FERS Disability Retirement Law: When Strange Became Normal

When it became so, one can never pinpoint with any accuracy, or even on a wide spectrum, with any certainty.  Time was, a person of some oddity would stand out; perhaps, at school, someone would come in with a daring, colorful shirt; or, if a girl wanted to be “really wild”, dyeing one’s hair a shade of green — but only on or near Saint Patrick’s Day.

Conformity was the norm; to be strange, to stand out, was a status of avoidance.  Nowadays, everyone feels free to be quirky, to be set apart, to allow for “self-expression” to conjure up pink hair one day, spiked orange the next, and walk backwards on Thursdays and sideways on Tuesdays.

When did strange become normal?  Is it a good thing?  Should there be any judgment at all, or should the loss of conformity be the set standard, thus becoming the rule of conformity by being a nonconformist?  What does it say about a society where “self-expression” holds such an important exactitude of regularity?

And when “strange” really is strange — as just before a rampage of killing and mayhem — but we fail to notice it and cannot stop it because when strange became normal, we have just accepted it; then, is there any sense in talking about “communities” or “standards”?  Can “abnormal” be distinguished from “normal” if strange became normal?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who comprehend becoming a stranger in an otherwise normal environment — because, in the end, a medical condition which impacts one’s career and ability/inability to perform one’s job, is akin to a “strangeness” viewed by others as an anomaly — you may want to consider preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

For, when strange continues to remain strange, and your agency doesn’t allow you to become “normal” because they treat you as an outcast because of your disabling medical condition — then, it is time to consider filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and consider that, whether strange ever becomes normal, for you, it is time to prepare for a different career beyond the Federal Agency which considers you to be strange already.

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: The Fabrication of Certainty

There are innumerable truths of certainty, mostly of fabrication and artificiality, and much of it meaningless and of inconsequential inanity.

For example, you can join a local chapter of the Flat-Earth Society, and so long as you contain your discussions about the flatness of the earth within the confines of the society’s reaches (however limited that may be), your conviction that the earth is flat can be maintained, reserved, and with vigorous belief, sustained.  You can even go out into the greater world and retain such a conviction, and believe it with certainty.

On the other hand, it would be unwise to entertain certain types of fabricated certainties — such as the belief that you are a super-human being who will incur no harm if you run in front of a bus traveling at 50 miles per hour — leaving aside even a lesser speed.  The test as against the objective world and the rules of force and biology simply will not cooperate or comply with such fabrication of certainty.

Human beings have an unlimited capacity to create and manufacture fabrications of certainty, even if they have absolutely no correspondence or connection to the outside world.  You can even believe, with absolute certainty, Russell’s statement that the “King of France is bald”, and as there is no King in France, and thus the individual without a referential-point in the universe cannot be bald (because a non-existent person cannot possess the characteristic of “baldness”) — and yet, because the “sense” and “meaning” of the statement can be comprehended, we can walk about the world with the fabrication of certainty without any consequences in the real world.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition compels and necessitates the proper and effective preparation, formulating and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the recognition that fabrications of certainties can defeat a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS is important.

Always be clear on the certainty of “the law”; review the medical records and reports for any inaccuracies which may defeat your disability retirement application; and make sure that there is a correspondence between your Statement of Disability on SF 3112A and on the medical documents to be submitted.

For, in the end, the fabrication of certainty is fine only so long as the insularity of one’s world doesn’t extend beyond the tip of one’s growing nose.  And one more thing: For all Flat-Earth Society members, it is not recommended that you travel too far on a ship, lest you fall off of the edge of the earth.

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 Application: Appropriateness

Wives insist upon it; youth ignore it; the old display it without thought because that is the way they were brought up.

Often, people don’t even know that there is such a thing as “appropriateness”, thinking in this age of modernity that anything and everything is acceptable.  It used to be that foul language was appropriate only in bars and Sunday get-togethers for football games; nowadays, we think its cute when a toddler emits long dissertations of 4-letter words like a dog vomiting following a feast of eating leftover scraps from the garbage bin.

If you say to your spouse, “I put the scissors away,” the appropriate response to expect might be, “Thank you”, or even, “Where?”  But as spouses always confound, instead, the question might be, “When did you put it away?”  Now, the excitement of marriage is that one’s spouse should always keep you on your toes, and the inappropriateness of the question is only a reflection of that, so long as the context is misunderstood.  For, the question, “When did you put it away” is a puzzling one, and mystery is the foundation of excitement when it comes to a marriage.

However, if you query back with: “Why did you ask that, as opposed to the appropriate counter-question, ‘Where did you put it away?’”  And the answer back: “Because I looked for it an hour ago and it wasn’t there.”  Context is important in appropriateness.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS must be filed by necessity through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, appropriateness is a factor which always must be considered — the appropriate tone to convey; the appropriate case-laws to cite; the appropriate arguments to make, etc.  For, the cousin of appropriateness is “effectiveness”, and that is the goal to focus upon, unlike the spouse who asks the mysterious question of “when” as opposed to “where”.

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.

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Concurrent Issues

Rarely is there a single issue, whether in life generally or within the esoteric arena of legal battles.  There are sub-issues; corollary issues; issues that appear to be minor footnotes that may later present greater problems deserving wider attention; issues that seem to pervade but of which no one ever directly confronts.  The proverbial “elephant in the room” phenomena is the issue that people avoid and try to ignore.  Such issues can be averted and circumvented for a time, but they often come back to haunt and interfere.

We all selectively choose the universe we want to operate in; the problem comes about whenever we interact and interface with others (which is almost all of the time), and the “other person’s” chosen universe clashes and contradicts the one in which you want to reside.  Conflicts of interest in business settings or financial transactions; differing dreams, hopes and plans for the future when two or more people get together; contradictory expectations and incompatible roles which cannot be accommodated; these, and many more, involve concurrent issues that cannot be easily smoothed or resolved.

In Federal Disability Retirement Law, there are often parallel legal issues that the Federal Disability Retirement applicant brings to the fore — of workplace harassment issues; Performance Improvement Plans; Suspensions and Terminations; do these and other concurrent issues have an impact upon a FERS Disability Retirement application?  It all depends.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and discuss the concurrent issues that might — or might not — intersect and interfere with a Federal Disability Retirement application.  It is best to go into the bureaucratic morass with open eyes and a good sense of one’s chances at obtaining a FERS Disability Retirement annuity, lest the elephant in the room suddenly rampages through the kitchen where the good china is kept.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Information: Among friends

So, in the cackle of laughter and the roar of a campfire, or perhaps in the hazy heat of summer outside by the swimming pool, or wherever; among friends, enjoying an afternoon, a late morning, an early evening or into the twilight hours when children whisper sweet sounds of snoring dreams and even the dog has had enough of the friendships, especially where table scraps are no longer offered and a wagging tail barely invites a pat on the head, and certainly no more tummy rubs no matter how many times a hint is dropped; and so the vacant stares begin to take hold and the late-hour goodbyes begin to be offered.

Among friends; and yet there is an uneasiness; perhaps you learned something about one of them that you never knew before; perhaps, that couple you knew from high school or college, of whom you and your wife have always said, “Oh, not them!” Life brings unexpected traumas and turmoil, tumultuous events and interventions that one never plans for.  People whom you thought “would never” – whatever the blank narrative that follows that phrase or conceptual construct – suddenly do, are or will become.

We fail to recognize, always too late, that it is the unpredictability of life that is the predictable, and when we become ensconced with the settled comfort that guided Parmenides in his philosophical outlook, and recognize the perspective of Heraclitus, then can we take a step back and plan for that unexpected travail.

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 employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal position, it is precisely that sense of “being among friends” that can become problematic.

When to inform the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal workers of the intent to file; what to say, how much to divulge and in what form; to what extent this or that individual, supervisor or manager is allowed to know; what prying eyes will have access to sensitive medical information; and who are we among – friends, foes or somewhere in between?

These are questions that will have to be confronted and sensitively danced around and about, for 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, the questions are often not, “Are we among friends?” but rather, “Who are our enemies”?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability: The Chasm between Expectation and Reality

Expectation constitutes the anticipatory goal to be attained sometime in the near or far future; reality is the actualization of the potentiality of one’s imagination.  That anticipatory potentiality, however, can be formulated based upon numerous factors, including:  baseless imagination (more of a child-like quality); desire and hope (with perhaps some admixture of factual context and content, and somewhat of a more mature basis); or sequences of planned actions culminating in a realistic fulfillment based upon actual circumstances analyzed, deliberated upon and ascertained (a mature consequence of purposeful strategies formulated and initiated).

The chasm which exists between one’s expectation, and the reality of fruition, retrospectively reveals the state of maturity (or immaturity) of one’s soul.  That is why gamblers and lottery tickets abound; for, the play upon adolescent wants and desires portends of dreams unfulfilled, desires still unrestrained, and creative imaginations unbounded allowed to wander aimlessly.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who expected one’s own agency to embrace loyalty and constancy of support just because the Federal or Postal employee showed such honorable characteristics for many years previously, and perhaps for more decades than the half of one’s lifetime, the chasm of reality often hits hard.

Medical conditions can often be “accommodated“, if only in a loose, non-legal sense of the word.  But it is amazing how people and organizations suddenly become quite “legal” in matters where honor should prevail; and in that sense, to be “accommodated” takes on a new and restrictive meaning.  Medical conditions often bring out the worst in people and organizations, and concepts involving the humanity of one’s soul no longer become relevant, but mere irritants to be legally sequestered in order to protect and deny.

For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties, 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, is often the last bastion of hope — hope which bridges the chasm between expectation and reality, and one which sets the path for future security upon the solid foundation of a reality which one may want to shy from, but which one cannot escape in this world of love, hate, humanity and cruelty — the compendium of that complex animal called Man.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer: Insular Delusions

The advantages of holding one’s own counsel are multiple:  little internal strife; dictatorial rule; decision by fiat; complete control and dominance; no blame can accrue to others.  The downside, of course, are just as numerous:  no input from others; the limitation of new ideas, constrained by the perspective of one’s own thoughts and concerns; the fool’s impropriety of listening and following one’s own judgment; little to no brainstorming.

Judgement and decision-making by singular counsel has worked well in countries, corners and civilizations which respond subserviently to dominance and domineering.  But when the populace begins to realize that the emperor is not as wise as once thought (or declared by fiat to be by the dictates of the royal palace, issued in blaring tones and trumpeted daily in printed leaflets used by the peasantry for bookmarks and beddings), then the rumblings of a hunger beyond mere need and wants begins to pervade.

Insular delusions occur because the holding of one’s own counsel ultimately results in a circularity of logic and judgment, and unless new and fresh perspectives are allowed in, self-immolation is the resulting loss of vigor and vitality.  Further, when a deteriorating force begins to gnaw away, such as an unexpected medical condition, then sound judgment and rational perspectives give way to exaggerated and exponential quantification of fear and paranoia.

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, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the decision-making process should always include counsel outside, above, beyond, and objectively-attained, in making decisions about one’s future and security from the ravages pending by one’s agency or the U.S. Postal Service.

Federal Disability Retirement is not just about securing one’s future; it is, moreover, a matter of establishing a capacity of reaffirming one’s potential in becoming employed, without penalty, beyond the Federal sector; of making sure that one’s accrued Federal time in-service is not for nothing; and to ensure that one’s rights have been protected in order to move forward into the future.

Insular delusions occur when an individual retains the sole counsel of one’s own accumulated wisdom; but as wisdom is not merely the aggregate of one’s own opinions and perspective, the delusions which follow are like the windmills of old where knighted grandeur resulted in the myth of Sisyphus, where the toil of rolling a boulder up the hill of agony left one depleted in the soul of the absurd.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement: Predictable Pantomimes

Most of life is simply lived.  One engages, works, plans, deliberates, initiates, completes chores, gets up in the morning, goes to bed at night, etc.  Little reflection or thought is required; much of it, like an automaton on a conveyor belt of cursory convenience, requires but mere human movement.

Perhaps in the mythological State of Nature, as described by Rousseau or Locke, the predatory environment creating a necessity of alertness just to survive, required greater cognitive involvement; or, as a corollary, an utopian condition of peace and tranquil coexistence with other forces of nature.  It is when one pauses for a brief moment, reflects, and has a sudden awareness of one’s self in the presence of others, that the very knowledge of acting within the confines and context of “doing”, becomes a consciousness of self-realization.

Self-awareness — that level of consciousness beyond mere recognition of one’s surroundings, but involving a direct acuteness of “being” but simultaneously “being in the world”, is what makes for human uniqueness.

Heidegger tried to describe it through linguistic mechanisms which turned out to be beyond the common realm of understanding or comprehension, and thus became relegated to the esoteric halls of academia.  Sartre and Camus attempted to capture it through fictional depictions, and indeed, it was more the texture of the novel, The Stranger, than the actual words, which came closest to successful conveyance of the experience of the absurd.

For the daily person, medical conditions tend to starkly bring out the reality of the experience.  Medical conditions suddenly reveal one’s vulnerability, and the fragile nature of one’s being.  Mortality becomes a reality beyond mere distance-reflection of some unknown future intent; it becomes the freshness of the now for a being within a body of decay.

For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who suddenly realizes that life, career, future and the boredom of constancy can be but a moment in time because of an impending medical condition which threatens one’s security and livelihood, 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, becomes a reality of immediacy, precisely because of the urgency of the medical condition upon one’s life and livelihood.

Suddenly, the priority of “being” presents itself.  What one did before the crisis of vulnerability was merely a predictable pantomime; the reality of life and the significance of relationships becomes the true being of living.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits may seem like a mere act of administrative convenience, but for many, it becomes the avenue of necessity in order to deal with the reality of illness, disability, and medical urgency.  And, as with all aspects of life and being, other predictable pantomimes will become apparent:  the agency’s hostile reaction; the looks of suspicion from others; unfriendly attitudes displayed by coworkers and supervisors; they are all merely actors on a larger stage, but yet to realize that “being” and “being-in-the-world” are one and the same, when tragedies befall and humanity acknowledges the fragile nature of life, like the soft petal from a dying flower which drifts soundlessly upon the earthen dust from which we were born, and to which we return.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire