Postal & Federal Employees Medical Retirement: Insult to Injury

It is a common enough phrase, and most of us know about it, learn it early on and recognize the phrase easily.  If asked where or from whom we first heard the phrase, most of us would scratch our heads and vaguely reference our parents, grandparents, or perhaps a friend of long ago.  The point is that such a phrase is likely so commonplace and universal precisely because it represents a commonplace occurrence.

It happens so frequently that the phrase itself is accepted as representing a regular event in everyone’s life.

We hear the stories often enough: “I was walking along the street and X happened to me.  That was bad enough.  But to add insult to injury, then Y did this-this-and-that to me, as well!”  Or: “I thought it was bad enough that X wouldn’t do Y for me, but to add insult to injury, he then proceeded to do Z.”  Yes, it is the commonplace-ness of it all which is the reason why the phrase itself is learned at such an early age.

Life is like that, isn’t it?  After the newborn first learns those early words or sounds — like “Ma-ma” or “Da-da” — he or she then immediately learns the phrase, “To add insult to injury”.  Well, maybe not those very words, exactly, but something close to them.

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, consult with an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before the Federal Agency or Postal Service adds insult to injury.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Weak Links

Perhaps we refer to it when using a chain to tow another vehicle, or to pull something or someone up from a deep ravine; and it is always the weak link that leads to the sudden collapse and failure.

We can apply the term in a metaphorical sense for other contexts, as well.  In a movie or play, there are “weak links” — of supportive roles, or perhaps even in referring to the main actor, that fails to deliver the expected performance necessary to brings about a box-office hit; or of a technologically-based company that provides a specific product, but somewhere down the line of the assembly or production process, a “weak link” is discovered which results in the failure of the product.

Air bags that fail to deploy properly; a member of a platoon who doesn’t “carry his weight”; a memory chip that erases critical information — all “weak links” within an aggregation of human activity.

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, there can be many “weak links”.  Perhaps your Federal Agency or Postal facility looks upon you as the “weak link” and thus proceeds to engage in a campaign of harassment and initiation of adverse actions to get rid of you.

You may need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  And when you do, you yourself must make sure that there are no “weak links” in the preparation and submission of your OPM Disability Retirement application.

Consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and limit the number of “weak links” in order to give yourself the best chance possible. For, in the end, it is always the “weak links” that come back to haunt.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The Other’s Misfortune

Why is it that the other’s misfortune is a relief, of sorts?  Some relish in talking about it — often referred to dismissively as “gossiping”; while still others possess a superstitious fear about even referring to it, lest you attract attention and bring upon yourself the other’s misfortune, as if it is some sort of infectious disease which can be caught and spread upon its mere mention.

We tend to think of the other’s misfortune as a statistically relevant event, as if there are a certain set of misfortunes and each of us are in line to receive one, and our individual chances of being hit with a misfortune increases if the next person nearest to us has been hit with one.

Thus do we believe that if a death is experienced in our next door neighbor’s home, then ours must be next; and do we think in similar terms when good fortune comes about?  Does a gambler — or even a person who plays the lottery — believe that if the person next to you has hit the jackpot, that somehow you must be “next in line” and have a greater statistical chance of hitting the next “big one”?

Avoiding the “Other’s” misfortune has a sense of relief because we all believe that whatever fortunate circumstances we find ourselves in, we believe to be tenuous at best, and at worst, a mere streak of good luck that we neither earned nor are capable of retaining for long.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from the misfortune of a medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is no longer the other’s misfortune that is worrisome, but of your own.

Consult with a Federal Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Medical Retirement Law, lest the misfortune that is not of the other’s may become compounded because the Law’s lack of compassion may not sit well with a misfortunate which fails to abide by the Agency’s “mission” or the Postal Service’s need for labor to remain uninterrupted.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: By Lawful Means

When a person uses that term, we often imply from it that there is an opposite meaning — that of unlawful maneuvers that were accessed in some nefarious ways.

So, when a person queries, “How did X acquire his [or her] wealth?”, and the response is that it was through “lawful means”, the implication is that there was a correlative, opposite manner which could have been a possible alternate basis: That of “unlawful” means.

The “lawful” means, of course, implies that the statutes and case-laws surrounding the matter support the manner and type of activity engaged, and its opposite connotes the convexity of such a meaning.  In another manner of speaking, the concept also applies to the legal avenues available and accessible, but which are often unknown or where some are unaware.

OPM Disability Retirement is not a well-disseminated benefit, but it becomes an important consideration when a Federal or Postal employee is unable to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job when a medical condition begins to impact a person’s physical or cognitive capabilities.

It is by “lawful means” that a person must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a Federal or Postal employee, during the tenure of Federal employment, finds that he or she can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of his or her position.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to find out what lawful means one must engage in to become eligible for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement from the OPM: Who Pays the Price?

In a certain household (left unnamed) somewhere in the Eastern part of the United States, a father gave this piece of advice to his children: You can do anything in life, so long as you are willing to pay the price.  He would go on to expand upon that concept by illustrating the various situations in which such advice might apply: You can commit crimes, but you must be willing to pay the price of incarceration; you can disregard your studies, so long as you realize that your future will be undermined because of your decision not to study; you can ignore your obligations, so long as you are willing to sidestep the pangs of conscience which will haunt you.

Age has many downsides; a deteriorating body, loss of stamina; slow and progressive decline in all areas of body and mind; and yet the upside, hopefully, is that some wisdom is gained along the way.  The price we are willing to pay reveals a person’s inner soul; how far you are willing to go; what cost you are able to endure; of what you are prepared to sacrifice; these, and many more factors determine the character of a person’s life.

For Federal and U.S. Postal employees 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 price you are willing to pay by continuing on is the singular and unique value of your health.  Consider whether you are eligible for Federal Disability Retirement by consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider who ultimately pays the price, and what price is worth the cost?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Disability for Federal and Postal Employees: Comparisons

Does it help to make them?  Do we take comfort in judging the relative plusses and minuses in making comparisons — as in, X has A, B and C, but I have, in addition, D and E, and therefore I am more fortunate that X is.  Or, is it a comparison of one’s conditions, as in: “Boy, at least I don’t have X like Lisa does”, or “At least I am not in Y’s situation”?

To the extent that comparisons remind us of that which we are blessed with, they allow for a certain level of utilitarian value.  But there is a negative side to it: Of jealousy engendered by comparison, or of discontent resulting from making one.  Rousseau, of course, makes that point throughout his “Social Contract” analysis, of the purity of man’s intentions in that fictional state of “nature” that we were once in, but where society’s accretions of materialism created the artificial emotional response of discontent and jealousy.  But compared to what?

It is important to make the fair and correlative comparisons which are relevant — as in “apples to apples” and not “apples to oranges”.  For, it is the uniqueness of each entity, object or situation to be compared with the singularity of another that makes for a proper comparison.

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 inadvisable to compare one’s case to somebody else’s.  For, the proper comparison is not to evaluate one’s medical condition and the severity of one’s medical condition to that of another person’s medical condition; rather, the proper comparison in a Federal Disability Retirement case is to compare one’s medical condition to the essential elements of one’s position.

Thus, comparisons made must always take into account the relevant connections which relate not just in terms of similarities, but as is the case in Federal Disability Retirement Law — in what the law allows for and considers significant.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Horror Tales

Whether of Edgar Allan Poe’s many tales, like The Tell-Tale Heart or The Black Cat, or perhaps a taste that extends to more modern versions, of the Stephen King genre, people like to scare themselves silly, and then to be able to declare, “It was just a story”.  Whether reality reflects fiction, or that fiction can never truly recreate and mirror the sins of our own existence is a debate that will perpetually persist.

The horrors of genocidal mankind — from the Roman era of stadiums filled to capacity to witness cruelty as entertainment, to the Holocaust and Pol Pot’s mass killing fields; to the machete-wielding genocidal killings in Rwanda between the Hutus and the Tutsis; there never seems to be a lack of horror stories, whether by creative imaginations or in the reality of a universe gone berserk.

We read about them; experience nightmares of a reality so steeped in absurdity that they awaken us with a cold sweat; and some few of us have lived them, whether in wars, by being innocent bystanders, or somehow corollary victims otherwise referred to as “collateral” damage.  Each one of us walk about with horror stories; some of insignificant vintage narratives; others, of consequential victimhood to such an extent that we disbelieve our ears or refuse to listen to the whole story.

Then, there are the daily horror stories; maybe they don’t count as such and few would even bother to listen — like Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition and where the medical condition is about to end the once-promising career that has suddenly hit the “pause” button and ceases its once-ever-trajectory towards an upward trend.  Medical conditions at any age are “horror” stories that are often kept secret, stuffed in envelopes of silent lips unopened, and festering in the suffering inner minds of zombie-like peoples walking amidst the turmoil of a world gone berserk.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and need to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the horror stories one carries about may not quite meet the plot or characters of an Edgar Allan Poe tale, or a Stephen King twist; but for the individual who must live and suffer through the process of ending one’s career and fight for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the tale of horror is nevertheless real, and consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law may well blunt the ending of a tale which is fated to otherwise end in a fit of screams and mayhem.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Workers: Stronger/Weaker

It is a categorization at the most basic level — one that is seen daily in Nature and reflected in the human narrative of historical tides and tragedies.  The stronger dominate the weaker; the latter submits to the former, or flees in terror or dies while trying.

In modernity, the password that protects one’s technological contraption is determined for sufficiency based upon that most basic of identities: stronger or weaker.  The bully on the playground will scan the potentiality for complete dominance at the beginning of each school year, based upon the appearance of how one projects one’s self on the very first day.

Throughout the continuum of life’s encounters, no matter how much we may resist becoming pigeonholed into such simplistic bifurcations — whether of our physical stature; our creative energies; our proclivities and mannerisms, etc. — in the end, we all revert back to the foundational elements of our evolutionary ancestors and systematically deem this event or that capacity as either “stronger” or “weaker”.

We like to think that in our advanced state of civilization, such simplistic terms have become muted because of the heightened level of sophistication (i.e., thus the “revenge of the nerds”, where brain overcomes braun); but our true natures nevertheless tend to reveal themselves despite our best efforts to resist.  It is no different in the arena of “the law” than in all other categories.

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 issue of “stronger” versus “weaker” continues to dominate: One’s medical condition places one in the “weaker” position as against the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.

The Federal Agency or the Postal Facility may begin to assert its “stronger” position by a series of adverse actions initiated to establish a paper-trail leading to ultimate termination, including a “Performance Improvement Plan” (otherwise referred to by the acronym, “PIP”); and when the Federal or Postal employee takes the necessary steps in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, it is important to try and gain the “stronger” advantage by enhancing, in every way possible, one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.

There are few “slam-dunk” cases when it comes to a Federal Disability Retirement application.  While the applicant may “believe” his or her case cannot possibly be denied — naturally, because the applicant who tries to prepare the case on his or her own is the same person who suffers from the medical condition upon which the Federal Employee Disability Retirement application is based, and so there is lost a sense of “objectivity” as to the strength or weakness of a case — most cases must be assessed on a scale of “Stronger/Weaker”, and such an assessment is based upon the multiplicity of factors analyzed, including: Does the available and current case-law support the application?  Does the medical documentation sufficiently meet the eligibility criteria under the law?  Will the Agency’s portion of the Federal Disability Retirement application undermine the Applicant’s portion, under the law?

In the end, the law itself determines the basis of a Federal Disability Retirement case in its most basic form of whether a case is “stronger” or “weaker”, and to determine that important aspect of assessing and evaluating a case, consultation with a specialist in Federal Disability Retirement Law is a “must” in this world where nature’s disposition towards the Stronger/Weaker bifurcation continues to dominate.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Chess

Two quick observations about the game of Chess and those who play it:  Few are actually very good at it; and, like self-image and a false sense of confidence for many in the United States, too many who play it believe themselves to be very good at it.  Stefan Zweig wrote about the game brilliantly in his novella, the “Chess Story” (or otherwise translated or sometimes referred to as “The Royal Game”), and debunked the notion that the greatest of players are by implication, necessity and prerequisite of an intellectual character, either as brilliant mathematicians, logicians, musicians, philosophers, etc.

The “brilliant” chess player, Czentovic, is a moron at best, and a blithering idiot at worst — but boy, can he play chess and beat everyone and anyone.  To some extent, the reality of Bobby Fischer confirms the skepticism of Zweig as told in the Chess Story — of the idiot savant whose distorted singularity of brilliance being limited to the ability for adeptly maneuvering within 64 squares of white and black spaces and utilizing 16 pieces each in a game that requires foresight and some amount of insight.

That is not to say that one should minimize or diminish the attributes of a Grand Master and, indeed, many such people were “brilliant” in other ways, as well.  One cannot make generalizations and say that every good chess player is a blithering idiot; but nor can one assume that, because one is good or great at the game, ergo he or she must be an intellectual, philosopher, physicist, etc.  The downfall of most is in the notion that you are good because you think you are good; for everyone else, the tempering of reality normally comes about when one’s own notions come into contact with the reality of the world.

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, initiation and submission of 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, may become a necessity.

Filing an OPM Disability Retirement application is somewhat akin to playing chess — from the crucial initial “move” of the pawn, to maneuvering your way through the landmines of a complex administrative and bureaucratic process, until the final stage of a “checkmate” that results in an approval from OPM.  But the game of chess is not merely the physical aspect of it, and encompasses a wide range of psychological characteristics — of fooling one’s self into greatness; of becoming overconfident; of underestimating one’s opponent.

Similarly, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM is not just the “physical aspects” of filing — it must encapsulate proper legal citations; persuasive argumentation; careful gathering of information, evidence and documents, etc.  And like the fool who believes himself to be a great chess champion, one should always remember that being the “best” at something doesn’t just involve thinking that it is so, but should include consultation with an expert to objectively determine it to be so.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney Representation for OPM Disability Claims: ‘It could be worse…’

Do other species utilize comparative analysis as a tool for deciding the next course of action to take?  Or, does the existential, “here-and-now” appetitive nature of non-human beings rule, such that the conclusion reached — “It could be worse” — never plays a role in the decision-making process?

For, that is the basis of the conclusion reached, is it not?  Of remaining static, refusing to change, in deciding to not make alterations to present circumstances no matter the cost or the pain — that by coming up with imaginative, hypothetical models of circumstances real and fantasized, encapsulating descriptive conditions far worse than the one being endured by you, we can therefore justify continuation of maintaining the status quo?

How much worse must it get before one discards the idea that it could be worse?  Or, are the boundaries of human imagination so limitless that the enduring of present circumstances is always preferable to modification and change; or, perhaps that change itself is so naturally resisted, because the comfort of monotony and repetition provides the sequence of security that favors the stability of an unchanging universe?

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 preservation of the status quo is often preferable to the trauma of needed change.

One can justify for quite a long time the grasping on to that which one has, and to not change; and the justification can be maintained for quite some time in the very statement, “It could be worse…”.  That is the safe path, the road of least resistance; but the question unasked is the one unanswered and therefore untold as to the progressive deterioration of one’s health; Of: “Could it be better?”

That question can only be answered in conjunction with the realization that one’s health is never something that should be sacrificed on the altar of one’s career or work, and preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is the first step in recognizing that, Yes, while it could be worse, it could also be better.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire