Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement: Sufficiency

There is always a measure of subjectivity involved, of course.  Following the Council of Trent, the issues which prevailed as a response to the Protestant Reformation involved Church doctrine and clarifications needed concerning issues involving “sufficiency” of grace, whether the human will could engage in acts of the “Good” without it, and so many other interesting minutiae of proper wording which is now irrelevant in this postmodern era.

What is sufficient; what qualitative or quantitative determinations meet that criteria; is there an objective set of rules and regulations requiring sufficiency, and how is it determined to have been met?

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, “sufficiency” of information is a critical criteria to be met in every Federal Disability Retirement case.

There has been no “Council of Trent” to clarify what would meet the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s criteria for what constitutes sufficiency of medical and other information; although, there have certainly been many “edicts” issued, both by OPM and the Federal Courts, as well as by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (the “MSPB”).

What is sufficient; how is it determined; who decides on the issue; what can be done to meet the criteria — these are all questions which can differ from case-to-case because of the inherent uniqueness of each case.

Contact an OPM Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement benefits and avoid the proclamations issued concerning heresies and violations of doctrinal clarifications, whether by the Council of Trent or by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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.

 

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Law: How We See Ourselves

Disturbing studies keep seeping out from these technological times of unfettered advancement: Of kids having greater anxiety, being placed on medications at earlier and earlier ages; of technology — Facebook, Instagram and other “Social Media” outlets — contributing to how we see ourselves.

In a predominantly agrarian society — of which we were until after WWI (the Great War to end all wars — how did that work for us?) — with no technological connection between towns, cities, and even families, how we saw ourselves differed drastically than in the modern era.

We did not compare ourselves to total strangers.  We did not snap images of ourselves constantly and obsessively.  We did not view pictures of ourselves, nor had the capacity to alter, modify, “improve” or otherwise change the way we were reflected.  In fact, the grainy images of black-and-white photographs barely captured the outer shell of who we are.

So, how did we see ourselves “back then”?  We didn’t.  Instead, the focus was outward — towards the objective world we had to maneuver through in order to survive.

In modernity, the focus has shifted inward — within the universe of words, language, thoughts, images, and the aggregation of an insular world.  This shift is important to recognize, for we have to counterbalance the overemphasis upon how we see ourselves.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are suffering 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, How We See Ourselves is important in light of the devastating impact that the loss of one’s career and instability of one’s future is looked upon.

Greater stress and anxiety likely dominates.  The insular and the objective feed upon each other and trigger greater difficulties.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of taking a greater balanced view of How We See Ourselves by prioritizing your health, and therefore, your future.

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 Medical Disability Retirement Benefits: Not Just

There are at least two meanings to the phrase; one can be considered as a declarative sentence, complete in itself; the other, a prefatory remark, unfinished and incomplete.

Yet, perhaps both are correlative in their meanings, and essentially state the same thing.  For, one can witness a violation of human dignity and declare, “Not Just!”  That would be one sense.  Or, a person can lament the incompleteness of describing one’s personhood, as in: “I am not just X, but also A, B and C” — or, more particularly, for someone to be seen only as a plumber, a teacher, a student, a child, etc., without regard to the greater complexity and inner psychological intricacies that make up the whole person.

But, perhaps, the two meanings merely complement each other: It is not just to just consider a person in a one-dimensional manner.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the danger is that the Federal or Postal worker begins to become characterized more and more as “just” that individual who isn’t capable of doing his or her job, anymore.

People judge others quickly and harshly; there is rarely any nuance to the judgment.  Either you are good or bad; proficient or not; part of the agency’s “team”, or an outsider.  And when a medical condition hits, you are “just X”.

Contact a disability lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement case so that you become not just another casualty in the heartless world of a bureaucratic morass, but a person not just defined by your medical condition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Primary Questions

You can easily get entrenched within a morass of details.  Primary questions — those issues which, when addressed and answered, essentially take care of sub-questions and lesser categories of details — need to be identified and prioritized.

Many people are unable to recognize, identify and extract the primary questions.  Why? Because, if you are unfamiliar with the paradigmatic, upper echelons of the legal criteria being applied (for instance, in a legal matter), then how are you going to be able to “separate out” the proverbial grain from the chaff?

At all 3 of the main stages of a Federal Disability Retirement case — at the Initial Stage; if denied, at the Reconsideration Stage; if denied a second time, before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board — it is important to either preemptively or actively discern and discard the unimportant side-issues, and to focus upon the primary questions in a Federal Disability Retirement case.

The rule of life always applies: Prioritize; identify the primary questions and issues; take care of what is relevant; then, the rest of the “minor details” will often naturally fall to the wayside.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Where We Are

The Federal Government is operational; the U.S. Office of Personnel Management continues to make decisions on Federal Disability Retirement cases, whether at the initial level of determination or at the Reconsideration Stage.

Further, because Federal Disability Retirement hearings at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board have always been conducted by telephone, there has been minimal interruption in Federal Disability Retirement appeals which have been filed with the MSPB.

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact upon the United States in so many ways — of the human toll; the death toll; the economic devastation; the strain upon the hospitals; and the fear, isolation and destruction upon the lives of so many.  Fortunately, the employment sector least impacted has been Federal employees, except in terms of exposure and co-morbidities.

If Covid-19 has been a deciding factor in needing to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, contact and consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: The Port

It is the Roman Stoic, Seneca the Younger, who wrote that, “If a man knows not to which port he sails, no wind is favorable”.  It is, in the end, the essence of Stoicism — of living life without complaint and without being impacted by the hardships of the objective world, all the while clinging to a path of virtue unfettered by worldly concerns.  That is why the quote above — of the internal “self” in contrast to the metaphor of the objective world: the winds which guide the ships — encapsulates the essence of the philosophy of Stoicism.

In modernity, it matters little from whence the winds come, for we engineer our own direction through engines and mechanical devices which propel the marine vessel by the power of our own creation.  But of that time when ships relied exclusively upon the breath of gods that blew the winds which filled the sails — it was a time when we relied heavily upon the favor of fate and nature’s appeasement.  Yet, even today, whether by the propulsion of machines invented or reliance upon prayers of guidance, no wind is favorable until and unless a person knows where he or she wants to go.

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 his or her position, it is important to make a determination as to “where” one plans on going before determining the “how” of the approach.  If a medical condition has clearly begun to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, then where one must “go” becomes clearer: You cannot continue to stay at the job precisely because the medical condition prevents you from doing so; and so FERS Disability Retirement becomes the option by default.

The next question, then, is the “how”, as in — How does one get from point A to destination B?  Consult with an attorney to discuss the further particulars of your case; for, in the end, whether you believe in the philosophical tenets of Stoicism or not, once you realize the port to which you wish to sail, you need the favorable winds of counsel from an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to help guide the sails of your journey.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Variety Show of Life

It is never very predictable, and certainly not a monologue with a single voice conveying a logical sequence of events.  Life itself is more akin to a Variety Show — of singers in one moment, dancers in another; of solitary soliloquies by sometimes uninhabited corners, or a storyteller, then a story to be told; and discussions and accidents, or arguments and agonies.

The popularity of a Variety Show in its extravaganza of star-studded collections and unexpected appearances is an appropriate metaphor for the lives we live.  Whether by internal sufferings or external calamities, most people live lives that reflect the tumultuous bubbles of an unfolding drama.

Perhaps you believe your life to be mundane and monotonous; wait a while, and a calamity will uninvitedly appear at your doorstep, like the unwanted third cousin who pleads to stay with you based upon some suspicious blood-ties to a distant relative.  Or, maybe you believe that things are going wonderfully — until you find out that your spouse has been unfaithful, or your grown-up son or daughter has just done something that requires an emergency response.

Turmoil is often the norm and not the exception, and that is what makes of life a Variety Show.

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, the Variety Show of Life is often dominated by the medical condition itself — whether psychiatric in nature or physical pain manifested by daily discomfort and lack of restorative sleep, matters not.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is an option that should be considered when the Variety Show of Life becomes a one-person act or event — like a medical condition that pervades ever corner of the stage.

Consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and change the acts which comprise the Variety Show of Life before the curtains fall upon a stage that turns quiet with misery and lack of mirth, and the empty chairs echo of solitary clapping leading to deadening silence.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Preparing for the unknown

How does one prepare for the unknown?  If the very basis of preparation is to prepare for something, how can you then engage in that activity if X is an anomaly, a conundrum, a mystery yet to be uncovered and revealed such that the prior stage of preparing for it can be accomplished?  Is there a necessity for the pre-preparation stage?  Does one have to prepare in order to prepare to perform the actual act of engaging the substance of that which must be prepared for?

Certainly, learning about a subject — reading, researching, analyzing and evaluating — prior to performing acts which constitute “preparation” is an important component, but how many people have time to do such things?

Nowadays, if a person is asked whether they can “do X”, we just whip out our Smartphone, Google it and watch a You-Tube video and declare, “Yeah, I can do that.”  Is that what self-appointed lawyers do, these days — winging it by quickly reading some summarization of an article, then head into court and stand before a judge and make motions, argue cases, 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, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may well become a necessity.

It is the “preparing” part of the entire process which may be the lynchpin of success or failure.  Yes, you can read various articles (including this writer’s many pointers, legal articles and the like), but always understand that each case is unique — as is yours — and legal guidance based upon the individual circumstances of a particular case is very important in preparing for the unknown.

The “unknown” is the Federal Disability Retirement process, the administrative venue and the bureaucratic morass that encompasses the entirety of Federal Disability Retirement Law, and while no lawyer should contend that he or she knows “everything” about a subject, an experienced lawyer can certainly provide for valuable “pre-preparation”, as well as the preparation and the substantive work on formulating and finalizing that which is yet unknown, but ready to be revealed, uncovered, and refined into a Federal Disability Retirement application that stands a good chance of challenging the unknown.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The infinite we seek

What is it about the things which defy limit; endless and vast beyond our capacity to comprehend, and yet we cling to concepts that cannot possibly be embraced precisely because the finite cannot delimit the infinite; for, to do so is a contradiction in terms?  Does language capture the infinite?  By knowing its definition, is there anything beyond being able to cite the description of the concept?  Why is it that some concepts are denied comprehension even though we can, by rote memory or simply by looking it up on our Smartphone and regurgitating that which someone else has written, describe and delineate?

Say, for instance, a lay person asks a Cardiac Specialist what is involved in a heart transplant, and Doctor X explains to Information-Seeker-Y the process of how the body is opened up, the various veins, ventricles, etc., snipped here and severed there, and what the dangers are, the risks posed, etc.  At the end of the explanation, we somehow feel satisfied that we have been informed of a procedure which we have never experienced, likely never witnessed and certainly will never undertake — yet, we believe we “understand’ the process.

Similarly, can a blind man who can explain the complete process involved in flying a plane say that he “understands” it fully?  And what is the fine print involved in “fully” as opposed to “partially”?  Yet, if we give the definition of “the infinite” as involving X, Y and Z, and “fully” delineate and explain the conceptual apparatus that makes up our understanding of it, nevertheless, in the end we are allowed to say, “But no one really understands what the infinite is, because we are finite beings.”

That is partially the brilliance of Anselm’s Ontological argument — of defining the infinite as “That than which nothing greater can be thought of” — a jumble of confusing words which seemingly bifurcates the finite from the infinite, but juxtaposes them in an aggregation which makes it seem like it makes sense.  In the end, it is best to know one’s own limitations and, by doing that, at least we can possess the knowledge that humility leads to greater wisdom through finite means of grasping the infinite.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who recognize the enormity of the process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is best to understand that the “infinite” — as defined as that which is limitless, endless and beyond measurability — can be applied to a bureaucratic process that involves multiple layers of incomprehensible complexities.

The infinite is a conundrum; the Federal process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is analogous to the infinite.  As such, it is wise to seek the counsel and advise of someone who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law — of a being who is that than which nothing legally can be thought of (i.e., an attorney who exclusively handles only Federal Disability Retirement cases).

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Changes we resist

It is almost a tautology; two words placed together as synonyms; and, indeed, the word “change” and its neighbor, “resist” have a commonality that cannot be avoided: Both imply an alteration and a sense of life’s modification never to return back.

We resist it, precisely because we want it to remain the same; but change is inevitable, and to resist is to often engage in acts of futility against a tide which resists resistance.  Few of us welcome, let alone savor, changes in our lives; and when they first appear on the horizon of potentiality, we try and resist, to stop it, to alter the course of history’s onward march.

Perhaps we merely refuse to join in with the change; or have an inner attitude of non-acceptance; or sit gloomily and pout throughout the remainder of days simmering with resentment that we were forced to accept that which we never wanted.  It is like the divorce that shattered one’s childhood and from which we never recovered; the stepmother or stepfather who entered our lives only added salt to the wound where change was resisted but no one listened to our protestations and pleas, asking, “Why can’t it be the same as always?”

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition impacts one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, “change” and the “resistance” to change are inevitable dualities of life’s misgivings.

Perhaps you were once at the “top of your game” and considered the best at what you do; or, perhaps you thrived on anonymity and were happy to work in a quiet, unassuming way.  Regardless, the very thought of change is something you resisted, but a medical condition forced such a change whether you like it or not.

Change itself is always difficult, but there are ways to mitigate the vulnerabilities that accompany change: Consult with an attorney before engaging battle with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  For, while change may be like the uninvited stepmother or stepfather into one’s life, the change that truly becomes a tumultuous event is the one where you step forward into the unknown without any guidance or assistance.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal and Postal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire