Lawyer Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Life can change in a day

A wise person once quipped that, If you don’t like the weather in this area, wait a day and it’ll come around.  The greater meaning of such a kernel of wisdom, of course, is that it is a microcosm of a wider reflection concerning life itself; wait long enough – sometimes a week, a month, a year, or a few years – and circumstance have a tendency to alter the course of one’s life and therefore one’s perspective.

Life can, indeed, change in a day; one day, you are happily drifting along, believing that nothing could be better; and the next, a calamity ensues, the human experience becomes a “topsy-turvy” matter and suddenly sours upon the smiling demeanor we carried just a moment before.

Or, one may begin the day in a negative and foul mood, but something changes, alters, moderates and impacts, and we come home despite the turmoil of work and daily problems with a smile on our face, and when asked “what is wrong?” (as opposed to, “What is right?”), we smile distantly and refer to the sunshine, the weather, the flower smelled on the road home, or that Frost-like metaphor of having taken the road less traveled on the way there.

Or, perhaps it is the simple recognition that there is more to life than one’s own narrow perspective, that suddenly creates the change in the day of one’s life.

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 positional duties as assigned, the idea that life can change in a day is as real as the sun rises and is expected to rise.

The process of filing a Federal Disability Retirement application is a long, complex and bureaucratically difficult process, and often the process itself can be a defeating proposition as one awaits for a positive decision.  A denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management can have a devastating impact, and a second denial at the Reconsideration Stage can have a further deleterious effect.

With each decision, life can “change” in a day.

On the other hand, an approval effectuated from OPM can also have that same effect – of a change in one’s life, all in a day.  That is the ultimate goal – change, but in a “positive” sense; for, to remain static is to become an inert substance, and life, if anything, is a continuum of constant flux and change, like the weather that can never be correctly forecasted, and the life that can never be accurately predicted.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: The Redshirt

In athletic parlance, it refers to an individual and a status, allowing for a fifth year of eligibility when the rules mandate a restriction to a four-year period.  The word itself is quite malleable, and reflects well the technicality involved in avoiding the direct letter of the language.  Being a redshirt (noun), a redshirt freshman (adjective) or redshirted in his first year (verb) reveals to us the capacity of language to jump like grammatical forms of hopscotching that amazes and intrigues; and the cautionary prelude to a wink-and-a-nod is prefaced with, “You are being too literal”.

It only proves the point, doesn’t it — of the age-old adage that rules are created with the intent of being broken; or, at least bent in order to fit?  For, once such rules were imposed in order to allow for “fairness” in collegiate sports, the “legal technicians” (i.e., lawyers) went immediately to work upon coming up with novel interpretations, strategies for avoidance, and advice to extend beyond what the limitations allowed.

“Redshirting” was one of the devised methodologies – of allowing for everything up to the critical line of demarcation:  that of playing in a game itself.  Thus, the redshirt can practice with the team throughout that entire year of eligibility, but such actions do not count; the redshirted freshman can attend classes, be a full-fledged partner in the “college life”, and yet his participation is not marked against him or her; and to be redshirted in that year of eligibility allows for growth, maturity, advancement in development – all without “using up” a year of eligibility by being sacked a hundred times during the season and becoming a shattered soul devoid of self-confidence and losing assurance of one’s talents and skills.

It is, within the athletic community of college consortiums, a brilliant strategy to deftly avoid the burden of rules; for the greater society, it reflects the essence of what is wrong, precisely because it is a deliberate attempt to avoid the literal language of the rules.  Yet, that is true of almost everything in life, is it not?

Careful study; identifying the loopholes; then initiating the strategy to maneuver around landmines and obstacles.  Is it any different than a hunting party tracking a prey, sniffing out the signs of predatory confirmation and taking in information and adapting accordingly?  Rules, regulations and laws may well be designed, initially, at least, to address a specific problem; and, out of the cauldron of an enacted statutes, comes multiple other problems and issues because of the malleability of words and imprecise linguistic pauses.

Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is no different.  It is a necessary prerequisite to identify the legal language of eligibility; define the issues; identify whether or not the Federal or Postal employee considering such an option “fits into” the legal criteria circumscribed; then to proceed to “redshirt” one’s own situation and devise a methodology for eligibility.

Compiling the evidence, formulating the proper narrative, and presenting 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, can thus be likened to the redshirting of a freshman – in order to extend one’s life beyond the debilitating medical conditions otherwise shortening the career of a promising Federal or Postal employee.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Legal Representation on Federal Disability Retirement Claims: The Bionic Future

Futuristic novels and foretelling of inventive creativity reveal an aspect of humankind in multiple forms:  imagination transcending time, but coupled with fear and angst which is often the fodder for science fiction and impending technological anxieties. They constitute, of course, the flip side of a singular coin:  fear on the one hand, and imagination fed by the fear, on the other.

From Alvin Toffler’s works, to George Orwell’s expressed concerns about technology and totalitarianism, the genre of future-telling is not limited to prophets and self-described preachers of doom.  During the 70s, with a concluded war having brought back innovative ways of replacing limbs and disfigured personalities, the idea of bionic components melded with human flesh gained popularity with a television series accounting for the cost of such creativity, with a follow-up series starring a woman who engaged in feats which occurred not only in slow motion, but within an irritating background noise reminding us of the obvious of what was happening before our very eyes.

But the future is always slightly behind us; what we think foretells of our angst and fears is often within our midst, already.  From shoulder replacement surgeries, to new hips, new knees and transplants of organs throughout our bodies, the old prosthetic devices which Captain Hook once wore have become sophisticated models of human form. If only Steve Jobs was still alive and the CEO of such creations, we would all be living and talking Apples.

For Federal employees, and especially U.S. Postal employees who engage in repetitive work of self-harming overuse of limbs and other extremities, there comes a point when the need for bionic technology is suggested for transference of pain and growing debilitation.  Federal Disability Retirement benefits will normally allow for continuation of health insurance coverage, once the Federal or Postal employee becomes a Disability Retiree or annuitant, which is an important component of the benefit.

Federal Disability Retirement, or otherwise known as OPM Medical Retirement, or sometimes as FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement, is a benefit available for all Federal and Postal employees who meet minimum Federal Service requirements, and is filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Often, through work which further deteriorates a physical condition, the repetition and overuse of man’s anatomy requires replacement and bionic transplantation.  Such bionic melding, however, normally does not allow for continuation in the same line of work, and that is where Federal Disability Retirement is often the answer to the loss of one’s ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties.

For, in the end, the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman were not merely television shows for entertainment purposes; they were the future, told with angst and fear, of a time transcending the present and foretelling of a society where technology and human flesh would meld to become a new man for a bold age — an age which has now come to fruition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire