to an end, as opposed to using people for the same purpose.  Such a concept should be a “given” – that logical posit which is unquestionably true, without the likelihood of being controverted, and generally accepted as a foundational principle in a caring society and community.  Yet, modernity has contravened such a belief, and truth and falsity have become relative concepts on the pendulum of linguistic elasticity where the spectrum of facts, beliefs and opinions have become an amalgamation of conflated confusions.

Have we lost the capacity to recognize and identify distinctions that are substantively different because of their self-evident meaning and relevance?  Do we no longer teach logic – whether of the fundamental Aristotelian syllogism, or the greater complexity by extension as delineated in Russell’s three-volume magnum opus, Principia Mathematica – such that we can no longer argue for even the basics when confronted by once-accepted paradigms that Kantian categorical imperatives allegedly put to rest forever and a day?

Yet, that final proverbial “day” has now passed, purportedly, and such statements have become mere fodder for dismissive philosophical trash-heaps characterized by “Mereology” and other third-rate, Oprah-like condescension of forgeries masking as genuine belief systems.

Sartre and Camus presented their cases; the former, through a meandering philosophical treatise some would characterize as “Heidegger-Lite” (the comparison can be made superficially on the titles alone – of “Being and Time” as opposed to “Being and Nothingness”) and where his plays allowed for greater coherence than any of his “serious” attempts, while the latter conveyed the angst of human repugnance to becoming “objectified” through novels depicting alienation and the dilemma of human value in the very activity of defiance and rebellion.

Man, we are told, should always be treated as an end in and of himself, and never as a means.  Yet, in this mechanized, electronic-ized, technologized society, where the Smartphone is King and the tactile engagement with one another is merely an afterthought, we have to recognize that such inane beliefs are now mere archaic formulations of former times, previous generations and outdated constructs no longer applicable.  The Angst of Existentialism has come full circle; that which we scoffed at because it originated from Continental Europe is no longer a Sisyphean mythology, but a reality that now consumes.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who feel the weight and burden of a medical condition, being treated as a means to an end becomes part of the process.

Past accolades of dedication and loyalty fail to leave a trail of concomitant interest and empathy of warmth; you find out quickly that others don’t give a hoot about distinguishing between “means” and “ends”; but in the end, it is precisely the means by which you end up treating a fellow human being, and the very filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application should in and of itself warrant treatment of being an “end”, and not a “means” – but such self-evident principles appear to no longer be the accepted normative value within a society that cries tears for the Oprah show, but not for the real human experiences of the person in your own office, sitting in front of you, a foot away, real, not imagined, not a picture on Facebook, but a person of real flesh and blood.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire