OPM Disability Retirement: The Fabrication of Certainty

There are innumerable truths of certainty, mostly of fabrication and artificiality, and much of it meaningless and of inconsequential inanity.

For example, you can join a local chapter of the Flat-Earth Society, and so long as you contain your discussions about the flatness of the earth within the confines of the society’s reaches (however limited that may be), your conviction that the earth is flat can be maintained, reserved, and with vigorous belief, sustained.  You can even go out into the greater world and retain such a conviction, and believe it with certainty.

On the other hand, it would be unwise to entertain certain types of fabricated certainties — such as the belief that you are a super-human being who will incur no harm if you run in front of a bus traveling at 50 miles per hour — leaving aside even a lesser speed.  The test as against the objective world and the rules of force and biology simply will not cooperate or comply with such fabrication of certainty.

Human beings have an unlimited capacity to create and manufacture fabrications of certainty, even if they have absolutely no correspondence or connection to the outside world.  You can even believe, with absolute certainty, Russell’s statement that the “King of France is bald”, and as there is no King in France, and thus the individual without a referential-point in the universe cannot be bald (because a non-existent person cannot possess the characteristic of “baldness”) — and yet, because the “sense” and “meaning” of the statement can be comprehended, we can walk about the world with the fabrication of certainty without any consequences in the real world.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition compels and necessitates the proper and effective preparation, formulating and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the recognition that fabrications of certainties can defeat a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS is important.

Always be clear on the certainty of “the law”; review the medical records and reports for any inaccuracies which may defeat your disability retirement application; and make sure that there is a correspondence between your Statement of Disability on SF 3112A and on the medical documents to be submitted.

For, in the end, the fabrication of certainty is fine only so long as the insularity of one’s world doesn’t extend beyond the tip of one’s growing nose.  And one more thing: For all Flat-Earth Society members, it is not recommended that you travel too far on a ship, lest you fall off of the edge of the earth.

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 Law: Disappearing Fences

That pithy old adage; of “good fences make good neighbors”; it is a saying which old people used to say in delineating acceptable social norms; of an ethos which was generally known, frowned upon when violated, and reflects an antiquated time in our society when everyone “knew” their place.

In modernity, the large corporations have convinced us all that fences are unnecessary; that boundaries are meaningless; that bifurcations no longer apply. Instead, to be “connected” is of utmost importance, and loss of connectivity — even for a day, an hour, a minute — means that your entire source of self-identity may have become expunged from the ethereal universe.

It is all well and good for the wealthy to declare that there should not exist a “division” between one’s personal and professional lives; that your job should be enjoyed as much as in your personal sphere; or that taking calls, doing work, etc. while on vacation or on off-days is completely acceptable.  Fences have all but disappeared.  What was their purpose?

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, erecting and maintaining — even building new ones — is important; for, in the end, one’s “quality of life” begins with maintaining one’s health and well-being, but when that health deteriorates and cannot keep up with the demands of work, it might be time then to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, if only to establish again that, indeed, good fences make good neighbors.

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.

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Routines

We all have them; we rely upon them; and in times of tumult and upheaval, they are what gets us through because we can endure them with thoughtless efficiency.

There are the rare and few who try and avoid them — thinking that such avoidance characterizes a higher level of creativity, imagination, and resistance to monotony; but in the very act of such avoidance and rejection of routines, the chaos itself becomes a routine and represents the repetitiveness which one sets out to replace in the first place.

Routines represent the foundation of normalcy; it is what we rely upon to maintain a Kantian order of stability in a world which is often unreliable and chaotic.  When those routines are systematically interrupted, the balance of proportionality must be assessed in order to determine the significance of such disruption.

Medical conditions tend to do that — of forcing one to rethink the impact upon the routines one relies upon.

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 position, the impact and imbalance perpetrated by the medical condition in disrupting and interfering with one’s routines may be an indication of the need to file for OPM Disability Retirement benefits.

Contact a Federal Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement benefits and begin to consider and reassess the importance of the routines you once took for granted.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal Disability Retirement: This is Happiness

It is the title of Niall Williams’ recent novel; a story about a young man’s coming of age; and yet, beyond a story about a small town and the movement of progress, electrification and the defining moments of what constitutes “happiness” in the small sense of the word, human trials and miseries, as every story must include both happiness as well as sadness, and no story can be believed without the inclusion of either.

It is, ultimately, not in the accumulation of wealth or fame (for, in the small town where the story is set, neither can even be conceived as to the extreme nature that modernity has embraced), but in friendship and human interaction, of love and admiration.  It is set in a time before electricity was known; when innocent love was from afar; and where death was accepted as part of a natural process.

The undersigned rarely recommends a novel to others, but Niall Williams’ work, “This is Happiness”, is well worth a slow and enjoyable read.  It is like an Irish Ballad written in prose, and you can almost hear the melody within the pages of the novel.

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, what “happiness” is comprised of is often — like Niall Williams’ novel — in the smaller things of life: Of acceptance; of being treated with dignity in the workplace; of being able to obtain an annuity because of one’s medical condition when the need arises and the circumstances warrant.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of early retirement so that you can focus upon the smaller things in life, and declare that yes, This is Happiness.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
OPM Disability Retirement Attorney

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Chess

Two quick observations about the game of Chess and those who play it:  Few are actually very good at it; and, like self-image and a false sense of confidence for many in the United States, too many who play it believe themselves to be very good at it.  Stefan Zweig wrote about the game brilliantly in his novella, the “Chess Story” (or otherwise translated or sometimes referred to as “The Royal Game”), and debunked the notion that the greatest of players are by implication, necessity and prerequisite of an intellectual character, either as brilliant mathematicians, logicians, musicians, philosophers, etc.

The “brilliant” chess player, Czentovic, is a moron at best, and a blithering idiot at worst — but boy, can he play chess and beat everyone and anyone.  To some extent, the reality of Bobby Fischer confirms the skepticism of Zweig as told in the Chess Story — of the idiot savant whose distorted singularity of brilliance being limited to the ability for adeptly maneuvering within 64 squares of white and black spaces and utilizing 16 pieces each in a game that requires foresight and some amount of insight.

That is not to say that one should minimize or diminish the attributes of a Grand Master and, indeed, many such people were “brilliant” in other ways, as well.  One cannot make generalizations and say that every good chess player is a blithering idiot; but nor can one assume that, because one is good or great at the game, ergo he or she must be an intellectual, philosopher, physicist, etc.  The downfall of most is in the notion that you are good because you think you are good; for everyone else, the tempering of reality normally comes about when one’s own notions come into contact with the reality of the world.

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, initiation and submission of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, may become a necessity.

Filing an OPM Disability Retirement application is somewhat akin to playing chess — from the crucial initial “move” of the pawn, to maneuvering your way through the landmines of a complex administrative and bureaucratic process, until the final stage of a “checkmate” that results in an approval from OPM.  But the game of chess is not merely the physical aspect of it, and encompasses a wide range of psychological characteristics — of fooling one’s self into greatness; of becoming overconfident; of underestimating one’s opponent.

Similarly, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM is not just the “physical aspects” of filing — it must encapsulate proper legal citations; persuasive argumentation; careful gathering of information, evidence and documents, etc.  And like the fool who believes himself to be a great chess champion, one should always remember that being the “best” at something doesn’t just involve thinking that it is so, but should include consultation with an expert to objectively determine it to be so.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement: Beyond the shutdown

What does it mean for the government to “shut down” because the Congress and the President were unable to come to a budgetary agreement?  It is often the question that is focused upon, but may be the wrong one.  The more relevant issue concerns the events that will occur after the cessation of the shut down.  What happens afterwards?  For, everyone assumes that the government will come to some sort of budgetary reconciliation, and that there will ultimately be an end to the deadlock.

The House and Senate will finally pass a spending bill, whether of a temporary, continuing resolution, or of a long-term bill that addresses the various issues each side is fighting for.  With that assumption in mind, the question becomes, What happens beyond the shutdown?

Essentially, nothing dramatic, other than that the bureaucracy of the Federal government will experience greater delays, and the shutdown merely becomes interpreted as a slowdown for goods and services, much like the picture painted of a local grocery store closing for a week, a month or many months, and where shoppers would have to find another venue to obtain their wares.  The difference between the private-sector shutdown and a Federal government shutdown, however, is that the former often allows for its competitors to take advantage of the situation, whereas the latter has no such “competitors”, as it is the only “game” in town.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing a 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, the question of “what to do” with the shutdown should be approached with the following questions: Do we assume that the Federal Government will “reopen for business” at some point?  The general answer is: Yes.

With that assumption, should we just proceed with preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application?  Again, the general answer is: Yes.

The “private” sector continues to operate, and so the doctors who need to submit medical reports and records can still be accessed; the standard forms still need to be prepared, and the faster one is placed into the “waiting line” for determination by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the quicker the “product” of an approved Federal Disability Retirement benefit will accrue, once the doors of the Federal Government and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management are again opened for “business as usual”, beyond the shutdown that occurs from time to time.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal and Federal Employee Medical Retirement: Preponderance of the Evidence

It is the legal standard by which civil (non-criminal) adjudications are based upon, and whether or not it can be rationally demarcated as against other standards – i.e., “Clear and convincing evidence” or “Proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is a question for legal theorists and the schools rendered under the general aegis of, “The Philosophy of Law” – is a valid question in and of itself.

For, we can dress prettily and puff up the definition of what it all means, and bifurcate and explain how the three standards are distinct and differentiated by the increasing severity of the criteria to be applied, but in the end, the juror who goes back into the room to consider the guilt or innocence, the fault or apportioned negligence, is entirely subjective.

For, is there a clear demarcation as to what “reasonable” is?  Can one delineate what is “clear” to one and “convincing” to another?  If a witness has perfect recall and a persuasive manner of telling a “story”, if one juror blurts out, “Oh, but his eye twitched and he was clearly lying through his teeth!” – what then?  And the concept that one side has a “preponderance of the evidence”, or to put it in different but equally confusing terms like “more likely than not” or “the greater weight of truth” – what do all of these analogies and metaphors mean, in the end?

Surely, there are the “easy” cases – an entire football stadium who saw a man shoot another, and the assailant who confesses to the murder; these, we can say are “beyond a reasonable doubt”, but even then, a single juror who has a beef against societal constrains can “nullify” a verdict by holding out.  So, what is the answer (or, for some who are still confused, “what is the question”)?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are entering the legal arena of preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the expectation, of course, is that the OPM Medical Retirement application will be approved at the first or second stages of the process – i.e., at the Initial Stage of filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM, or at the “Reconsideration Stage” of the process after an initial denial.

That being said, the Federal or Postal employee must – and should – consider the Third Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, which involves an Administrative Judge before the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.  That is when the legal standard of “Preponderance of the Evidence” will ultimately become relevant and operative, and where the evidence gathered and the amalgamation of arguments proffered becomes a basis for testing the validity of legal standards and the meaningful application of the law, evidence, and statutory interpretations.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Those Fall Leaves

The time of change and spectrums of colors beyond mere rainbows of solitude; it is often poetically described as the season of deterioration, of old age before the winter of mortality.  Fall brings about a freshness of cooler winds, a precursor of foretelling that those dog days of summer have come to an end.  Ever look at the fallen leaves and mistake them for something else — an animal, perhaps, or a figure of caustic imagination?

Such projections erupting from our own fears and hesitancy reveal the true state of our being.  The leaves bring color to an otherwise dreary existence; once fallen, they can take on whatever hopes, dreams and fears we wish to accentuate.  Looked upon from a distance, shapes of crinkling leaves can take on forms enhanced through our imaginations.  It is only when we deliberate, walk up closer, and verify, that we can ascertain with a semblance of certitude that it was not what we thought, or that it constituted nothing more than our fears gone awry.

Fear and imagination tends to do that; until we take affirmative steps to ascertain, verify and concretize, what is left in a muddle remains so.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who sit and fret over one’s future because of a medical condition which has begun to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the fear of future forebodings becomes an exponentially-enhanced subject of terror and trembling, so long as pragmatic steps of self-affirmation are avoided and neglected.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, may seem like a small step, or perhaps a too-large one in supposing an end to an otherwise successful career.  But sitting in fear and loathing is never a solution; one must, by affirmative steps and bounds, break the isolation of fear and move forward with life.

As the fallen leaves of Fall are merely a season of change, and the colors which surround the spectrum of life’s spector, to remain as a spectator to the vastness of change is to allow for the vicissitudes of misgivings to shake the essence of purpose.

Like the crinkled leaf which sits afar and takes on a gargoyle-like appearance, it is only when those first steps are embraced towards ascertaining, verifying and establishing that the very fears we once took comfort in, are but mere wisps of whispers dissipating into oblivion, once we take those initial steps in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM, in order to defy the foreboding of the winter season yet to come, but where our future lies not in fear but in securing a semblance of stability through a benefit available but for want of hesitation.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Explicit versus Implicit

The former leaves no room for confusion or doubt; the latter, a bit of “wiggle room” where insinuations, hints and suggestive openings are characteristic invitations of open regards.  They are not mutually exclusive within a paragraph or even a sentence; they are, however, antonyms, and should be used with context-defined relevance.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or the U.S. Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the choice of either can determine the future viability of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.

Certainly, there are times in life when one chooses the latter methodology, for various reasons — perhaps being forthright and blunt is not the “right” approach; perhaps there is fear of offending, or mere laziness and sludge of confrontation prevents one from being straightforward.  In the legal arena, the former approach is preferable, if only to squeeze out the light of linguistic malleability and flexibility in supercilious argumentation.  But in the context of an OPM Disability Retirement packet, there will often contain multiple usages.

One’s Supervisor, in completing SF 3112B (Supervisor’s Statement), may present contradictory information by checking a box which is relatively unequivocal (is that an oxymoron — to use the terms “relatively” and “unequivocal” in the same breadth of a sentence?) but placing remarks implying the exact opposite in response to “explanatory” and more expansive questions.  Or, for the Federal Disability Retirement applicant, in completing SF 3112A, the “Applicant’s Statement of Disability”, there may be a strategy in mixing both explicit statements and providing for implicit openings for meanings and connections.

Certainly, the “law” of Federal Disability Retirement allows for it; but one must always take care in addressing the nature, extent and susceptibility of statutory interpretation in formulating one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.  Ultimately, as in most things in life, the former is preferable to the latter; though, wiggle room and the dictates social conventions may sometimes require one to be explicitly implicit in order to be inefficiently efficacious.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement Benefits: When Curiosity Fades

It is that compelling feature for animals and humans alike (if one is to make a distinction between the two); of an innate sense for the extraordinary, and a need to figure out change, reveal the hidden vortex of anomalies, and uncover the mystery behind the curtain.  Shakespeare made reference to the known proverb in Much Ado about Nothing, and it was originally meant as a forewarning for those who meddle in other’s affairs; but it is curiosity, indeed, which maintains an evolutionary compulsion to strive forth, to manifest life and liveliness in the face of dull acceptance and loss of inherent inquisitiveness.

When other concerns begin to intersect and overtake, is when such features meant to enhance survivability and adaption begin to diminish.  Life and its exhaustive characteristics, especially in modernity, can result in the uncharacteristic feature of disinterest and dismay.  Whether the medical condition portends first, or the sense of abandonment in prefatory congealment, the fact is that life and its inherent stresses can be like a weight of seemingly insurmountable burdens crushing in its suffocating pervasiveness.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the heightened stress imposed by increasing steps of adverse actions, punitive measures and letters threatening discipline and termination, can be daunting and devastating.  Dealing with a medical condition itself can be a full-time endeavor, and can sap the life, energy and reserve of vitality for even the strongest of individuals.

When the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, it is time to take stock and inventory of one’s choices, which are normally limited to three:  (A)  Stay with the agency or the U.S. Postal Service, and allow for the progressive diminution of that peculiar trait called curiosity for life, (B) Wait for the adverse actions to increase in systematic advancement of punitive impositions, or (C) Begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal or Postal Medical Retirement.

The shell of a man did not become so in one fell swoop; rather, by incremental destruction, like a child taking apart a completed puzzle piece by piece.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the first step towards regaining a piece of one’s sanity, one’s physical well-being, and one’s “wholeness” of being a human being; and contrary to the common perspective that curiosity killed the cat, it is almost always the exact opposite:  it is the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service which kills curiosity, which is the underlying force and beauty of a life worth living.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire