Federal Employees with Disabilities: The History of Our Lives

Few of use consider the history of our lives — its place, relevance, context and significance.  There are those who are historical beings — of politicians; those involved in major crimes; a singular, spectacular event; or of a blip in history which may deserve a footnote in a biography or narrative which is soon forgotten upon becoming delisted from the New York Times Bestseller columns.

Whether of an integral paragraph or a side note, we have a place in the minds of relatives, friends, some acquaintances and even, sometimes, strangers we encounter but forget.  In a self-centered society like ours, many more have puffed themselves up to such an extent that they actually worry about their “legacy” — of what some will say about them after they are departed and what will they think when all is said and done?

The history of our lives is a complex one — told at dinner tables, at Thanksgiving and other gatherings where conversations begin and taper off, tidbits of questions and answers begin and falter — “What ever happened to Uncle X?”  “Do you remember the time when…?”  And then, of course, there is the haunting memory of one’s self about one’s self, and the fear of mortality combined with a desire to be remembered.  Perhaps it is memory alone which allows for the eternal; and so long as there are those who remain who recall a vestige of a life mostly forgotten, we continue to live on in our own misbegotten sense of immortality.

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 or career, the history of one’s life must often be narrated in response to SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.  How much of one’s life must be revealed; to what extent; of what details and how far back — these will sometimes play a crucial role in determining the validity, viability and efficacy of a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and discuss the viability of a Federal Disability Retirement application, including the history of lives which otherwise are left to the unmarked tombstones overgrown with wildflowers left unattended.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Reenactment

Among the various species, are we the only ones who engage in reenactments?  Isn’t living life itself enough?  Do we really have to live it all over again, except in a “reality-based” methodology of reenacting what once was?

What does it say about a species which attempts to recreate scenes, scenarios and historically arcane contexts; or even of the lonely teenager who revisits the place of his or her first love, to go over a moment shared barely a fortnight ago?  Or even of the theatre — of a play reenacted night after night; and of battles from decades and centuries ago where we already know the outcome but desire to relive the moments leading up to the end.  Then, there is the “crime scene reenactment” — of extracting from scant evidence and trying to comprehend how it happened in an effort to discover the “who” of the crime.

Why do we humans want to recreate painful memories?

For most, there are moments and issues which we would rather forget, but forgetting means that it is already in the past and we have the capacity and ability to leave it behind us.  Medical conditions have a tendency to resist such forgetting; they remain as a constant reminder of our own mortality and vulnerability, and though we would wish for such a history of misery to be left behind, the daily reenactment of scenes of struggle remain as a constant reminder of the cruelty of the world around us.

Federal Disability Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may not diminish the pain and constant reminders of our mortality, but it allows us to focus upon our health in order to move on with life.

Reenactment of scenes of encountering the daily adversarial and contentiousness of going to work; of the Federal Agency’s stubborn refusal to accommodate your medical condition; or of the medical condition itself which is a daily reenactment of life’s unfairness; these and many more reasons are why a Federal or Postal employee may take the important next step in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal OPM Disability Retirement application.

If you don’t want to repetitively view the reenactment of an endless struggle, contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider filing a Federal Disability Retirement application in order to get beyond the repetitive reenactment of the drama daily encountered with your Federal Agency or Postal Service.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

Federal Disability Retirement Representation: Hope of escape

Perhaps it is a weekly lottery ticket purchases; or the novel that is periodically worked on but never gets completed; or even a notion that there is a distant relative who will one day meet mortality and leave a legacy of a magnitude beyond the capacity to exhaust; but of whatever dreams, fantasies or mathematical improbabilities, the mere hope of escape is often the fingernail that allows for sanity to remain, for motivation to continue to abide, and of a spark of incentive to spur onward and forward.

It is only when the cornered animal is left with no route of escape, or when an enemy battalion can neither hope to survive nor be allowed to surrender, that an unimaginable end may be considered.

Hope is the flame that abides for humanity’s safeguarding of happiness; of escape, it is something we all do, and often to the detriment of relationships that we have.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from various medical conditions, such that those medical conditions continue to prevent or otherwise impede the Federal or Postal employee’s ability, capacity and resolve to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the hope is always there that the medical condition will resolve itself, or that the doctors will come up with a new cure, or perhaps even that a miracle will occur that tonight’s dream will awaken to a pain-free tomorrow.

Short of that, however, the hope of escape means that the medical condition will continue, but the inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job must be discontinued either through (a) resolution of the medical condition (unlikely), (b) accommodation by the Federal Agency or the Postal Service of the medical condition such that the Federal or Postal employee may continue to work (again, unlikely), (c) resignation or termination because of excessive use of leave, inability to maintain a regular work schedule, deterioration of the medical condition or being placed on a PIP (likely), or (d) file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset (inevitably).

The hope of escape still abides; it is up to the Federal or Postal employee to initiate the hope by consulting with an attorney who specializes in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, thus empowering a potential escape from the vicious cycle of work-related harassment, deterioration of one’s health, and the constant concern for the security of one’s future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Medical Incapacity: Tranquility times turmoil equals?

Alliterations often require deliberate disentanglement; for, the focus is often upon the consonant being repeated, as opposed to the coherence of the alliterated sequence of words.  Both can be attained, however – of coherence and of repetition without incomprehensible aggregation, and in this instance, the multiplying effect of the calm of one’s life by events beyond one’s control can easily result in turmoil that was never requested, never desired and remained always unasked and unrequested.

Tranquility x turmoil is the idea that we fail to enjoy the relative calm in our lives because of the anxiousness of knowing that all good things cannot last for long, and must come to an inevitable end, no matter how hard we try to remain the solitary stoic in life, regardless of the hermitage we seek and irrespective of the complications we shed in order to attain a Zen-monk-like livelihood.

That is when, for instance, a medical condition hits us and the complexities of the life we attempted to avoid come to the fore and become all the more magnified, times 10 in an exponential ferocity that we simply cannot ignore.  True tranquility, however, requires the ability and capacity to keep all things in perspective, and to resist the temptation to allow for the turmoil to overwhelm us.  Keeping in mind that the concept itself can never be reduced to a mere mathematical equation, the question then becomes: What is the multiplicand, the multiplier, and finally, the product?

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 worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal worker’s job, it is when the monotony of daily living (tranquility) becomes interrupted by the medical condition itself (turmoil), that the product of decision-making is forced upon one’s life.

There are multiple options, and none of them are very satisfying: The Federal or Postal employee may just endure and continue on “as if”; the Federal or Postal employee may get terminated or sanctioned because of excessive usage of leave, whether of Sick Leave, Annual Leave or LWOP, or a combination of all three; the Federal or Postal employee may ultimately believe that resignation from Federal employment is the only option left; or, the Federal or Postal employee may recognize that preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted and considered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is the most viable conclusion to a mathematical equation that one never expected to have to calculate.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Lawyer Representation Federal Disability Retirement: Biding time

Inmates in correctional facilities do it; criminals in wait; patients in doctor’s offices who have been informed that there will be a short delay because of an emergency procedure that the physician had to attend to; and most of us in general who live life anticipating disasters, tomorrow’s unfortunate events or the next day’s calamity to come.

We all bide our time in living our lives, and it is the time of biding that is wasted away until, near our deathbed, the expected outcome of disaster never came, the calamity never developed and the corrosion of life never materialized.  It is one thing to wait on another person; another altogether to engage in the patient virtue of sitting motionless or passing the time away in anticipation of something beyond; it is quite another, and perhaps unique, that human beings actually actively engage in the activity of “biding time” in order to start a process.

Vengeance often takes biding of time; planning for a future definitely requires biding time; and old men and women in nursing homes have nothing better to do than to bide one’s time.  To live life biding time, even at the horizon of one’s twilight in elder states of despair, is no way to exist.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are beginning the process of, have already begun the procedural steps to, or otherwise are in the middle of the administrative process of preparing, formulating or filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the key to “biding time” during this complex administrative process is to have “a plan”.

It is a long, arduous, difficult and time-consuming process.  Even after it is successfully filed, the time waiting upon a decision just at the First Stage of the administrative process can now take a very, very long time, and how one plans to bide one’s time during this long process is something one needs to consider.

Will you remain on LWOP during this time?  Will you resign, get terminated, and will you work at a private-sector job while waiting for OPM’s decision?  Will temporary loss of health insurance be a consideration?  If it is denied at the Initial Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, will that mean that you can endure the lengthy second Stage, the Reconsideration Stage?  And if you have to go and have a Telephonic Hearing before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, which will take a minimum of 120 days beyond, will that still be within the plan of attack in biding time?

Hopefully, one’s Federal Disability Retirement filing with OPM will go smoothly; but in the event that all of the proverbial bumps on the road are encountered in your particular journey, it is important to consider the extent of biding time during the process.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Which Forms, How to Fill Them Out, and What to Put

Filling out forms is a part of life.  At some stage in our lives, we are required to complete forms.  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 positional duties as a Federal employee (which encompasses the full spectrum of positions, from secretaries, administrative assistants, to scientists, Information Technology Specialists, 1811 Law Enforcement Officers, etc.) or a U.S. Postal worker (including Craft employees, Managers, Postmasters, Supervisors, etc.), preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application may become a necessity.

Thus, the act of “form filling” must be confronted.  On computers, of course, if you have been completing online queries, the “autofill” option may be presented.  But the limitation of such an option, and the unavailability of that choice, should become readily apparent when attempting to complete the various “Standard Forms” required of a Federal Disability Retirement application.

For any remaining CSRS employees intending to file for OPM Disability Retirement benefits, the series embodied under the designation of SF 2801 must be completed, along with the SF 3112 series.  For all of the rest of the Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who came into Federal or Postal Service after around 1985, and who are under FERS, the SF 3107 series must be completed, and as well, the SF 3112 series of standard forms.

Thus has the question, “Which Forms?” been answered.  As for the remaining two questions:  How to fill them out and What to put —  the “how” is, to put it mildly, with care and trepidation; the “what to put” is too complex to elucidate in this forum.  The series of “informational” forms — SF 2801 series for CSRS employees and SF 3107 for FERS employees — are fairly straightforward (e.g., full name, date of birth, Social Security number, agency name and location, military service, etc.).

It all comes back to the SF 3112 series which becomes problematic — for that is where the Federal and Postal employee must “prove” the nexus between one’s positional duties and the medical conditions by which one is prevented from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties.  For that, the Federal and Postal employee must go “outside” of the boundaries of the forms themselves, and consult documentation obtained from the doctor, and make legal arguments based upon wise counsel and advice.

As with much of life, it is never as easy as a bureaucracy promises; indeed, the complexity of life is in the very bureaucratization of administrative forums.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire