Tag Archives: opm disability retirement blog

Federal Disability Retirement: Different Approaches

There is a difference between the ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of things — “How something is done” is quite different from “Why something is done.”

One can argue that the ‘Why’ of something should logically precede the ‘How’, for the meaningfulness attached will motivate as to the mechanical doing of it; whereas, others will propose that one should simply follow Nike’s oft-repeated logo — “Just do it” — and in the act of doing it, the meaningfulness of the activity will naturally follow and be discovered.

Ultimately, they represent different approaches, and may even be characterized by different personalities.  The one who simply charges forward without purpose or meaning may be superficially identified as a ‘pragmatist’ of sorts, while the one who first ponders the “Why” of everything may require a ‘spiritual’ source in everything before proceeding.

In the end, however, the underlying source of everything returns us to that what Viktor Frankl identified as the central human motivational force — the paradoxical search for a life’s meaning.  The importance of the ‘Why’ cannot be ignored; and as science can only point to the ‘How’ of anything, the emptiness of an unanswered ‘Why’ will often paralyze us.

Life is difficult as it is, with calamities and unexpected twists and turns along the way, and the fragile state of our health can be devastating without having an answer as to the ‘Why’ of everything.

For FERS Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from an chronic injury or other condition and are forced to make a major decision moving forward, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may be one of the biggest fights of your life, and while a FERS medical attorney may not be able to answer the more important question as to the ‘Why’ of what has occurred, it is the more pragmatic ‘How’ which may be needed, for the time being.

Sometimes, the different approaches require a priority of answers in a sequence less than optimally answered, and in the case of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS system with OPM, it is the question of ‘How’ which must take precedence.

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 Disability Retirement: Knowledge & Application

We tend to separate the two, and have generally been taught that the former — even without the latter — is a “good” thing.  Our grade school teachers certainly repetitively pounded it into our thick skulls; and higher academia relies upon the belief that knowledge, “in and of itself”, is a valuable thing.  Application — or utility — is of the “business” world, and for academicians, somewhat sullies the purity of knowledge.

Perhaps it began with Plato — on the other hand, doesn’t all of Western Civilization begin with Plato (and by fiat, Socrates)?  Knowledge of the Forms; the metaphor of the famous “Cave”; the conceptual ideal of the purity of ideas; the Socratic method of questioning for the sake of attaining wisdom — all of it, without the worth based upon application or utility.

The first poor fellow who discovered a vein of gold — certainly, the beauty of the glitter must have astounded, but even with that “knowledge” of beauty, did he understand the future application of value in the commodity markets?  And of those oddball individuals who love to collect bits of information — of knowledge — without any practical application — we have all met them; of people who suddenly spout statistical data just to show off their knowledge, etc.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who, because of a medical condition, need to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, be fully aware that both knowledge (of the laws pertaining to Federal Disability Retirement) and application (of the persuasive authority of statutes, regulations and case-law) are needed to win a Federal Disability Retirement fight against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Knowledge is good; knowledge and application, in the “real” world, are better.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of not only knowing about the complex laws governing Federal Disability Retirement, but moreover, to have the powerful asset of applying that knowledge where it really counts — in the application itself.

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 Law: “It’s Behind Us”

The phrase can, without context, mean a number of things.  In story-writing exercises, a phrase such as the one referenced may be thrown at a student, and the student must then formulate the context surrounding the phrase, in order to give it “meaning” and relevance.

For example:  Perhaps it is a story about a haunted house, and two children are looking about, cautiously walking from room to room, when suddenly they hear a creaking noise, and one whispers to the other “It’s behind us!”  Or, it could have a completely different context — of a family crisis and how the various individuals deal with the problem, and when it is finally resolved, the wife turns to the husband and declares, “It’s behind us.”

Context is important, and relevance comes about only when the context is sufficiently fleshed out.

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, it begins with a medical condition.  From there, however, the “context” must be fleshed out — the relationship to one’s job; whether or not there is a possibility for an accommodation; what “fleshing out” needs to be done within the context of the law, etc.

In a vacuum, a medical condition cannot “win” against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in attempting to secure a post-employment Federal Disability Retirement annuity.  It is the experienced lawyer who can help in fleshing out the context in order to ground your case in relevance and “the law”.

Contact a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of formulating the relevant context in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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.

 

Medical Retirement Benefits for US Government Employees: The Identical Scene

People tend to watch things over and over again which they consider to be their “favorites” — until the repetition itself becomes monotonous through overexposure.  We can all ruin a good thing, can’t we?

We can admire an actor, novelist or some so-called “star” — until we read and learn about their personal lives and realize that appearance doesn’t quite match reality.  We can have a favorite scene in a movie or television show and watch it repeatedly — until the uniqueness of it wears thin and we begin to see beyond the wonder by which we were first captivated.

That “identical scene” is something we live in real life, as well — of getting up, taking care of our personal hygiene, commuting to work (except during these recent, pandemic times), seeing the identical scene of working, day after day — until an intervening event disrupts that identical scene, such as a medical condition.

When a medical condition disrupts our lives, those identical scenes become hyper-enhanced to the point where each day is no longer monotonous nor identical, but instead, each scene is a unique frame because of the medical condition itself.  That once “identical scene” no longer becomes a favorite one, precisely because of the medical condition itself.

At that point, you need to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether the identical scene you once enjoyed has now become the dreaded scene of real life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Deus ex Machina

It is a contrivance which finds its origins in Greek plays of a civilization now gone; of the recognition of unsolvable problems created by human hubris; and when all seems lost, the “machina” (machine) which lowers the god (the “deus”) onto the stage then resolves everything by supernatural means.

The contrivance itself would probably not be acceptable in this era of modernity, where the cynicism of “reality” would not allow for a supernatural force to intervene and solve the problems of mankind (although, it might be acceptable if an extraterrestrial were to appear from outer space and solve such problems with a taser gun — which tells us a lot about our culture where we disbelieve in gods but lend credibility to aliens where there is scant evidence of such existing beings).

Yet, in everyday life, we believe and daydream of a deus ex machina: Of fairytales and knights in shining armor; of winning the lottery despite the billion-to-one odds against; or of simple acts, like thinking that one’s Federal Agency or the Postal Service will be “nice”, “kind” or “understanding”.

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, hoping for a deus ex machina to provide a solution is to engage in mere fantasy-daydreams.  The fact is that the problems that are created by a medical condition can be resolved through the reality of the law — by preparing and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through OPM.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law — for, while such a lawyer may not be a modern-day Deus ex machina, the successful result of obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity may prove to be better than a Greek tragedy ending with an improbable outcome.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement from the OPM: The gods of modernity

Each era has its false gods — of Greek ones that explained the mysteries underlying the universe; of religions that conquered by the sword; of Philosophers and Kings who ruled with an iron fist; of Freud, Psychoanalysis and other ghosts in the machine; and in modernity, of youth and the cult of the young, and perhaps of the authors of self-help books who have cornered the market on wisdom replaced.

The gods of modernity are different from those of a generation ago; the “I” and the “me” that pervades on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; of the perfect “me” who takes selfies at every opportunity to reinforce and remind of the hollowness of the gods we make of ourselves; and in the end, the loneliness that one is left with when the screen is shut down and one is left with the reality of facing one’s self in the loneliness of a perception that cannot be faced in the mirror of one’s own reflection.

And of the other gods of reality: Perfection in perception.  But what happens if perception must encounter reality?  That is often the problem with a medical condition — for, medical conditions remind us of the ugliness of the world around: of mortality, vulnerability, and the loss of societal empathy for all things imperfect.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows one to be “perfect” in the workplace, and where the essential elements of one’s job can no longer be met, it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application so that the focus of one’s life can be redirected in order to regain one’s health.

The gods of modernity — of a career, of never-ending competence and productivity in one’s Federal or Postal job — must be replaced with a revaluation of what is truly important in life: Health, sanity, and some semblance of caring.  And while securing a FERS Disability Retirement annuity may not be the answer to all of life’s ills, it will at least secure a future in order to focus upon getting better, and perhaps reorienting one’s focus upon a future that may be different and better.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
OPM Disability Retirement Lawyer

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Happiness Lasting

Can the precipice of elation last for long?  What of contentment — a seemingly “lower-level” joy that pervades and remains for the duration of a season?  Does evidence of its durability depend upon a smile frozen upon one’s face, or can it continue to establish its existence with gleaming eyes and a perpetual grin that seems never to go away?  Is glee in youth different from a winter’s discontent followed by a summer of joy, and does a period of happiness fostered by nostalgia the same as two young lovers who proclaim the currency of an unfettered passion for life?

Modernity celebrates the cult of youth, and it is thus assumed that happiness is the sole possession of those who look and declare youthfulness; but in the end, is it just wasted energy that dissipates because the young have no knowledge of how to handle such emotional turbulence?  What does it mean to “be happy”, and should it ever be considered as a worthwhile “goal” as opposed to a byproduct of a life well lived?

When a person feels elation, should the advice be: Temper it, for such a spectrum of heights will never last and you will find its opposite and negative effect at the end of it all — of dread and dismal desolation.  Or, should one just enjoy it while it exists, and deal with its opposite when it comes about?

Aristotle’s approach of finding the middle ground — of a moderation of temperament and approach to life — may allow for happiness lasting precisely because the height and depths of the spectrum of human emotions are never allowed to consume 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 worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the idea that happiness lasting can no longer be attained is a pervasive feeling because of the medical condition itself and the effects upon one’s life and career.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may not be the “solution” to attain happiness, but it can be a process where intermediate goals can be achieved — of what to do during the pendency of one’s medical condition; of how to change careers; of how to attain a sense of stability for the future while attending to one’s own health and well-being.

It is a means to an end, where happiness lasting can be seen in the short-term goal of securing one’s future by filing for, and obtaining, a FERS Disability Retirement annuity before the next set of challenges in life’s fulfillment of changing circumstances must be faced again.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire