Federal Disability Retirement: Keeping it all together

It is hard enough to keep things together without those “extras” impeding, interrupting and infringing upon one’s time.  Then, when that proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” is placed before us, a sense of doom and gloom (another trite, overused and ineffective phrase that is applied as a euphemism to conceal the crisis-point of our existence) pervades and blankets, like the undisturbed blanket of snow covering the desolate fields of an abandoned farm.

We say to ourselves, “Well, if I can make it to the weekend, I will be able to rest and recuperate” — unless, of course, it is Monday morning, or even Tuesday, and the “weekend” seems like an eternity away.

This is a stressful world.  The very busy-ness of life; of the daily demands placed upon the psyche — even of those stresses we don’t even notice, of impinging and daily overload of factors whirling about us; traffic; news; information from emails and other Internet demands; and then there is the question as to how many other people around us, unknown to us, are barely themselves “keeping it all together”.

We live lives of pressure-cookers; whether the top explodes or not is barely a matter of thin lines and close calls.  Then, when a medical condition intervenes, it is as if the excuse to keeping it all together disappears — precisely because the very foundations for the reason to continue as always have all of a sudden disappeared.  Medical conditions shake the foundation of one’s existence: What is this all about? Why am I killing myself doing this, when the stress of this life merely exacerbates the destructive force of the medical condition itself?

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 ability of “keeping it all together” often falls apart when it finally becomes apparent that the price one must pay just to maintain a facade and semblance of “keeping it all together” is too high.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is an option to consider. Consult with a FERS Attorney to discuss the viability of your case, and then take the advice into consideration in the ongoing effort of keeping it all together.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Growth Stopper

In life, inertness is considered “bad”; it is progress, the ascent of man and the constant striving towards attaining and achieving which are considered “good”.  “Growth” and the incessant need to extend, expand and extoll the virtues of acquisition and accomplishment remain the medals of success; and whether we agree with such values, it is as if we never had a choice.  Isn’t how we define the parameters of what is important to us the basis of happiness?

For Aristotle, the world was seen in terms of constant potentiality striving to reach the actualization of an entity’s intended fruition.  Thus, a stone does what it is meant to do when it constantly falls to the lowest point in the chaos of the world; a lion achieves its value of Being by being what it does best — of being the aggressor and catching its prey; in other words, by being a lion qua lion-being.

And what of man?  To reach his or her potentiality by achieving the essence of what each individual human being was meant to strive for and accomplish, but in a moderated way without the excesses of either extremes upon the spectrum of choices (read his Nicomachean Ethics).

Growth, for every organic being, is crucial to the very essence of its reason and value for existence.  It is thus its opposite — the “growth stopper” — that is considered as “bad”, “evil”, and contrary to human nature.  But sometimes, in life, we have no choice in the matter, and having a medical condition is that “growth stopper” that must make one pause and redirect one’s focus and value.  Ultimately, 2 things have to always be done: Define what values constitute “growth”; then, determine the best course of action to progress in that endeavor.

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 job, “growth” will need to be redefined.  Is “growth” worth it at the expense of one’s health?

FERS Disability Retirement is not a “growth stopper”, but a growth enhancer — for, it is a retirement and a basic annuity to allow the Federal or Postal worker to pause, refocus one’s priorities upon one’s health and well-being, and then take the steps to progress toward other endeavors and vocations in life.  In other words, to re-prioritize.  Yes, the medical condition can be seen as a “growth-stopper”, but it is how we define our values which makes all of the difference.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement from OPM: The Statement

We often hear of various events or transactions in the public arena where a “statement” will be issued, and such a conveyance of information is often prepared, pre-written, read from a piece of paper or plastered upon a teleprompter where the delivering individual merely reads from a text that has been previously written and composed.

It is like a musician who varies not from the score before him, or the player who follows the conductor’s baton with precision of a mime; to vary is to veer, where error becomes the hazard to avoid.  That initial “statement” to the listeners, the recipients, the audience, or however and whomever you want to characterize it as — why is it so important that it is conveyed, portrayed, delineated and communicated in just a “right” manner?

Is it not similar to the importance of preparing an SF 3112A — the Applicant’s Statement of Disability?  Isn’t the SF 3112A a foundational, “first impression” statement that needs to be prepared carefully, with meticulous formulation, like a novel’s opening sentence that must captivate and draw in the reader’s attention?

Granted, the SF 3112A is answered in response to questions required to be formulated by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for the Federal or Postal employee to provide, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset; but the limitations imposed by space and the relevance of the answers given to questions queried should not detract from the importance and significance of preparing the “Statement” well, in a preconceived and well-prepared manner.

What is the sequence?  When should it be prepared?  What content must it possess?  Should direct quotes from the medical records and narrative reports be included?  How carefully should it be annotated?  Must the Applicant’s Statement of Disability on SF 3112A be confined to the spaces provided?

These, and many other questions besides, should be carefully considered, and to do so, the best way to be well-prepared is to consult with an attorney who specializes in preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement Application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The gathering clouds

We don’t have people saying such pithy or inane things, anymore, and the death of the metaphor is the fault of Google.  And, of course, the Weather Channel and the Smart Phone apps that give us the updated information concerning that which we can see for ourselves.

Who ever talks that way, anymore?  “The dark clouds are gathering” – a metaphor for trouble brewing, problems arising or bad people getting together to engage in no good deeds.  To which everyone whips out their Smart Phones and checks the most updated forecast, using the Weather Channel app that everyone has already downloaded onto their phones, and in unison respond: “No it’s not; today is only partly sunny, then tomorrow there is a 20% chance of rain and the temperature is…”  “No, no, no…that is not what I meant by saying that the dark clouds are gathering.  What I mean is…” And you are met with blank stares by the horde of millennials who speak a foreign language, fail to understand the generation before the Internet or Smart Phones, and don’t even own a landline.  What, is that even possible?

Time was once upon a millennium, when farmers felt the bones ache from the gathering storm; that one could sniff the winds of changed directions; and noting the behavior of rabbits, birds and the mutterings of crows in the bushes, the gathering clouds would be discerned as patterns of nature’s calling.  Technology has its place and uses, but in the end, it dulls the instincts that have survived and helped human beings to last for want of realization of a civilization lost in the silent graveyards of forgotten memories.

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 the Federal or Postal job duties, the “gathering clouds” is often hinted by the behavior of coworkers, supervisors, and other agency officials; of the tone and tenor of attitudes abounding; and though the adverse action or initiation of a PIP may appear to come as a surprise, you knew it was coming long before, just as you knew that you needed to start the process of the filing a Federal Disability Retirement application long before the time made it into an urgency, or even an emergency.

The gather clouds, no matter how much we may try to stamp out the underlying instinct felt, is still the same the world around; we just have a better way of suppressing it than in countries less technologically sophisticated.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement Benefits for Disabled Employees: Discovering the natural teleology

It is for that function or use in society that we strive in our early years; while some may argue that the extrinsic relationship between career and one’s natural abilities make for an artificial coalescence of man-to-meaning, nevertheless, the adaptation to societal needs results in the correspondence between man’s inherent want and the contribution to a greater good.

But what happens when, later in life, the fusion of ability with societal need is abandoned?  What if work no longer can be performed, goals cannot be met, and wants cannot be fulfilled?  We are in a phase where we preach to our children that they should find a career in which natural talents are utilized, where inner satisfaction is achieved, and a sense of accomplishment is fulfilled.

A generation or so ago, we merely thanked society for offering a decent wage and a higher standard of living.  Then, something went awry — the gap between the worker and management became a wider chasm of discontent; magazines and video clips revealed the limitless narcissism of wealth and unfettered greed; and mediocrity of talentless actors revealed that even they, too, can achieve stardom despite lack of any appreciable achievement.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents one from performing the pathway of a chosen career with the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, the separation from one’s work and position may take an unspoken toll — not just because of the medical condition, but further, as a result of losing the natural teleology the Federal or Postal worker had striven so strenuously to achieve.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or Postal worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is never an easy road.

Others may believe that securing an annuity because of one’s inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal positional duties is tantamount to winning a lottery of sorts, but the reality is that most Federal or Postal employees who file for OPM Disability Retirement benefits, if given the choice, would forego the benefit if the medical condition would resolve itself and health would dictate the course of one’s future and fate, and not its corollary, of illness and a chronic medical condition.

Throughout youth, one always strove to discover the natural teleology for value and place in society; when that essence of human need is suddenly lost or severed, it is time to reignite that loss of self, and to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application in order to enter into the next stage of life’s arena of meaning, value and worth.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement: The Categorical Imperative

It is, of course, the foundation of Kant’s moral philosophy; of the unconditional call to act in a certain way, accepted and mandated precisely because there is no room for question.  But that life were so easy; automatons would simply act in mechanistic ways, driven by moral certitude; free will could be determined by the comforting thought that universal codes of conduct shall always confine and direct.  And bureaucracies would always make decisions within a framework of computational algorithms.

But Federal Disability Retirement is not a matter of a diagnosis; unlike Social Security Disability, which does contain a semblance of categorical imperatives when it comes to certain medical conditions, the preponderance of the proof needed in becoming eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is threefold: First, the minimum number of years under FERS (18 months of creditable Federal Service) or CSRS (5 years, which is presumably already met by everyone in that retirement system); Second, a medical condition which came into existence during the time of Federal Service (with some arguable exceptions within one (1) year of being separated from Federal Service); and Third, a nexus of relevant impact between one’s medical condition and the essential elements of one’s positional duties one performs for the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service.

It is this third step in the process which effectively compels one to step outside of the identification of Federal Disability Retirement laws as containing an element of the categorical imperative; for, in the end, it is not simply an evaluation of “which category” one falls into, but rather, how significant and persuasive is the bridge built upon between the two primary land masses:  one’s medical condition (land mass #1) and the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job (land mass #2).

That metaphorical “bridge” must be constructed with care, clarity, and concrete argumentation of persuasive force in order to withstand the inspecting scrutiny of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Look upon it as if OPM is walking through the construction site with a hard hat, pen in hand and taking notes furiously in attempting to discover deficiencies in the qualification standards imposed.  Jumping up and down and screaming at the inspector that the bridge fits into a pre-defined category will not suffice; instead, the categorical imperative must be argued for by pointing to the medical evidence, the law, and the connective tissues which form the effective and persuasive confluence of all of the elements which comprise the ultimate imperative of life:  that of a methodology of argumentation that one is “right”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire