Columbus Day 2022

Whether as Columbus Day or as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it is an official day off for Federal and Postal employees.  Does it matter what and how we ascribe it?  It has been many centuries since the voyage of Columbus; each child born today, and for many centuries past, can hardly be blamed for the ill-deeds of past generations.

That being said — if we are blameless — is it merely in the beliefs to which we identify, which marks the differences between us?  Certainly, for a Native American, it is irritating to hear someone claim that “such and such discovered America”; for, by definition, a land already inhabited cannot claim to have been discovered except by the inhabitants themselves.

But the argument is that the present society into which people are currently born, cannot possibly be blamed for the genocidal extermination of its indigenous peoples; and so, what can it mean as to whether or not one calls it “Columbus Day” or “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”?

The counter to that, of course, is that the reservations into which Native Americans were forced to accept, still reverberates with current loss of water rights, mineral rights, etc., and is a constant reminder of what was lost.  And it may be of some restoration of dignity to insist upon historical accuracy, where insistent inaccuracy is the basis for acrimonious inter-cultural relationships.

Yet, in this Post-Factual Universe where the Western approach of the Correspondence Theory of Truth once prevailed but no longer dominates, is there even a difference with a distinction?

For most, where the meaningful divide is between those who are overworked, barely able to make a living, and are stressed to their limits — which constitute the greater majority of individuals — and those who live a fairly carefree life of leisure (the greater minority of people), the fact of a day off, whatever you want to call it, is what seems to mean anything.

And for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who can enjoy the day to spend with their families and loved ones, Happy Columbus Day and Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day, 2022.

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 Disability Retirement: The Domino Theory

It was a theory adopted during the Cold War — embraced by those brilliant Harvard-educated policy wonks in the Kennedy Administration and beyond — believing that if one nation succumbed to the evils of communism, others would quickly fall like a perfectly aligned row of dominos.

A theory is perfectly fine to have; once applied in practice, however, it can have devastating consequences.  It was based upon such a theory that Vietnam was fought for — a backward country full of jungles and malaria, of which few Americans were even aware of its existence until thousands — then, tens of thousands — of young men began to die there.

Like other theories which once were embraced by intellectuals and “experts” whom everyone accepted as smarter than everyone else, such beliefs and those who once held them are now merely leftover vestiges of historical follies.  Once Vietnam fell, the rest of the world did not fall like the dominos they were supposed to represent.

We tend to forget that a theory is merely a thought put together in an antiseptic setting divorced from reality and, even if applied to the real world, may remain as nothing more than an academic exercise.  It may be nothing more than the “flat-earth theory”; one can believe in it, but it doesn’t make it true.

In other areas of life and practice, however, real-world consequences force people to actually respond in more practical ways.  There are “theories”, and then there are applications which have real-world consequences.  Vietnam was a prime example.  Having a theory that you are invincible and indestructible is one thing; walking in front of an oncoming bus to test such a theory — well, that is quite another matter.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management because of a medical condition, one may well have a “theory” that getting an OPM Disability Retirement is merely a matter of gathering one’s medical records and filling out those incomprehensible OPM Disability Standard Forms (SF 3107 Series and SF 3112 Series); but if you actually test out that theory, it is likely that you will end up with a denial from OPM.

Before testing out such a theory, however, you may want to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest your theory concerning the ease of getting a Federal or Postal Employee Disability annuity ends up like those other theories, like the Domino Theory of the forgotten past.

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.

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Benefits: Consider the Alternatives

It is a cognitive activity which we must all do — or, at the very least, which is forced upon us even when we don’t want to.  It is interesting how some people are simply unable to engage in the mental process of such consideration — whether because they were never “taught” how to sequentially weigh and prioritize, or because the “making” of the decision puts too great a finality upon one’s life.

In either case, it is often necessary to consider the alternatives, then to make a decision, then to act upon the decision.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the foundational basis in coming to a decision to file for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, consist of a 3-fold question:  How is my health?  Can I make it to “regular retirement”?  If I continue in my present circumstances, will my health suffer such that if I make it to regular retirement, I will not be able to enjoy it?

In the end, considering the alternatives is a matter of prioritizing one’s life — of health versus work, of now versus the future, of values versus things, etc.  To become better informed in order to properly consider the alternatives, contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and take that information in making the proper decision for your life, your future, and the alternatives which you may not even know about.

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 & Postal Employee Disability Retirement: The Stress of a Medical Condition

It may well be that the stress of modern life is the cause and origin of many medical conditions — although one may never be able to “prove” a direct causal link between the two.  Yet, we all know intuitively that the way in which we live is unhealthy and contributes, exacerbates and — if not “causes” — certainly impacts upon our health in negative ways.

Then, of course, when a person is beset with a medical condition, the stress of the medical condition itself further debilitates us: The stress of not being able to work; the stress that is placed on our finances; the stress that is placed by further worries and heightened anxieties.

It is the classic “vicious circle” and the catch-22: We need the time to allow the body and mind to heal, but cannot afford such time, and so we aggravate the medical condition and allow the stress of a medical condition to make things worse — into a never-ceasing struggle of stress and debilitating existence.

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 the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider stepping outside of the vicious cycle of allowing for the stress of a medical condition to create a circular anomaly of self-destructive inevitability.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Flower and the Bee

From an objective viewpoint, they represent a disparate set of entities.  On the face of it, they have nothing in common.  Yet, it is the symbiotic relationship that allows for pollination and propagation, and the nexus between the two is a necessary relationship between the two in order for new seeds to be generated, and for a thriving environment to continue to flourish.

How that “connection” between two dissimilar entities is developed, is a natural order originating from unseen forces; but how we have come to recognize the nexus is through observation, experience and logical analysis.  Much of what we do, see and pass by are similarly connected, but of which we fail to recognize the intersections.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is often like that — of being denied simply because we fail to see the logical connections.  We believe, for example, that submitting old medical records that date far back would show how long we have suffered, but fail to see the connection that it might also reveal the converse: That, despite the medical condition, we were able to successfully perform our jobs.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Medical Retirement Law and recognize the nexus that must be developed; and like the flower and the bee, begin to develop the connections necessary in order to pollinate a successful Federal Disability Retirement filing.

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

 

 

FERS Medical Retirement: Memories of a contented summer

Why is it that the metaphor always applies — where the winter months represent discontent, and the joys of summer evoke memories of pleasure and contentment?  Is it merely in the shift of daylight — of shorter days and longer periods of cold and desolate feelings?  Does the cycle of life’s hibernation, the curling away of leaves and the deadening of quiet where skeletal forms of trees and bundling up in heavy garb, the growth of winter coats and huddling around fireplaces; does this all lead to a feeling of discontent?

By contrast, the shedding of multiple layers; the joy of a crashing wave’s spray upon one’s back; of diving into the cool of a lake’s refreshment of depths; and of walking barefoot across a stream where moss makes the rocks into a slippery slither of shrieking laughter; are the memories of a contented summer a metaphor for our lives in general?

Does winter make the human condition dismal because it is nature’s way of forcing us to slow down?  Is there a message — a lesson — to be learned from the rhythms of nature’s call, or is it just bosh and poetry that can be discarded and forgotten?

Medical conditions, as well, are subtle messages; whether we follow the advice of nature or not, nature seems always to have the last word.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prompts the confusion that there is now an inconsistency — an incommensurability — between the medical condition and continuation in one’s job, it is then time to harken the traces of hints, and consider preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement.

Warnings and triggers; reminders and rejoinders; these are the indicators which must prompt a change of course; and while memories of a contented summer are what we all seek, it is the winter of discontent when the medical condition can no longer be ignored, when it is time to seek the counsel and advice of a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, in order to prepare, formulate and file an effective OPM Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement from OPM: Feelings

There are appropriate contexts within which to consider them, as well as places, insertions, events and conversational modalities where it is partly or entirely irrelevant; but as with most things in life, the boundaries that bifurcate are not always clear and distinct.  When one is considering purely subjective circumstances, it is clearly the “appropriate” moment — of personal relationships; of a vacation to be taken; of emotions being considered.

In a court of law, it is probably not the best approach to take with a judge; although, in the sentencing phase or the “damages” argument to be made to a jury, it may be the singular force of persuasive impact that makes not only the distinction unclear, but the decision quite the decisive edge.

“Feelings” are to be reserved for puppies, late nights in bed with a fever, and how the toes tickle when lying on a grassy knoll in the middle of summer when the lone ant walks along the pathway of your bare skin.

Do we dare admit to them?  When you are in a heated argument, is it not an oxymoron to shout, “Feelings don’t have anything to do with it!”  For, what is the criteria to be applied when making a decision based upon them?  Does the spectrum of emotions never cloud one’s judgment?  Or can we, as we often claim, set them aside so easily, like so many automatons in those doomsday movies that have become popularized, where androids and mechanized juggernauts that have taken over the earth and tried to suppress humanity are now the very beings whom we always wanted to emulate?

And what of the French Existentialists and the horror of reaction to that old favorite, “Invasion of the body snatchers” — what was it that made it so fascinating, where beings were stripped of their souls and emotions were all of a sudden undone, extinguished and no longer relevant, where bodies devoid of feelings walked about the earth like so many empty tombs?

Feelings are funny animals; they make up so much of who we are, and yet we spend a lifetime trying to avoid the very essence of that which makes up who we are.

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 the Federal or Postal job, the anomaly concerning “feelings” becomes quickly apparent: for, confronted with having to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application before an administrative body — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — you are asked to remain “clinical” and antiseptic in the face of “proving” the medical evidence by the cold calculus of “the law”, and yet at the same time you are trying to convey your “feelings” with respect to the impact of the pain, the anguish of anxiety or the daily levels of profound fatigue felt.

It is a tightrope, balancing act that must be done with expertise, subtle techniques and an interspersing of line-crossing deftly engaged. Completing the SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability, is the single most important form in preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, aside from gathering the proper medical documentation and making the persuasive legal argumentation.

For, in the end, that lifetime of trying to suppress those “feelings” must be utilized carefully, yet at the same time you have to be persuasive enough to touch upon the emotional makeup of a fellow human being who, also, likely has had to suppress those same feelings in order to apply “the law”.  Go figure.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The complex simplified

Ultimately, that is the reason why we hire experts in a particular field.  Life has advanced with such complexity that everything has become particularized into specialized fields where focus upon a subject becomes narrower and narrower.

The days of former times when the neighborhood doctor came and made house visits with his black leather bag are no longer existent; instead, we go to the doctor’s office, and only then to be referred to countless and whatever other specialists for further consultation and diagnosis.  The “general practitioner” is merely the gatekeeper; once inside the gate, there are multiple other doorways that must be approached, entered, and traveled through a maze of further developments of referrals until the “right one” is finally connected to.

Law has become the same as medicine; no longer can one simply hang up one’s shingle and “practice” law in every generality; rather, the legal field has become such a conundrum of complexity that the best approach is to first understand what legal issue needs to be addressed, then to locate a lawyer who specializes in that particular field of law.  From the lawyer’s perspective, it is a job of taking the complex and simplifying it such that the layman can comprehend the issues at hand, the approach that will be taken, and the resolution offered.

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 one’s Federal or Postal job, the issue is encompassed by the developing need to think about the future and to adjust and adapt to whatever benefits are offered for the Federal or Postal employee in such circumstances.

The benefit of “Federal Disability Retirement” is not often even known by Federal or Postal employees to exist.  However, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is certainly an option to be considered.  It is, however, a complex administrative process where adequate and sufficient medical documentation must be gathered, where certain key elements and points of law must be addressed, and if it is not carefully formulated, can have dire legal consequences without careful review and processing.

As with so many things in life, having a legal representative advocate for your case becomes a necessity where the complex is simplified, but where simplification does not mean that it is simple –merely that it is indeed complex but needs to be streamlined so that it is cogent, comprehensible and coherent in its presentation, substance and submission.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: The picture album

Time was, every family had a picture album – that anachronism bound carefully in a large leather book-shaped monstrosity, kept safe where dust settles and mice scurry around; taken out for occasions where boredom is accentuated and friends or neighbors have stayed long past their welcome, and so it is taken out carefully, dusted off and laboriously paged through, telling of a history for each page, each photograph laid meticulously upon the thick plaster-backboard of a person’s history.

It used to be that we all had one picture for an event – or, two at most, once Peoples Drug (for those who are old enough to remember; and that, in and of itself, was somewhat of a historical marker – when “Peoples” Drug – the drugstore of the “people”, was bought out by successive entities of greater reserve until it finally became a nondescript, boringly corporate entity under the designation of “CVS”; somehow, something was lost when the corner drugstore started in a suburb of D.C. was engulfed by mergers and corporate purchases) declared a two-for-one sale.

Of course, we all kept in safekeeping those brownish negatives that neatly fit into those thin plastic columns (i.e., thrown into a drawer based upon the sequence of receipt) – you know, the ones you hated to slide out because you could never get it back in without bending them, and somehow you suspected that they were never meant to be fit within the columns of plastic in the first place.

Somehow, there was something quaint and innocent about a picture album that only had one shot of a slice of life that told a limited tale about a person’s continuum of historical detail – by contrast, today’s Smartphone and digital chip that can hold literally thousands of photographs, and the person who is willing to show all in a public display for everyone in the universe to see, by downloading, uploading, displaying and replaying, for a person barely in his or her twenties.

The picture album is an anachronism, telling in its humility, limited access and manifesting a humble origin of consciousness.  It is a relic that bifurcates a “before” and an “after” – of a time now gone and lost forever, replaced by an after that manifests a change most of us never asked for.

To that end, the picture album is likened to a Federal or Postal employee with a medical condition.  That Federal or Postal employee suffers from a history of that which most of his or her coworkers are completely unaware of.  And like the picture album that is taken out from the dusty bookshelves of a corner closet, when the Federal or Postal employee comes to a point of needing 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 reaction displayed by others is often one of boredom, lack of concern or even of interest shown in forced phoniness.  For, what others know or find out about a person’s life – even of his or her medical condition – is ultimately a private slice of life that is shared with quiet discretion.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire