OPM Disability Retirement Law: Perfection’s Harm

It has been stated by many, that one should never let perfection be the enemy of the good; in other words, one can always delay and delay, arguing that whatever the project being attended to, the goal aimed for, it is simply not good enough because it is not perfect.

Can imperfect beings ever achieve perfection?  Or, is perfection merely the justification for procrastination, knowing that the goal which never can be attained will forever remain as a potentiality steeped in the angst of our own imperfections?

“Good enough”, of course, is a relative standard which all perfectionists are uncomfortable with; for, an employer who accepts such a standard is in danger of relinquishing high standards replaced by an ad hoc, mediocre acceptance of “less than” — which is never a paradigm one attempts to aspire to.  But perfection’s harm is of eternal procrastination; for, we can always find a reason why something is not “good enough”, without ever asking the natural follow-up question: Good enough for what?

In the abstract, “perfection” is an admirable goal to achieve, for it involves a standard envisioned by the visionary few; but in the practical world, perfection’s harm is the aspiration of a would-be god, an idol of idiocy, an apex of folly.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition continues to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the procrastination resulting from perfection’s harm is that the Federal employee believes that his or her medical condition will miraculously resolve itself, and allow for continuation in the Federal or Postal job.  But that is perfection’s lair — of tomorrow, or the next day.

Contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider perfection’s harm — of the impracticality of which you already know, precisely because the medical condition itself has already established and revealed that man’s life on earth is one of perpetual imperfection.

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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Of Progress

It is doubtful that it actually occurs; for, every step forward in civilization always seems to be met with forces which revert back two steps, or perhaps even three.  As a general rule, things tend to get worse, not better.

It is possible that the pinnacle of human achievement has already been reached, and anything beyond is simply a downhill trajectory from the apex of that human point of achievement.  Or, is it merely a matter of perspective?  Is history a linear progression, where improvement builds upon improvement — or merely of wishful thinking?

Technology always promises that the next gadget will make our lives even better — happier, more fulfilling.  We know that not to be the case — or, should know.  Russell’s definition of “the good life” went as follows: “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”  There is much truth to that statement, but the problem in modernity is twofold: Love, once defined by human interaction in face-to-face encounters, has now been replaced by virtual contact; and knowledge, which was based upon “truth”, has been supplanted by insular opinions without any need for an objective basis.

In the end, of course, “progress” has nothing to do with technology, and everything to do with human thought — of how we value life and whether & how “love” is viewed.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows for continuation in the career of your Federal or Postal job, progress can only come about through the effective preparation, formulating and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), a benefits retirement plan which is processed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

And of progress?  Do not look for “love” from your agency; but of knowledge — seek and hire an OPM Medical Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.

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 Disability Retirement Application: Dignity

What is it?  Is it something bestowed upon others, or that which is possessed by oneself?  Is it earned, or naturally and inherently born with?  Is there anything we must do in order to retain it, or will it always remain regardless of our action, inaction or irreverence towards it?

Is dignity a natural state of being, or is it like a cloak — the outer covering of ourselves, somewhat like the skin we live in — which can be lost over a period of misuse, abuse or neglect?  Can we apportion it, give part to someone else, have too much of it, or can it even be quantified?  Do we, in modernity, even care about preserving it, or do we just barrel through life nowadays without a care in the world?

What does it even mean, anymore, to say of someone, “He/she is a very dignified person”?  Or: “She carries herself with great dignity.”

Concepts and meanings change over time; read a play by Shakespeare without an “updated” modernization of the language used, and you will be constantly reading the footnotes to even understand the dialogue of that time.  Over time, the meaning of words evolve; “dignity” is a word rarely used in modernity, as the public display of countless indignities are exponentially multiplied on social media, where that lost concept is likely unrecoverable.

For Federal employees and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, maintaining one’s dignity in the face of a progressively debilitating medical condition is often fraught with futility.

Contact a Federal attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and see whether or not preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application under FERS, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, may extend that age-old concept of both a dignified exit, as well as a future filled with an intact semblance of dignity defined.

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.

 

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement Benefits: What I Missed

Often, it is now known until it is too late.  “What I missed”, or failed to do, or did too much of — said too much, gave too much information, etc., all comes under the general headline of, What I missed.  Of course, in some disciplines, that “missing piece” could be critical — as in a missing bolt or structural beam in building a house, a building, a highway overpass, etc.

In Administrative Law, as in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, “what I missed” could result in a denial of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM.

Fortunately, there are additional opportunities to correct what I missed, both at the Reconsideration stage of the process and, if necessary, before an Administrative Law Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

“What I missed” can often be prevented by having a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, but even then, just understand that while most mistakes are correctible, the one mistake that is difficult to repair is to put blinders on OPM once they have seen something.

Contact a disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and preempt that agonizing feeling that occurs when you submit a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS with OPM on the uneasy feeling of “What I Missed”.

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 Disability Retirement Benefits: The Referee

There has always been an endless debate as to the preparatory value of playing sports — does engaging in competitive sports prepare one for the “real world”; do individualized sports (i.e., tennis, swimming, running, etc.) access the same “benefits” as “group” sports (i.e., basketball, football, soccer, baseball, etc.)?

Does “team” spirit, cooperative engagement with others, a sense of “belonging”, of sacrificing for the greater whole, etc., have any benefits in “preparing” one for the adult world of work and capitalism?  Or, does it merely reinforce certain negative instincts which “civilized” society has been trying to expunge for the past century?

Then, of course, there is the question of the referee — the role of one; whether and to what extend bias and favoring is involved; or, whether we should merely rely entirely upon instant replay and other electronic devices?  Should the “human factor” be allowed to rule, or should a game be determined by the precision of a computer program?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, don’t be fooled into thinking that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is an unbiased “referee” who will make a fair determination on your Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sports (at least the amateur kind) may be for fun and good health, but filing for your Federal Disability Retirement is for “real life”.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that you have the proper advocacy to win your case.  For, while the “referee” (OPM) may be empowered to make the call of denying or approving your Federal Disability Retirement application, it is your lawyer who advocates to influence OPM to make the “right” call.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Medical Retirement under FERS: Revisiting Updike

He wrote about mundane things; of middle class neighborhoods, Pennsylvania towns in which he grew up; farmlands before strip malls replaced them against the skyline of cornfield rows; and of affairs that grew naturally out of a revolution emancipated from the Sixties; of quiet sufferings and the rhythmic monotony of ordinary lives.

John Updike was an “in-betweener” — too young to fight in WWII, too old to have been drafter for the Vietnam debacle; and so he experienced the quietude and normalcy in between the two bookends of this country’s tumult and trials.

Updike was a voice for generations who saw the post-war era, of baby-boomers and American prosperity at its zenith; of the loss of any normative confluence of moral dictum and the abandonment of constraints once imposed by Protestantism.  All, of course, with a twinkle in his eye and a ready smile.  The Internet abounds with photographs of this uniquely American author — almost all with that thin smile as if he was about to share a private joke.

The Tetralogy of the Rabbit novels (actually a quintet if you include the last of the series, a novella entitled “Rabbit Remembered”) evinces a country gone soft after the harsh period of the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam era that undermined the ethical mandates known for generations before, unleashing a liberty of hidden sins like a bubbling cauldron of untamed desires.  But in the end, he is best known for the mundane, the ordinary, and how life in the suburbs of a prosperous nation left an emptiness unspeakable except by a voice given in narrative brilliance, from an author who was a regular contributor to The New Yorker.

Somehow, he made the ordinary seem exciting, even relevant.  By contrast, modernity has focused upon the rich and famous, and of greater unreachable glamour where perfection surpasses pragmatism.  Updike was able to make the commonplace seem important, the ordinary appear significant and the monotony of the mundane as not merely prosaic.  And isn’t that all that we seek, in the end?

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 loss of relevance, the ordinary and the commonplace is what often scares the Federal or Postal employee.

The job itself; the career; the monotonous routine of going to work, yet finding relevance in the act of “making a living” — these were all taken for granted in Updike’s short stories.  That other stuff — of infidelities and dalliances — were a deviation that Updike tried to point out as mere fluff in otherwise ordinary lives; and of medical conditions, they upend and disrupt the normalcy we all crave.

Federal Disability Retirement is a means to an end — of bringing back balance within a life that has become disrupted, but it is a way to bring back order where disruption to the mundane has left behind a trail of chaos.  And to that, the twinkle in Updike’s eyes and the thin smile would tell us that he would approve of such a move which will return you back to a life of mundane normalcy.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement under FERS: When something is determined

How do we know that a person is “good”?  Or articulate?  Or of a criminal bent?  When do we say, “Oh, the movie is too boring,” and then proceed to turn it off and go and do something else?  Or, at what point does a person determine that a book is worthwhile?

Is there a “set” point, or does it just depend upon different tolerance levels for each individual, such that some people will stubbornly refuse to give upon on X, whereas others with less patience will easily abandon any sense of loyalty or dependence?  As to the latter — of “dependence” — is there a point of unhealthy attachment even when everyone else has given up the proverbial ship?  To that end — when does “loyalty” begin to smell of foolhardy obedience to signs others would otherwise deem as self-destructive?

At what point does a person consider the ratio between toleration of a boring book or movie in comparison to the potentiality for a better ending, and continue on the trek of boredom in hopes of realizing a greater and more exciting future?  Are there character-traits by which we can determine a “healthy” sense of determination as opposed to a weak-willed willingness to be trampled upon or waste one’s time and energy?

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 job, the “when” of determining — as in, “When is it time to file for Federal Disability Retirement?” — is something that must be gauged according to the uniqueness of each individual circumstance.

Certainly, when the Agency begins to initiate adverse actions; certainly, when a doctor recommends such a course of action; and, certainly, when it becomes apparent that the Federal or Postal employee can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.

When something is determined — it is an important analytical judgment that must be decided in light of the fact that preparing, formulating and filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is a long and complex administrative, bureaucratic process, and consultation with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is a first step in determining that which is important to determine when something needs to be determined about.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The historical data

How much historical data is too much?  Is there a correlation between “too much” and “loss of interest”? In other words, when a history book is written, does the interest shown by the reader begin to wane when a certain point of quantitative overload begins to overwhelm?  Further, does the audience for whom the historical data is written depend upon the extent given?

Certainly, “popular” historical narratives provide “juicier” content than more “serious” biographies, where the salacious aspects of a person’s life or of an event are put to the fore, as opposed to relegating them to footnotes or in those “fine print” pages at the back of the book.

If, for example, data is compiled for an internal study for the “Historical Society of X”, then certain detailed information without limitations might be included — i.e. how many times this or that civilization went to war, went to the bathroom daily, ate one kind of fruit as opposed to another, etc. But if that “study” were to be made into a biography of an indigenous tribe, to be sold to the general public, it might leave out certain of the more uninteresting data, or placed in footnotes or “background notes” at the back of the book.

At what point does a historical narrative become “tedious”?  Again, is there a correlation between “interest shown/sparked/waning/losing” and the extent of data provided?  Is there a “qualitative” difference as opposed to sheer quantitative overload?

These issues are important to keep in mind when a Federal or Postal employee begins to write one’s narrative in response to questions posed on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.  For, there is always a tendency on the part of the Federal or Postal applicant to have this unquenchable desire to “tell one’s story”, as opposed to answering the question on SF 3112A in as precise, concise and incisive manner.

At times, some amount of historical background may be relevant and somewhat necessary, but unlike “internal studies” that have no cognizable consequences in providing “too much” information, an overabundance of irrelevant data provided may have a duality of negative results: First, it may take away from, and diminish, the “main point” of the narrative, and Second, you may be providing information that is inadvertently harmful to one’s OPM Disability Retirement case without intending to.

Remember always in a Federal Disability Retirement case, that the eyes that once see cannot be blinded after the fact, and it is better to provide information as a supplemental means in a Federal Disability Retirement case, than to have to explain, correct and amend after a denial is received from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Appropriateness

How does one learn it, and if one never recognizes its opposite — inappropriateness — does that then shield one from recognition of its negative consequences?  Is it the suddenly silence of the room, the averted eyes of those around, or the pink flush of a blush that suddenly tells of the inappropriateness of what was said, or done?  But what of its antonym — do we learn only when someone else says, “Yes, yes, quite appropriate“, and if so, how did that person learn what was or wasn’t?

Is appropriateness merely a human convention, an artificial construct that allows for a mindless continuum that barely retains its relevance beyond the insularity of a self-contained characteristic?

For federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal employee is under FER05S, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the appropriateness of what to include in a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is often a question of discretion and experience.

What evidence, beyond the obvious medical evidence, can and should be filed?  What should be included in one’s Statement of Disability as required on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability?  How much personal information, historical facts and background data should be “appropriately” included in the Applicant’s Statement of Disability?  Should family members, friends or coworkers provide a statement, as well, and is it “appropriate” to do so?

In the end, appropriateness is a concept that should be tailored by the context of the action, and it might be a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney before preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, as such a consultation would certainly constitute an appropriateness under the circumstances, and may well be inappropriate to fail to do so.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire