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.

 

OPM Medical Retirement: The Monotony of Familiarity

It is familiarity which defines monotony; the new brings about excitement; but while excitement may be a consequence of change, it is always that monotony of familiarity to which we return, for where our comfort resides, and to that we cling until necessity compels abandonment.  The new year; as if the continuum of the seasons has been altered.  The deer in the forest know not 2022; for them, the monotony of survival is an unbroken and timeless paradigm of life.

There are, of course, exceptions to human behavior — for some, a chaotic life of change and renewed excitement brings about an adrenal “high” which compels and feeds the need for further change; but for most of us, it is the life of drama which we tend to avoid, and we return to the old habits which provide the foundation for a quiet contentment where familiarity and monotony are the mainstay of comfort and habitual yawning.

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 monotony of familiarity often includes the medical condition itself — if only until you reach a critical juncture where it becomes apparent that the “familiar” (one’s job) can no longer remain consistent with the monotony (the chronic condition which one has come to accept as part of one’s life).

Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit available to all Federal and Postal employees under FERS who have met the minimal legal threshold of having 18 months of Federal Service.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney in this New Year of change — one who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that the monotony of familiarity remains in your life of declining health.

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 Disability Retirement Benefits: Parting the Waters

It is a Biblical reference which was part of a common culture, at one time.  Perhaps the reference is no longer understood by many, or even by most.  It is in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 14 — and whether taken literally or metaphorically, it is meant to convey the story of a journey which meets an obstacle — as all journeys of life must by necessity engage in some form of conflict.

That is the crucial and inevitable symbole of life: Of how we meet the challenge of obstacles which are sure to arise.

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, the obstacles are essentially twofold: The medical condition itself (which the Federal or Postal employee will likely have to contend with for the rest of his or her life), and getting an approval of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The treating doctors are hopefully capable of attending to the first obstacle.  For the second obstacle, contact a Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of healing and overcoming the obstacles tantamount to Moses’ parting the waters.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: The Best of Plans

We do what we can with the tools we are given.  We are given a certain time-frame — say, 60 years or so, half a century, several decades, etc., in which to make our “mark” in the world, to gather our resources, accumulate what fortunes we can muster; and within that contest of living a “life”, the make the best of plans.

All plans are, as Mark Twain likely noted, made to be subsequently abandoned; for, the foibles of human folly dictate that the best laid plans must always adapt to the reality of changing circumstances.  However, we make them nonetheless.  Why do human beings have such a need, a desire, a proclivity for making plans?  Do other species engage in such extensive efforts to map out the future, or do they just “live for the moment”?

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 best of plans must by medical necessity change and become adapted to the new reality of one’s medical conditions.

Consideration yet must be given for one’s future, and preparing and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is one of the changes within the framework of another best of plans: To consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of restructuring the best of plans…

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Legal Representation on Federal Disability Retirement Claims: The Privy

As a verb, it allows for sharing in information secretive within confidences kept closely held; as a noun, an antonym of sorts — of a most public facility where privacy is needed, but which everyone uses for the most common of needs — of a place where we relieve ourselves and perform bodily functions that redden our cheeks with shame when spoken about.

Are we privy to the intimate thoughts of friends and loved ones?  Do we ask where the privy is when in London, Tokyo or Idaho?  Of the last of the tripartite places so identified, the response might be: “What’s that, hon?”  Of the middle, it could likely be: “Nan desu-ka?”  Of the first, with a neat British accent or the melody of a cockney dialect: “My good chap, just around the corner over there!”

Confidential information or the toilet; how many words in the English language allows for such duality of meanings depending upon where the word is inserted into a sentence?

That is how Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition often feel about their situation when a 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: For years, like the noun because he or she was a “valuable asset” to the Federal Agency or the Postal Service, where all confidential details were passes by you and you were always “in the loop” of everything important going on within the agency; then, when the medical condition hit and you began to take some Sick Leave and perhaps even a spate of LWOP, you were relegated to being a “noun” — no longer privy to the inner workings of the Agency or the Postal Service, but merely a privy on the outskirts of town.

When that happens — when you are no longer a verb, but an outcast noun — then you know that it is time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether you are under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, so that your place in the sentence of life will once again become an active verb, and not merely an outcast noun to be abandoned and forgotten in the grammar of vital living.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: The sparrow

It is a bird that remains unappreciated — that generic entity which, when not identified by the wandering ornithologist, is simply referred to as a “sparrow”.  They are like the “default” bird, unassuming, pervasive, lost in the underbrush of time and history, and are taken for granted in their existence, presence and attraction — sort of like most of humanity.  One doesn’t hear the wandering bird-lover with his or her oversized binoculars strung heavily around a neck that is straining from a disc herniation from the sheer weight of the magnifying mechanism suddenly stop and declare loudly, “Look — a sparrow!”

People walk by throughout the cities of the world without ever noticing the thousands of such generically-forgotten creatures; those brown little blurs that fly about singularly or in large groups; flitting about, searching for sources of food, flooding the air with their chirping and fluttering.  But then, most of humanity is somewhat like the sparrow — in great numbers, never standing out from the rest, and merely trying to break out from the anonymity of life’s toil.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job duties, the sense that can remain as a “sparrow” of sorts becomes less of a possibility — but not because of any unique features that have suddenly been noticed by the plumes of one’s species; rather, you have suddenly been noticed and selectively chosen precisely because of the medical condition itself.

Suddenly, you have become the narrow focus of greater observation:  Leave Restrictions are imposed; your performance is reviewed with greater interest; harassment ensues; the magnifying glass of the Federal Agency or the Postal Service is upon you.

Once upon a time, the sparrow was flying about happily unnoticed, perhaps wishing to be a peacock, not knowing how fortunate it was to remain in the abyss of anonymity.  For the Federal or Postal worker, to be noticed can have some negative effects, and it may be time to begin to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, lest the sparrow that wished to be a peacock suddenly realizes the looming shadow of a predator overhead, bearing down rapidly to end the anonymity that was lost because of a medical condition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The fallacy of just-ology

It is the manner in which we dismiss the relevant, the attitude of minimizing and the conduct of our nature in modernity; just-ology is the capacity to turn one’s back upon something and dismissively wave a hand and declare, “Oh, it’s just___”.  It’s just a minor set-back; it’s just X being X; it’s just a passing phase; it is just….

The mindset itself is one that can incrementally, insidiously creep beneath the surface of what we actually believe; for, the word itself — ‘just’ – is a peculiarly insignificant word, and one that is surreptitiously inserted amongst other words, concepts, hidden between phrases and carelessly dropped between lines of greater thoughts.  As an adjective, it connotes the moral compass of a person or society; as an adverb, it often implies precision or exactness; but in common, everyday usage, it is that word which minimizes, limits and casts away into the garbage heap of irrelevance.

It is precisely by the exactness of defining something so narrowly that the precision itself makes it irrelevant.  It “puts X into its proper place” by defining it “just” so.  Precision is good; precision for accuracy’s sake is even better; but when precision minimizes to the extent of insignificance, it can be misleading.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition for many years just won’t go way, and just keeps getting worse, and just continues to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it just may be time to begin preparing, formulating and filing 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.  Just in case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Of mice and things

In the early morning hours or in the late twilight of night when everyone else is fast asleep, of mice and things scurrying about tells of a world beyond the days where we awaken and watch.  We all have a tendency to anthropomorphize upon a world we otherwise would fail to understand, and projecting our own characteristics upon another species has always been what we cannot resist.

Of mice — do they run about when everyone else is away because of fear, or because they, too, love the quietude of a period when all except the insomniacs and burglars tiptoe in shadows of darkness where the innocent dare not trample upon?

Sometimes, in the rush from hiding place to food source, the mouse will pause, lift up on its hind legs, look about, nibble a bit, then off again; and when they become bold enough to actually stare and look directly at the master of the house, you know that it is time to bring out the cheese and the traps, for they have exceeded their welcome and are likely becoming too comfortable in a home that they are unwelcome.

And what of the “things”?  Well, there are mice, and then of course, centipedes and spiders, and cousins of mice, and other things.  They are the ones who go “bump” in the night.  Are we like them?  If a greater master were to look upon us like we do of mice and things, would that Grand Wizard think similar thoughts?  That if we scurry about in fear and try and remain anonymous and unobtrusive, we would be left alone; but if we became bold in our unwelcomed status, a trap would be set for us and we would be cast aside into the oblivion outside of the walls of our own making?

Isn’t that how the injured Federal or Postal worker feels when a medical condition continues to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal worker’s position?  Such a Federal or Postal worker begins to feel like the mouse that scurries about trying to survive, but once he or she gets noticed, the Federal Agency or the Postal Service begins to set traps, to put the pressure on and proceed to ostracize and get rid of the pesky things.

Fortunately, Federal and Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition have somewhat more protections than those accorded to creatures small and large, of mice and things.

Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is one such “protection” that allows the Federal or Postal employee to move beyond the workplace harassment and attempts to remove and terminate, thereby ending a career where one has invested one’s life to prolong.

What the Federal or Postal employee does not want to do, is to end up like those creatures that go bump-in-the-night — of mice and things — by failing for access all available benefits, and especially a Federal Disability Retirement annuity that can secure one’s future and allow for one to focus upon the important things in life, like one’s health.

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