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 Crease of Time

Time is an unnoticed quantity until we fail to abide by it.  The world around us operates within the purview of ticks and tocks — or, more appropriately in this digital age, by the silent advance of illuminated numbers changing by unseen seconds and lengthy days.  If you live in the city for too long, even the trees fail to tell us that the leaves have changed color or have shed themselves of a summer’s forlorn moment.  In the countryside, where farmers battle the seasons and time is measured not in seconds or minutes, but by the months of growth and decay — time becomes a quantity measured by the westerly winds that bring the scent of Spring’s hope.

The crease of time is when the smooth transition from seconds to minutes, from minutes to hours, and from hours to days is interrupted by a fold of life that was unexpected.  Perhaps it occurs by some tragedy; a divorce, a death, an accident or an event of unexpected outcomes; but in any event, the crease of time suddenly awakens us and tells us that change is needed, or is imposed upon us without choice.

Medical conditions bring about a crease of time.  They tell us that not all transitions in life are smooth, and nor are they meant to be.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where such 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, the crease in time is a warning sign that the smooth transition of days-to-days and weeks-to-weeks cannot go on as it once was, but must by necessity change in order to accommodate the change itself.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Employee Disability Retirement Law and consider the options moving forward; for, the crease in time tells us that it is not merely the seasons that change, but of health and the future of one’s career must abide by the laws of nature that create the crease of time.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Lies We Tell Ourselves

The linguistic/philosophical conundrum, to begin with, is the question: Can a person lie to one’s self?  Conceptually, it is an interesting phenomenon; for, the same person to whom one is lying to is identical to the one who is conveying the falsehood, and so — assuming that individual X does not suffer from some psychological state of a “split personality” or has a disengagement between one side of the brain with the other — is it even conceivable that a “lie” could be told if the person to whom it is told cannot possibly be duped into believing it?  For, isn’t the purpose of lying to someone to persuade that someone of its truth?

But if the falsehood is known from the outset, then what would be the purpose of lying to that person in the first place?  Of course, there could be a more subtle form of the phenomenon — sort of like the “world’s best-kept secret — known by everyone” type of experience where, although X knows that it is a lie, X feels comfortable in living the lie and thus continues on “as if”.

Take the following hypothetical: X’s kids are spoiled brats.  Everywhere they go — to restaurants, friend’s house, Grandma’s home — they fuss and whine and throw tantrums.  But instead of trying to correct the problem you say to yourself (and everyone else affirms it): Oh, they are just such brilliant kids that their rambunctiousness is merely a testament to their inner creativity — or some such similarly meaningless fodder as that.  Or, what about a health issue which is becoming progressively debilitating?  Don’t we lie to ourselves about that?  Oh, it’ll go away.  It’ll get better.  Today, I feel better, etc.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition continues to progressively worsen, and has impacted one’s ability to continue in one’s career — it may be time to stop lying to yourself, and to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  For, while the lies we tell ourselves may not always be harmful, it is often the one that we secretly know to be a falsehood that comes back to haunt us.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for FERS Disability Retirement: Hope for Hope

There is hope; then, there is hoping for hope.  Hope alone is the ability to see the distance between Point-A and Destination-B;  Hope for hope is the capacity to picture in one’s mind that one may be able to view that distance between A and B.

Few of us are in the former category; for those in the latter, it is the little step between the two that remains a wide chasm that keeps growing each day.  The concrete plans that are made; a sense that there is a destination which is reachable; an idea to strive for, a meaning to live by and a clear perspective upon which one may abide by — these give hope.

It is when one lacks that hope, but is yet hopeful to attain it — that means that the spark of life, however faded or jaded, still remains, albeit in a flickering, fragile existence.  Perhaps it is as a result of a trauma; or the chronicity of a problem, a disabling medical condition that progressively and steadily deteriorates, where the soul becomes so battered and wounded that one is on the verge of giving up any hope for hope.

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, it may be time to consider filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be ultimately submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

It is a long and arduous administrative process, and the process itself often picks apart a person’s hopeful reserves.  But it is a process which carries with it a hope for hope — away from the harassing nature of the Federal Agency, away from the constant battle against Postal Supervisors and Managers; and, in the end, it is the hope for hope that reinvigorates the belief that there is life beyond a career that has been slowly extinguishing the flickering hope that keeps one going.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Inconsistencies

Selective extrapolation is the preferred method by which they justify a denial; a notation taken out of context from this particular day, or an offhand comment in response to a nurse’s question on a differentiated day where you may be feeling slightly better, etc.

Inconsistencies remain the harbinger of a denial of a FERS Medical Retirement application from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Yet, life is full of inconsistencies, and one can even argue that inconsistencies are the stamp of reality — that sincerity of life’s events are replete with contradictions and spectrums of bumps; that perfection is often a greater indication of artifice, instead of life’s reality that is actually lived.

That is the anomaly and the inconsistency itself: Perfection of circumstances is the real artifice; lack of perfection, the reality of living life.  Yet, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management reviews a Federal Disability Retirement application in the very opposite way; they search out the inconsistencies, then allege that those inconsistencies somehow rise to the level of artifice, when all along they merely reflect the reality of life itself, replete with inconsistencies that betray the lack of perfection which truth itself brings.

Thus, beware when the doctor or nurse writes in a note, “Feeling much better today” — for, although you still hobble about because of a broken body or are unable to focus or concentrate because of a psychiatric condition, the inconsistency between a singular notation and the reality reflected in one’s medical condition is the weaponized methodology of a Federal Agency which seeks out such inconsistencies as a basis for a denial.

As such, a Federal employee or U.S. Postal Service worker who seeks to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits should turn for advice and counsel to an experienced Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law to make sure that the inconsistencies may be minimized in the impact upon a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for FERS Disability Retirement: The identity of choice

In the end, do we?  That is — do we have a choice when it comes to our identity?  Of course, in this day and age where word-play has become completely malleable, and where Truth and Falsity rarely matter except when tested against the exigencies of the objective universe (i.e., as when crossing a street and someone says, “Be careful, a bus is coming”, and you suddenly realize that the truth or falsity of such a statement can actually have real-life consequences), the question becomes: How does one define one’s use of the word, “identity”?  Is it based upon the aggregation of objective and subjective statements, beliefs, opinions and perspectives?

In other words, are we merely the compendium of cumulative voices based upon: Our birth certificate; the driver’s license in our wallets; the memories retained by our parents, grandparents and relatives; how our friends view us; what our spouses believe us to be; what the neighborhood dogs recalls from sniffing at our feet — the cumulative aggregation of all of such factors?  Is who we are — our “identity” — different from who we believe we are?  If everyone believes X to be such-and-such but X believes himself to be a secret agent working for a mysterious foreign entity, what (or who) determines the reality of our identity?  Or, is “identity” based upon the collective perspective of a community that “knows” that individual?  Can we “choose’ our identity, and if so, completely or only partially?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to continue to work in one’s Federal or Postal job, there is often a concomitant “identity crisis” that accompanies the medical condition.  No longer are you the stellar worker for the Federal Agency; no longer are you the reliable provider who slogs through the daily toil as a Postal employee; instead, your identity is one of having a medical condition that limits, prevents, subverts or otherwise alters the way in which you live.

Filing for FERS Disability Retirement becomes an alternative that must be chosen, and that “choice” may alter who you are and what others may think about you.  But in the end, you do have a choice: The essence of who you are remains always within; the identity of choice is not altered merely because you file for a benefit that must be pursued because of a medical condition that was incurred through no fault of your own; and anyone who thinks otherwise never knew you to begin with.  For, in the end, the identity of choice was and remains always within the purview and power within each of us; we just didn’t know it.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: The Resistance

The initial reaction to such a title is the obvious one: To what?  Of course, Newton’s Third Law of Motion comes immediately to mind — of every action having an equal and opposite reaction; thus, when one posits a “resistance”, the natural query must refer to its opposition, as in, “What is it that we are resisting?”

Throughout our “stages of life”, we either comply, conform, “go along with the crowd” — or resist doing so.  There are “middle” ways, of course, and yet to compromise and resist “half-way”, or in a half-hearted manner, often seems to ruin the whole point of any resistance, doesn’t it?

If one is to be a revolutionary, the point is to be one completely, or not at all.  During the Sixties, there was the famous line (often misattributed to Abbie Hoffman, the Beatles and others) which declared that the movement’s participants would “never trust anyone over 30” — spoken by Jack Weinberg in response to a hostile interviewer.  The underlying point of the statement is quite clear: By the age of 30, most people have “sold out”, conformed, lost their youthful vigor to resist; or, put more simply, accepted the status quo and have become cynical.  Yet, isn’t there a natural inclination to “belong”, to not stand apart from the crowd, and to be able to live a quiet, unassuming life?

“Resistance” can thus have a duality of meanings — it can imply that one is part of a movement involving resistance to the status quo or, even its opposite; that one resists change and is integrally a participant of the status quo.  Resistance to change is the greater dominating force.  Change is a fearsome entity where the unknown is to be avoided at all costs.  To be a part of “the resistance” that refuses to conform — well, that is best left to those under 30, unattached and without obligations and responsibilities.

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, resistance to change is often the factor that procrastinates, and keeps a person in a “muddle of the middle” where conditions deteriorate but one stubbornly insists upon maintaining the status quo.

But as medical conditions deteriorate and as the Federal Agency or the Postal Service persists in seeking change — by forcing the issue and initiating adverse actions in order to fill the position with a person who is able to perform all of the essential elements of the position — resistance to change must be replaced with becoming a part of the resistance: By preparing and submitting an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM and forging ahead into a future yet unknown.

Remember —even Jack Weinberg became a class of individuals that he resisted, and went on to become a consultant and an adjunct faculty member; in other words, he was once in the “Resistance”, then became that opposite and equal force to fulfill Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill,Esquire