Early Out for Federal Employees with Disabilities: Indicators

They are the flashing lights to warn others of actions about to be taken; or, they can be “clues” which allow for a preview of things yet to occur.  Retrospectively, we are all experts at identifying them; prospectively, many of us ignore or are otherwise oblivious to them, despite their obvious presence.

When we perform a forensic analysis in looking back, we will often realize that there were, indeed, many indicators which should have forewarned us of the impending troubles.  While no one likes to play Monday-night quarterbacking (actually, we all love doing it; we just like to pretend as to its involuntary necessity), such forensic analysis is a useful tool in apprising ourselves of the things which we missed.  But when an event in life occurs only once, or we only have one shot at something, no amount of retrospective analysis is going to be helpful.

Medical conditions have that characteristic — of indicators or signs which should have warned us of future problems, of which we dismissively ignored in hopes that the warnings — and the future substantive troubles — would simply go away.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is also like that — while you have 3 Stages in order to get approved (the 4th Stage being an irrelevant one because there is no quorum on the MSPB Board), you normally only have this “one-shot” at obtaining an approval.  Because of this, it is important to consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and make sure that all of the “indicators” are taken into account before you make that proverbial “right turn” into the future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Unintended Error

Perhaps it is an unnecessary assumption; for, are any errors intended?  And, if intended, does it not undermine the very concept of being an “error”?  Do we ever deliberately make an error?  Or, is it more likely the case that — if we in fact did intend to make the error — we would merely retrospectively lie about it?

Perhaps in circumstances where much is at stake, or a person is threatened — as in gambling, where “throwing” a game will result in greater profit, or making an accounting “error” will limit financial devastation, etc.  Otherwise, in most instances, an error is presumed to be unintended.  And it is precisely because it is unintended that an error becomes exaggerated in its unintended consequences.  “We didn’t know”; “If only I had known”; “How could I have known?”; “I didn’t mean to…”, etc.

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, preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in as error-free state of formulation is obviously the preferred state of submission.

Errors can — and will — come back to haunt you, whether unintended or not.  Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and limit the extent and consequences of errors unintended.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Worker Disability Retirement: Moving to the Next

Next what? This is a nation which is known for constantly moving to the next — whatever.  Other countries build upon a series of yesterdays, slowly, methodically, accumulating knowledge from past wisdom, building a culture, cultivating traditions, finding sacred solace in silent offerings to the past.

Our nation is one of abandonment, replacement — of moving to the next news cycle, the newest fad, the most recent money-making scheme and the next popular star, designer, show, Broadway hit, sports celebrity or what have you.  It is always going to the next, moving forward, never looking back at the human detritus left by the roadside of a speedway without limits.

Never mind that half of the population is depressed, medicated, left to fend for themselves and unable to cope with the fast-paced rate of a society without empathy.  Always, moving to the next.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, “moving to the next” is not an option insofar as the “next” constitutes the next mission-oriented duties of a Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service.  Instead, if the “next” is the need to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, contact a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and move to the next phase of your life as a Federal Disability Retiree.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The Audience

We shall see.  Sports without an audience.  There have been enough psychological studies done to establish that people — including groups of people (i.e., teams) — act and react differently in comparative analysis between behaving before crowds as opposed to without them.  The greatest performers have been those who “know” their audience.  In other words, the “crowd pleasers”, the ones who can manipulate the emotional responses of the audience, etc.

Do some play for the 6 o’clock highlights?  Does a spectacular play become so when no one is watching?  Yes, yes, there is the television audience; but the fans once removed is like the tree that falls in the forest without anyone witnessing it; the tree does indeed fall, but the silence that surrounds is what dominates.  We shall see.

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, remember who our audience is: It is not your Agency; it is not your Supervisor or your coworkers; it is a separate agency altogether — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

It is a paper presentation to OPM, and how it is characterized, what is presented, the extent and quality of the presentation — these all matter.  For, in the end, the “To Whom” is always crucial in every arena of play — whether in sports, in law, or even in the privacy of one’s home; it is the audience that makes the difference.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The Fight

Not everyone relishes one.  Yet, the challenge comes about often when we do not expect it, when our proverbial defenses are down and we cannot muster the energy to properly engage it.  For children on the rough-and-tumble playgrounds, it can be over in a matter of minutes, where a few black eyes, a scrape and a bruise may be the worst of it.  For adults who actually engage in a fist fight, more serious consequences may ensue, and beyond hurt egos and wounded pride, there are laws against assaulting and battering.

But there are many other forms of “fighting”; of neighbors squabbling over overgrown trees which cross fence lines; of public debates and shaming; of aggressive trolls on the Internet.  Time was where once there were unspoken “rules” (like no hitting below the belt; no scratching or kicking, etc.), but with all-out “mixed martial arts” and other forms of unfettered fights, it seems that the art form (if there ever was one) is gone, and the only thing which matters is the outcome.

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 one’s Federal or Postal job, the “fight” is against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and fortunately for those who engage in this fight, there are rules by which all combatants must abide: The Statutes, Rules, Regulations and Case-Laws that circumscribe and dictate how the fight must be implemented and managed.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and find out what the rules are governing Federal Disability Retirement Law before you are in the “thick of it”; for, you do not want to have been taken unawares by a sucker-punch before you know what to expect.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Poet’s Choice

What is it about poets that so many die young?  There are various studies “out there” (just Google it!) which reveal that the suicide rate amongst poets is significantly higher than in other professions.  The emotional tragedian — of the person who views the world through a lens of subjective creativity yearning for romanticism in a reality of harsh ugliness — is a person who cannot fathom the contrasting loss of beauty.

Is there, within the profession of a poet, those who engage the traditional iambic pentameter as opposed to some formless, free-flowing approach (i.e., E.E. Cummings?) where the statistical significance varies?  Or is it indiscriminately indifferent across the board?  Is it because constant rumination within a subjective universe of human thought leads to greater mental instability, or is it something more fundamental and elementary— like the frustration of trying to find the “perfect word” to rhyme?

Do poets search for rhyming words like the rest of us do?  You know — where, for example, take the word “fought” and then in our minds we go down the list of the alphabet — bought, caught, (skip D, overlook E because it is a vowel; “fought” we ignore because we just used it; got, hot, skip I, etc.) — or does the word naturally flow for the poet?  In the end, is it rumination which leads to a state of being distraught, or the realization that the art of poetry cannot be reconciled with the chaos of this universe?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have realized that a medical condition will not go away, and where the poet’s choice of words to describe the frustration in dealing with one’s job, career and inability in reconciling the medical condition with continuation in the Federal or Postal career cannot be grasped, it may be time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Most of us realize that poetry exists not amongst people, but within the ethereal universe of hopes and dreams, and when a medical condition jolts us into the realization that beauty resides not in a job or a career, but in the human relationships we form over a lifetime, then we also come to understand that health is more important than a Federal job or Postal career.

Consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and focus upon the beauty of health, and not the poet’s choice of despair.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: The Weekend Warrior

It is always interesting how words expand over time, and how conceptual constructs and meanings extend beyond the elasticity of roots and origins, like the rubber band which can be stretched further than the critical juncture of the snapping limits.  Reference to the “weekend warrior” was once limited to the military reservist who — during the week, a mere civilian like the rest of us — on weekends would don a uniform and act like a career soldier.

Somehow, the delimited conceptual construct extended to non-military personnel, as in: Anyone who engages in some form of strenuous exercise or activity, then beyond that to: Everyone who does anything of any nature on weekends different from the rest of the week.

Perhaps a decade or so ago, if a person referred to someone else as a “Weekend Warrior”, it was meant and understood that such a person was a military reservist who went away on weekends to fulfill his military commitments.  Then, perhaps more recently, such a reference was presumed by many that, well, X played softball or climbed mountains, or rode a bicycle beyond a leisure activity until, today, it might mean that X considers himself a Weekend Warrior if he gets up off the couch to go down to McDonald’s for a milkshake.

The problem with the malleability of words is that, once they get beyond the origin of their roots, not only does meaning expand, but they also lose much of their meaningfulness.  For, the Weekend Warrior now refers to the Federal or Postal employee who struggles every weekend to just get enough rest in order to make it back to work on Monday.  The sadness of such a state is that such a struggle deflates not the meaning of the word, but of the meaningfulness of work and life itself.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must become Weekend Warriors by simply resting up in order to maintain one’s health in order to struggle back to work during the week, it may be time to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and consider what the true meaning is as to what it should mean: Of a Weekend Warrior who can once again use the weekends for its intended purpose: Of a Warrior on Weekends, and not to recuperate from weak ends.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Case Development

Are all cases at the same stage of the process?  Isn’t this the same question as: Are all people at the parallel stage of maturity?

As life reflects reality in varying aspects of their sliced proportions, so every case is not at the same stage of the process.  Many Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers find themselves at a critical juncture in their careers, where filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits has become a necessity and a step which can no longer be delayed.

Is every case ready for filing?  Likely not.  Should every case be filed, ready or not?  Only if the Statute of Limitations looms and necessitates it.  Is there anything nefarious in “developing” a case?  No.  However, there can be a slight distinction, subtle as it may be, in engaging a trail of medical documentation expressly for the singular purpose of establishing a Federal Disability Retirement claim, as opposed to doing it in order to seek medical attention.

Taking care of one’s medical condition, going to doctor’s appointments and establishing a consistency of compliance with a treatment regimen — these should all, first and foremost, be engaged in with the primary purpose of obtaining the proper medical care.

From that consistency of care, case development will follow; and for Federal and Postal employees seeking to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS, the proper time for filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application will come naturally as the case develops, which often needs the guidance and counsel of a FERS attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Sufficiency Test

Sufficiency” is a funny word; like other subjective experiences, one often doesn’t know when it has been satisfied, but one nevertheless knows when it has not.  Like spectrums which reveal a range, sufficiency is a point of satisfaction which is recognized to have been met only after the point of sufficiency has been passed.

What constitutes “passing” the sufficiency test?  If someone has been kidnapped and a ransom note has been received, demanding payment for the safe return of the individual, is there an amount less than the demanded amount which would be “sufficient” to satisfy the kidnapper’s demands?  Can a platoon be “sufficiently” prepared for a combat mission, although not completely combat-ready?  Can percentages be applied which establishes meeting the criteria for sufficiency, at all times and in all instances, which can be applied as having met the sufficiency test?

Say a person says, “It is 80% done — sufficient for the purposes?”  Would this apply in painting a room, building a house or constructing a bridge?  Say that a bridge has been built 80%, and the last 20% is the part of the end where there remains a gap where suddenly the bridge ends with a missing piece where the gap exists such that a vehicle traveling would crash down a 100-foot drop to a tragic end — do we still say that the bridge was sufficiently built?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers who are intending on filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the issue of sufficiency takes on an important role: What constitutes sufficient medical evidence and how is the unspoken sufficiency test met?

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to make sure that the Sufficiency Test will be met. In doing so, you may prevent a leisurely drive over a bridge only 80% finished, and be provided an alternative route in order to help you arrive at your destination in a sufficiently safe and efficient manner.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Certainty of Defeat

There is nothing more demoralizing than to “know” the certainty of defeat.  But that is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?  How does one “know”?  Certainly, one can balance the odds for and against; to take into account the factors which determine a statistical chance of success or failure; but does one ever have “certainty” in anything, or is it often merely a perspective of the glass being half full, or half empty?

Where the odds are overwhelming and objectively insurmountable: a 100-to-1 advantage that the opposing force has; a predetermined outcome that cannot be reversed; in such circumstances, then, what hope is there?  For, the only counterbalance to “certainty” is the glimmer of hope for some unforeseen “X-factor” that somehow saves the day.  On the other hand, it is the determination of “certainty” which extinguishes any flicker or flame of hope.

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, there is often the sense of an inevitability — a “certainty of defeat” — where the medical condition reveals a progressive march towards greater deterioration.

The counterbalance of hope is in the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement.  Yet, even that benefit — of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity — is not a certainty; it is, instead, a benefit which must be fought for.  The Agency which oversees the approvals and denials of a Federal Disability Retirement application — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — does everything to try and find reasons to deny, deny, deny.

Does this mean that every application will face the certainty of defeat?  No — but it must be carefully prepared and effectively pursued.  To provide the greater counterbalance against the certainty of defeat, consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement; for, as hope is the countermeasure to the certainty of defeat, so the lawyer is the one who can provide an objective perspective as to the potentiality for success.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire