OPM Disability Retirement: The Unshared Responsibility

It is an oxymoron of sorts: For, by the very definition of each of the two words, the opposite should necessarily be implied.  Responsibilities, by their very nature, especially in the context of a village, a society, or a nation, are shared by all; and thus to declare the existence of an “unshared responsibility” — when responsibilities by their very nature require a shared nature — is a form of self-contradiction.  Failure to share the responsibility that is ours to engage is common where society no longer knows its own neighbors.

That is the essence of a disappearing village — where we know longer know each other, remain detached and merely retain the outer facade of being a society with common interests.  Do you know your next door neighbor?  Do you even care to?  Yet, we have thousands of “friends” on Facebook, but barely know, or care, about the person living just across the street.

The Office is no different.  One day a coworker files for Federal Disability Retirement benefits and we are “surprised”.  We didn’t know that the person even had a medical condition.  The Supervisor didn’t know.  The Human Resource Office didn’t care to know.  No one at the agency cared to know.  That is often the reality, unfortunately, and the greater — sadder — reality is that those who should have known didn’t care to take the time to know.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and where confidentiality of the process is critical because of the unshared responsibility of the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service, consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, lest the unshared responsibility of confidential matters may potential leak to the uninterested ear that awaits hungrily for the gossip of unspoken mouths.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Translation & Interpretation

On a superficial level, the difference between the two is often one of merely the “medium”: Translation involves the written text, while interpretation concerns the oral conversion from one language to another.  Used in a more complex, nuanced sense, however, both can involve oral and written communication; the difference being, translation encompasses the conversion of one language into another, whether orally or in written form, whereas interpretation involves the meaning behind the words translated.

We do this with ease each and every day; of listening to voices and sounds, warnings and admonitions, directions and requests — interpreting their meaning, force, relevance and impact as we live our lives.  We may translate the body language of another into what we deem as their “meaning”; or visit a foreign country with a dictionary in hand and attempt to comprehend the words and phrases spoken all around us.

We also interpret what is being said — of the content of the collective words and phrases jettisoned from mouths flapping words and emitting sounds, and how we interpret what we hear can make a difference in what we do, how we react and why we engage in the acts we embrace.  Law is an interpretive process, as well as a procedure involving translation.  It is a different kind of a language game involving statutes, case-laws and precedents that must undergo the complex translation and interpretation process.

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, it is important to consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in the translation and interpretation of Federal OPM Disability Retirement Law.

Don’t be left lost in the “foreign country” of Federal Disability Retirement Law and its complex administrative processes without consulting a “dictionary” of terms and legal phrases.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The Past Upon Present

The guru dressed in flowing white garb may claim that the past is a fiction; those various “self-help” books will often declare that time is merely a continuum where we can only control that which is in the immediacy of our presence; and various philosophers have stated that the relativity of time must always be seen from the perspective of the “now”.

There is no doubt, however, that in the practical work-world, the past remains within the purview of haunting consequences.  Whether of youthful indiscretions or a darker past of substantial historical relevance more than a mere raising of one’s eyebrow, past performance is often used as an indicator of present behavior and conduct.  If a person has been convicted of embezzlement, does one consider that past in hiring practices for positions of responsibility — especially where money is involved?

Those who wave off the relevance of such considerations simply do not live in the real world.  We cannot avoid our past anymore than others will ignore it.  And so it is in Federal Disability Retirement Law, where the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will often place undue weight upon Performance Appraisals, cash bonus issues and whether there have been any deficiencies in performance, conduct or attendance in assessing and evaluating a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before initiating a process where your past may not be your best friend or, even if it is, whether you may yet be stabbed in the back — metaphorically speaking, of course.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Sufficiency Test

Sufficiency” is a funny word; like other subjective experiences, one often doesn’t know when it has been satisfied, but one nevertheless knows when it has not.  Like spectrums which reveal a range, sufficiency is a point of satisfaction which is recognized to have been met only after the point of sufficiency has been passed.

What constitutes “passing” the sufficiency test?  If someone has been kidnapped and a ransom note has been received, demanding payment for the safe return of the individual, is there an amount less than the demanded amount which would be “sufficient” to satisfy the kidnapper’s demands?  Can a platoon be “sufficiently” prepared for a combat mission, although not completely combat-ready?  Can percentages be applied which establishes meeting the criteria for sufficiency, at all times and in all instances, which can be applied as having met the sufficiency test?

Say a person says, “It is 80% done — sufficient for the purposes?”  Would this apply in painting a room, building a house or constructing a bridge?  Say that a bridge has been built 80%, and the last 20% is the part of the end where there remains a gap where suddenly the bridge ends with a missing piece where the gap exists such that a vehicle traveling would crash down a 100-foot drop to a tragic end — do we still say that the bridge was sufficiently built?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers who are intending on filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the issue of sufficiency takes on an important role: What constitutes sufficient medical evidence and how is the unspoken sufficiency test met?

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to make sure that the Sufficiency Test will be met. In doing so, you may prevent a leisurely drive over a bridge only 80% finished, and be provided an alternative route in order to help you arrive at your destination in a sufficiently safe and efficient manner.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Certainty of Defeat

There is nothing more demoralizing than to “know” the certainty of defeat.  But that is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?  How does one “know”?  Certainly, one can balance the odds for and against; to take into account the factors which determine a statistical chance of success or failure; but does one ever have “certainty” in anything, or is it often merely a perspective of the glass being half full, or half empty?

Where the odds are overwhelming and objectively insurmountable: a 100-to-1 advantage that the opposing force has; a predetermined outcome that cannot be reversed; in such circumstances, then, what hope is there?  For, the only counterbalance to “certainty” is the glimmer of hope for some unforeseen “X-factor” that somehow saves the day.  On the other hand, it is the determination of “certainty” which extinguishes any flicker or flame of hope.

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, there is often the sense of an inevitability — a “certainty of defeat” — where the medical condition reveals a progressive march towards greater deterioration.

The counterbalance of hope is in the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement.  Yet, even that benefit — of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity — is not a certainty; it is, instead, a benefit which must be fought for.  The Agency which oversees the approvals and denials of a Federal Disability Retirement application — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — does everything to try and find reasons to deny, deny, deny.

Does this mean that every application will face the certainty of defeat?  No — but it must be carefully prepared and effectively pursued.  To provide the greater counterbalance against the certainty of defeat, consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement; for, as hope is the countermeasure to the certainty of defeat, so the lawyer is the one who can provide an objective perspective as to the potentiality for success.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Adapting to Change

Survival of the species depends upon it; the paradigm of evolutionary theory mandates it; and the human propagation for advancement thrives through it.

Change is difficult.  It was once believed that the malleability of youth allowed for greater resistance to a damaged psyche; yet, from the plethora of late-night confessions, it has become clear that divorce and family divisions left residual scars upon children no matter how “friendly” the split-up was, no matter how much love, co-parenting support and so-called theories of “if I’m happy, you’re happy” blather was pasted thick upon the self-justifying reasons given; in the end, the trauma of change, upheaval, disruption and interruption have their lasting effects upon the shaken foundations wrought by the earthquakes of human existence.

Change; how we respond to it; what adaptive measures are taken; where the vulnerabilities appear; and the manner, timing and susceptibility to reverberations of lasting consequences — they all take their toll, don’t they?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, change is inevitable, and adapting to change — a necessity.

But, then, adapting to change has already been a reality, if one pauses and thinks about it — to the change in one’s health through the chronic and debilitating medical condition; the need to have adapted to the growing sense of urgency as the medical condition has worsened over time; these, and many more changes have already forced the Federal and Postal employee contemplating further changes to adapt at each step of the way.  But that “final step” — of preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application — is an important one, and to make the best of the changes that are inevitable, it is a prudent idea to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire