OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Self Delusions

We all engage in it at one time or another; and, of course, there are different names for it, depending upon the context and conceptual application.  Some call it “positive thinking”; others, of just trying to talk yourself into something; and it is only when interference with reality poses a risk of harm that it becomes of concern when engaged in.

Self-delusions are, otherwise, harmless.  Some use it as a reverse therapeutic mode: Tell yourself X a hundred times in a day, and you will come to believe it; the “power of positive thought”; the need to constantly self-affirm, etc.

In the wilds, of course, it may not work out so well.  For, telling yourself that you can kill a lion with your bare hands, or that you can jump off of a cliff and soar through the sky, will likely result in death.  Then, too, to persuade yourself that an oncoming bus will do you no harm is taking positive thinking to a level of absurdity.

But there are less drastic forms of self-delusions, as in saying to yourself multiple times a day that you are happy; or that things will get better; or that today is the first day of the rest of your life, etc.  Such pablum of self-delusions will sometimes even provide a positive influence.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, self-delusions should be replaced with sound advice from a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer.

Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Attorney today, and consider whether your expectations for the future coincide with the reality that may rebut the self-delusions of a reality gone sour.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Factors Not Considered

They are the ones which delay and defeat; those factors not considered which, had consultation with an expert been considered beforehand, might have saved both time and money in accomplishing the very goals which one expected in the first place.

The factors not considered will ultimately rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune of times; for, they are the obstacles not contemplated, the impediments unforeseen, and the problems unsolicited.  It is precisely the factors not considered which are avoided and circumvented for which we pay the “experts” to predict, foresee and forestall; and that is where expertise is precisely the worth one pays for.

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 is important to consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer in order to consider the factors not previously considered.  For, once OPM sees something — an issue not addressed, a statement unintended, a document unsolicited — you cannot put blinders on them.

It is precisely the factors not considered which must be considered; and by consulting with a Federal Disability Retirement Attorney, you will lessen the chances that those factors not considered will pass through the gates of opportunity, which can close with sudden rapidity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: What to Do

It is both a question as well as a concern; a reflection, a statement of loss; a somewhat neutral muddle; like being stuck in quicksand and not quite knowing whether to move or to remain still.  There is a pause right after the words are spoken; an uncertainty, even a feeling of paralysis.  When confronted with a complexity, the query itself may have to be set aside, thought about, reflected upon, pondered for a time.

Often, the best “next step” is to consult with an expert in the field; for, the mere query itself, of openly declaring — and not necessarily with a question mark following — of “What to do” provokes a prefatory consideration that the puzzle was too great to tackle in the first place.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prompts the query, “What to do?”, the first step in the process is to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  The OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law will be able to guide the Federal or Postal employee into the next steps, and the first steps are often the most crucial in the long and arduous journey through the thicket of OPM’s bureaucratic maze.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Disability Retirement: The Weather

We all know it is true; of clear, crisp days, when our minds are sharp with wit; of low pressure systems that loom overnight, bringing about a dark and dreary day and, along with it, our minds of dread and fogginess.

Biodynamic farmers ascribe certain days as “unfortunate” and restrict and minimize the type of activities recommended; Shakespeare, who ascribed astrological influences peppered throughout his plays and sonnets, and of weather in King Richard III, Act 1, Scene 1: “Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by the sun of York; And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house, In the deep bosom of the ocean buried”.

We like to think that, in our sophistication of science and modernity, such factors as the planetary movements, the seasons, the weather, etc., have little to no influence upon our feelings, emotions, conduct or thoughts.  Perhaps Camus was more right than he knew when the principal character in “The Stranger” attributed his misdeeds upon the sun.  In the end, whatever the weather of the day, we are forced to weather the storms of our lives.

Medical conditions represent a metaphor in the life of a Federal or Postal employee; like the weather, the changing nature of the atmosphere around must be accepted and, at the same time, it is a storm-like state of being that must be endured — or “weathered”.

In the event that a change of career must be undertaken, it is important to consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  For, in the end, whether it is a sunny day or a stormy one, the weather cannot be blamed for an ill-prepared Federal Disability Retirement application, and if denied by OPM, it must be weathered whether the weather had any influence or not.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: The Inside View

There is the “outside” perspective as opposed to the “inside view”, and that is the mistake people make in various sectors of life: The “outsider” believes that, from a position and perspective of detachment and therefore objectivity, he or she is able to better assess, evaluate and analyze the event, situation or conditions experienced than by those on the “inside”.

By contrast, the “insider” views the outsider with suspicion, contending that he or she has no idea about the experiences and existential difficulties faced by the insider, and that a detached, objective viewpoint which fails to take into consideration the subjective, “personal” side of things misses the essential point of the issue.

It is the tension which exists between the townspeople and the “out-of-towner”; the one who lives in a community as opposed to the renter or investor; or of the person who drives around the neighborhood admiring the green lawns, the peaceful nature and the tranquility of a community, hoping to one day purchase a home there without knowing the problems inherent — say, that the water is contaminated or that there has been a rash of burglaries on the rise in recent years.

How does one break the invisible wall between the inside view and the outside perspective?  When does the demarcation between the two disappear?  Do numbers of years living within a community determine whether an outsider becomes an insider?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application because of a medical condition which has come to a critical point where the Federal or Postal worker can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it often “feels” like one has all of a sudden become an “outsider” again — not only from one’s own agency or the Postal Service, but moreover, because of the complexity of the administrative procedures and bureaucratic morass of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — of the sense that the whole process is strange and detached.

Consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is a good first step in bridging the gap that widens when first encountering that feeling, in order to get an “inside view” of what it takes to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Appeal: Second Opportunities

In life, how often do we get a “second opportunity”?  To correct a past mistake; to avoid the consequences of an error committed; to rekindle a damaged relationship; and other acts of revitalized and redemptive scenarios rarely allowed.

Second opportunities, and the rare third ones, allow for erasures to be made, modifications to be incorporated and additional, corrective information to be inserted.  Of the following, what would one think? “Oh, a mistake was made in the contract which goes against you, but not to worry, go ahead and make the changes and we can sign everything again as if … “ Or: “Oh, your rich aunt disinherited you after you called her that horrible name and in a drunken rage knocked her over the head with vase, but not to worry, she forgives you and has placed you back in her will.”

Those are, to be sure, instances of second opportunities, but rarely to be had and more likely to occur in fictionalized accounts of redemptive fantasies otherwise unpublished because of their unlikely occurrences.

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 “Second Opportunity” (and the “Third”) comes in the form of the Reconsideration Stage, and then an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

Don’t let such an opportunity for corrective action slip through the “proverbial fingers” by making the same mistake twice.  It is, at either the Reconsideration Stage or the appeal to the MSPB, an opportunity to fill in any gaps (whether merely perceived by OPM or substantively existing, it doesn’t really matter); and to reinforce any lack of medical evidence by having the opportunity to supplement, and even modify, statements made or omissions allowed.

Some OPM Disability Retirement cases may be weak in their very essence, whether because of lack of medical support or because of other reasons undefinable; other cases may simply need further development, explanation or supplemental evidence to “shore up” the unpersuasive peripheral issues that have appeared in the case.  Both the Reconsideration Stage, as well as the appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, open opportunities to resolve one’s case in one’s favor — by being granted the ultimate end and goal with an approval of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.

The road to attain that goal, however, must sometimes travel through multiple doors and second opportunities, and that is how one should see the Second (Reconsideration) and Third (an appeal to the MSPB) Stages of the process in trying to get one’s OPM Disability Retirement application approved.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Something happened

Beyond a mundane declaration of befuddlement, it is also the title of a novel by Joseph Heller — his second novel published some 13 years after the successful first one that most people remember him by:  Catch-22.

It lacks the surrealism of the first novel; the absurdity of tragic events unfolding distinguishable from the logical and sequential manner in which we see the world, turned upside down by images of madness countering the reality of the insanity around.  The genre of the absurd — depicted in such movies as “Life is Beautiful” and in works such as Catch-22 — attempts to unveil the underlying insanity beneath the veneer of a world acting as if normalcy abounds.

Other movies that attempt to portray the absurd might include Sophie’s Choice, where the main character (played by Meryl Streep) keeps going back to the comfort of her insane boyfriend because that is the more comfortable reality she knows, having survived the insanity of the Nazi death camps.

But long before the genre of the absurd came to the fore, there was the brilliant short story by Cynthia Ozick entitled, The Shawl, which has been noted for bringing out the horrors of the holocaust through a medium — the short story — that captures the essence of absurdity and the surreal in a mere few dozen pages.  The story is a small bundle that reverberates so powerfully that it overshadows any subsequent attempts at depicting life’s absurdity.

Catch-22 elevated the absurd to a consciousness that brought further self-awareness of the unreality of the real — the Vietnam War — and tried to unravel the insanity amidst a world that tried to explain the event as something logical and sane.

Something Happened —  a book about a character who engages in a rambling stream of consciousness about his childhood, job and family — is perhaps more emblematic about the life most of us live:  seemingly logical, yet interspersed with events, reminiscences and memories that are faulty at best, and far from perfect.  The title itself shows a greater awareness of our befuddlement — of not knowing “what” happened, only that it did, and the inability to control the events that impact our lives.

Medical conditions tend to be of that nature — of an event that we have no control over, and yet, we are aware of its “happening”.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have come to realize that something happened — a medical condition; a chronic illness that simply will not go away; a traumatic event that has had residual consequences which are continuing to impact; whatever the “something”, the “happened” part still resides.

Such recognition of the “something” will often necessitate the further recognition that it is now time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in order to secure a future that is presently uncertain.

Consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in getting Federal and Postal employees Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and take the necessary steps to ensure that the “something” that “happened” is not one more tragedy in this tragic-comic stream of consciousness we call “life”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: And then we are gone…

The trailing ellipsis establishes a pause for reflection, and the finality of three periods for an emphasis upon the irreversible nature of the statement.  “And then” connotes that something preceded – a lifetime of activities, a century or less of human historicity involving birth, growth, work, struggles, etc. – existed before the conclusion of the life.

The “we are” slice of the sentence implies two additional variables: the universality of involvement – an event that excludes no one – and the present tense of that which is inevitable.  And what about the final word before the ellipsis?  The eternal nothingness; the inescapable conclusion to every novel, every short story, every figure of historical significance or otherwise; we all die.

We somehow try and escape or avoid that fate.  Heidegger’s observation that the whole of human activity is merely a project of distraction and avoidance – that we perform this busy-ness and that all-consuming work or hobby, not because it is inevitable, important, relevant or even interesting, but because to do nothing would be to face the reality of our own demise daily.

Perhaps that is somewhat of an overstatement.  And yet… In the end, plastic surgery, herbal teas and strenuous exercise may only prolong the terminal exit ramp for a fortnight or even a calendric cycle or two, but it is the “in-between” times that make all the difference in a person’s life.  And what of quality?  Does quantification by pure duration determine the worthiness of that “in-between” period, or is it better to have lived a short but “full” life, before the finality of nothingness comes upon one?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are suffering from a medical condition, such that the medical condition is making that preceding period before the universalization of finality becoming a reality “less than worthwhile”, the time may have approached, and perhaps even passed, that preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application has become not merely a necessity but a crisis of mandate.

Sometimes, in life, the choices are limited and the options presented somewhat less than the best of life’s offerings; yet, to live out that duration of what is future-oriented by enduring pain, suffering and illness in an atmosphere of hostility and adversarial contrariness for the remainder of the days yet to come, often become unbearable and unthinkable.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the only solution to a problem unsolvable. It is that moment before the part that goes, “And then…”, where the ellipsis has not yet reached the “we are” portion, and thus a crucial section of a life still to be lived.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire