Tag Archives: opm and disabilities

OPM Disability Retirement: The Emperor’s New Clothes

It is one of those stories / folklores which transcends time, and a quick look at “sources” (yes, ashamedly, an internet search on “Wikipedia” reveals much) shows that the story possesses derivations and deviations from other countries and cultures, establishing that every profound theme has been recognized by a multiplicity of times and civilizations, to wit: vanity; con-artists; a child’s innocence; the sin of self-importance, etc.

That such themes cross over many cultures attests to their universality; and the lesson to be learned is not mere hyperbole, for we have found ourselves (if we are to be open and honest) in metaphorical circumstances similar to the story’s moral lessons.

In modernity, the folklore can be of greater instructive relevance than in any other time; for, to engage in the insularity of social media without a concomitant “reality check” against the objective world, can feed into one’s vanity and establish a type of insulated verification without regard to reality.

In simple terms, we can fool ourselves by engaging in a protected cycle of like-minded people.  That is why there are so many “romance scams” on the internet — of lonely people being scammed out of their life savings, all by stroking one’s vanity that love can be discovered through mere words on a blank screen.

What is the lesson here for Federal employees and Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition?  That there are no “new clothes”, but merely old ones — no new or magical solutions, but the age-old one of mortality.  People’s health can deteriorate, and we cannot think that you can just go on like you were in your twenties, or even thirties.  Sometimes, one’s health deteriorates, and you do, in fact, have to go out and try on “new clothes” — like filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS and thinking about preserving your health by going into another line of work.

Contact a FERS Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether the Emperor’s old clothes may not need a further fitting by a tailor who specializes in Federal Medical 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 Medical Retirement: Between the Particular and the Universal

There is always a distance between the particular and the universal.  In syllogistic logic, a universal can never be derived from a major and minor premise proposing particulars.

You cannot argue that because Harry down the street wears blue pants, and Joseph next door wears green pants, that therefore the whole world wears either green or blue pants.  You can, however, argue that Since all men are mortal, and Socrates is a man, that therefore Socrates is mortal — deriving a universal from a Major Premise which is universal, a minor premise which is particular, and ending with a conclusion which is universal.

Effective conversations often go that route — between “kitchen-table talk” and more generalized conversations which avoid the particulars, lest such personalized conversations lead to acrimonious, seemingly-confrontational and unpleasant exchanges.  Talks with your kids have to thread the fine line between accusatory admonitions and seemingly harmless, more generalized analogies.  That’s why the Bible cautions one not to provoke one’s children; for, overly particularized conversations become too uncomfortably provocative.

There is thus the twilight between the particular and the universal, and for Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who want to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a fine line and a delicate balance must be implicated between the chasm separating the particular and the universal.

What is identified as the Twilight between the two must be cautiously maneuvered through.  Too much information in the particular can defeat a Federal Medical Retirement case.  Overly emphasizing the universal — the statutes and the laws governing every Federal Disability Retirement case — without the backdrop of the particulars of one’s medical conditions, can likewise defeat a Federal or Postal Service Disability Retirement claim.  That delicate balance must be achieved — of the Twilight Between the Particular and the Universal.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and thread the delicate line within the Twilight between the Particular and the Universal.

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 Employee Disability Retirement: The Day After the Anticipated Time

Has anything changed?  We too often “build up” that special day, forgetting that there is the “day after” and the multiple days, weeks and years which occur afterwards.  And, perhaps that is the appropriate and “right” thing to do — to have the “special” day set aside.  For, without it, there would merely be a continuum of unbroken days without any respite from the repetition, monotony and boredom of all of the other days.

However, if the emphasis upon that set-aside day is too pronounced, the other days which follow then become all the more stark in their contrast.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who come to realize that the day after the anticipated time brings back the same as the days before, and that a Federal Disability Retirement application will still have to be submitted despite that “special” set-aside day, it may be time to contact a FERS Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement.

For, in the end, there are many more days before and after the anticipated time, and respites are momentary, whereas a Federal Disability Retirement annuity is for a future to secure those many days after the anticipated time.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Employees with Disabilities: Apparent Perfection

There are no perfect lives, only the appearance of perfection.  We walk past one another, bump shoulders in large crowds (well, in these times, with social distancing and masks required, perhaps not); and we imagine other lives, other families and other strangers to live lives of perfection, or near-unblemished ones, until we hear otherwise.  Twitter, Facebook and other social mediums provide that appearance; but deep down, we know that perfection can never be achieved, only the appearance of it.

As the old idiom goes: Before you judge a person, walk a mile in that person’s shoes — and it is when we learn about the private details of another’s life that we begin to either appreciate our own, or become even more discontented.

Medical conditions are often masked by the appearance of normalcy, and we judge based upon the surface manifestations — a grimace; a groan; a wince; a request for assistance; or perhaps a vacant stare or paralysis of actions.  Not all pain can be verified by a diagnostic image; some conditions can only be correlated by real-time sensations.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who can no longer perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, contact and consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider whether the apparent perfection you have been presenting to your Agency or Postal facility is no longer possible because that presentation of perfection has been undermined by the medical condition itself.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Medical Retirement: What is the Goal?

Is it to merely reach retirement age?  Does it matter what the “quality” of life will be, or is it just enough that one has reached the age and “time-in-service” requirements, despite being debilitated by a medical condition?

Goals are funny animals; once set, most of us are determined to reach them no matter what the cost.  Yet, there is no unchangeable rule that states that a given “goal” cannot be modified.  Yes, we tend to liken goals to “rules” by which we play games, conduct sports events and live our lives according to the “laws” of which we are aware.  But personal and professional goals — they are set within the constrictions of our own minds, desires and will, and can be modified as circumstances change.

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 question must be asked, What is the Goal?

If a career goal is impacted by a medical condition, then the goal itself must by necessity adapt to the new circumstances.  Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application is a form of adaptation to a changed circumstance.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and consider what the goal is, in the first place, and secondly, whether your present condition and circumstances might not warrant a modification of that original goal.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Information: Present Priorities

Present priorities differ from past ones, if only they have now passed as being present and thus are no longer priorities, as it is often the circumstances as presented in the “now” which matter most to us, as past priorities have lessened in terms of impact, significance, relevance and current importance.

The present priorities that were in existence a decade ago may no longer be the same priorities of the present of today; for, today’s present priorities have changed with the alterations of time, the focus of growth and maturity and their impact upon one another; and it is the context of today, the circumstances of the current period, that matter most to us.

Yesterday, the present priorities may have been the dinner or social function for that evening, or the open vacancy for this or that opportunity.  Then, a major “other” event occurs — perhaps the birth of a child or the death of a friend or relative — and suddenly, the priorities that seemed of such importance and consequence just yesterday, may seem trivial and insignificant today.

Medical conditions, too, seemingly have such an impact — of putting upon us a “reality check” that fades everything else into mere background noise.  What does it matter how one’s career is going, if you come home each night exhausted and unable to enjoy even the opening sonata of a symphonic masterpiece? Or if all of one’s weekend is merely to recover from the week’s fog of endless work, or of vacations and sick leave exhausted to endure constant and incessant testing and treatment regimens that leave no time for pleasure?

Whatever the present priorities and how they differ from past present priorities, one thing is clear: One’s health remains constant throughout, and preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted ultimately to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, reveals that the present priorities of the most important priorities always endure, and that must always include one’s health and well-being, as the application for an OPM Medical Retirement is more evidence that the focus upon past priorities must be re-thought in order to accommodate the present priorities which are of greater importance and significance now that one’s health is at stake.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney for OPM Disability Retirement Claims: The gist of it all

When do we want the “gist” of something?  The essence or the “main idea”; or to filter it into the short version, somewhat like the “spark notes” of the thing of which we seek.  Is it appropriate if a student is sitting through a boring lecture and raises his or her hand and asks politely, “I have an activity to attend this afternoon. Can you just give us the gist of what you’re trying to say?”

Or of the greater meaning of life itself — you know, that grand design that everyone is seeking, which is why so many people believe in such things as the “Da Vinci Code” or, more recently, “The Chamberlain Key” — codes to codices that reveal the heart of ancient secrets lost in the trash heaps of history or otherwise forgotten because of wars, famines and changes of the proverbial guards.

Why is it that such “keys” must always be “ancient”, and shrouded in the mystery of “secret societies” who will murder in the dead of night to protect the gist of it all?  How does that reflect upon modernity — that we are too superficial to invent or discover such codes?  Or, is it merely that the cynicism of scientism and the reliance upon the physical universe, the influence of British Logical Positivism and the Age of Science have all subsumed such romanticizing of mysteries beyond the age of reason?

In this fast-paced society where technology surpasses by lightening speed the insular world of secret societies and the unraveling of veiled codices, what we want in the end is the gist of it all — to bypass the tangential details and get to the heart of the matter.  We have little or no time for anything else.

So, 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, what is the gist of it all?  In other words, what is the essence of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity?

Well, to begin with, under FERS (which most people are, as the dinosaur of CSRS or even CSRS Offset have now been relegated to the Pleistocene Era of Federal employment) the Federal or Postal employee must have at least 18 month of Federal Service.  Second, we must be able to prove that a medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing at least one, if not more, of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job.  And third, the medical condition must last a minimum of 12 months.

Now, this latter bit of a requirement is often confused with thinking that a Federal or Postal worker must therefore wait for at least 12 months after the onset of a medical condition before the Federal or Postal employee can file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  No, that is not the case — for, most doctors and treating medical professionals can render a prognosis as to the chronicity of the medical condition, and that is all that is needed.

Of course, that is precisely the problem of getting merely the “gist of it all” — because, in the end, the annotated version of an important text, issue or pool of information can rarely be filtered down into a cup that can be gulped with one swallow, but is often an ocean full of undercurrents and dangers consumed with sharks, whales and stingrays — sort of like the metaphor of life itself, only more complex because preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is a complicated administrative process full of bureaucratic pitfalls that cannot ultimately be confined by the gist of it all.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Ordered lives

There is, first of all, chaos and disarray; and whether from a biblical worldview or the natural paradigm of a universe formed from a massive energy source that exploded with such force as to hurl a spinning residue of astronomical proportions into far galaxies that resulted in the starry heavens we witness today; it is from the opposite of a placid tranquility that we experience the ordered lives of everyday existence.

There are, of course, the extremes of the spectrum – of that person who is obsessive and compulsive about the “ordering” of one’s life, where every teacup and saucer must be placed in the cupboard within precise millimeters of one another, and no angle of a picture on a wall must be allowed to circumvent the geometric consistency with the right angles of the corners; or, by contrast, the slob who believes that pants, plants, underwear and empty pizza boxes belong in the same corner of the bedroom as expensive china and puppies who snuggle in bathroom showers.

Somewhere in between the two extremes upon the spectrum of life, exists the ordinary person of ordinary means, who wakes up each ordinary morning to go about in ordinary ways; all within the constraints of ordered lives.  All, or most of us, like, enjoy and look forward to some semblance of order in our lives.

Chaos is good for an exciting moment; monotony of discourse for the rest of the day requires that sanity mandates a certain sequence of events, and that is why dystopian stories of a universe in disarray after a nuclear war or some other disastrous consequence of political missteps left in the hands of incompetent world leaders allows for small-budget films to be successful in scaring the hell out of us all.

Divorce, death, illness and tragedies disrupt the otherwise sought-after ordering of lives left peaceful; medical conditions tend to do that, don’t they?  They interrupt the tranquility that we so seek with quiet resolve; and then the medical condition becomes a chronic state of existence, and more than just a nuisance, they interrupt our plans, our hopes, and the essence of our ordered lives.

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 employee’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the interruption that ensues from the disruption of a medical condition, resulting in the breaking up of one’s ordered life, often comes to a point where consideration must be given to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

It is an employment benefit that is “there” for Federal and Postal employees who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties.  And, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the time to consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits may come at a time when the previous state of ordered lives is sought after again, if only to reach a destination where chaos is no longer the new norm of everyday existence.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Holiday Season

We are entering into that period of respite; of the contradictory clashes of duality in purpose, paradigms and expectations:  to “be happy” during a season where one is forced to conform to a standard no one quite remembers was ever met in the history of mankind; of rushing to “get everything done”, while supposedly being reflective, meditative and contemplative upon the season of new birth and magical fantasies; of responding to cheerful salutations contrary to one’s nature, reflex and possible genetic disposition so ingrained that the forced smiles hurt the resistant flesh around one’s mouth; and, all the while, to act “as if.”

“As if” the religiosity of the event still matters while we stand in line to follow the incessant promptings of the commercialization of that which we are admonished to recognize as a “sacred” time of sacraments and benedictions; “as if” kids can still believe in something when throughout the rest of the year the cynicism of hopeless trope pervades and dominates; and “as if” the heart is really where the mind should be, when rationality is overwhelmed by the emotional turmoil of one’s life experiences, the present hope gone and replaced by tomorrow’s sorrowful cries for yonder residue of ashen dust as the angels of lost years flew by in a whirlwind of timeless escape.

Yet, as we were once young and the trials of childhood memories forbade but a glint of hope, we remember trying to stay awake and listening, with but hopeful ears and fleeting dreams, of the footsteps of Santa upon the roof above, knowing that the tears suffered in years long gone could be embraced by a singular touch of a hopeful tomorrow.

The Holiday Season is upon us – with all of its inherent stresses, the clash of psychology between hope and expectations, and the further problems now upon those who actually believe that someone else’s Instagram truly represents the reality of life’s perfection, where there is none.  Yes, yes – everyone will be given that trope of wisdom:  Slow down and enjoy the season; it is not as important to receive, but to give; if everything doesn’t seem perfect, relax and enjoy the company surrounding; if you are getting too “stressed out”, then – what?

Often, it is actions beyond words which result in the first steps toward a “feeling” of accomplishing something, and for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to take the next step towards getting beyond the medical condition that has become chronic, and away from the constant harassment and condescending remarks about not “carrying your weight” at the workplace, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the necessary first and next step in reaching a goal known but not yet materialized.

It is somewhat like the “Holiday Season” itself:  we are “supposed” to be cheerful, but what cheer can be found in rushing about to buy trinkets from sweat factories made in foreign lands?  The key is to find the quality of life in the small steps we take, and as with both the Holiday Season and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, it is those first and foremost necessary steps – baby-like though they may appear – that will result in the accomplishment of a lifetime.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: Masking of Fate

It is still perhaps appropriate at the time of this writing, to consider masks and costumes, as Halloween, or All Hallows’ Eve lingers is just over.  It is a celebratory time; and whether of religious significance or origins discovered in the medieval Gaelic folklore long lost but in remaining songs and ballads sung sweetly without instrumentality or electronic mixing, the tradition of putting on a disguise, concealing one’s face with a mask of another’s soul continues.

It is doubtful that the meaning behind such traditions are ever discussed or believed in; we live in a time when the pinnacle of belief is comprised of nihilism and disbelief; and so the request for alms or a few pieces of candy “on behalf of” a soul departed, is not the foundation as to why a disguise is embraced.  It is, instead, to “have fun” – which is a valid enough reason and rationale in and of itself, though such a goal is not exclusive to also engaging in the activity with a knowledge of why, where we came from, or what we are living for.

The medieval practice of mumming or souling have clearly lost their roots of meaningful efficacy; and with virtual reality overtaking the imagination of modern childhood, there is little room left for the spirit-world of other dimensions, even if we could bring ourselves to believe in them.  Materialism has deadened the parallel universes of fantasy and imagination; the moon smiling can be explained by craters and ridgelines of impervious rocks.  Costumes and masks merely reflect a world already dead; they are not put on for disguise on behalf of souls departed, but merely a put-on to justify laughter, lost innocence and untoward sadness.

Perhaps, by keeping a tradition alive, there will be the possibility of hope, that the meaningfulness of that which is preserved will have a flickering light of potentiality.  But, then, that would mean that elves, gnomes and goblins may still lurk behind hidden corridors of timeless imaginations.

Fate masked is to conceal nothing; it is only when there is a face behind the mask that the mask has any real value; but if the face concealed no longer possesses value, what is the worth of the mask itself?  It merely echoes the truth of Lear’s admonition to Cordelia that, “Nothing will come of nothing.”  There have always been masks to conceal, but worn on occasions recognized for specified events, where all can engage in the fun of hidden meanings; it is the mask of daily veil, however, that should instill terror in the hearts and souls of the living.  For, it is that smile dispossessed; the disarming wink; the open expression of camaraderie; yet, once the back is turned, the sharpened knives are unsheathed for selective display of unstated purposes.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the question often posed is:  When should I?  The missing addendum to such a general question is multiple:  When should I file (as soon as possible, as the process to obtain a Federal Disability Retirement benefit is long and arduous); When should I inform my agency or the U.S. Postal Service (not until the time of filing, unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise); When should I take off this masking of fate?

As to this last question – well, perhaps when the Federal Disability Retirement application is finally prepared and ready for filing; for, that is the time when the point of pain, anguish and the hollow eyes impounded by a medical condition may begin to repair themselves for the trading dawn away from the daily drudgery of the mask that conceals.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire 
FERS Disability Retirement Attorney