OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Perspective Matters

How we see things; whether with a “positive attitude” or one colored with a negative turn; if one believes in the cause, or not; whether one’s initial reaction is one of anger and disbelief, or of despair; for, in the end, tackling issues is not a matter of right or wrong, but of how we view them.

Of course, a positive attitude alone will not necessarily get you anywhere; as reality abuts against the perspective we bring, it is often the combination of a “proper assessment” combined with our attitude and approach which makes all of the difference.  Are we seeing all of the alternatives involved?  Can a better argument be made in such a case?  Have we exhausted all of the avenues of evidentiary findings?  Have we chosen the best arguments?

G.K. Chesterton once wrote that Charles Dickens and H.W. Wells looked upon their respective fictional characters in vastly differently ways: The former, with a fondness like a father upon his children; the latter, with also a fondness — but like a butcher upon the chosen pig.  Both have a perspective of “fondness”; yet, it is an approach from very different directions.

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, Federal Disability Retirement should be an option to be considered.

A medical condition often impacts upon one’s perspective, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law; for, perspective does indeed matter, and the best legal representation is one which objectively evaluates all perspectives that matter.  Consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and see whether or not your perspective is the “right” one.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Chessboard of Life

Is there a difference between an “Eastern” and “Western” perspective of life?  Does the fact that we play one kind of game (Chess) while Eastern nations play another game (“Go”) give us any metaphorical insight into such differences?

The Game of Go uses the intersecting points on a line full of square spaces; on a similar-looking board (depending upon the size of the Go Board), Chess uses the square spaces themselves.  The Game of Go is a more “fluid” one, where the black and white stone pieces will fill the board at the intersecting lines, and thus can move up or down, sideways or diagonally, depending upon the initiation and response of the players to one another.

Chess, on the other hand, can only essentially move forward.  Yes, the pieces can move sideways (the knight, queen and rook, for example) and diagonally (the bishop & queen), but the object of the game is to reach the opponent’s farthest line of square spaces, whereas the Game of Go utilizes the entire board with equal value.

Do the two “games” tell us anything about the way in which we live?  Do we “view” life as a chessboard, as opposed to a Game of Go, and is there a difference in such ways where one can make a conceptual distinction between the two?

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 Chessboard of Life becomes a “match” between yourself and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

To “capture” their queen, you must maneuver your way past all of the threatening “pieces” of a Federal Disability Retirement application, and “checkmate” OPM with legal arguments and medical evidence that is persuasive enough.  Whether a different strategy as that applied in the Game of Go should be considered, depends upon the unique nature of your individual circumstances.

In either case, it is good to consult with a “Master” of either Go or of Chess — a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: This fast-paced world

Even 2 – 3 year olds are seen with Smartphones maneuvering their way through Facebook; and while the old industrial towns where blue collar jobs were once thriving become ghost towns from closure, shut-downs and transference to foreign parts for cheaper wages and greater corporate profits, the once-idyllic panorama of life lived in still-shots of single frames, painted with a single flower wilting in a child’s hands is forever fading into the pastoral beauty of past lives no longer remembered.

This is a fast-paced world; unrelenting; unforgiving; unable to provide a modicum of sympathy.  Those in the thick of it pass everyone by; and while we give lip-service for the need to “reduce stress” and live a more “contemplative” life, the reality is that we have created a machine where no one knows how to turn the switch off, leaving aside trying to slow down the mechanism of this juggernaut called “society”.

Some few thrive on it; most dread the Mondays that follow; and the rest of us merely walk through like zombies and the living dead, mindlessly winding our way through this maze called “life”.  Some few of us are able to laugh it off; fend against the daily stresses; somehow survive the burdens that this fast-paced world places upon us.  We, all of us, are mere beasts of burden, now, caught in the trap of our own making, walking as Camus’ Sisyphus in the unrelenting struggle to push the boulder up the hill only to see it roll back down, and to begin each day anew to push it back up.

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, this fast-paced world may oftentimes appear to have changed gears into hyper-drive.  For, the medical condition merely slows down the individual; the rest of the world, including the Federal Agency or the Postal facility, merely continues on.

No one has time for illness or injury; that is why we must rely upon the available laws that favor one’s particular situation, and filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits is a pathway towards countering this fast-paced world which leaves so many behind.  Begin by consulting with an attorney who possesses the knowledge to apply the mechanisms already in place to obtain what is by legal right yours — and by doing so, to answer the perennial question of how one slows down in this fast-paced world where even the sick and injured are no longer cared for?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirements: The predetermined, “Let’s discuss it”

You can often tell from the eyes and the mannerism whether the opening prelude is meaningful, or predetermined to merely manipulate to an intended end.  The opening interlude which allows for the conduit of engagement:  “Let’s discuss it”; does it next encapsulate an ear which listens, or pauses which allow for conveyance of communication – or merely a diatribe of invective meant to dissuade and demean?

It is a rare character, indeed, that states and means in a coalescence of sincerity; instead, the danger signs should be evident at the outset:  The end has already been predetermined; your words are merely allowed to provide a setting of appearance, or to give you the rope in order to coil it and hang yourself.

Beware of the wolf in sheep’s clothing (or does that metaphor even apply, today?); there is rarely a cast of shadows without the darkness elongated, and it is indeed a rarity to find sincerity in an insincere world.  Discussion requires a prefatory contingency of openness to logical argumentation (or even emotional appeal), persuasion, dissuasive comportments, and a sense of listening.

Is there a fine line between that, and a preset paradigm of an already-established course?  Take the following hypothetical:  Some figure of authority – the “boss”, or a manager, supervisor, etc. – grants a forum for a “discussion” of the “issue” (whatever they may be), but during such an exchange it becomes readily apparent that the counterpart shows no signs of actual interest – the fidgeting, the proverbial “looking at the watch”, the furtive eyes, the yawn; all together, showing a complete disinterestedness in the process.

But something during the discussion sparks, and an unintended consequence (to paraphrase the well-worn American Lore from Adam Smith and the economic entrails of systematic chaos) suddenly rears its beautiful head; eyes sparkle; the head and chin tilt slightly back, and intelligence (which heretofore was merely a dark abyss of eternal vacuity) gleams in the eyes of the “boss”; “Now, that is an interesting proposal…” comes the refrain.

In such a scenario, was the fact that predetermination of outcome altered during the course of the foray, changed the entire episode into one which embraced a sincerity of motives?  Or, is it merely that the counterpart changed his or her mind, and “openness” to such an exchange was a farcical prelude to an otherwise meaningless exchange?  Does the mere fact of allowing for a discussion – an opportunity to voice one’s concerns or to “vent” through a diatribe of invectives – establish a sincerity of allowances, even if the original intent was otherwise left unstated?

Which brings us to the point of this exchange – for, in a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the thing that many Federal and Postal employees fail to realize, is that there is contained within the bureaucratic system of the administrative process, a procedure which essential does constitute a “Let’s discuss it” trigger.

For, that is precisely why there are multiple stages of the administrative process – of the “Initial Stage” in filing a FERS or CSRS Disability Retirement application; then, if rejected and denied at the First Stage, a second “opportunity” of a “Let’s discuss it”, represented by a “Reconsideration Stage”, where additional medical documentation and legal argumentation can be empowered; and, then again, a “Third Stage”, where the Federal or Postal employee may disagree with OPM’s determination, and file an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.  Additionally, there is even a Fourth Stage – of a Petition to a panel of MSPB Judges for a legal review of the process.

Such an Administrative Procedure reveals and establishes an aversion to what most people experience, in that there is a process of listening, appealing and persuading in a Federal Disability Retirement application – something which is rarely found in the world at large, where the refrain, “Let’s discuss it”, is normally anything more than a prelude to a predetermined course of action.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Trauma of Change

There is comfort and security in the monotony of routine; for many, even a slight alteration in the identity of daily action presents a threat to the coherence of a world created and maintained.  Old men and women who suffer from the destructive forces of dementia rely upon it; homes which house the aging population, abandoned by obligation and freed from trust of children now grown, lean upon the crutch of sameness, as if sanity depended upon a universe determined to defy detour of deference.

But such clinging to the security blanket of daily recurrence is not relegated to the old; for most of us, reliance upon the monotony of unchanging sameness is what provides for reliability and dependability; alteration of environment is for the youth to encounter, as excitement of differentiation can only be relished by those who can accommodate change.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who begin to suffer from a medical condition, and where the symptoms and ravages of the diagnosed medical conditions begin to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, the winds of change present a formidable challenge to one’s sense of equilibrium, perspective of stability, and calm feelings for a secure future.

Change is traumatic; and, moreover, unexpected and uninvited alteration of circumstances by force of unwanted imposition, is like being hit over the head by the proverbial hammer of life, and we kick and cry in protest as we are dragged down the avenues of change.  And, like the addict who must undergo the steps towards rehabilitation, there is a recognition of stages:  Of having a medical condition; acceptance of the medical condition; realization that the medical condition results in an unavoidable impact upon one’s Federal or Postal career; then, to undertake the pragmatic and practical steps in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

It is this last step which is often the most difficult — to actually take those “real life” steps in applying for OPM Disability Retirement; and why is this?  Because, so long as we only “talk about” things, there is still stability and sameness in the objective world; but once we reach out and connect “talk” with “action”, the trauma of change becomes real, and the recognition that the world we left behind as a child — of gnomes, fairies, and the knight in shining armor — were really mere pictures in a storybook stored in the lost memories of innocence and warmth of a mother’s womb.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire