FERS Disability Retirement Help: OPM’s Medical Specialists

OPM — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — has “Medical Specialists” from the “Boyers Division” to review, evaluate, assess and ultimately make decisions upon each Federal Disability Retirement application submitted by Federal and Postal employees under FERS.

Now, there is no doubt that they possess unique medical knowledge — to whatever degree that they hold, from whatever perspective they come from, and the context of their applying such knowledge and background, etc.  But they are not lawyers.

Doctors and nurses have a specific perspective in viewing the world, just as lawyers and engineers, also, have a unique perspective. Their background and expertise is like a colored lens through which the world is seen.

Federal Disability Retirement is not just about a medical condition; it is, instead, the nexus between the medical condition and one’s ability/inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, within the context of a continuously-growing body of law.  That is why OPM’s Medical Specialists are often wrong in their conclusions in making a determination on a Federal Disability Retirement application.

If you need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, or have been denied such benefits from OPM, contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law; for, in the end, it is not up to OPM’s Medical Specialists to make the final conclusion on a Federal Disability Retirement application — rather, it is The Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: When Hiring a Lawyer

When hiring a lawyer or a law firm, what are your expectations and who are you hiring?  Are you hiring an “Intake Officer” (whatever they are); a paralegal; a legal assistant; a “Disability Specialist” (whatever THEY are) — or are you hiring a lawyer?  That is, a person who holds the law degree, who is entitled to practice law, and who is the knowledgeable “expert” in the field of Federal Disability Retirement Law?

How can you tell?  Do you know you are hiring a lawyer merely because someone tells you so?  Or, are these the indicators: When you make a call, the lawyer answers your call.  When you leave a message, the lawyer calls you back.  When you send an email, the lawyer responds.

Or: You always only speak to an “assistant”, and never to the lawyer; the “Disability Specialist” (again, what is a “Disability Specialist” — and what does it mean to be a “specialist”, especially if you aren’t a lawyer?) is always the one who seems to be handling your case; and what happens if your case get denied at the Initial Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, and then again at the Reconsideration Stage of the process — who will see you through at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board?

When hiring a lawyer or a law firm, make sure that you are actually getting what you are paying for: An actual FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who will guide you with his experience, wisdom and legal acumen.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Righting the Mistakes

Some have posited that we actually need 2 lifetimes: One for living, and another for righting the mistakes made in the first lifetime.  Then, a “Mark-Twain humorist” once quipped that, No, human beings need at least 3 lives — the first to live; the second to right the mistakes of the first; and another to do all of the things we always wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to because we were too busy worrying about it.

Life, indeed, is a series of regrets, and most of us still have consciences such that we worry and ruminate about the mistakes we made; how we go about “righting” those mistakes; and finally, on our deathbeds, to simply cry out for forgiveness because the weight of our past is too much to bear.  We can spend most, if not almost all, of our lives trying to correct the errors of our error-filled past; and, if not that, to worry about it.  Often, we don’t even know that we are making the mistakes until it is too late, or until that moment of revelation when we say to ourselves — How did I get myself into this mess?

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 try and file an effective and — as much as possible — an error-free Federal Disability Retirement application.  There is much to be worried about in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application: the complexity of the process itself; the legal hurdles which must be overcome; the bureaucratic morass that must be fought.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and try and avoid the mistakes at the outset. In Federal Disability Retirement, you surely do not want to spend your “second life” righting the mistakes of your first life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Medical Retirement for FERS Employees: Envy

It is tantamount to jealousy; perhaps its neighbor, cousin, sister or husband; and both reside in the shadows of unuttered emotions, festering by maintaining an outward appearance of calm and implacable smiles while all the while eating away beneath the surface.  It can be applied as either a noun or a verb; but in either grammatical form, it retains the character of an ugly relational cauldron of discontent.

Perhaps it is directed towards possessions; or of someone else’s good luck, greater popularity or ease of living.  The questions which sprout from envy are many and varied: Why me and not the other person?  Why does X have it better than I do?  Why does everyone think that Y is so much better?

We are rarely satisfied with our lot in life, and this crazy universe promotes envy, jealousy, comparisons and disunity, for it is all about the “I” and the “Me” — it is not a community of shared interests, but the closest we know of Rousseau’s “State of Nature” where each is on his or her own and the battle is to destroy one another.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that medical condition impacts your ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of your job,”envy” is often not towards someone else, but of a previous life, the prior person and the former self — for that time when health was taken for granted and the capacity to do everyday, “normal” things was never given a second thought.

Such envy is not the same as the envy felt towards others; for, it is neither ugly nor unutterable, but a natural yearning for something which once was and perhaps still could be.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may not be the solution to solving that special sense of envy, but it at least allows for a foundational annuity such that you can focus your attention back to your health and begin the road towards regaining that sense of self where envy is not of what you once were, but of what you can still become.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Albatross

The reference is likely outdated.  One doesn’t hear of the phrase, anymore, that “X is like an albatross around my neck.”  If it is referenced at all, one is likely to witness everyone standing around within earshot to whip out their smartphones and Google it, to find: Literally a large sea bird.

The phrase alludes to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in which a sailor who shoots a friendly albatross is forced to wear its carcass around his neck as punishment.  But who reads Coleridge, anymore, leaving aside poetry as a genre outmoded in an age where entertainment and leisure must by necessity be at the click of a button or within the scrolling universe of a Smartphone?

The antiquated reference is an allusion (as opposed to an “illusion”) — you know, the poet’s attempt at painting a word picture of something else by referencing a certain concept; i.e., that literary device banned in SATs now because it became too difficult a subject to bear — is of something that brings about bad luck, or of negative consequences resulting from something we have done or an event which has caused things to turn against us.

Medical conditions can become an albatross around our necks; as our health progressively declines, it becomes a greater weight and burden because of the impact it has upon our ability to work.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from the albatross of a medical condition, it may be time to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

When one’s medical condition becomes an albatross which begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, whether as an allusion or an illusion that the medical condition will resolve itself, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes a necessity beyond the poet’s representation; it becomes a reality which must be attended to.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Attorney