OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Salve of Talk

We used to recognize the distinction between “talk” and “action”, but modernity has blurred the difference through social media outlets which purport to elevate words as “action-words”.  It is enough in this day and age to merely state that “X is Y”, even if there has been no actual transformation of X becoming Y other than a declarative sentence stating it as a fact.

Some philosophers have, of course, posited that certain words do, indeed, constitute “actions”; but for the most part, the history of linguistic malleability has resisted, and the distinction still holds between words and actions.  Thus, to say that “X was run over by a truck and lay in the hospital” is quite different from the fact of such a description; and anyone who has experienced pain can attest to the differentiation posed.

Talk in recent times, of course, has become a kind of salve.  There is therapy where once there was penitential confession; and families in general believe that “talking about things” is a good thing.

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, talk only gets you so far.

Preparation, formulating and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is the step beyond the salve of talk, and to take that first “action-step”, you may want to contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

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 Disability Retirement Benefits: Moving Forward

Is there any other way; another direction; somewhere else?

Other societies, civilizations and cultures are satisfied with remaining static — of old ways, established villages, the way things “have always been done”.  Not here in the U.S.  Here, everything must be new and scintillating; whatever are the newest trends, we must always embrace and accept; whoever represent the most recent form of “newness” is the one considered “in”, etc.

Cast out the old; and of those left behind? — Well, too bad for them.  The entire concept of how we treat “the least” among us — whether of the old, the infirm, the disabled whether children or grownups — has never quite caught on.  Perhaps it is because we have no conscience, let alone consciousness of duty or obligation.

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, “moving forward” is the only option left.  For, otherwise, you will be left behind to face the inevitable consequences which will only further make circumstances worse: Greater inability to do your job; manifestation of deficiency in your performance or attendance; placement on a Performance Improvement Plan (otherwise known by the acronym, “PIP”); further deterioration to your health, etc.

But what does “moving forward” mean?  What does it entail?

Consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  It is essentially taking an early retirement, but with greater, enhanced benefits.  It is the best option in a world where moving forward is the only way out, and preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is, indeed, the best way forward in a world where moving forward is the only option left.

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 & Postal Disability Retirement: The Noise of Apparent Relevance

Noise is all around us.  The question too often unasked, is: Is the noise relevant, or of mere apparent relevance?

A newborn lacks the capacity to filter out noises.  The din of the world around hammers the fresh ears, and the cacophony is sometimes overwhelming.  Survival is often at the heart of being able to discern and decipher; to compartmentalize and differentiate; for, if you are lost in thought and a car warns with a loud honking, it is often a noise of relevance which should be heeded.

Radio and television news cycles depend upon making you believe that the next “breaking news” is of relevance; and advertisements which seem funny or tell an interesting story are meant to appear relevant, only to try and sell you a service or commodity which you neither need nor asked for.

We all want to be relevant.  Everyone else, in turn, wants to assert their relevance.  There is a need in the human heart to become, and then to remain, relevant in a world full of irrelevance.  Work and career often define what “relevance” even means, and for Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition, there is often a hollow, foreboding feeling that you are, or are becoming, irrelevant because you can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of your job.

Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit which allows you to retire from the Federal government and then move on into the private sector in order to become productive — and relevant — in another way.  Distinguish between the noise of apparent relevance and the falsehood of alleged irrelevance, and consult with a Retirement Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, thereby putting an earplug into the noise of apparent relevance.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
OPM Disability Attorney

 

Medical Retirement under FERS: Revisiting Updike

He wrote about mundane things; of middle class neighborhoods, Pennsylvania towns in which he grew up; farmlands before strip malls replaced them against the skyline of cornfield rows; and of affairs that grew naturally out of a revolution emancipated from the Sixties; of quiet sufferings and the rhythmic monotony of ordinary lives.

John Updike was an “in-betweener” — too young to fight in WWII, too old to have been drafter for the Vietnam debacle; and so he experienced the quietude and normalcy in between the two bookends of this country’s tumult and trials.

Updike was a voice for generations who saw the post-war era, of baby-boomers and American prosperity at its zenith; of the loss of any normative confluence of moral dictum and the abandonment of constraints once imposed by Protestantism.  All, of course, with a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile.  The Internet abounds with photographs of this uniquely American author — almost all with that thin smile as if he was about to share a private joke.

The Tetralogy of the Rabbit novels (actually a quintet if you include the last of the series, a novella entitled “Rabbit Remembered”) evinces a country gone soft after the harsh period of the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam era that undermined the ethical mandates known for generations before, unleashing a liberty of hidden sins like a bubbling cauldron of untamed desires.  But in the end, he is best known for the mundane, the ordinary, and how life in the suburbs of a prosperous nation left an emptiness unspeakable except by a voice given in narrative brilliance, from an author who was a regular contributor to The New Yorker.

Somehow, he made the ordinary seem exciting, even relevant.  By contrast, modernity has focused upon the rich and famous, and of greater unreachable glamour where perfection surpasses pragmatism.  Updike was able to make the commonplace seem important, the ordinary appear significant and the monotony of the mundane as not merely prosaic.  And isn’t that all that we seek, in the end?

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 loss of relevance, the ordinary and the commonplace is what often scares the Federal or Postal employee.

The job itself; the career; the monotonous routine of going to work, yet finding relevance in the act of “making a living” — these were all taken for granted in Updike’s short stories.  That other stuff — of infidelities and dalliances — were a deviation that Updike tried to point out as mere fluff in otherwise ordinary lives; and of medical conditions, they upend and disrupt the normalcy we all crave.

Federal Disability Retirement is a means to an end — of bringing back balance within a life that has become disrupted, but it is a way to bring back order where disruption to the mundane has left behind a trail of chaos.  And to that, the twinkle in Updike’s eyes and the thin smile would tell us that he would approve of such a move which will return you back to a life of mundane normalcy.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney for Federal Disability Retirement Claims: The concise sentence

What is the difference between being concise and performing with precision?  The former is often applied in the universe of words and communication; the latter, in areas where quantitative measuring tools can be determined, such as in science or in mathematical sectors.

We say of a person who speaks voluminously but with little substance that he or she represents the antonym of conciseness; and so a comparison is often made between volume spoken or written and concepts or thoughts conveyed.  Of Literature, most would agree that Hemingway is the representative paradigm of conciseness, whereas Joyce and Faulkner reflect the very opposite, though all three are considered classic and great authors.

Do we excuse such authors as Joyce and Faulkner because, in literature, we tend to focus upon the stylistic brilliance of their writings as opposed to the “meaning” that captures the undercurrent of their works?  In other words, although they may give us “too many” words and thus are, by definition, lacking of conciseness, we nevertheless overlook such imprecision precisely because we do not attribute “amount” as the necessary and sufficient cause of determining the worth of good authorship.

Hemingway used to say that, in writing, he had already formulated each sentence before setting it upon paper, whether in handwriting (a lost art) or at the typewriter (a manual, when those contraptions existed and where the clack-clack of metal keys pounded deep into the twilight of a writer’s life).

Why do we applaud and celebrate the concise sentence?  Does it make a difference whether or not a sentence, say, with 7 words communicates a thought as opposed to a paragraph with a thousand words that conveys the identical conceptual construct?

Take the following 2 examples: 1. Lessening of debt equals wealth. Or, 2: If you have less to owe to others, then it is the same as savings; or, as Benjamin Franklin used to say, a penny saved is a penny earned, and the reality of it all is that we have more to spend and retain wealth, not so much because you have more money, but you have more because less is spent on paying other people your hard-earned dollars.

Now, both sentences convey essentially the same meaning.  The first one, however, is comprised of 5 words. The second one took…many words to communicate the same thought.  Does it matter whether a concise sentence is used, as opposed to one that is not, if the same two convey identically reflective thoughts?

It might make a difference, because of one factor that has not been discussed: Being concise often possesses the added feature of being precise, and precision is important in the accuracy of conveying thought.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are thinking about preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, there is a dual-key component to preparing the SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability: Be concise, but do not forego length for completeness.

In other words, being concise in order to convey the proper information is important; but, at the same time, do not sacrifice wordiness just because of the limited “boxes” that are provided on SF 3112A.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Postal & Federal Employee Attorney

 

OPM Medical Retirement: The Categorical Imperative

It is, of course, the foundation of Kant’s moral philosophy; of the unconditional call to act in a certain way, accepted and mandated precisely because there is no room for question.  But that life were so easy; automatons would simply act in mechanistic ways, driven by moral certitude; free will could be determined by the comforting thought that universal codes of conduct shall always confine and direct.  And bureaucracies would always make decisions within a framework of computational algorithms.

But Federal Disability Retirement is not a matter of a diagnosis; unlike Social Security Disability, which does contain a semblance of categorical imperatives when it comes to certain medical conditions, the preponderance of the proof needed in becoming eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is threefold: First, the minimum number of years under FERS (18 months of creditable Federal Service) or CSRS (5 years, which is presumably already met by everyone in that retirement system); Second, a medical condition which came into existence during the time of Federal Service (with some arguable exceptions within one (1) year of being separated from Federal Service); and Third, a nexus of relevant impact between one’s medical condition and the essential elements of one’s positional duties one performs for the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service.

It is this third step in the process which effectively compels one to step outside of the identification of Federal Disability Retirement laws as containing an element of the categorical imperative; for, in the end, it is not simply an evaluation of “which category” one falls into, but rather, how significant and persuasive is the bridge built upon between the two primary land masses:  one’s medical condition (land mass #1) and the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job (land mass #2).

That metaphorical “bridge” must be constructed with care, clarity, and concrete argumentation of persuasive force in order to withstand the inspecting scrutiny of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Look upon it as if OPM is walking through the construction site with a hard hat, pen in hand and taking notes furiously in attempting to discover deficiencies in the qualification standards imposed.  Jumping up and down and screaming at the inspector that the bridge fits into a pre-defined category will not suffice; instead, the categorical imperative must be argued for by pointing to the medical evidence, the law, and the connective tissues which form the effective and persuasive confluence of all of the elements which comprise the ultimate imperative of life:  that of a methodology of argumentation that one is “right”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire