Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: The Regrets of Today

Today is a fresh start; tomorrow, although unknown, allows for corrections of today’s mistakes; and yesterday — well, we cannot do much about the past except to attempt to learn from the errors already committed.

The Age of Wittgenstein prevails in our generation.  The great philosopher of the 20th Century wiped away the problems which haunted Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, et al, by relegating all such problems as propositional fallacies confused by the inaccuracy of language.  All we have to do is correct the “language games” we play, and all problems disappear.  Fast forward to today — there are no longer any “truths” with a capital “T”, but only relative ones and even “alternative” truths, all correctible by the modification of what is said, the words spoken, the language used.

The problem with such an approach is that it often is disproven by the reality of the mistakes we make, resulting in the regrets of today.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition presents the reality of a problem which language will not erase, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may be the best option for today.

Tomorrow will present a new set of problems; today, it is best to take an affirmative step forward and consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and begin the process of formulating a paper presentation to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in order to make yesterday’s regrets a mere language game of the past, and tomorrows challenges as a reality that is based upon the truth of today.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Medical Retirement under FERS: Giving Up

It is, and historically has been, an option of last resort.  There are those, of course, where it is simply never an option; at whatever cost; sacrificing whatever means; it is simply not a consideration to be entertained.  Is such a “principled” approach ingrained within the DNA of an individual, or is it merely a trifle of stubbornness which prevents a person from giving up?

It is certainly not a character trait which is taught; in fact, more of the opposite is true.  We tend to teach our children the pablum of perseverance: “Keep at it, and one day you will…”; “Don’t give up; you’ve only just begun” (a paraphrased lesson for young children of what the American revolutionary, John Paul Jones, purportedly stated, “Surrender?…I have only just begun to fight!”); and other such lessons where the fine line between intelligent perseverance and fatalistic stubbornness must often collide.

Yet, there surely are times when it is prudent to give up — and perhaps come back to fight another day.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal employee to perform all of the essential elements of his or her position, “giving up” may be a matter of filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Of course, “giving up” may also be the thought when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management denies a person’s FERS Disability Retirement application, as well — but in the opinion of this writer, that is the time when the approach of John Paul Jones should be taken.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether or not “giving up” is a prudent option to consider, given your unique circumstances.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Appeal: Second Opportunities

In life, how often do we get a “second opportunity”?  To correct a past mistake; to avoid the consequences of an error committed; to rekindle a damaged relationship; and other acts of revitalized and redemptive scenarios rarely allowed.

Second opportunities, and the rare third ones, allow for erasures to be made, modifications to be incorporated and additional, corrective information to be inserted.  Of the following, what would one think? “Oh, a mistake was made in the contract which goes against you, but not to worry, go ahead and make the changes and we can sign everything again as if … “ Or: “Oh, your rich aunt disinherited you after you called her that horrible name and in a drunken rage knocked her over the head with vase, but not to worry, she forgives you and has placed you back in her will.”

Those are, to be sure, instances of second opportunities, but rarely to be had and more likely to occur in fictionalized accounts of redemptive fantasies otherwise unpublished because of their unlikely occurrences.

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 “Second Opportunity” (and the “Third”) comes in the form of the Reconsideration Stage, and then an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

Don’t let such an opportunity for corrective action slip through the “proverbial fingers” by making the same mistake twice.  It is, at either the Reconsideration Stage or the appeal to the MSPB, an opportunity to fill in any gaps (whether merely perceived by OPM or substantively existing, it doesn’t really matter); and to reinforce any lack of medical evidence by having the opportunity to supplement, and even modify, statements made or omissions allowed.

Some OPM Disability Retirement cases may be weak in their very essence, whether because of lack of medical support or because of other reasons undefinable; other cases may simply need further development, explanation or supplemental evidence to “shore up” the unpersuasive peripheral issues that have appeared in the case.  Both the Reconsideration Stage, as well as the appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, open opportunities to resolve one’s case in one’s favor — by being granted the ultimate end and goal with an approval of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.

The road to attain that goal, however, must sometimes travel through multiple doors and second opportunities, and that is how one should see the Second (Reconsideration) and Third (an appeal to the MSPB) Stages of the process in trying to get one’s OPM Disability Retirement application approved.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Wisdom’s hold on life

We never quite “get it”.  Trans-generational imputing of wisdom is not part of modern society.  In more “traditional” societies, multi-generational families live together out of practical reasons:  Not only is it less expensive if the earnings are pooled into a single resource of means, but until marriage or an offer of economic leverage pulls a member away from the core, imparting of wisdom, experience and voices of learned care may be passed down from generation to generation.  In the West, instead, the rush is to depart and fracture; to get away as quickly as possible; for, as youth is the cult of modernity, so folly of youth is the means by which we live.

That was the point of alternative interactions, as well – of apprenticeships, internships and other similar ships moored to more experienced hands; but even those are now relics of an age no longer relevant.  And of age – old men with decades of experience in handling matters of great complexity, shuttled away into homes smelling of antiseptic camouflaging of decay and devoid of respect or gratitude; women who once gained a stature of serene contentment, now deluged in a cauldron of impoverishment and relegated to the insignificance of lost memories.  Where is wisdom’s hold upon life?

There is, in the end, no means for generational transfer of wisdom, and the wheel must be reinvented at every turn, by an ignorant and inexperienced first generation where “first” is always reenacted and “generation” is merely something to submit to have a family tree drawn in order to boast of one’s genetic predisposition towards folly and foolishness.  Yet, we have come to believe that wisdom can be equated to information, and so we hand out Smartphones so that we can mindlessly look up data, soft news and questionable sources where references cannot be verified, plagiarism may be rampant, and esoteric knowledge has been forever generalized to a point of neutrality of purpose.

Where do we get wisdom?  From advice columns, gurus of booksellers hinting of “secret” formulas and self-serving wanna-bees of Dear Abby.  Once, wisdom’s hold on life resulted in an evolution of greater growth, as generational transfer allowed for each within the greater whole to advance beyond the elementary foundations of first principles.  Now, we are solitary, isolated and disconnected.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, wisdom’s latent hold on life should not make one pause, but rather, as the dissemination of knowledge, information and guidance can be accessed through an experienced lawyer who has faced OPM many times, life need not be anticipated, but advanced beyond the folly of youth where wisdom’s hold on life is but a moment devoid of influence.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire