OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: The Unique Writer

These days, writers are plentiful; more and more people are publishing, and while “self-publishing” has become more acceptable, even the quantity of people writing books, novels, narratives, biographies, autobiographical works, self-help books and allegedly adventuresome travelogues portending to unique experiences has exponentially exploded in our times.

Decades ago, there were only a handful of writers, and only the top-notch and exceptional ones actually got published.  Now, it seems that anyone and everyone who can articulate a string of three or more words — a noun, an adjective and a verb combined — can get published.  But we all know that in some desolate town in the Midwest there remains a warehouse where books unsold and unbought remain in molded stacks upon forgotten pallets where once-vaunted “bestsellers” became price-reduced, then slashed, then almost given away for free — until it became clear that no one was interested and even less people were persuaded of their merit.

Then, every now and again, the “unique writer” comes along, and we are again apprised of extraordinary talent and impressed with his or her articulateness, insightfulness and provocative profundity.

The unique writer is the one who is able to combine multiple characteristics: articulation with clarity; the capacity to simplify the complex; to convey clear and concise imagery; to hold the interest of the reader despite descriptions of the mundane; to not come off sounding pretentious and arrogant; and to remain anonymous behind a facade of competence — like the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain — and, above all else, to show an interest in all things about life, living and the human experience.  In other words, to always hold a childlike quality of curiosity through the vast aggregate of verbiage expounded.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that filing for FERS Disability Retirement becomes a necessity, the first recognition to observe is that a Federal Employee Disability Retirement application is a “paper presentation” to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Make sure that, however you approach your case, you are able to convey properly, effectively and with forceful persuasiveness your case, your condition and your plight in a manner that will result in an approval, and consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Attorney who is somewhat like that “unique writer” who can articulate and convey your conditions effectively.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Medical Retirement for Disabled Federal Workers: Persuasiveness

The ability to persuade requires two components:  One who utilizes the tools of persuasion; and a receptive audience, open to an alternative perspective, and willing to regard and consider the arguments of the first.  

Power is often the single most obstructive obstacle placed in the path of persuasion, precisely because it makes an individual, entity, organization or agency believe that it does not need to be persuaded to change course.  Watching news shows and political interviews is quite instructive in the loss of society’s ability to either listen, or to persuade.  The rule today is to talk, and as long as the monologue lasts, the opponent is given no opportunity to respond.  He who talks the most, and the loudest, wins the debate.  

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important to recognize the mechanisms already in place, and to use them to one’s persuasive advantage.  

The Office of Personnel Management is the entity which must be persuaded.  Inasmuch as it is easier to approve a case, than to deny it and have it Reconsidered or appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board, the approach must be one of:  What can be submitted to make your job easier, and to relieve you of your heavy caseload?  For one thing, a concise and streamlined Federal Disability Retirement packet.  For another, a Disability Retirement packet which is clearly proven.  And for a third, legal and other arguments which are simple but to the point.  

Meandering arguments and voluminous biographies, as well as diatribes of complaints, will not win the day.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: The Law and Language

Language is the playground of the Attorney.  It is the heart and soul of his or her profession.  Through language, the attorney describes, delineates, argues, and provides a sequential (hopefully) rebuttal and attack upon any attempt by the “opposing” forces or the named “adversary” to undermine one’s logically structured application — in this case, an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.  While logic and argumentation are the chosen methodology of attack, it is the stringing of descriptive words to create concepts; the sequencing of concepts in order to provide complex compounds of winning arguments; and the totality of language in order to convey meaning, persuade and bring about agreement. 

In Administrative Law arenas, especially in the law of Federal Disability Retirement, it is especially important to have the ability to describe, delineate, argue and persuade — because the package of persuasion is in written format — and the reader (a claims clerk at the Office of Personnel Management) does not know the disability retirement applicant personally, and only comes to know the issues, the person, the medical condition, and the intertwining compexity of the medical condition upon the person, through the words which are put together.  As such, how a Federal Disability Retirement packet is put together, which words are chosen, too few, too many, and what definitional arrows are meant to be conveyed, not only comprise part of a Federal Disability Retirement application; in many ways, it comprises the entirety of the process.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Supervisor's Statements for FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement

I am often asked my opinion on the impact a Supervisor’s Statement has upon a disability retirement application. Unfortunately, not all supervisor’s are created equal — and, while in theory, a supervisor should be completely professional in filling out the SF 3112B — meaning that the supervisor should answer the questions in an ‘objective’ manner in filling out the form; should be attuned to the medical conditions of the employee; and should be able to set aside any personal or vindictive animosity towards the employee; the truth of the matter is that the disability retirement applicant has absolutely no control over what the supervisor will say in the Supervisor’s Statement.

Wisdom informs us to never worry about those things which are outside of one’s control; and indeed, this is good advice. I always advise my client’s not to be concerned with the Supervisor’s Statement; remember, this is a medical disability retirement application, not a “Supervisor’s application”, and while the Office of Personnel Management will take into consideration what a Supervisor has written, the way to ensure that it is given little or no weight, is by focusing upon having your treating doctor write an excellent, irrefutable and unequivocal medical narrative. Disability retirement is about a medical issue, not a personality issue. If you present valid and strong medical documentation in support of your case, it makes all other documentation a mere irrelevancy.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Attorney