Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement Benefits: Where to Start

Of course, the “where” is not properly the true concern — for, it is not the location, but rather a different sense of the word that is applied.  The “where” concerns the juncture or the beginning point of a process; of what information to gather; the arguments to be made; the emphasis upon which to direct their attention; the nexus that must be established, etc.

While all that must be gathered, argued, collected, assembled, collated, described, delineated, combined, etc. — the “where” is often meant to merely be a beginning point that is logically ensconced within the entirety of the complex process.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who ask that question or query that puzzle, the answer is simple: Begin with the foundation.  And, what is the foundation?  The foundation is the medical concern itself; and once the foundation is laid, then to work towards the conclusion as to why the Federal or Postal worker can no longer perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

Where to start?  Contact a disability attorney who specializes exclusively in the field of OPM Disability Retirement Law, and begin from there.  For, in the end, that is clearly the logical beginning point of the complex process involving the bureaucratic morass of Federal Disability Retirement Law through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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 Pension: Order of Our Lives

All lives require it.  Some, more than others; others, less than some.  If self-order is not imposed, then some semblance of order from beyond will come about — through reactions of others; by forcible confinement; by privileges withdrawn, etc.  Society requires it in order to manage a civilization; civilization is defined by it, with anarchy being its alternative.

Immanuel Kant argues that there are internal structural categories which impose order upon an otherwise chaotic universe: We “see” the world around us through this ordering cognitive perspective; otherwise, we would not be able to go about our business.  When the disorder in our lives becomes too prevalent to bear, we manage by either ignoring or avoiding the alienation of our selves from an otherwise overwhelming sense of chaos.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from the chaos of a medical condition, the order of our lives may require the preparation and submission of an effective Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application under FERS, to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Medical conditions themselves can create chaos, and it is only by removing one facet of that chaos — the stress of having to continue to work in a career which is no longer viable — that a greater sense of order of our lives can be created.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement Benefits for US Government Employees: Divided, Denied

We have all heard the various phrases and mottos — of being united as opposed to divided; that a house divided cannot stand; and in infantry logistical terms, of dividing the enemy, then conquering, etc.

It is a tactical maneuver which is well-tested — of doing a spear-headed attack and cutting enemy forces into separate units, then beating them independently by outflanking the divisions; or of dividing by cutting off communications or supply lines and denying opposing forces those vital support systems, etc.

OPM uses the same tactic — of dividing, then denying.  Often, Federal and Postal employees suffer from multiple conditions, and it is the aggregate of the conditions which prevent a person from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.  But OPM will isolate and minimize each medical condition and say, “See, that condition in and of itself does not prevent you from performing your job.”

Such a tactic is similar to denying another well-worn quantity — where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  When a Federal or Postal worker must deal with multi-faceted health problems, don’t fall into the trap that OPM tries to set — of accepting their denial by dividing each individual medical condition into separate and divided parts.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and rebut an OPM denial which fails to understand the well-known truths of unity, aggregation and the greater whole.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employees Medical Retirement: Insult to Injury

It is a common enough phrase, and most of us know about it, learn it early on and recognize the phrase easily.  If asked where or from whom we first heard the phrase, most of us would scratch our heads and vaguely reference our parents, grandparents, or perhaps a friend of long ago.  The point is that such a phrase is likely so commonplace and universal precisely because it represents a commonplace occurrence.

It happens so frequently that the phrase itself is accepted as representing a regular event in everyone’s life.

We hear the stories often enough: “I was walking along the street and X happened to me.  That was bad enough.  But to add insult to injury, then Y did this-this-and-that to me, as well!”  Or: “I thought it was bad enough that X wouldn’t do Y for me, but to add insult to injury, he then proceeded to do Z.”  Yes, it is the commonplace-ness of it all which is the reason why the phrase itself is learned at such an early age.

Life is like that, isn’t it?  After the newborn first learns those early words or sounds — like “Ma-ma” or “Da-da” — he or she then immediately learns the phrase, “To add insult to injury”.  Well, maybe not those very words, exactly, but something close to them.

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, consult with an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before the Federal Agency or Postal Service adds insult to injury.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Worker Disability Retirement: Form-filling

There are the two sets of Standard Forms in a Federal Disability Retirement Application: The SF 3107 series, and the SF 3112 series.  Both are necessary in order to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  The first set (SF 3107) merely requests basic information throughout the multiple pages — i.e., name, address, organization, date of birth, social security number, questions on life & health insurance, etc., as well as certifying the summary of your entire federal service, etc.

It is the second set of forms (SF 3112) which is specifically pertinent to the Federal Disability Retirement process — questions involving your medical conditions (beware of what and how to list them); what impact the medical conditions have upon the Federal or Postal job that you do (the need for establishing a “nexus” between the two); as well as any accommodation efforts provided by your agency (know what the term “accommodation” as a legally viable attempt constitutes, for many people are confused about the issue).

Ultimately, Federal Disability Retirement is far more than mere form-filling; for, most anyone can fill out the first set of forms (SF 3107 series); it is the second set (SF 3112 series) which inherently sets out the basis of a viable Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Human Nature

There are other “natures”, of course — of a dog’s or a cat’s; or of a vulture’s, and perhaps of lower order species which we barely give notice to: of spiders (except when they crawl near to us), mice, grasshoppers and frogs.  For species we deem to be less intelligent or possessing the capacity for “free will” (i.e., making decisions and performing acts outside of a predetermined view of what they are “supposed to do”), we tend to have an opinion of, “X does Y because that is the nature of X to do Y”.

Thus, when we read about a traveler who went to a game reserve and got mauled by a lion whom the traveler thought — just a moment before —was “friendly” enough to approach and take a close-up picture of, we shake our heads at the fact that the individual ignored the clear and visible sign which read: “Caution —Do NOT leave your vehicle. Dangerous Animals” or some similar preemptive warning.

Then, of course, there is “our” nature — of Human Nature.  What is it?  We are an animal species which is able to adapt, possess the talent for a thousand things but remain mediocre in all of them.  We cannot run as fast as a cheetah, nor have the ferocity of a lion; we cannot fly like the birds, nor have the venomous bite of a snake.  Yet, we can build cars which can outrace a cheetah, create weapons that do greater damage than a lion’s claws; we can build airplanes that travel greater distances than birds and manufacture bullets that pierce flesh beyond what a snake can deliver.

Of course, we like to think of “human nature” as being, as Aristotle would put it, “rational” first, and vicious somewhere down at the bottom of the list.  But wars, the devastating trails of what we leave behind — they attest more about Human Nature than our rationality.

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 issue of Human Nature as one comprised of cruelty, retribution and back-stabbing is probably not a surprise.  As your medical conditions worsen, you may have noticed a lack of empathy and a growing sense of animosity and contentiousness from your Agency or the Postal Service.

Chalk it up to “Human Nature” and the capacity of human beings for lack of qualities which — while we may like to think of as comprising the essence of humanity — comes out at the worst of times.

Consider, at such a point, whether filing for Federal Disability Retirement might not be the best option available, and consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Trials of error

Normally, of course, the common usage of the terms involve the combination with a conjunctive — of trial and error, implicating a process whereby the latter term triggers the former (i.e., the “error” forces us to engage another round of trials, which then may lead to further errors resulting in further trials, etc.) into a potentially lengthy repetition of attempts, each with the advancement through possession of greater knowledge gained from the errors identified and witnessed.

The concept as it stands, however, implies something further:  of the experience of each error and the process within such error and what the error may implicate.

Human beings have an expansive capacity to “move on” quickly beyond errors made, and perhaps that ability of adaptability is an evolutionary advantage for a species that makes a fair number of errors that, in other contexts and within other species, would spell the extinction of the species itself.

Errors compounded go beyond the experience of the trial itself; sometimes, errors lead to other errors, and thus the “trials and errors” in their aggregate allow for greater knowledge and adaptability depending upon the nature of each error and of many trials.  But it is the trial of the error that often needs to be paused, and allowed to ponder upon, before going on to the next trial, lest the lesson from any one error has not been sufficiently learned before a further trial is engaged.

Sometimes, of course, the trial of an error, if not sufficiently comprehended and reflected upon, is the very reason why further errors of judgment follow, precisely because not enough time has been spent upon the nature of the error itself.

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 recognize the trial of an error — for, with a Federal Agency or the Postal Service, one is encountering a behemoth of intransigence when attempting to garner any sympathy or loyalty.

Medical conditions themselves are “trials” enough, and when a Federal Agency or the Postal Service begins the process of punishing the Federal or Postal employee for taking too much SL or LWOP, or even invoking FMLA rights, the “error” is not so much the trial of patience, but rather, in thinking that the Federal Agency or the Postal Service was ever on your side to begin with.

While a Federal Disability Retirement application may not be a strictly “adversarial” process, one must always consider whose “interests” are being looked after in each trial encountered:  the interests of the Federal Agency or the Postal Service, or of one’s own?

The trial of error often begins with a mistaken identification of a more fundamental error on the part of the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker, and for the Federal or Postal worker contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the first step in preventing the greater trials of multiple errors is to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Retirement for Disabled Federal & Postal Workers: The packet

The packet to be submitted in an OPM Disability Retirement filing is the entirety of what is constituted by the evidence, the statements and documentation — in other words, the compendium of all that will be used in order to seek an approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

At the beginning of the process — i.e., when the Federal or Postal employee first contemplated engaging this administrative process called “Federal Disability Retirement” — the Federal or Postal employee was faced with a slew of blank forms, beginning with the SF 3107 Series (Application for Immediate Retirement, Schedules A, B & C and the other forms that need to be completed by the Agency’s Human Resource Office), along with the SF 3112 Series (Applicant’s Statement of Disability; the Supervisor’s Statement; The Physician’s Statement; Agency’s Efforts for Reassignment and Accommodation form; the Checklist).

The “middle part” of the process is comprised in gathering the medical documentation that would support the Federal or Postal employee’s packet, as well as filling out the various questions.  Perhaps, during the administrative process — whether now awaiting a decision or still in the middle of completing the packet — the Federal or Postal employee asked one’s self: “Is it merely a matter of answering these questions, or is there a legal criteria that must be followed?”  For, while the questions on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability, may appear fairly straightforward, do not ever think that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has assembled the Packet so that you can easily qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

The “Packet” contained Standard Forms to be completed; it even gives instructions at the beginning of each form.  However, as for the legal standard to be met and the requirements of what must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence — those little gems are nowhere contained in “The Packet”; that is something which the Federal or Postal employee must go out and seek, and the best place to begin is to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: The arbitrary life

Some would counter that it is a mere tautology; for, life itself is arbitrary, and the very definition of arbitrariness consumes the conceptual construct of living.  Thus does the subject subsume the predicate, and vice versa; or, in this case, the adjective and the noun.  But of course it all depends upon how we define both the adjective and the noun.

Do we mean by “arbitrary” that things just happen without a cause, and that there is no “Grand Designer” that intervenes as in the old Greek plays where the expectation of a deus ex machina would always appear to make everything “right”; or merely that we didn’t know, were unaware, and simply the alteration of life’s sequence of anticipated events appeared suddenly and unexpectedly?  And of “life”, do we mean in general, or a specific incident, carved out with special significance, from all of the other sequential and incremental compendium of events that aggregate the entirety of one’s consciousness of that which constitutes the “history” of a living being?

Those who believe in an omnipotent being, of course, cannot concurrently hold that life itself is an arbitrary phenomena, unless by that one means merely that one cannot have the same omniscient perspective as the Grand Designer of Fate.  If arbitrariness is meant to encompass randomness, and that the universe is a mere series of unanticipated events, then the question becomes:  Is it the lack of anticipation, or the randomness of events that constitutes the bulk of arbitrariness?

For, the human capacity to anticipate events unfolding is fairly unlimited.  Yes, it takes time, study, research, effort of cognitive insight, etc., in order to engage a process of anticipatory predictability, but that is a price one has to pay in order to subvert the anxiety of the unexpected.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from an arbitrary trauma of life — another way of describing an unexpected medical condition (for, who in his right mind “expects” a medical condition, unless one is a statistician or a pessimist of the highest order?) — it may be time to consider 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.

Yes, this too will possess some components of the arbitrary life — as in whether the Federal or Postal employee’s Federal Disability Retirement application will be approved or not; but such arbitrariness can be somewhat controlled by seeking and following the advice of an attorney who specializes in such matters.

For, in the end, part of the solution in tackling the arbitrary life is to anticipate the random events that are unexpected, by controlling those peripheral and tangential issues that increase the odds of predictability.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement Legal Representation: The tangible

What are the criteria by which one lives?  Is there a singular, dominant principle, as in “A Criterion” or “The Criterion”, or multiple ones; or perhaps an overarching archetype with subsets of mini-components that are all in their aggregate subsumed by a greater Platonic Form, somewhat like “Goodness” that predominates, with subtexts of lesser categories?  Or, do we just blunder through life without them and arbitrarily bump into decisions, pathways that take us hither and yonder, and never quite escape the confusions of our own making?

Some people consider themselves to be “idealistic”, and look always for the good in others; still some, pure cynics such that they suspect the worst in everyone; and most, an admixture of the two extremes in a spectrum of choices.  There are, in philosophy, the “logical positivists” who declare that nothing makes sense unless validity of a statement can be established, and such a criterion normally involves the tangible.  That which we can see, feel, hear or establish by logical methodology comprises the entirety of one’s existential reality, and there is some truth to such an approach.

It is said that in youth, much idealism begins; in middle age, some waning of hope must by necessity be accepted; and by old age, a seeping cynicism inevitably prevails.  The tangible is that which we can embrace, feel, rest our hopes upon; otherwise, the cold icicles of other people’s indifference will ultimately become the obsession of our lives.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition has begun to result in tangible manifestations — i.e., use of LWOP has become noticeably frequent; performance ratings are anticipated to be questionable; supervisors and coworkers have begun asking questions; but most importantly, you yourself have begun to notice a deterioration in your ability and capacity to maintain the level and pace of working at the Agency or Postal facility — the “criterion” to be applied is quite straightforward: Are you still able to perform all of the essential elements of your positional requirements?

If not, then it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether you are under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.  The criteria by which we live are often complicated; it is the tangible which brings everything back down to earth from the lofty heights of idealism, youth and folly.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire