FERS Medical Disability Retirement Law: Doctor’s Orders

Does strict compliance with doctor’s orders guarantee recovery and good health?

Quite obviously — not.  Medicine is not a science, although it is “science-based”.  The history of medicine — including psychiatry — does not have a pretty history.  It possesses a lineage of trial and error; of successes and failures; of applications which now appear barbaric; but of great and impactful discoveries, as well, including antibiotics and medicines which have saved lives.

Doctor’s orders, in the end, constitute the bare minimum; the rest is often up the individual as to what further to do: Of reducing stress; of eating healthily; of changing or discarding bad habits; of exercising and changing the lifestyle habits which harm.

And what about filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS?

If you are a Federal or Postal employee who has at least 18 months of Federal Service, you may be eligible — but you must also follow the doctor’s orders.  That is one of the “unspoken” requirements of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — to be compliant with the medical regimens ordered, to see whether or not you have tried everything in order to get better.

For, OPM’s argument is that if the doctor’s orders are not followed, it can never be known whether or not it was the medical condition which prevented the Federal employee or Postal Service employee from performing his or her job, or the lack of compliance which intervened.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether you have followed the “doctor’s orders” before you begin the process of following the “Lawyer’s orders”.

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 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 for Federal Employees: Point Guard

He is the captain of the team; the one who sets the course, the pace and the rhythm of the group, whether on offense or defense.  Whether for a “set” play or an ad hoc fast break requiring creativity and quick thinking, the point guard directs, plans, initiates and commands.

If he hogs the ball and fails to dish out to the open play maker, he falls short in his role and endangers the emotional character of the team by allowing for resentment and loss of confidence. If he becomes reluctant in taking the open shot himself, or takes it and doesn’t score, he allows for the potential loss of confidence in himself.

The point guard, in short, is the most important position to fill in the most competitive of group sports: basketball.

Similarly, in an Federal Disability Retirement case, who directs, commands and coordinates the amassing of the necessary documents?  Who is in charge of directing the legal arguments to be made?  Who will initiate the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the defensive giant of the opposing team — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management?

Contact an attorney — your point guard — in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Retirement: Time Off

Time off is supposed to be a healthy thing.  There is such a thing as being overworked, overburdened, overstimulated, over-everything.

The constant problems which are confronted, the “small fires” which must be put out each day, the creation of crisis captivating one’s attention, etc. — over time, the min-stresses of each can lead to a breakdown of sorts because the cumulative impact of the aggregate can be overwhelming.

We begin life with internal mechanisms designed to withstand the stresses abounding.  Childhood is supposed to be the preparatory stage for learning to “deal” with stresses — of frustrations felt where desires cannot always be fulfilled; of conformity to a society which cannot accept uniqueness; and where social norms are taught and learned, preparing one for the road to a civilized existence.

“Time off” is part of that learning process; but the question one must ask is, “Time off for what purpose”?  For, if the time one takes off is merely to spend in ruminations of anticipatory disasters upon one’s return, then the rejuvenating effect of such time off becomes a self-defeating proposition.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to contact a OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

If “time off” is merely a vicious cycle where the off time fails to rejuvenate for the challenges of work, and does not reverse the slow progression of one’s inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job duties, then it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

OPM Medical Disability Retirement under FERS: Smart People

They are all around us.  The ones who claim to be often are not; the ones who are identified by others as such often think too highly of themselves, so that their own opinions of themselves have undermined the very ascription of the identifying feature; and those who really are seem to be taken in with the self-identification, and have become aloof, arrogant and overwhelmed by self-importance.

Being smart is one thing; being smart and possessing other attributes — like kindness, empathy, having a conscience or just showing a concern for others — is quite another.  Humility is a character trait which is fast disappearing in this world.  These days, being “smart” carries very little significance, as there appear to be smart people everywhere.

Perhaps you are smart.  Perhaps you are surrounded by smart people.  That is well and good.  But for the Federal employee or U.S. Postal worker who begins to 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 his or her job, being smart and being surrounded by smart people becomes less of a factor in life.

Life is a matter of proper perspectives.  Being smart in the face of deteriorating health grants you nothing extra, and when you need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, you will likely find that your Agency or Postal facility — which are filled with smart people — are also some of the meanest and self-centered people you have ever met.

Call a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and dispel the notion that being “smart” is what is important; there are, to be sure, more important attributes to consider.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: When we were very young

It triggers an image, does it not?  Of teddy bears and honey buckets; of an innocent time before the concerns of adulthood?  It is not until the 38th poem in the original book that Pooh is introduced to us; and how pervasive he remains in the consciousness of childhood’s delights.  It evokes memories even where there are none, of a time awash in innocence, of happier days when the concerns of the world had yet to touch us, and when the biggest trouble to consider was to be stung by a bee for raiding their honey.

“When we were very young” — and what comes after?  Is the next line a description of brightness and joy, or of a history better left in closet where skeletons lay quietly in crumpled heaps of tinkering pasts?  When did youth end — at the encounter with the harshness of the adult’s life when worries about tomorrow began to invade the carefree innocence of yesterday’s moonlit caverns of laughter and delight?  Is the phrase, “When we were very young,” the beginning of a sentence that provokes such delight, or the end of a paragraph that is left as the last page to a tragic novel?  As in: This bad memory and that tragedy-better-left-forgotten, but of course that was all when we were very young.

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 bifurcation of life often begins and ends with the medical condition itself.  For, “before” the medical condition, there was productivity, a future ahead and the past to delight in; and “after” the medical condition, there appears only misery and problems.  It is like the division which is prompted by the clause, “When we were very young” — only, with a medical condition, nothing that follows can delight the senses.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is often the necessary next sentence that must follow, and while Christopher Robin may still remain in the joyful memories of our past, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is best left to an experienced attorney, lest the raided cupboard full of honey leads to legal problems down the road when dealing with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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

 

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