FERS Disability Retirement Application: Denials

They come in various forms; of self-denials representing a sacrifice in order to allow loved ones to reap the benefits; of denials meant to avoid the ugliness of reality; or of denials which prevent a person from entering a premises, advancing in a career or progressing in an endeavor.  Of whatever form or content, they leave the denied applicant a sense of disappointment, a temporary state of suspension and often a profound feeling of uncertainty.

Does one “give up” when a denial occurs?  Or, does one find an alternate route, a way to rebut and with a reenergized sense of purpose?

To be denied is to be defeated for a time; to be defeated is to give up entirely; but to avoid the finality of defeat, one must regroup and counterattack, in whatever form that may take.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and who have been forced to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management by necessity of an unwanted medical condition — a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is not the proverbial “end of the road”.  Rather, it is simply the beginning of the fight.  Who said that life’s pathways are easy?

Although OPM often makes it sound “as if” you never stood a chance, that your case was flawed to begin with or that there was never any validity to the claims you have made, that is simply their opinion on the matter.  What matters is whether your case has merit, and the merit of a case depends upon the laws governing FERS Disability Retirement Law.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and don’t let a denial automatically lead to a defeat; for, there is a reason why Federal Disability Retirement allows for various stages of appeals — precisely because a denial by OPM is not the end of the matter, but merely a beginning to the fight which must ensue.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Keeping it all together

It is hard enough to keep things together without those “extras” impeding, interrupting and infringing upon one’s time.  Then, when that proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” is placed before us, a sense of doom and gloom (another trite, overused and ineffective phrase that is applied as a euphemism to conceal the crisis-point of our existence) pervades and blankets, like the undisturbed blanket of snow covering the desolate fields of an abandoned farm.

We say to ourselves, “Well, if I can make it to the weekend, I will be able to rest and recuperate” — unless, of course, it is Monday morning, or even Tuesday, and the “weekend” seems like an eternity away.

This is a stressful world.  The very busy-ness of life; of the daily demands placed upon the psyche — even of those stresses we don’t even notice, of impinging and daily overload of factors whirling about us; traffic; news; information from emails and other Internet demands; and then there is the question as to how many other people around us, unknown to us, are barely themselves “keeping it all together”.

We live lives of pressure-cookers; whether the top explodes or not is barely a matter of thin lines and close calls.  Then, when a medical condition intervenes, it is as if the excuse to keeping it all together disappears — precisely because the very foundations for the reason to continue as always have all of a sudden disappeared.  Medical conditions shake the foundation of one’s existence: What is this all about? Why am I killing myself doing this, when the stress of this life merely exacerbates the destructive force of the medical condition itself?

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 ability of “keeping it all together” often falls apart when it finally becomes apparent that the price one must pay just to maintain a facade and semblance of “keeping it all together” is too high.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is an option to consider. Consult with a FERS Attorney to discuss the viability of your case, and then take the advice into consideration in the ongoing effort of keeping it all together.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Promising Beginning

We look upon with sadness that which once was, and remorsefully retro-fit what could have been despite that which never was meant to be.

The promising beginning is the one that originated with fullness of hope and expectations; then, there is a “middle ground” — a point where paths diverge and perhaps the critical juncture where success, failure, or something in-between presents itself; and then the journey continues for some time until a point is reached where retrospective regrets may begin to develop, and we think to ourselves: Ah, what a promising beginning, but….  It is, of course, the “but” that pauses and the silence which follows that tells us all the rest of the story; of the wrong path taken, the promise left unfulfilled and the caravan of decisions left undiminished.  But from whose perspective?

Perhaps there were interruptions — of relational interests that took some focus away, or a boredom which set in to detract from the singularity of focus which was required; but such decisions may have merely moderated that “promising beginning” that was never meant to be.  And of those issues where one had no control over — such as a medical condition that reminded one that, while careers are important for a time, one’s health should always be a priority, no matter the time or circumstances.

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, and where the once “promising beginning” seemingly has stalled or stopped completely because of the medical condition, it may be time to shed one’s self of false expectations and unrealistic values, and to look to the future by preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Not all beginnings are meant to have an ending as promised, and in any event, remember that the only promise that needs keeping is the one that allows for an ending of hope, where expectations include the priority of one’s health and the necessity for change when change is required.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The formulation

There is, first, the preparation; then, the formulation; and finally, the filing and the waiting.  Are the sequence of steps necessarily separate and identifiable — cleanly bifurcated such that there is no overlapping of concerns?  Of course not; but the three elements in a OPM Disability Retirement application are necessary for the successful outcome of the endeavor.

The “preparation” is often skipped in order to get to the “filling out the forms” portion, which is contained somewhere between the preparatory stage of the process, extends into the formative arena and comes to fruition just before filing, as the finishing touches are placed in refinement of the final product.

The analogies are numerous: of baking a cake — first, one must have a “recipe” (the preparatory stage of the process); then, in between the preparation and the formulation, one must gather all of the ingredients necessary to fulfill the recipe: i.e., the medical documentation; the legal citations to be applied; perhaps other ancillary supportive presentations; the Applicant’s Statement of Disability; and the multitude of other papers which will ultimately accompany the Federal Disability Retirement filing; then, the filing itself — of placing it into the oven and waiting while it bakes to final product.

It is, in many ways, the “formulation” part of it that fails the Federal employee or Postal worker putting together an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset — for, the rush to get it done is often comprised by a furious sense of desperation in gathering whatever medical records can be amassed in the shortest time possible; of quickly jotting down the things “wrong” with you on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability; and then quickly “shoving” it into the oven hoping that it will bake quickly and come out well.

Yet, while the “recipe” is important, and the filing is crucial, it is the “formulation”of the OPM Disability Retirement packet — of the putting together in a thoughtful and persuasive manner the legal memorandum which cites the case-law, argues the evidence and providers a “road-map” for OPM to approve one’s Federal Disability Retirement application — that is often overlooked and becomes the unintended nemesis for a successful outcome in a OPM Disability Retirement application.

In skipping over that part —the formulation of a Federal Disability Retirement application — it is likened to that “uh-oh” moment when you realized that you had forgotten to put any butter, milk or other essential ingredients into the cake after you have already put it into the oven.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Legal Representation on Federal Disability Retirement Claims: Plans

We all make them; whether for an anticipated journey or vacation; of a future date far in advance or nearby in time; or merely for an afternoon get-together with an associate, coworker, friend or family member — plans are essential to the coherence of a person’s daily life.

We have “planners” that we carry with us everywhere, and “planned vacations”, “planned playtime” for our kids; a “planned evening out” and meals planned well in advance even before our appetitive natures begin to rumble with echoes of hunger and delight.  There are “coordinated planned attacks” by terrorists, and “exit plans” before an assault is waged upon the enemy.  Then, there are life coaches who help to plan one’s future decisions, counselors who plan for college entrance exams and therapists who assist in planning this or that major decision.

From the moment we realized that simply reacting to the world around us was no longer an efficient methodology in maneuvering through a complex world, where the prey had become suspicious and did not stick around to remain as out next dinner course and predators began planning for counterstrategies to man’s wily peculiarities, we began to plan for the future.

However, the one thing that we have no plan for is the unexpected jolts of life’s servings that come upon one without warning or predictability, such as a deteriorating health condition that was never planned for.  Dreams that spawn plans are easily destroyed by life’s tumults that come in waves of unpredictable surges, just when we think that our “plans” are being realized.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition impacts and prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may become necessary to alter one’s long-term plan and goal towards retiring upon reaching the “regular retirement age and time-in-service”, and instead to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Medical conditions are often the one set of goal-stopping issues that skewer one’s plans; it is normally unplanned for, and is a plan-modifier that requires not only a change of plans, but a new set of plans that should include a plan to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be planned for submission to OPM, and should also include a plan to seek to counsel and advice of an attorney who specializes in such planning.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire