FERS Disability Retirement: Overemphasizing the Wrong Thing

Different issues are important to various people.  We tend to think that if we believe Issue-X is important, then it is — or should be — important to everyone else.  With the shrinking globe resulting from technological connections fostered through social media and other means, people get caught up in shorter and shorter news cycles and attention spans heightened by the newness of the next issue, the most recent fad and the most up-to-date gadget.

In becoming enmeshed in the most recent issue of the day, however, there is always the danger of losing the ability and capacity for objective thinking.  To reach a level of “objectivity”, it becomes necessary to place one’s self outside of the self, and to gauge an issue not based upon one’s perspective, but upon a hypothetical third-person viewpoint.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, it is often difficult to view one’s own Federal Disability Retirement application with any sense of objectivity.  Overemphasizing the wrong thing often becomes problematic.  What to include and — more importantly — what to exclude, cannot often be objectively assessed.  Overemphasizing the origin of one’s medical conditions; focusing upon a Supervisor, an incident at work, an alleged “hostile work environment”, etc., may in fact be harmful to your case.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that you are not overemphasizing the wrong thing — lest the “wrong thing” come back to defeat the very goal you are intending: An approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Stress and the Harassment Factor

Stress is a reality which has become a normal aspect of everyday living.  The more stress we feel, the greater interpretation of outside actions as harassment; and thus does the vicious cycle begin.  Life is stressful enough.  When another ingredient is added — like a medical condition that weakens one’s body and mind — the tolerance for stress becomes reduced and the capacity to keep things in its proper perspective becomes impossible to manage.  Stress always seems to come in bunches, doesn’t it?

When you are dealing with a medical condition, everything and everyone you interact with becomes a stressful encounter.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your job, the stress of dealing with the medical condition itself is more than enough.

Add to it, your agency or the postal facility will inevitably begin to pressure you to return to work, to file this or that request, to follow their “procedures”, etc.  Whether such actions are objectively considered “harassment” or not is beside the point; you, as the Federal or Postal employee, are dealing with enough factors without having to deal with the harassment factor.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of reducing your stress levels by initiating a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Unintended Error

Perhaps it is an unnecessary assumption; for, are any errors intended?  And, if intended, does it not undermine the very concept of being an “error”?  Do we ever deliberately make an error?  Or, is it more likely the case that — if we in fact did intend to make the error — we would merely retrospectively lie about it?

Perhaps in circumstances where much is at stake, or a person is threatened — as in gambling, where “throwing” a game will result in greater profit, or making an accounting “error” will limit financial devastation, etc.  Otherwise, in most instances, an error is presumed to be unintended.  And it is precisely because it is unintended that an error becomes exaggerated in its unintended consequences.  “We didn’t know”; “If only I had known”; “How could I have known?”; “I didn’t mean to…”, etc.

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, preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in as error-free state of formulation is obviously the preferred state of submission.

Errors can — and will — come back to haunt you, whether unintended or not.  Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and limit the extent and consequences of errors unintended.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The Audience

We shall see.  Sports without an audience.  There have been enough psychological studies done to establish that people — including groups of people (i.e., teams) — act and react differently in comparative analysis between behaving before crowds as opposed to without them.  The greatest performers have been those who “know” their audience.  In other words, the “crowd pleasers”, the ones who can manipulate the emotional responses of the audience, etc.

Do some play for the 6 o’clock highlights?  Does a spectacular play become so when no one is watching?  Yes, yes, there is the television audience; but the fans once removed is like the tree that falls in the forest without anyone witnessing it; the tree does indeed fall, but the silence that surrounds is what dominates.  We shall see.

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, remember who our audience is: It is not your Agency; it is not your Supervisor or your coworkers; it is a separate agency altogether — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

It is a paper presentation to OPM, and how it is characterized, what is presented, the extent and quality of the presentation — these all matter.  For, in the end, the “To Whom” is always crucial in every arena of play — whether in sports, in law, or even in the privacy of one’s home; it is the audience that makes the difference.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: The Crease of Time

Time is an unnoticed quantity until we fail to abide by it.  The world around us operates within the purview of ticks and tocks — or, more appropriately in this digital age, by the silent advance of illuminated numbers changing by unseen seconds and lengthy days.  If you live in the city for too long, even the trees fail to tell us that the leaves have changed color or have shed themselves of a summer’s forlorn moment.  In the countryside, where farmers battle the seasons and time is measured not in seconds or minutes, but by the months of growth and decay — time becomes a quantity measured by the westerly winds that bring the scent of Spring’s hope.

The crease of time is when the smooth transition from seconds to minutes, from minutes to hours, and from hours to days is interrupted by a fold of life that was unexpected.  Perhaps it occurs by some tragedy; a divorce, a death, an accident or an event of unexpected outcomes; but in any event, the crease of time suddenly awakens us and tells us that change is needed, or is imposed upon us without choice.

Medical conditions bring about a crease of time.  They tell us that not all transitions in life are smooth, and nor are they meant to be.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where such a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the crease in time is a warning sign that the smooth transition of days-to-days and weeks-to-weeks cannot go on as it once was, but must by necessity change in order to accommodate the change itself.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Employee Disability Retirement Law and consider the options moving forward; for, the crease in time tells us that it is not merely the seasons that change, but of health and the future of one’s career must abide by the laws of nature that create the crease of time.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: The Use of Language

Some are better at it than others; others, still, can state in a single sentence what most will try in a paragraph or a novel.  Poets are linguistic craftsmen who utilize an economy of words but convey the greater qualitative vehicle of descriptions and word-pictures; and essayists, confined often by space limited by editors and restricted by practical concerns, not the least of which may involve the potential boredom or attention-span of readers, must by necessity struggle with clarity of content.

The use of language is a funny thought; for the best of those who engage in it effortlessly, the ideas, concepts and descriptive pictures conveyed is accomplished without concern of the process, but merely by “doing it”.  Language is something we use daily; yet, few of us pause to consider it as a tool or implement of our daily lives.  A gardener who has mislaid his or her spade will look for it and, if it turns out that it is lost, will declare, “I cannot go out into the garden to work, today.”

Do we do that with language?  Do we wake up and say, “Well, today, I mislaid my X, and therefore I cannot engage in the language game.”  Of course, we refer to language as a “tool” in a metaphorical sense, and so we recognize that there are practical distinctions to be made between a spade and language, but nevertheless, they are both “tools” which are used — or misused — in our everyday lives.

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 his or her Federal or Postal job, the time to consider the use of language becomes an important and relevant issue precisely because persuasion, description and argumentation are what must be engaged in presenting an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an attorney in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; for, in the end, the use of language will be necessary in maneuvering through a complex bureaucratic process that also uses language to deny one’s right to a benefit which must be fought for, and language is just as much a tool of use as it is a weapon of abuse.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Disability for Federal and Postal Employees: Comparisons

Does it help to make them?  Do we take comfort in judging the relative plusses and minuses in making comparisons — as in, X has A, B and C, but I have, in addition, D and E, and therefore I am more fortunate that X is.  Or, is it a comparison of one’s conditions, as in: “Boy, at least I don’t have X like Lisa does”, or “At least I am not in Y’s situation”?

To the extent that comparisons remind us of that which we are blessed with, they allow for a certain level of utilitarian value.  But there is a negative side to it: Of jealousy engendered by comparison, or of discontent resulting from making one.  Rousseau, of course, makes that point throughout his “Social Contract” analysis, of the purity of man’s intentions in that fictional state of “nature” that we were once in, but where society’s accretions of materialism created the artificial emotional response of discontent and jealousy.  But compared to what?

It is important to make the fair and correlative comparisons which are relevant — as in “apples to apples” and not “apples to oranges”.  For, it is the uniqueness of each entity, object or situation to be compared with the singularity of another that makes for a proper comparison.

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 inadvisable to compare one’s case to somebody else’s.  For, the proper comparison is not to evaluate one’s medical condition and the severity of one’s medical condition to that of another person’s medical condition; rather, the proper comparison in a Federal Disability Retirement case is to compare one’s medical condition to the essential elements of one’s position.

Thus, comparisons made must always take into account the relevant connections which relate not just in terms of similarities, but as is the case in Federal Disability Retirement Law — in what the law allows for and considers significant.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Social Security Requirement

There is often confusion.  In fact, some Federal and Postal employees think that the “Prerequisite requirement” of filing for Social Security Disability benefits means that you have to wait to get it approved before you can file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

The unforeseen consequences resulting from such a misunderstanding is that some Federal or Postal employees wait, and wait, and become separated, and continue to wait and allow for the 1-year rule (of having to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits within 1 year of being separated from Federal Service) to expire, then try and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  Or, others confuse the two and somehow believe that filing for Social Security Disability benefits is the same as filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Such confusion is often based upon either misinformation or misinterpretation; either way, the consequences of acting upon, or failing to act as a result of, can result in irreversible damage.

If you are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law before trying to maneuver through the maze of confusing requirements, prerequisites and bureaucratic language.

Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit earned; to obtain it, however, it must be fought for and granted, and in order to do that, representation by an experienced attorney is often the best in making your way through the legal maze of confusion.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits under FERS: Who we are

That is a rather presumptuous title, one might declare; for, it is always the “we” that others presume to know, as opposed to limiting the declarative within the restrictive confines of one’s self, family and surrounding community.

What is the great equalizer that allows for the collective plural pronoun?  Is it television (i.e., do “we” all watch the same shows and thus form a conglomerate of a universal consciousness)?  There was once a time when one could argue that a unity of convention existed — especially harkening back to the days when there were essentially 3 networks to choose from, and where all three were similar in content, thought and approach.

In modernity, is it the Internet?  But the worldwide “web’ is too diverse to narrowly formulate a cumulative effect of similar normative beliefs.

Perhaps that is why society in general is so diverse and fractured; where even a simple consensus amidst a small community cannot be reached, and how geographic differences have become exponentially and irreversibly altered and separated from one another.

Who are we?  Yes, the inversion substitution of the second word with the third makes the declarative into a query, and changes the entire subject matter.  It is, perhaps, both a statement and a question, and neither make sense, anymore.  And so we are left with a singular voice — of a monologue and an aside, or as in a play, a soliloquy, where the character asks the universal question, Who am I?  Am I the collective consciousness of my direct descendent, and does that have meaningfulness, anymore?  Why do we seek answers by purchasing and sending away “DNA kits”, as if the spiral spectrum of cellular anomalies would be able to answer the question which haunts us all?

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 potential loss of one’s identity within the community of Federal and Postal workers is often the step that is difficult to take.

One’s identity, purpose, drive and dreams are often bundled up into an inseparable conglomeration of work and identity, and to separate from that self-identification is often a difficult venture to undertake.  But the danger, of course, is that you may be forcibly separated if you do not take the steps necessary to protect your identity.

The Agency will ultimately terminate you, and the harassment because you have taken too much Sick Leave, Annual Leave, FMLA or LWOP is inevitable.  Better that you file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits and retain a semblance of who you are, lest the Federal Agency or the Postal Service does that to you unilaterally, leaving you with the question, Who do they think they are?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement Benefits: The full emptiness

Beyond the definite article, the two adjectives would remain self-contradictory if the meaning attempting to be projected were either both (A) in the physical sense or (B) in the spatial, cognitive sense.

A further explanation may be in order, here.  Contradictions often occur when words are mistaken to be conveyed in a single dimension, but can be modified if explained that they represent different conditions, occupying a sense of distinction that can be differentiated because of the slight alteration of contextual bifurcation.

Certainly, the terms “full” and “empty” become self-contradictory when applied in a physical sense for both terms; but if either of the terms are meant to represent different dimensions — i.e., “full” in the physical sense and “emptiness” as an emotion or feeling, or vice versa (“full” in an appetitive meaning and “empty” as a physical fact), then the contextual distinction takes on a differentiated meaning.

One often says that such phrases containing self-contradictory terms are merely a “play on words”, and indeed, it is normally intended to convey a thought-provoking compound of a conceptual construct.  The “full emptiness” is an idea that can denote many meanings; perhaps of a life filled with activities, but somehow lacking in meaningfulness; or, of an individual whose outward appearance is one of fulfillment and contentment, but whose soul is wanting because of a tragedy in his or her past.

That has always been the essence of a life worthy of condemnation, has it not?  Of a friction that continues to rub against each other — of appearance versus reality, of internal versus external; the contrast between the inner sanctum of thoughts and the outer reality of what is expressed.  For, of what worth is a life if it cannot be condemned?

The full emptiness is what most of us project to others, and how others behave towards us; that is the unfortunate aspect of living among and amidst each other.

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to impact the ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the self-contradictory concept of a “full emptiness” is a familiar theme.

The outward appearance must continue to be maintained — of competence, ability to multi-task, and capacity to take it all in; all of this, despite the ongoing medical conditions that debilitate and progressively deteriorate.  The inner reality often tells of a different story: of pain; non-restorative sleep; profound fatigue; physical and mental dysfunctions that are hidden and concealed.

Preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is a step towards vanquishing the contradiction of a life of full emptiness; it is to recognize that the negative circumstances of the medical condition need not dominate the positive hope that is still held that a career once deemed promising can yet open up into a future undaunted by the medical conditions themselves, by securing a Federal Disability Retirement and focussing upon getting one’s health back into balance so that the conundrum of a full emptiness can become a thing of the past.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire