FERS Disability Law: The MSPB and Consistency of Argumentation

Is it even important, anymore?  Lawyers, of course, are notorious for making alternate arguments, presenting to a Judge or a Jury different explanations, alternative legal theories and justifications, often within the span of a single sentence, and even sometimes contradicting each other.

It is only when the contradiction occurs within the confines of a single theory that the Judge may say, “Wait, counsel — hoooooold on there!  Are you trying to argue X and Not-X at the same time?”  The answer by the clever lawyer: “No, your honor, I am merely pointing out that X could be, and Not-X is also credible, leaving my client to appear not only as an innocent bystander but, moreover, a not-guilty one as well!”

In some forums, that may hold; but in a Federal Disability Retirement case, the only way that inconsistency of argumentation works is when an OPM Medical Specialist says so.  OPM denies cases systematically without any regard to consistency of argumentation.  This is because there is no accountability at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  They can review a case, deny it, and it is out of the hands of the Medical Specialist who made the decision.

Then, at the Reconsideration Stage, a completely different Medical Specialist will make a brand new determination, based upon his or her own perspective and viewpoint, and it need not have any consistency of argumentation with the previous decision.

Fortunately, however, when it goes before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, Consistency of Argumentation becomes an important factor.  For, that is one of the primary basis upon which an MSPB Federal Disability Retirement case is lost — when consistency of argumentation based upon the evidence becomes questionable.

Inconsistency is the downfall of most cases at the MSPB; consistency — even with less than adequate evidence of a compelling nature — will often overcome much, and win the case.  The one thing that Administrative Law Judges at the MSPB dislike above all else: Inconsistency in testimony, Inconsistency in evidence, and Inconsistency in the closing argument of an attorney.

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.

 

Attorney Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Steps of Deliberation

Steps of deliberation must be taken to accomplish anything.  By deliberation is meant: A plan based upon knowledge; actual progress towards a goal; a recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of a case; and the application of any and all advantages which can be engaged.

Obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity requires those steps of deliberation: Knowledge of the process; steps toward the end-goal; assessment of the legal criteria and their applicability; citing of past case-laws which possess persuasive influence in arguing your case.

Consult with a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin actually moving forward in the steps of deliberation which will result in a successful outcome.

For, it is those first steps of deliberation which determine the course of one’s future, and Federal Disability Retirement is ultimately nothing more, and nothing less, than securing one’s future by stabilizing your financial outlook in a retirement you have worked so hard to obtain.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

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 basic 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 a FERS 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 Attorney

 

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