OPM Disability Retirement: Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Much of life is an experience of repetition.  It is the act of habituation which allows for the sustainability of life.  If every experience — each day, each hour, every day, every hour — is a new experience, it would be tantamount to the antithesis of sustainability: Chaos would prevail.

Then, there are once-in-a-lifetime experiences — perhaps of an astrological event where certain planets align themselves once in a million years; or of a “Supernova” that is witnessed; or of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Yes — that, too, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, inasmuch as it is unlikely you will file for the benefit more than once in a given lifetime.

Being such a unique event, it is advisable to consult with an OPM Disability Lawyer who has performed the chore of legal representation more than once, in order to obtain the experience of wisdom and advice which is, indeed, a once in a lifetime experience — but not for your FERS Attorney.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Out for Federal Employees with Disabilities: Indicators

They are the flashing lights to warn others of actions about to be taken; or, they can be “clues” which allow for a preview of things yet to occur.  Retrospectively, we are all experts at identifying them; prospectively, many of us ignore or are otherwise oblivious to them, despite their obvious presence.

When we perform a forensic analysis in looking back, we will often realize that there were, indeed, many indicators which should have forewarned us of the impending troubles.  While no one likes to play Monday-night quarterbacking (actually, we all love doing it; we just like to pretend as to its involuntary necessity), such forensic analysis is a useful tool in apprising ourselves of the things which we missed.  But when an event in life occurs only once, or we only have one shot at something, no amount of retrospective analysis is going to be helpful.

Medical conditions have that characteristic — of indicators or signs which should have warned us of future problems, of which we dismissively ignored in hopes that the warnings — and the future substantive troubles — would simply go away.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is also like that — while you have 3 Stages in order to get approved (the 4th Stage being an irrelevant one because there is no quorum on the MSPB Board), you normally only have this “one-shot” at obtaining an approval.  Because of this, it is important to consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and make sure that all of the “indicators” are taken into account before you make that proverbial “right turn” into the future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Medical Retirement: Summer Respite?

Isn’t that what we long for?  Those “dog days of summer”, when a slight respite is tacitly agreed to by everyone, or most everyone.  Like weekends; like informal truces presumed between enemy forces; Christmas week; New Year’s Eve; the Thanksgiving Holidays; and once upon a time Easter Week was solemnly observed where most people took a time of reflection to redirect sacred oaths and faithful commitments.

The summer respite is quite different.  Not marking any particular occasion nor recognizing a specific remembrance, it is nevertheless a time somewhere in the searing and unrelenting heat of summer that everyone suddenly slows down.  Whether by osmosis of a transcendent metabolic engineering that is inherent in all human beings, or just a faint comprehension that we all need a break, the time for a summer respite is traditionally recognized by all.

These are peculiar times, however.  With half of the nation experiencing economic concerns and the other half still battling the pandemic, there isn’t time for the yearly cycle of a summer respite.  Medical conditions are like that, too.  It robs us of that summer respite, or of any respite at all.

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 having any respite from the daily turmoil of life’s challenges, contact an OPM Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Employee FERS Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

While it may not get you the summer respite you were looking for, it will offer you the lifetime respite from having to have to endure the unendurable turmoil of continuing in a job which you can no longer do.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Employee Disability Retirement: Failures

When ascribed to a task or a project, it all depends upon how it is characterized.  When identified or closely associated with an individual, we tend to be harsher judges — especially when it involves our own participation.  Perhaps there is a simple, even “objective” definition which encapsulates the concept of failure: Of merely not achieving that which was expected.

If we work with that definition, then the focal point would be upon our own expectations, and perhaps we simply needed to adjust them to a more realistic perspective.  Then again, such an approach would merely be a circular tautology, and there would never be any failures — i.e., every time a failure occurred, we could just say, “Oh, we expected that”, and every time our expectations were not met, we would say, “Oh, we changed our expectations, so it is no longer a failure”.  But clearly, that does not reflect reality, and there are truly times when failure does occur.

In the end, what is important is to recognize that our expectations — both of ourselves and of outcomes in reality — cannot always be met, precisely because there are other intervening factors that may account for the prevention of meeting 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 employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is important to recognize that the intervening factor of the medical condition itself is what prevents you from meeting that expectation of reaching full retirement, and that is why Federal Disability Retirement benefits are there to assert.

It is not a “failure” to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; rather, our expectations concerning our own health intervened in the meantime, and we have to adjust to accommodate — not a failure, but of human frailty.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Worries

We all have them.  For some, they become so overwhelming as to destroy a life, prevent a career, block any advancement and contain any progress.  It is the capacity of human beings to project into the future, to expect events yet to happen and to become anxious about circumstances beyond one’s control.  It is what makes human beings unique.

Perhaps it is the outgrowth from evolutionary origins which allows for the success of our species — for, to worry is to have an imagination, and it is the human imagination stemming from fear for the future that has allowed for human innovation and solutions to problems which might have otherwise ended in disaster.  But as every positive force has its negative opposite, so the worries we carry can also cancel out the positive impact that worries may incur.

We may worry about our future, and our actions may resolve such worries; we may worry about our parents or grandparents, and a solution may resolve such concerns; or we may worry about our past, and yet such worries may be unfounded.  Worries alone are not enough; they must follow with a plan, an action, an implementation of a goal derived.

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 worry for tomorrow may be a real concern, and not just your imagination taking you into flights of fearful chaos.

Consult with an OPM Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and allow your worries about tomorrow be allayed with facts about the Law and expertise in the field of Federal Disability Retirement benefits for the future which is hidden, yet hopeful.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Consider the Alternatives

In making any decision, it is always important that one consider the alternatives available.  It is the decision made in isolation — of contending with thoughts, fears and misinformation within a vacuum of not knowing — that often results in disastrous decisions made without consulting and considering the alternatives available.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that 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 choices are often stark and clear: Stay at a job or career which is no longer sustainable, and where the Agency will increasingly harass and punitively initiate actions in an effort to remove you; resign and walk away with nothing; or, in the best alternative available, file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Sometimes, of course, the “unexpected” alternative can occur: For example, a person who has filed for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is offered a reassignment that is both acceptable and accommodating to one’s medical condition, and continuation in the Federal Workforce is thus possible.  In most instances, however, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is “The” alternative, and the only viable one available, but even such an alternative must be considered carefully in light of the existing laws, the potentiality for problems to be encountered, and the resistance met by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for the multiple and varied reasons that OPM bases its denials upon.

Considering the alternatives is not just a matter of whether and when to file, but to be cognizant of the difficulties ahead in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; and in order to do that, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Early Medical Retirement for FERS Employees: Envy

It is tantamount to jealousy; perhaps its neighbor, cousin, sister or husband; and both reside in the shadows of unuttered emotions, festering by maintaining an outward appearance of calm and implacable smiles while all the while eating away beneath the surface.  It can be applied as either a noun or a verb; but in either grammatical form, it retains the character of an ugly relational cauldron of discontent.

Perhaps it is directed towards possessions; or of someone else’s good luck, greater popularity or ease of living.  The questions which sprout from envy are many and varied: Why me and not the other person?  Why does X have it better than I do?  Why does everyone think that Y is so much better?

We are rarely satisfied with our lot in life, and this crazy universe promotes envy, jealousy, comparisons and disunity, for it is all about the “I” and the “Me” — it is not a community of shared interests, but the closest we know of Rousseau’s “State of Nature” where each is on his or her own and the battle is to destroy one another.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that medical condition impacts your ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of your job,”envy” is often not towards someone else, but of a previous life, the prior person and the former self — for that time when health was taken for granted and the capacity to do everyday, “normal” things was never given a second thought.

Such envy is not the same as the envy felt towards others; for, it is neither ugly nor unutterable, but a natural yearning for something which once was and perhaps still could be.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may not be the solution to solving that special sense of envy, but it at least allows for a foundational annuity such that you can focus your attention back to your health and begin the road towards regaining that sense of self where envy is not of what you once were, but of what you can still become.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire