Tag Archives: opm disability retirement after resignation is possible but you have basically one shot so make a good medical gathering and preparation

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Empathy and Pain

I feel your pain” has become a declaration of empathetic character in modernity; but whether born of sincerity or from political expediency, one can never know, precisely because empathy as a subjective phenomena is just as elusive as pain itself remains.

How does one assess or judge, evaluate or analyze, confirm or conclude with any amount of certainty, the extent, severity, reality or even of simple existence of that which is subjective by definition?

Pain, like one’s motive, falls within the realm of a person’s own experiential declaration, and is confined by the boundaries of one’s own body and universe of phenomena within the voices of one’s inner conscience and consciousness.

That is why the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers Compensation (OWCP) expends its resources in verifying a claimant’s assertion of pain, limitation of physical activities and restrictions from certain duties, by video-taping hours and hours of a person’s daily activities and recreational engagements — to see whether the subjective claims correspond with the objective participation of external performances.

Why doesn’t the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, for purposes of verifying a disability retirement claim, engage in similar tactics in determining — not “empathy” or the sincerity thereof, and not even necessarily the pain claimed — the extent and severity of medical conditions claimed?

Likely, because the standard and criteria in determining eligibility for the benefits are quite different.

For OWCP purposes, while it is not a retirement system but a means of compensating an injured individual in order to have the ultimate goal of returning him or her back to work, the standard of paying a Federal or Postal worker “temporary total disability” would clearly imply two (2) things.

First, as already stated, that the compensation to be provided is “temporary” (i.e., that it is not meant to remain a permanent feature of earned wage replacement) and Secondly, that a person’s incapacitation is “total” in that he or she is not able to engage in other meaningful employment and, furthermore, that the totality of the disability likely also impacts other areas of his or her life, as well — i.e., leisure activities, recreational participation, or even being able to take out the garbage (a familiar tactic of video-taping in DOL cases).

In a Federal Disability Retirement case, however, under the auspices of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a person who is receiving a Federal Disability Retirement annuity is allowed to also work at another job, so long as it is identifiably distinguishable from the former Federal or Postal job from which the FERS Disability Retirement benefits are received, and so long as one remain’s under the “80% rule” that caps one’s earning potential.

Empathy aside, the pain that limits and restricts is often under a cloud of suspicion by the Department of Labor, precisely because “feeling one’s pain” is seen from the side of OWCP as the criteria for paying out benefits, whereas under OPM rules, it is merely a lesser standard in order to remain productive in the private sector.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
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 from the OPM: The Intersection of Hostility

Is the cart before the horse?  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Such idioms have their appropriate meaningfulness — as asking the question of sequence and priority in a given circumstance.

For a Federal or Postal employee who suffers from stress leading to other conditions — perhaps of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, etc. — the question involving the intersection of workplace hostility, or what is often termed as a “Hostile Workplace” — comes into the picture.  It is an issues which must be carefully addressed when the intersection involves preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Why?  Because a further legal issue — that of “situational disability” — can defeat a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Certainly, the intersection of hostility can and often does play a part in a Federal Disability Retirement application, but it should be characterized merely as a “trigger point”, and not the sole and exclusive basis of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the OPM.

How one formulates a Federal Disability Retirement case; the description of the intersection of hostility; whether one’s medical condition is “situational” or “all pervasive” — these should be considered by an OPM attorney who represents the Federal or Postal worker in a Federal Disability Retirement case under FERS.

Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and do not put the cart before the horse, or argue that the egg came before the chicken, before consulting with a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability 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.

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Distorted Mirror

Have you ever looked at yourself in a distorted mirror?  You know, those which we encounter by chance — at an antique shop; an old hotel where the lobby hangs a mirror where the face expands horizontally while the body stretches vertically; or in one of those “fun houses” at a carnival — of distorted mirrors throughout as giggling children pass by with gleeful gibberish while wives and other women fret about how their reflections fail to flatter.

The distorted mirror is an object lacking objectivity, and is often deliberately meant to obfuscate the reality surrounding and instead to influence the subjective perspective in the very perceiving of the universe through a lens that misinterprets our surroundings.  We recognize the distortion of the distorted mirror; yet, we fail to recognize the distortion of our own subjective perceptions through error of thought.

Outside influences often help to distort our own thinking — like medical conditions which distort our perspective of the world in the same way that the distorted mirror contorts our own self-image.  With medical conditions — whether of physical or psychiatric — we tend to view the world in a more negative manner.

Contact a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and don’t let the distorted mirror of a medical condition rob you of your future security because of fears of the unknown which can contort one’s view like watching one’s self in the distorted mirror.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Attorney
Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer