OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Knowing the Law

Is it important?  How can the U.S. Office of Personnel Management make a proper decision on a Federal Disability Retirement application without knowledge of the law?

Yes, yes — the ones who make decisions are “medical specialists” — but that is only one-half of the equation.  That is precisely why the bureaucratic process of a Federal Disability Retirement is so frustrating — because OPM looks at 1/2 of the equation for the first 2 stages of the process — of the Initial application stage, then the Second Stage, the “Request for Reconsideration” Stage — and then leaves the Second Half of the process (the “legal stage”) to the paralegals and lawyers who represent OPM before the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

Wouldn’t it be wiser and more efficient if there were a legal department which oversees and supervises the denial letters issued by the “medical specialists” at OPM for the first 2 stages, thereby making sure that the denial is based not solely upon medical issues, but on the legal issues underlying them?

Of course, it is rarely the case that a Federal Disability Retirement application is ever validly denied based upon the medical conditions alone; for, the benefit of “Federal Disability Retirement” always involves the legal criteria for eligibility, and that is why the applicant who wants to pursue the benefit should contact a disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law. For, in the end, knowing the law is what will prevail in a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

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.

 

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement: The Drama of Life

There is drama everywhere — whether in theaters, local plays, movies or daytime soap operas, the drama of life is being played out.  “Drama”, “dramatic”, “melodrama” — whichever word or concept you apply, we all know what it means.  Most of us try to minimize it, avoid it, marginalize it — and the quick response to cut it down to size is often, “I’m not into that kind of drama” or, “Aren’t you being a bit over-dramatic?”

Once upon a time the fable of lessons learned included “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” — of that story with a moral lesson of the importance of truth-telling, and if you over-dramatized a lie too often, your reputation would suffer.  And so the moral of the story taught 2 things: “Truth” is important; creating drama for your own amusement would have consequences.

But in life, there are times when the drama of life cannot be avoided.  One such time is when a Federal or Postal employee is beset with 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.  That is a time when the drama of life must be faced, especially in terms of a career choice — of whether you can continue on, or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Contact a Federal Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of facing up to the drama of life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Difficult versus Disabled

To the statement, “I am having greater difficulty in performing X, Y and Z” follows with the query: “But are you still able to?”

There is a conceptual distinction to be made between “difficult” as opposed to “disabled”.  Of course, the former may be an indication which may naturally and progressively lead to the latter, and may merely not be there, yet.

The operative word is “may” (a potentiality of disablement), here, as opposed to an established, present reality.  Or, it may be that the person speaking is misusing the language, and is trying to put the best face forward, and should have stated: “I cannot perform X and Y, and am having difficulty in doing Z”.

Human beings have a wide and strange capacity to endure and to cover things up.  Perhaps the person is having difficulty but no one sees it because he or she is simply “pushing through” and hiding the pain and disability quite well.  Or, perhaps the medical condition has approach a critical juncture where the impact of the medical condition is clearly manifesting itself to a point where Federal Disability Retirement needs to be contemplated.

In any event, the first step in making a valid, objective assessment in considering Federal Disability Retirement under FERS for Federal and Postal employees is to distinguish between “difficult” and “disabled” — where the former may not qualify you for FERS Disability Retirement, while the latter surely would.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Apparent Neutrality

Can a person, country, nation, community, individual, politician, etc., ever be “neutral”?  Or, as recent events have postured, do we all have inherent preferences, biases, “systemic” characteristics of natural or artificial preferences which guide our thoughts, words and actions?  Is it more dangerous to pretend to be “neutral” on a matter, as opposed to openly expressing one’s biases and preferences?

To express “apparent” neutrality, of course, is either to hide one’s preference on an issue, or at the very least to act “as if” — as if one has no interest, either personally or professionally; to act as if there are no “leanings” one way or another.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management in a Federal Disability Retirement case does this — expresses apparent neutrality, as if their decision on a Federal Disability Retirement application is purely based upon “the law” and therefore is tantamount to a computer software program or an automaton which expresses pure neutrality on the matter and is merely applying the objective criteria of legal standards.  Bosh!  For, wherever interpretive input is required, by necessity one’s biases will ultimately come to the fore.

Contact a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer when considering applying for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and make sure that any “apparent neutrality” on the issue is decided in your favor; for, in the end, neutrality is merely a pretext to hide behind, and in preparing, formulating and filing an effective disability retirement application under FERS, it is best to have a legal expert as an advocate on your side.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Medical Retirement: Summer Respite?

Isn’t that what we long for?  Those “dog days of summer”, when a slight respite is tacitly agreed to by everyone, or most everyone.  Like weekends; like informal truces presumed between enemy forces; Christmas week; New Year’s Eve; the Thanksgiving Holidays; and once upon a time Easter Week was solemnly observed where most people took a time of reflection to redirect sacred oaths and faithful commitments.

The summer respite is quite different.  Not marking any particular occasion nor recognizing a specific remembrance, it is nevertheless a time somewhere in the searing and unrelenting heat of summer that everyone suddenly slows down.  Whether by osmosis of a transcendent metabolic engineering that is inherent in all human beings, or just a faint comprehension that we all need a break, the time for a summer respite is traditionally recognized by all.

These are peculiar times, however.  With half of the nation experiencing economic concerns and the other half still battling the pandemic, there isn’t time for the yearly cycle of a summer respite.  Medical conditions are like that, too.  It robs us of that summer respite, or of any respite at all.

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 having any respite from the daily turmoil of life’s challenges, contact an OPM Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Employee FERS Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

While it may not get you the summer respite you were looking for, it will offer you the lifetime respite from having to have to endure the unendurable turmoil of continuing in a job which you can no longer do.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Life After

Too often, we become embroiled within the context of present circumstances, and come to erroneously believe that what is occurring in our lives today, this minute, this year, will remain as a constancy for the rest of our lives.  Yet, like the weather, politics, and news cycles in general, what is of consequence in our lives today will likely be barely remembered a year from now.

There is always a life after.  Perhaps we are unable to see beyond today; perhaps we fail to — as the proverbial saying goes — see any “light at the end of the tunnel”; and likely the circumstances of today appear so overwhelming and weighty that it consumes our every thought and brings about an imbalance in our perspectives.

Medical conditions tend to do that — they depress us because of the degenerative and deteriorating manner in which they impact us.  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 “life after” is to become a Federal Disability Retirement annuity.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and see whether or not you might qualify for a Federal Disability Retirement annuity.  The life after, after all, need not be the same as today or yesterday, but may embrace a future yet hopeful and bright.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Delay for Tomorrow

We tend to rely upon our memory of the past; if the sun set yesterday and the chickens squawked the day before, the repetitiveness of previous occurrences allow for the delay for tomorrow.  Yet, tomorrow’s circumstances may undermine yesterday’s reliance.  Circumstances change — especially in this day of fast-paced changes and the need to adapt accordingly.

Present circumstances — a medical condition; the growing impact of one’s medical condition upon your ability and capacity to continue in your career; these, and many other factors should play into consideration to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  The delay for tomorrow is a natural instinct with all of us; we keep hoping that tomorrow will somehow change for the better, but with a medical condition, the unfortunate truth is the very opposite: Most medical conditions don’t simply go away, and instead reveal a stubborn persistence in their natural course of degeneration.

If filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS is something that you have thought of, but have set aside as the delay for tomorrow, consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make the delay for tomorrow the reality of necessity for today.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Similar Lives

Dissimilarity is what threatens us; similarity — the notion that there are shared, common characteristics between you and I — provides for an acceptable level of comfort and security.

When we learn about the lives of the “rich and famous”, other than feeling some sense of envy, we can still imagine enough similarity of living such that we can “relate” to them.  We might say, “Yeah, but he still has to put on his pants one leg at a time” or some such similarity of response.  It is the dissimilar which tends to threaten — of behavior, looks or origins so alien that we fear that the strangeness of the unknown will somehow harm our very existence.

Modernity has tried to ameliorate that with a sense of living in a “global village”, where images of other cultures, other lives and different countries are transmitted into our living rooms via cable and other outlets; and social media allows for interaction with others no matter where a person resides.  Rumors of wars are no longer apt; we bring it live right into our recreational living spaces, and no longer are cultures alien, nor other lives strange; the strangeness now is of the person who cannot relate to the universal similarity of all lives lived in modernity.

Yet, there are still instances of dissimilarity which threatens — such as a medical condition suffered by a Federal or Postal worker who then begins to feel isolated and treated as a pariah.  Perhaps the response by others is likened to that “tribal” sense that people have: No one wants to be like the outsider, and so we shun them like those colonies of eons ago to which lepers were banished.

For Federal and Postal employees who believe that a medical condition now prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, and who are beginning to be treated in a dissimilar fashion, it may be time to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and do it before the dissimilar turns into a familiar case of similarity — that of fear turning into cruelty by the Federal Agency initiating adverse actions and ultimate termination.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: How we fit in

Federal employees who don’t fit

Federal employees who don’t fit

 It is the misfits of whom we scoff at; of the random and discarded puzzle-pieces that seem to never find their proper configuration and therefore are cast aside before the picture is completed; and those square pegs that don’t fit into the round hole — whether, either the pegs must be shaved in order to conform, or the whole must be widened so that the peg can be dropped in; even though they don’t actually fit but remain loosely within the hole, but that’s okay because at least they are no longer seen as “not fitting in”.

In the end, the grind of life fatigues us.

We all conform, despite our initial resistance to such conformity.  The world requires conformity and predictability; and school, well, it is a means of ensuring the mass production of conformed groups who all think alike and behave in parallel fashion.  Every now and then, of course, a creative genius breaks away from the mold of artificial constructs; but in the end, even creative geniuses fall prey to the constant punishments meted out to those who dare to be different.

Federal employees who suffer from a medical condition and who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal job — they are, essentially, misfits within a Federal system that cannot accommodate misfits for long.

Federal Disability Retirement is a pathway out of the mold that dictates how we fit in; it is part of the “system” of dealing with misfits so that you are no longer deemed a disrupting influence upon the smooth flow of the Agency’s “mission” or the Postal Service’s massive mail distribution system.  It is a long and arduous process by which various criteria must be met, and as such, the Federal or Postal employee should consult with an experienced Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law so that the Federal Disability Retirement attorney can guide you into seeing how you will “fit in” — into the system as a Federal Disability Retiree.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The river of life

The evocative images of such a metaphorical phrase are immediately understood by most.  As in challenges we all face throughout life, a river snakes across different and foreign terrain; in some seasons, a drought may dry up the vibrancy of the river, while in times of plenty, flooding and overabundance may occur.

There are periods of swift currents, and days of lazy haze; and underneath the calm exterior is an underworld of activity and blur of living, both of tumult as well as those timeless memories forever remembered, and it is precisely the paradigm upon which Heraclitus staked his perspective upon with the statement that “No man steps in the same river twice.”  For, indeed, the essence of the universe is one of ever-present change; it is the one constant in a life filled with unpredictable indifference, of inchoate beginnings that never lead to any fruition; of trials encountered without reason or rationale; and the river of life leads us through the mountaintops of emotional pinnacles and down into the depths of a valley so dark that despondency fails to reach the eternal chasm of sadness undefined.

Streams flowing into rivers; unexpected tributaries swallowing up the nameless and uncharted waters; and of snowcaps that melt and flow without fluidity of purpose, so life brings about such challenges, engagements and unexpected face-offs.  What are we to make of this river?  What to do in this life?  Must we always be defined by accomplishments, or can the value of a human being be sufficient by reason of a self-fulfillment of an ego’s search?  Is it truly the person who has amassed the greatest amount of “stuff” who is considered the “winner”, and does the river of life grant any greater significance, relevance or meaning to the quantifiable monetary value than to the man who dies penniless?

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition necessitates the Federal or Postal worker into preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, such questions embracing the river of life can be daunting, obsessively important, and awakening of a spark in the deeper recesses of one’s forgotten past to come to the fore.  Why?  Because medical conditions force a prioritization of values, meaning and relevance in one life; and, indeed, that is the foundational essence of every river of life – of what we believe; that we believe; and for which we believe.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire