Early Out for Federal Employees with Disabilities: Indicators

They are the flashing lights to warn others of actions about to be taken; or, they can be “clues” which allow for a preview of things yet to occur.  Retrospectively, we are all experts at identifying them; prospectively, many of us ignore or are otherwise oblivious to them, despite their obvious presence.

When we perform a forensic analysis in looking back, we will often realize that there were, indeed, many indicators which should have forewarned us of the impending troubles.  While no one likes to play Monday-night quarterbacking (actually, we all love doing it; we just like to pretend as to its involuntary necessity), such forensic analysis is a useful tool in apprising ourselves of the things which we missed.  But when an event in life occurs only once, or we only have one shot at something, no amount of retrospective analysis is going to be helpful.

Medical conditions have that characteristic — of indicators or signs which should have warned us of future problems, of which we dismissively ignored in hopes that the warnings — and the future substantive troubles — would simply go away.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is also like that — while you have 3 Stages in order to get approved (the 4th Stage being an irrelevant one because there is no quorum on the MSPB Board), you normally only have this “one-shot” at obtaining an approval.  Because of this, it is important to consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and make sure that all of the “indicators” are taken into account before you make that proverbial “right turn” into the future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Righting the Mistakes

Some have posited that we actually need 2 lifetimes: One for living, and another for righting the mistakes made in the first lifetime.  Then, a “Mark-Twain humorist” once quipped that, No, human beings need at least 3 lives — the first to live; the second to right the mistakes of the first; and another to do all of the things we always wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to because we were too busy worrying about it.

Life, indeed, is a series of regrets, and most of us still have consciences such that we worry and ruminate about the mistakes we made; how we go about “righting” those mistakes; and finally, on our deathbeds, to simply cry out for forgiveness because the weight of our past is too much to bear.  We can spend most, if not almost all, of our lives trying to correct the errors of our error-filled past; and, if not that, to worry about it.  Often, we don’t even know that we are making the mistakes until it is too late, or until that moment of revelation when we say to ourselves — How did I get myself into this mess?

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, it is important to try and file an effective and — as much as possible — an error-free Federal Disability Retirement application.  There is much to be worried about in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application: the complexity of the process itself; the legal hurdles which must be overcome; the bureaucratic morass that must be fought.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and try and avoid the mistakes at the outset. In Federal Disability Retirement, you surely do not want to spend your “second life” righting the mistakes of your first life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Workers: Meaninglessness

Without the second added suffix, it remains an adjective; with the addition of the second suffix, it becomes an abstract noun denoting quality and state of being.  The combination of the duality if suffixes, altering it from an adjective qualifying a noun (as in, “This meaningless activity”) into an abstract noun standing alone (as in, “The meaninglessness was evident in the manner he lived”) makes for an interesting conceptual construct.

It is, indeed, a word which describes a state of being — both the quality as well as the “kind” of.  It also denotes something else: that, at some time prior, both suffixes were absent, leaving the root of the word and the core of its origins intact — that of “meaning”.  It is thus a word which describes both a state “before” and a condition “after”, of once having had it, then losing it, then becoming a state of perpetual loss.

It is, in the end, the “state” of being which becomes of concern.  For, left as an adjective, one can argue that it is merely a temporary mode of being, as in: “The meaningless endeavor he engaged in was to merely get him through the day.”  However, when the second suffix is added and the root word alternates from becoming an adjective into an abstract noun, the denotation of becoming a permanent construct of eternal loss becomes ever more problematic.

So, as life mirrors language, and language expresses our inner state of thoughts, it is not only the meaning of words which becomes important but, moreover, the way in which we actually live.  Meaninglessness, as a way in which we live, becomes ever more pronounced when our health deteriorates.

For Federal and 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 ones Federal or Postal job, the problem of “meaning” and “meaningless”, as well as “meaninglessness” becomes ever more pronounced.  As one’s health deteriorates, and as work becomes a greater struggle, so the once-meaningful career becomes a greater burden and begins to gnaw at the root of one’s existence.

While Federal Disability Retirement may not be the answer to all of life’s difficulties, it allows for a Federal or Postal worker to re-focus one’s priorities in life and turn one’s attention back to the basics — that of health and meaning. Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to discuss the particulars of your case, and begin to discard the suffixes which drag you down.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Medical Disability for Federal and Postal Employees: Comparisons

Does it help to make them?  Do we take comfort in judging the relative plusses and minuses in making comparisons — as in, X has A, B and C, but I have, in addition, D and E, and therefore I am more fortunate that X is.  Or, is it a comparison of one’s conditions, as in: “Boy, at least I don’t have X like Lisa does”, or “At least I am not in Y’s situation”?

To the extent that comparisons remind us of that which we are blessed with, they allow for a certain level of utilitarian value.  But there is a negative side to it: Of jealousy engendered by comparison, or of discontent resulting from making one.  Rousseau, of course, makes that point throughout his “Social Contract” analysis, of the purity of man’s intentions in that fictional state of “nature” that we were once in, but where society’s accretions of materialism created the artificial emotional response of discontent and jealousy.  But compared to what?

It is important to make the fair and correlative comparisons which are relevant — as in “apples to apples” and not “apples to oranges”.  For, it is the uniqueness of each entity, object or situation to be compared with the singularity of another that makes for a proper comparison.

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, it is inadvisable to compare one’s case to somebody else’s.  For, the proper comparison is not to evaluate one’s medical condition and the severity of one’s medical condition to that of another person’s medical condition; rather, the proper comparison in a Federal Disability Retirement case is to compare one’s medical condition to the essential elements of one’s position.

Thus, comparisons made must always take into account the relevant connections which relate not just in terms of similarities, but as is the case in Federal Disability Retirement Law — in what the law allows for and considers significant.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Percentage Game

We all play it; whether in calculating the chances of success (most of us are not knowledgeable enough to be statisticians, not having paid close enough attention in high school or college to that mathematics course regarding the numerical analysis of a numbers-based algorithm), or in merely keeping an eye on interest rates in the housing market, or perhaps taking note of how likely it is to be attacked by a shark before we step into the polluted waters of the Atlantic.

OPM certainly plays the game — one needs only to look at a Denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to realize that, the manner in which the Denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application is written, there will be a certain percentage of people who will read it and say, “Gee, I never stood a chance.  I might as well not even go any further.”

The Denials are often written in unequivocal terms, stating with a tone of certainty that there was never any basis for filing, and that any further efforts would be fruitless and futile.  And from that language of certainty, a certain percentage of Federal Disability Retirement applicants will simply give up and walk away.  That is what the percentage game is based upon.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have received a Denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to perform an objective-based evaluation of a Federal Disability Retirement claim.  Better, yet, consult with such an attorney even before you begin the process, to ensure the best chances in this “percentage game” which OPM plays.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Seeking

Isn’t that the condition for life?  That we continually engage in the very human act of seeking, whether for personal growth or professional aptitude; but it is always that constant need to know, to expand, to cross borders and extend beyond the invisible ceiling or barrier that is placed from our birthright to explore and to seek.

Seeking is a hallmark of human behavior; it is the constant seeking that keeps us reinvigorated, alive, instilled with hope and painted with the colors of future dreams. Without seeking, we become staid, unadventurous, static and timid; the world becomes threatening because we have stopped and stunted our own growth potential.  Seeking is always coupled with hope; hope, often seen with future aspirations; and when the seeking stops, it is normally a symptom of a disease which destroys hopes and aspirations.

Medical conditions often undermine the human desire to seek; for, the disease that destroys and disrupts is the same which diminishes one’s hopes and aspirations.

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, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits becomes an important next step in order to regain that human desire for seeking — for one’s future and one’s hopes and aspirations.

Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to move beyond the morass of struggling daily to maintain a Federal position when it has become clear that one’s future is no longer compatible with the Federal or Postal job one holds.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Confronting Reality

When are the times we try and avoid it?  Is that the line between sanity and the “darker world”?  If we avoid it more than we embrace it, does it constitute a step beyond eccentricity and fall into the category of bizarre behavior?  If that were the case, how many of us would meet that definition?  Does engaging in entertainment — whether of the couch potato type or of the active one — constitute avoidance?

Say a person binge-watches a certain television series for 72-hours straight, then sleeps for another 72 hours; such a person has certainly “avoided” the reality of life’s responsibilities, duties, obligations, etc.  But would we deem such a person to be insane?  If he were a bachelor who has no commitments or responsibilities, and acted in such a manner during “vacation time” or during a period of unemployment, we would perhaps not give it a second thought.  But say the same person had a toddler whom he neglected for those 100-plus hours — then, of course, we would consider it as irresponsible behavior, if not criminal neglect.

“Confronting reality” is often deemed the antonym of “avoiding reality”; it is something we all do — both confronting and avoiding — and crosses the diving line between “responsible” and “irresponsible” behavior.  Of course, the latter is sometimes necessary in order to refresh one’s self in order to engage in the former, and so we embrace entertainment and leisure activities in order to adequately prepare ourselves to cross over from one to the other.

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 his or her position, confronting reality is often delayed in order to try and extend one’s career with the Federal government.  Often, early on in suffering from a medical condition, it becomes quite clear whether or not the Federal or Postal worker can continue in his or her chosen career.  This is the point where “confronting reality”, however, clashes with the desire to avoid it and to instead embrace the make-believe universe of “What ifs” — What if things improve?  What if the Agency or Postal Service is willing to be patient?  What if they can accommodate me?

Consult with an attorney experienced in Federal Disability Retirement Law; for as difficult as it may be in confronting reality, it is the reality of the law that will help you avoid the pitfalls which you will surely want to avoid in the days to come.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement under FERS: Balancing the Unfair Advantage

It is the advantage itself — whether by one side or of the other — which creates an imbalance to occur, and it is thus the greater weight on either side defines and constitutes the unfairness of it all.  A weighted scale; a pair of loaded dice (it was once the case that such a phrase — “pair of dice” — was unnecessary, because the singular of “dice” was die, and to identify ”dice” was to necessarily state the obvious that it was a pair; but in Modern Standard English, the word “dice” now represents both the singular as well as the plural; but we digress); a biased referee; a bribed umpire — do these all have something in common?

No, this is not an IQ Test (remember those questions where you are given a series of words and you had to either choose the one that would fit into the same category or exclude the one that was a misfit?), but it does symbolize the state of affairs in so much of life.

Where unfairness abounds, it is often the concealed aspect which tips the balance in favor of one side or another.  Thus do politicians allow for silent exceptions within the detailed language of legislation; undeclared biases determine advantages otherwise unidentified; insider information gives the unfair advantage to stock traders and members on financial boards and subcommittees; and the team which steals the rubric of the other’s signals and signs gains the advantage both in predicting future behaviors and battles.

In law, who has the unfair advantage?  Is it the entity who fails to explicitly define the criteria which determines success?

For Federal employees and U.S. 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, just remember that filing a Federal Disability Retirement application guarantees nothing.

The legal criteria inherent in the process; the administrative procedures which must be advanced; the supporting documentation that must be submitted; the answers on standard forms which must be completed — these are all within the purview of knowledge by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and is not easily comprehended by the unwary applicant. Seek the counsel and guidance of a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to balance the unfair advantage that OPM naturally and already possesses.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement under FERS: The Internal Web of Deceit

The quote is often attributed (wrongly) to Shakespeare, when it was Sir Walter Scott in his lengthy poem, Marmion, which conceived it: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.”  It is the internal web caught within the circular insularity of one’s thought-processes which allows for the capacity to deceive — but of or for whom?  Is it ourselves we deceive, or others, or both?

The problem with internalizing one’s thoughts is not that they are necessarily invalid; it is that there is no objective basis upon which to test their viability.  We all engage in private thoughts; carrying on conversations with ourselves, the problem lies not in whether or not we have interesting ones or not, but whether and to what extent the exaggerated absurdity of circular discourses take on a more bizarre aspect.

Fear does this; and when we fail to test our thoughts against the reality of the world, the web we weave becomes more and more tangled, until the practice of self-deception takes on an enhanced and serious result.

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, it is often necessary to consult with an attorney before considering the difficult bureaucratic path of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Your medical condition is no doubt “real”.  The problem lies not in the medical condition, but upon the administrative procedures which must be passed through in order to present a credible case of eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

For that, it becomes necessary to break out of the internal web of deceit — of the cage within one’s insular thought-processes — and to test the strength of the web as against the laws which govern the administrative procedures involved in formulating an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire