Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement: The Drama of Life

There is drama everywhere — whether in theaters, local plays, movies or daytime soap operas, the drama of life is being played out.  “Drama”, “dramatic”, “melodrama” — whichever word or concept you apply, we all know what it means.  Most of us try to minimize it, avoid it, marginalize it — and the quick response to cut it down to size is often, “I’m not into that kind of drama” or, “Aren’t you being a bit over-dramatic?”

Once upon a time the fable of lessons learned included “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” — of that story with a moral lesson of the importance of truth-telling, and if you over-dramatized a lie too often, your reputation would suffer.  And so the moral of the story taught 2 things: “Truth” is important; creating drama for your own amusement would have consequences.

But in life, there are times when the drama of life cannot be avoided.  One such time is when a Federal or Postal employee is beset with 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.  That is a time when the drama of life must be faced, especially in terms of a career choice — of whether you can continue on, or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Contact a Federal Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of facing up to the drama of life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The Space Between Reality and Fantasy

We can live within a world of fantasy, so long as it does not abut against the world’s reality.  We can fantasize that we are “super heroes” — so long as we do not jump out of the window thinking that we can soar through the clouds.  Both worlds can be juggled without an internal — or even an external — contradiction.

Some indicators touch upon the edges of conflict — as when we are caught daydreaming; or a person begins to act too much in the “as if” universe of thoughts and dreams; and we become concerned when someone we know begins to express beliefs and theories which step outside of the spheres of acceptable and normative systems.

Medical conditions, however, tend to keep people “real”; for, the pain and debilitating symptoms do not allow for any space between fantasy and reality.  Rather, they jolt one into being “real” each and every day — except when it becomes necessary or prudent to conceal one’s condition, resulting in a smiling face which masks the pain, the energetic look which covers the fatigue, or the clarity of words which hides the confusion.

Federal and Postal workers often have to straddle the line between reality and fantasy when a medical condition begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

When the two lines begin to blur, you need to contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement.  For, in the end, the reality of a medical condition cannot be concealed for long, and the fantasy that the medical condition will simply go away cannot be endured.

Federal Disability Retirement benefits are there for the Federal or Postal worker who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

Contact an OPM Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and make sure that the space between reality and fantasy is maintained.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Postal & Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: Adaptation

It is how a species survives — and even thrives — in the face of changing circumstances.  Human beings clearly have an adaptive advantage in comparison to other species; otherwise, how to explain the extinction of multiple others while the overpopulation of ours?

Scientists have noted the general utilitarian talents of our type — not the best at anything, but the capacity to compensate despite our lack.  But ours is no longer a world where physical adaptation is the primal key.  Rather, because of technology’s dominance, our cognitive ability to adapt is being tested.

More and more, the psychological stresses bombarding us test the capacity of the human species — and we are failing at every turn.  The stresses of daily life; the mental pressures; the voluminous demands for multi-tasking just to get through the day — and when a medical condition hits us, is it any wonder that we are unable to adapt?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, “adaptation” may require filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  To adapt is to recognize and change with the modifying forces of nature.

Consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the earnest process of recognizing that adaptation is necessary where change is inevitable.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement Benefits for US Government Employees: The Identical Scene

People tend to watch things over and over again which they consider to be their “favorites” — until the repetition itself becomes monotonous through overexposure.  We can all ruin a good thing, can’t we?

We can admire an actor, novelist or some so-called “star” — until we read and learn about their personal lives and realize that appearance doesn’t quite match reality.  We can have a favorite scene in a movie or television show and watch it repeatedly — until the uniqueness of it wears thin and we begin to see beyond the wonder by which we were first captivated.

That “identical scene” is something we live in real life, as well — of getting up, taking care of our personal hygiene, commuting to work (except during these recent, pandemic times), seeing the identical scene of working, day after day — until an intervening event disrupts that identical scene, such as a medical condition.

When a medical condition disrupts our lives, those identical scenes become hyper-enhanced to the point where each day is no longer monotonous nor identical, but instead, each scene is a unique frame because of the medical condition itself.  That once “identical scene” no longer becomes a favorite one, precisely because of the medical condition itself.

At that point, you need to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether the identical scene you once enjoyed has now become the dreaded scene of real life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: The Regrets of Today

Today is a fresh start; tomorrow, although unknown, allows for corrections of today’s mistakes; and yesterday — well, we cannot do much about the past except to attempt to learn from the errors already committed.

The Age of Wittgenstein prevails in our generation.  The great philosopher of the 20th Century wiped away the problems which haunted Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, et al, by relegating all such problems as propositional fallacies confused by the inaccuracy of language.  All we have to do is correct the “language games” we play, and all problems disappear.  Fast forward to today — there are no longer any “truths” with a capital “T”, but only relative ones and even “alternative” truths, all correctible by the modification of what is said, the words spoken, the language used.

The problem with such an approach is that it often is disproven by the reality of the mistakes we make, resulting in the regrets of today.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition presents the reality of a problem which language will not erase, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may be the best option for today.

Tomorrow will present a new set of problems; today, it is best to take an affirmative step forward and consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and begin the process of formulating a paper presentation to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in order to make yesterday’s regrets a mere language game of the past, and tomorrows challenges as a reality that is based upon the truth of today.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Employees: Lost Causes

It is that famous line from the 1939 movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” which is evoked by the phrase, “Lost Causes” — of the near-defeated Senator Smith who reminds his father’s old friend that once upon a time, even he had believed that such were the only ones worth fighting for.

It is an idealistic movie; perhaps, even naive.  Was it because of the time in which it was made?  Would — could — such a film be produced in this day and age?  Could there really have been such an individual with unfettered idealism in this era where cynicism and tribal warfare abounds with unlimited and unrestricted savagery?  Do we even have a conscience, anymore, which is required to fight for those “lost causes” that need an advocacy unblemished by the dirt of pessimism?

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, perhaps the medical condition itself has resulted in a perspective that one’s own career, and even life itself, has become one of those “lost causes”.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is not the “end all” of a solution to a lost cause, but it does provide a glimmer of hope so that the Federal or Postal employee can re-focus his or her attention upon regaining one’s health.  But there is a sticking point — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  A denial from OPM can make it appear as if our Federal Disability Retirement application has become another one of those “lost causes”.

Consult with an experienced FERS attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to see whether or not what you perceive as a “lost cause” is worthy of a cause to fight for, and don’t give up so easily; for, in the end, what Senator Jefferson Smith said is what keeps that flame of hope alive — that the only causes worth fighting for are those “lost causes” that everyone else had abandoned.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Proof and Knowledge

The two go hand in hand.  That, in and of itself — of “going hand in hand” — is a peculiar metaphor; for, like couples holding hands while taking a walk in the proverbial park, do hands necessarily have to be held in order for comity to be established?  Can a person, for example, have proof without knowledge or, conversely, knowledge without proof?

If a bloodied knife is picked up beside a dead body, can a person declare, “I have proof!”  Yes, but proof of what?  Perhaps that the dead person died from a knife wound; or that the owner of the weapon has etched his or her initials upon the handle of the implements, etc.  But as to “whodunit” — the weapon itself may now be the crucial piece of evidence.  But what of “knowledge”?

Again, it would be different if the same person, taking the identical hypothetical, declared: “I know who did it — that person there!”  [As the accusing individual points to a shrouded man standing afar in the crowd, hat tilted to shadow his face, hunched in an oversized raincoat and furtively attempting to disappear into the crowd].

So one now has “knowledge”, and perhaps even “proof” (i.e., fingerprints on the knife; eyewitnesses who identify the man in the raincoat as the guilty party; video of the act itself, caught by a British CCTV camera that was recording in the middle of nowhere — by the way, how in the world do the British get away with so many surveillance cameras?).

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal employees who are considering preparing and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, remember that Proof and Knowledge must, indeed, go “hand in hand” in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Proof is not just one’s medical condition; it must include a showing of a verifiable deficiency and a nexus to one’s job elements; and knowledge is not just “knowing” that one is disabled — it must include meeting all of the multiple criteria of the laws governing Federal Disability Retirement.

Thus, you may already have the “proof”, but you should consult an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to gather the “knowledge” necessary to qualify for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for OPM Disability Retirement: Goals of abstract purity

Idealism allows for the plethora of such concepts; cynicism born of age and experience quells the exuberance of such vaunted beginnings.

When we were young — no, not the opening lines of a Christopher Robin poem where the hunt for a clove of honey is the day’s goal, but an observation about life’s folly — we harbored principles and moral codes that required strict purity: Success without compromise; life that is perfectly lived; avoidance of mistakes that our parents made; beautiful kids who will exhibit their inherent creativity at every turn, without a wail or disobedient scream of tantrum; and even if such goals of abstract purity never come to fruition, at least there is Instagram in the modern era where we can pretend to have achieved such paradise of ends considered.

Youth pretends to such abstractions; reality tends to soil such purity; and goals formulated at the beginning of life require constant moderation and adaptation to the experience of reality that is encountered throughout.  Such goals of abstract purity are best left in the Ivory Towers of Academia, or in the forgotten memories of childhood dreams.  For, it is reality and the objective world which must be contended with, and not the conceptual paradigms that make up the dreams and fantasies of our former selves.  In the end, grownups don’t have time to waste upon the goals of abstract purity because life is too challenging and reality too stark.

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 position, the Goals of Abstract Purity should be replaced with the Ends of Realistic Objectivity: Of continuing with the Postal Service or Federal Agency only to the extent that one’s health will allow, and to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS.

And what of those former Goals of Abstract Purity?  You should place them upon the heap of memories that allowed for youthful folly, and realize that one’s health is the ultimate goal of purity — and it is no longer a mere abstraction, but a reality that must be faced.

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