FERS Disability Retirement: Nonsense confiscates meaning

It obviates and nullifies it; often, it will make impotent that which once maintained vibrancy and efficacy.  That is where Orwell misconstrued the power of nonsense; for, in his classic novel, 1984, the scene which discussed the production of the newest edition of allowable Newspeak words and the reduction and elimination of certain concepts — he failed to realize that it is the greater dissemination and wide volume of words which undermines meaning, and not the other way around.

By exponentially adding — by quantitative overload — to language, we undermine the precision of language and thereby create a chaos of nonsense; and the result is that nonsense confiscates meaning.  Have you ever come across a person who takes a paragraph to convey the meaning of a single word?

By contrast, when you meet an individual who so succinctly states an idea and, with the sword of a sharp sentence, can slash a page to within a tidbit of profundity, you realize the benefit of brilliance over the darkness of ignorance.  Succinctness, precision, concise conceptual bundles — they are all important in conveying proper meaning; and “meaningfulness” is what persuades, while nonsense confounds and makes a conundrum of that which should be a vehicle of clarity.

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 Applicant’s Statement of DisabilitySF 3112A — is the vehicle by which “meaning” is delivered.

Do not get sidetracked with the nonsense of too much explanation; and an overly abundant profusion of nonsense may in fact harm one’s case.  A balance between the short “bullet-point” approach and a meandering diatribe against one’s agency needs to be pinpointed.  Do not let nonsense confiscate meaning, thereby undermining the ultimate goal of a Federal Disability Retirement application: To obtain an approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Standard of incompatibility

How does one “prove” a standard of “incompatibility”?

Physical injuries often allow for a medical opinion to impose certain restrictions:  No lifting more than X-pounds; no standing more than 2 hours within an 8-hour period, etc.  These, then, can directly “prove” that a Federal or Postal employee is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, by comparing such restrictions as against the positional requirements of a given job, and “showing” that the standard required can no longer be met.

The “other” cousin of the standard, as reiterated by cases represented by Henderson v. OPM and related precedents, allow for a “different” type of proof, where one may show that there is a general incompatibility between the entirety of one’s position and the medical conditions one suffers from.

It might be argued that such a standard is more “nebulous” and “harder to prove”, but in fact, the opposite is often true: specificity on a 1-to-1 ratio between a given medical condition or symptom and an element of one’s positional duties no longer becomes necessary.  Rather, a general showing of incompatibility between the “type” of job and the “nature” of a medical condition is enough to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement.

The trick, of course, lies in the manner of “proving” it, but it should be of some comfort to Federal and Postal employees that there is another type of standard beyond the 1-to-1 ratio standard that applies generally for “physical” duties; for, in the end, many psychiatric conditions can only meet the “incompatibility” standard, although some specificity of inability to perform a particular function of the job may be present as well.

To meet either standard is a burden of proof that must be shown by the appellant in all OPM Disability Retirement cases; to understand, apply and satisfy such standards, it is best to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


Legal Representation on Federal Disability Retirement Claims: False notions

We all possess them; some, more than others; most, of a harmless variety where — so long as they are kept private and unannounced like an illegitimate child kept from the knowledge of one’s spouse, friends and family — no consequences ensue from the mere “having” of them.  False notions can take many forms, and on the spectrum of held beliefs, so long as one never “acts” upon them or otherwise expresses them in polite society, they remain the eccentric uncle that visits periodically but for short stays, and always tries to remain unobtrusive.

Say a person believes that the earth is flat — yes, there are many such people, to the extent that there are contingents of “flat earth societies” cropping up everywhere — but moreover, not only that the earth is flat, but you also believe that martians live on the far side of the moon, that every book published in the world over is written by Shakespeare, and that there is truly a wizard of Oz that controls the mechanism of the universe.  What harm is there in believing any of those?

Perhaps some are false notions; perhaps others are not.  So long as they do not intersect with conversations in the public domain, or do not interfere in the daily activities of living one’s life, is there any harm to possessing, maintaining, retaining and ascribing to false notions?

Take it a step further, however, and insert the following hypothetical: At a “get together” with coworkers and other departmental or other office personnel, a conversation begins with a group of gathered men and women, and someone begins talking about a new book that has just been reviewed by the New York Times Book Review Section, and one of the individuals pipes in that it, too, was written by Shakespeare.

The first person says, “No, no, it was written by so-and-so”, but the second individual persists and insists, and an argument starts: “No, it was written by Shakespeare.”  “You’re crazy.”  “No, you don’t know a thing!”  “And you probably believe that the earth is flat.”  And on and on.  Now, the next day, everyone is back at work — has anything changed?

Holding on to the false notions has not disrupted the flow of productivity, and the fact that one’s false notions were inserted unnecessarily into the daily discourse of other’s beliefs and understanding of an individual, has not disrupted the objective universe of those who gained further knowledge of another’s belief system.  False notions, then, so long as they remain private, or even when inserted into the public domain but without objective interference, may remain unobtrusive.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, however, who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition is beginning to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, a false notion can indeed have some deleterious consequences.

If you, as a Federal or Postal employee, possess a false notion of pride, or of loyalty to the Agency or the Postal Service at the expense of your health, and thus delay preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether as a FERS, CSRS or CSRS-Offset employee, the impact of further delay or procrastination can impact your health.

False notions are fine to foolhardily have fun with, but when it intersects with your health, it is time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with OPM.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire



Medical Retirement from Federal Government Employment: The importance of not

We go through life applauding always the forward progress of things remembered, projects completed and issues resolved; but all throughout, the negation is forgotten, the sullied bystanders shoved aside, and the nothingness untethered, are never recorded in the annals of trumpeted narratives.  It is, in the end, just as important not to do X, if such negation results in a consequential Y intended and foreseen, as it is to embrace a positive-W which will follow a similar and parallel course towards self-immolation.

We place so much relevance and importance upon doing and succeeding, and forget that much of life is refraining, restraining and possessing the discretion of not; but because negation is a nothingness subsumed by anonymity, it is only the blaring signification of self-aggrandizement which results in notice and promotion of purposive entailments.  How many of us recognize the importance of not?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, this is an important component and element to consider when preparing 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.

We spend so much time and energy in wanting to spew forth the narrative of our lives; but life responds more to Iona Potapov’s quiet refrain, in choosing the content carefully, and biding the time for the right context; and when importance of substance and weight of relevance guides the necessity of doing, it is the vacuity of nothingness, the spaces in between, the void separating, and the vacuum surrounding, which is often of greater determinism in the fates of our lives unsheathed.

For the Federal or Postal employee who must prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through OPM, remember that the things left unsaid, unstated and undone, are sometimes as important — and even more so — than a rush to release all and reveal the compendium of every inner thought and ravage of timeless venting.  As most wrongs in life are correctable, so mistakes submitted to OPM are likewise as much, but the one mistake which cannot be amended is to place blinders upon the eyes of those having seen, have been allowed to view, and of information already released through the unconstrained folly of life’s misgivings.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: Life’s Alliteration

The repetitive recurrence of mirroring sounds or letters at the beginning of adjacent words is merely a reflection of how we live our lives.  What is inherent in human beings that we would discover, create or otherwise compile an aggregation of such a linguistic phenomena?

The universe could have continued happily on its mindless course of fated determinism without people engaging in such nonsensical rhythms of prose and poetry; but as each act of indeterminate vacuity has an underlying psychological explanation, so all such engagements of sociological developments must by necessity possess a paradigm of purpose.

Is it because we find solace in the quietude of repose when patterns of universal expectations can be discovered?  Why do we eternally seek the “laws of nature”, or insist against Hume’s diatribe of causal effects that the billiard balls will act in certain ways upon impact despite the lack of a “necessary connection”?  Is it in the comfort of habitual living, of familiar environments and known paradigms into which we seek refuge?

We take delight in the designs which quiet our souls; of lack of turbulence, despite our own havoc which we inject all around.  Small towns; lost civilizations; tribal communities in the forgotten corners of the world; perhaps they still exist without the turmoil pervasive throughout the life the rest of us are familiar with; but if they do, they will soon be stamped out.  For, in the end, distinctive differences are characteristics which we fear most.

We claim that we celebrate diversity; yet, look at how everyone melds into each other and uniqueness is slowing disappearing.  We declare that divergence of ideas and opinions are contributory to a community; but we end up all watching the same shows, hearing the identical voices, and where even political parties are essentially the same but for shifting bribes to garner votes.

That is why the linguistic mechanism of alliteration is but a reflection of life itself; it is no accident that the repetition of consonants, vowels or sounds was playfully discovered; it is, instead, the comfort zone of which we seek, in order to reassure ourselves that the chaotic world we continue to fathom will at least appear in a semblance of repetititve constancy in the words we utter.

Order and stability are necessary traits in every life; that is why, for the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker whose life has been turned upside down with the turmoil of a medical condition, it is important to begin contemplating the long and arduous path towards attaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity.

For the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, the turmoil of the medical condition, the sudden and proverbial “cold shoulder” shown by the agency because the Federal or Postal employee is no longer fully “productive” or able to advance the “mission of the Agency”, it is important to secure a semblance of stability for one’s future.  Whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the Federal or Postal employee who must prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits will have to maneuver through a complex maze of alliterative conundrums.

And what of life’s alliteration?  You will note that this blog never engaged in such nonsense throughout.  Of course, that could change exponentially, excepting exceeding expectations exchanging entities encompassing elements eerily entraping epilogues entirely endlessly.  Or so it goes.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire


OPM Disability Retirement: The labyrinth of human psychology

Daedalus, in Greek mythology, constructed the complex maze for King Minos of Crete; it is reported that the multicursal patterns were so elaborate that even the designer himself could barely find a pathway out.  That is, indeed, reflective of the complexity of human beings.  Cynics are quick to dismiss our own species as predictable, untalented in any specific category but only in general terms; boastful beyond a simpleton’s ego and successful in self-promotion and propagation only because it is too lazy to do otherwise.

Repetition, the need for habituation of purpose, and forever seeking a quietude of reflective pastures in solitary reserve, the human animal both and at once can be definitionally reduced as a mere afterthought in the Animal Kingdom, yet cunning in its predatory mastermind in a universe otherwise devoid of sophistication.

Human begins are nothing if not complex; and the psychology of humanity in the linear history of conflicts, wars, greed and hatred of group behavior, only touches upon the depths of a labyrinth that even Daedalus would not have been able to figure out.  And yet we try; and despite our best attempts, the moment humanity deems to have declared the discovery concluded and forever ensconced in determined coordinates, whether as genetic material established with certitude or some mythology of a variation of a Freudian narrative, Man pauses for a moment, then surprises to turn upside down the paradigm of conventional explanations of behavior.  It is only the hermit who, within an iconic security of an ivory-tower observatory, can issue declarative narratives establishing uncontested truths of unequivocal certitudes.

The rest of us who must interact and maneuver through the unmapped waters of societal upheavals, are left to daily hiccups of unpredictable encounters with fellow human beings.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must — in addition to dealing with mercurial managers and unpredictable outbursts from supervisors, coworkers and unnamed (and unnamable) agency heads — “deal” with a medical condition, such that the illness or injury results in an inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties at the U.S. Postal Service or the Federal agency, the daily encounters will often quickly take their toll through exhaustion and profound fatigue beyond mere tiredness from a rough day’s work.  You become “pigeonholed” as that “unproductive employee”, and thereby reduced to a category, a name, a label and a farce.

But the labyrinth of human psychology can never be constrained within the convenient categorization denounced by fiat; the complexity may become repressed, but like the boiling pot gurgling to explode, will remain simmering in the quietude of suppressed restraints.  Then, and probably long past and overdue, it is time to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  It is the only and best option available, lest the unpredictable and complex labyrinth of human psychology boil over into an uncanny cavern of a despairing tidal wave yet to be revealed.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire