Disability Retirement under FERS: The Tough Veneer

It is a necessary character trait in this world of coldness and isolation; the facade of perfection, the mask of competence and the veneer of toughness; they all combine as the evolutionary prerequisites for survival’s continuation of the species.  Vulnerabilities must always be hidden; and when hidden, they suddenly grow exponentially with anxious solemnities that go far beyond the original crack in the veneer.

Have you ever seen what happens when there is a small splinter in the veneer?  If a child is around, curiosity complex pulling that initial strip of the veneer, and suddenly one realizes that the face of the wooden table, the front of the cabinet or the face of the cupboard is not what it appeared as: the luster of the veneer has been stripped and the ugly material beneath has been exposed.  Veneers last only for a time, and whether by weather, time or overuse, they begin to crack or reveal the true underside and expose what the veneer was meant to cover up.

For people, it is generally the stress of maintaining the veneer itself that creates the stresses of self-destruction, and when medical conditions become part and parcel of the need for the facade, the stresses themselves become exponentially exacerbated.

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, it is time to begin peeling off the veneer of invulnerability and allow for some relief from the suffocating nature of trying to hide the medical condition, attempting to maintain an appearance of normalcy, and striving desperately to convey a facade of healthy indifference.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is a step towards ridding one’s self of a lie which covers the truth: That the medical condition will go away and you can just continue in the same manner as years before.  Consult with an attorney who specializes in FERS Medical Retirement Law, and consider peeling off the veneer before the veneer itself begins to show the strains of wear on its own, naturally.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement from the OPM: The wasted life

Perception is one thing; reality is quite another.  Plato’s entire compendium of works can be reduced to the essence of that thought: The worth of life’s goal is to embrace pure Being, the reality that surrounds, and to distinguish between appearance and truth; the allegory of the Cave; the arguments with Thrasymachus; the diatribes against the poets — the latter, because they distort perception and create myths by which people live for and believe in.

Some would argue that the starkness of reality cannot be the sole arbiter of life’s value; that poetry adds to the worth of life, even if misperception of Being dominates.  What is a life’s value, and how is it determined?  Who considers that a life is wasted, and by what standard do we judge?

In the Allegory of the Cave — when the man who frees himself from the shackles of misperception climbs up and sees the sunlight: What if he desires to go back into the darkness of untruth, precisely because the unreality of the world is preferable to the pureness of Being?  And how much of convention and human folly attaches upon the judgment of worth?

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 judgment of others in determining the valuation of one’s life often gets in the way of doing that which is “best” for one’s circumstances.

Yes, career and continuation in a secure, stable job is important; and, yes, financial stability for the future is an important consideration in the decision-making process.  But so is health and the balance of one’s life.

When health becomes a concern where there arises an incompatibility between work and well-being, the latter must always be chosen as a priority over the former.  And while others may judge that an interruption of a promising career constitutes the wasted life, such conclusions are made by those who, like the unfettered encounter of the man in the Allegory of the Cave who sees the pure Being of reality by looking up at the sunlight, it is the blinding darkness of ignorance that follows which makes for poor judgment and lack of insight into another’s life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Claims: Methodological approach

We hear about the various approaches — of “quantitative analysis”; of systems created for a specific outcome-based determination; of numeric, qualitative, cost-benefits balancing, etc.; and all the while, we presume that there is a “methodological” underpinning that girds the analytical viewpoint, thereby systematizing the approach into a coherent consistency in order to limit and restrict human error.

That is the conundrum, however, is it not?  It is humans attempting to implement a methodological analysis that will expunge the very essence of humanity, by humans engaging in activities to erase that which makes humans for being so human — imperfection.

Analytical approaches without a preordained methodology presumes a flighty, ad hoc approach that fails to rise to the level of a vaunted “science”; yet, if a paradigm of a “methodology” is created and implemented by an imperfect being, how can it ever attain the level of mistake-free perfection that a “methodology” can promise?  The fact is, we are trained to be imperfect, but strive for the vanity of perfection in order to appease the gods of our own fears.

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, it is important to understand that there is, indeed, a “methodological approach” in putting together an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

One can enter into the administrative process by an “ad hoc” approach — by means of a proverbial “chicken with its head cut off” engagement and running about filling out this form, asking for that form, and bundling together whatever medical records one can obtain; but the better way is to have a “tried and tested” methodological approach to the entire bureaucratic morass.

Yes, human beings are imperfect; yes, the medical condition itself necessitates the preparation, formulation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to OPM; and, yes, the entire administrative process of such a bureaucratic procedure is maddening, disheartening and often chaotic.

However, from the ashes of such chaos, it is best to engage in the confusion and chaotic morass by sifting through the difficulties with a “methodological approach”, and to do so, consultation with an experienced attorney is likely the first best step — thus revealing the first step in the methodological approach in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Sacrifice

What does it mean to sacrifice?  Is it a concept learned, or an act embraced during a moment of trial?  If not learned, can it occur when two strangers meet, or do the circumstances, upbringing, genetic material inherited, etc., all make the difference?  And of “learning” — can it be by osmosis, classroom lectures, or purely by observing and watching others engage in the act of sacrifice?  What compels a person to sacrifice one’s own life, well-being, wealth, the shirt on one’s back, or the last dollar in one’s pocket, and does it count at all if it is done for one’s own self-aggrandizement?

Say a person sacrificed a limb in order to save another’s life, but remained anonymous except for the inquiring reporter who wrote a piece delineating the admirable qualities of that person, etc.  We would all likely read such a story with interest and read it and share it with out children, friends, family, etc., and talk about good character displayed and the fine example shown.

What if that same sacrificing person was overheard to have said, “If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t have done it.”  Would that change the calculus of our thoughts?  Would we think less of the person for having second thoughts?  Or, would we suspend our disbelief and say, “Oh, he’s just saying that because living without a limb must be traumatic, but he doesn’t really mean that.”?

What if, in addition to the sacrificing individual making such a statement, it turns out that the sacrificial act was just an accident and was not deliberately intended — would that further downgrade our admiration for the person?  What are the qualities that must all come together in order for an act of sacrifice to be admired and shown as a paradigm of exemplary behavior?

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 the Federal or Postal job, the intersecting issues between enduring the pain and difficulties of a medical condition, with the requirements of performing all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, come to the fore when reflecting upon the conceptual paradigm of “sacrifice”.

At what point does sacrifice turn into foolhardiness?  Is it when the pain and suffering can no longer be endured and others, including the Agency or the Postal Service itself, begins initiating the process of removal or placing you on a Performance Improvement Plan?

While we may never know precisely the distinction and difference between sacrifice and self-destructive behavior — what people mistakenly obscure between “bravery” and “bravado” — what should always be kept in mind is the unmistakable fact that one’s health should be a primary concern, and that “sacrifice” should be reserved for a worthy cause.

Thus, when the intersecting ideas of “sacrifice”, “work” and “health” clash as irreconcilable differences, a divorce must occur between the three at some point, and 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 may be the best option left before throwing away the chance of an admirable act of sacrifice is lost to an unworthy cause at the price of one’s own health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

Attorney Representation OPM Disability Retirement: The pleasurable distraction

When does a distraction itself become a distraction, such that the pleasure beheld becomes instead a burden and no longer is a pleasurable distraction?  It is like the tangents that become the mainstay of a life; suddenly, the peripheral matters become the central conditions, and those fences that once preserved the clear boundaries have fallen into disrepair, and instead there seems to be no end to the bifurcations needed in life’s inherent complexities.

Thus, was once a hobby a pleasurable distraction, now merely a nuisance that is left in the junk heap in the corner of the garage?  Or an activity of physical exercise that one exuberantly tackled, now a necessity because of failing health, and increasingly intolerable because of the time it takes, the stresses of needing to attend to other, more “meaningful” projects, and so we exchange prior declarations of glee for that of old-age grumbling.

Playing with the kids; throwing the ball with the dog; watching a movie together with that “special other”; these were once pleasurable distractions, now jumbled into the stresses of life as if they are just “things to do” on the daily lists of activities, as opposed to that which is “looked forward to” in order to escape the centrality of problematic living.

We have lost, in modernity, the capacity to enjoy; oh, yes, we make statements about how “happy” we are, and put on a brave face or a phony smile; but the reality is that “happiness” has lost its core meaning precisely because we are all expected to be so.  And thus has the pleasurable distraction been cast away on the trash heap of history’s many experiments, one more to be counted on the negative side of the proverbial ledger.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have experienced 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 position, always remember that the pleasurable distraction was once the central focus of why we do what we do; and when that pleasurable distraction becomes transformed into a nuisance because the core basis upon which we engage the world – our work, our career, our means of making a living – becomes such a burden that we must abandon all such pleasurable distractions, then it is probably time to consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

For, when those pleasurable distractions become impeded by the unpleasant deterioration of a medical condition, the entire basis of the structure of why we continue on becomes questioned, thereby requiring a reformulation of the structures of unscientific evolutions – i.e., what it means to be “happy”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement Lawyer: The Complexity of Unpredictability

Some view human behavioral unpredictability as a declaration of the underlying complexity; others would have it that, far from any such convoluted aspiration towards mystery and intricacy, a yawn and ensuing boredom more likely represents the determinism and simplicity of humans.

Which represents the true picture?  Perhaps youth and a naive lack of experience in encountering the universe of everyday conflict is what we discover in the spectrum of opinions; and cynicism abounds upon greater enmeshment and entanglement with the human condition.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the question often arises as to whom, when and the timing of divulging the intent to file.  As the saying goes, discretion is the greater part of valor; unless there is a compelling reason to do so, limiting the information where relevant; restricting the venue of information to the extent possible; and keeping mum until and unless necessary, should be the guiding principle.

Why?  Because, first and foremost, medical information (which is obviously the primary foundational basis of a Federal disability retirement application) is sensitive in nature, confidential in scope, and entails vast privacy concerns for all.  Further, one never knows how an agency and its representatives may react (thus the charge that human beings are complex in nature), but the predictability of big-mouths and lack of discretion (alas, the corollary charge of simplicity of humans) should restrain and constrain any urge to divulge earlier than necessary.

“Necessary” is the key word, and that applies to people, timing and context of dissemination of such confidential information.

For the Federal and Postal employee contemplating preparing, formulating and filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the general rule, always, should be to believe in both contradictory assertions:  Because human behavior is complex and unpredictable, be discreet in revealing information; and because human behavior is simplistic and unimaginative, similarly be discreet and restrained in providing sensitive information.

As one side of a coin is worth just as much as the other, it is best to feel the nature of two faces in a world replete with two-faces.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Law: The Fatigue of Profundity & Requirement of Repetition

Profundity is overvalued.  With the advent of the internet and information technology, the widespread dissemination of seemingly esoteric array of knowledge and know-how (yes, there is a distinction with a difference between the two), everyone is vying for the heard voice, and the break-out from the herd.  One becomes easily fatigued by seemingly deep insights, or “new” data and facts upon otherwise mundane concerns.

Repetition is considered as a trait of boredom; but the longer one lives, the more one recognizes that there is truly little new under the sun, and the apparent newness of X is merely a regurgitation of the old Y of yore.   But repetition does have its own uniqueness of value, and inherent strength of significance.  For, often, a person who turns the same corner as thousands, and tens of thousands before, may be encountering the next block for the first time, and what those before him or her did has little to no significance to the epistemologically privileged experience for that singularity of uniqueness.

Thus, for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who experience a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s job, the knowledge that many, many Federal and Postal employees before were able to file for, and get approved, Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, so long as one is under either FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the comfort of which one may partake rests in the fact that one is not alone; yet, it is not purely a “repetition” of sameness but a genus of similarity; for, as each medical condition and every circumstance reveals a uniqueness which must be dealt with individually, so each Federal Disability Retirement case must be handled with care.

At the same time, however, it is of value to recognize that repetition of relevant laws, statutes and regulations, cited in the ordinary course of preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, is necessary for success in obtaining the benefit.

From the standpoint of OPM, the fatigue of profundity comes in failing to view a particular case with “new eyes”; from the viewpoint of the Federal or Postal worker who is filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits for the first time, it is the inability to recognize the requirement of repetition which often results in an ineffectual formulation of one’s case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire