FERS Disability Retirement Law: The Great Lesson

Once upon a time, people went through experiences without the need to put them to some greater advantage.

Stories abound of WWI and WWII veterans who earned medals for bravery — even the Medal of Honor — and never mentioned it to anyone, until some grandchild wandering up into Grandpa’s attic found a shiny ornament in some dusty old chest, brought it down and asked the old man, “What is this?”  Or, of the Olympic Gold Medalist who similarly went to work, got married and lived a “normal”, unassuming life without make a big todo about his or her accomplishment of being the top athlete in a chosen field.

Nowadays, everyone who experiences anything has to turn it into The Great Lesson.  It becomes an awakening; a springboard to some Eureka moment that propels the person into a higher purpose, a metaphysical transcendence to attaining a greater consciousness, and then to become a corporate motivational speaker who has some profound insight into life, its misgivings and that “Great Lesson” that was allegedly learned from some traumatic experience or other.

The reality is that, the greater lesson beyond any “great lesson” is that the experience itself — whatever it is — is not the hard part; the hard part is to go beyond that experience, and to continue to live a quiet, productive life without trying to sell to everyone how “The Great Lesson” lead you to profound, metaphysical insights which corporate motivational speakers can charge an arm and a leg to hear about.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a disabling 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 Great Lesson of a medical condition is quite simple, and will not get you to some metaphysical consciousness beyond the simplicity of the lesson itself:  Get a Federal Disability Retirement annuity, and begin to focus upon the priority of your health.

There — that’s all there is to it.  Of course, maybe you can package it into some extended motivational speech and make up to 80% of what your former Federal job pays today, so that you can WOW them with some transcendental meditational speech and charge them that arm and a leg, but only after you have regained your health.

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.

 

FERS Disability Attorney Legal Assistance: The Intended Goal

Every now and again, we see a video clip of the goal NOT intended — of a running back turned around and making for the wrong end zone; of a basketball player stick his or her leg out to block a pass, only to have the deflection make an arc and swish into the wrong basket; and other similar deviations from the intended goal.

Later in life, people forget to evaluate and analyze first what the intended goal is, before hazarding a lengthy trek towards the conclusion — i.e., years later, do we look at it and say to ourselves, “I should have…”.

OWCP under the Federal Department of Labor is one such animal where the intended goal is often overlooked.  OWCP is not a retirement system; instead, it is a benefit meant to return the Federal or Postal worker back to work.  FERS OPM Medical Retirement, on the other hand, is a system where one’s medical condition will allow the Federal or Postal worker to become eligible for early Federal or Postal Disability Retirement.

You can actually obtain an approval for FERS Disability Retirement while receiving OWCP benefits; you just can’t receive TTD and a FERS annuity concurrently, but you can have the FERS Disability Retirement approved but inactive.

The process for both is rather complicated, but if the intended goal is to retire early because you will never be able to go back to your former Federal or Postal job, you may want to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Yes, yes, OWCP pays more — for the present — but FERS Disability Retirement continues to build your retirement system by counting the years you remain on Federal Disability Retirement until age 62.

Contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement, and begin to process of evaluating and analyzing the intended goal.

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.

 

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement: Sufficiency

There is always a measure of subjectivity involved, of course.  Following the Council of Trent, the issues which prevailed as a response to the Protestant Reformation involved Church doctrine and clarifications needed concerning issues involving “sufficiency” of grace, whether the human will could engage in acts of the “Good” without it, and so many other interesting minutiae of proper wording which is now irrelevant in this postmodern era.

What is sufficient; what qualitative or quantitative determinations meet that criteria; is there an objective set of rules and regulations requiring sufficiency, and how is it determined to have been met?

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, “sufficiency” of information is a critical criteria to be met in every Federal Disability Retirement case.

There has been no “Council of Trent” to clarify what would meet the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s criteria for what constitutes sufficiency of medical and other information; although, there have certainly been many “edicts” issued, both by OPM and the Federal Courts, as well as by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (the “MSPB”).

What is sufficient; how is it determined; who decides on the issue; what can be done to meet the criteria — these are all questions which can differ from case-to-case because of the inherent uniqueness of each case.

Contact an OPM Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement benefits and avoid the proclamations issued concerning heresies and violations of doctrinal clarifications, whether by the Council of Trent or by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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.

 

FERS Employee Disability Retirement: Secondary Causation

Can a Federal or Postal employee obtain an approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, of a Federal OPM Disability Retirement benefit under FERS, for secondary-causation conditions?

Cancer is a prime example — for, it is most often NOT the cancer itself which debilitates a person, but rather, the secondary causation: The residual effects and after-effects of Chemotherapy and/or Radiation therapy, resulting in numbness, neuropathic pain, cognitive dysfunctions, memory loss, inability to focus or concentrate — the compendium of secondarily caused impact originating from the necessary treatment of the primary cause.

Thus, the mistake that many Federal and Postal employees make in presenting a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is in the characterization of one’s medical condition.  Secondary Causation cases can be tricky, and how it is presented makes all of the difference.

Contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal and Postal Disability Retirement Law and see whether or not you qualify based upon a secondary causation condition.

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.

 

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Law: How We See Ourselves

Disturbing studies keep seeping out from these technological times of unfettered advancement: Of kids having greater anxiety, being placed on medications at earlier and earlier ages; of technology — Facebook, Instagram and other “Social Media” outlets — contributing to how we see ourselves.

In a predominantly agrarian society — of which we were until after WWI (the Great War to end all wars — how did that work for us?) — with no technological connection between towns, cities, and even families, how we saw ourselves differed drastically than in the modern era.

We did not compare ourselves to total strangers.  We did not snap images of ourselves constantly and obsessively.  We did not view pictures of ourselves, nor had the capacity to alter, modify, “improve” or otherwise change the way we were reflected.  In fact, the grainy images of black-and-white photographs barely captured the outer shell of who we are.

So, how did we see ourselves “back then”?  We didn’t.  Instead, the focus was outward — towards the objective world we had to maneuver through in order to survive.

In modernity, the focus has shifted inward — within the universe of words, language, thoughts, images, and the aggregation of an insular world.  This shift is important to recognize, for we have to counterbalance the overemphasis upon how we see ourselves.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are suffering 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, How We See Ourselves is important in light of the devastating impact that the loss of one’s career and instability of one’s future is looked upon.

Greater stress and anxiety likely dominates.  The insular and the objective feed upon each other and trigger greater difficulties.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of taking a greater balanced view of How We See Ourselves by prioritizing your health, and therefore, your future.

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.

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Reactive Responses

By haste do we regret; by unthinking actions do we abide the fool.  Have you seen the sign often placed at the Clerk’s window at the local courthouse?  It will read something to the effect of: “Your procrastination does not create my emergency”.

Reactive responses, whether based upon a “real” emergency or one which seemingly appears so, are often the basis for later regrets and irreparable damage.  It is like the rule that everyone should follow in sending emails or posting comments on the Internet: Wait a day; sleep on it; set it aside for later consideration.

Few emergencies are rarely so; most are merely in the minds of the individual, burning like a forest fire out of control, but yet distant enough to suffer no lives.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, the reactive response is often the fatal one.  Unless it is to meet a statute of limitations deadline, or to respond to an issue with a specific timeframe, most considerations which arise in a disability retirement application are rarely true emergencies and can be thoughtfully approached and resolved.

Contact a Federal Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, lest haste results in waste and the thoughtless action reverberates with unintended consequences.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
Federal Disability Attorney

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: A Reason for Everything

Why must we attach one to each event, every occurrence, all episodes?  Is there one for everything?  Must there be a “reason” for every event in life?

We require explanations — whether of a transcendent nature, a motive or a foundation explaining a causal connection; but is the necessity inherent in the event, or does it reveal more about ourselves as a species which demands a rational explanation?  Does it matter, ultimately, whether the rising of the sun is explained by referring to the awakening of the gods or that the revolution of the earth rotating around the sun explains the phenomena, and that the sun doesn’t actually rise, but because of the spinning cycle of the earth, dawn comes upon us?

Of course, in daily living, whichever explanation we accept — whether of the gods yawning and awakening or the more “scientific” explanation about planets and their rotational movements — matters not except perhaps to raise eyebrows during the course of a conversation with your boss, but it does, of course, make a tremendous difference if you work at NASA and are planning the next space mission.

We seek a reason for everything; that is the nature of human beings, and for Federal employees and 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 reason given to the question, “Why me?” may not be a simple one.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may not answer the age-old questions concerning causality, but it will at least allow you to focus upon your health and the priorities in life.  Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement; at the very least, some of the questions and reasons concerning the complex conundrum concerning disability retirement may be answered.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
FERS Disability Attorney

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Preparing for the unknown

How does one prepare for the unknown?  If the very basis of preparation is to prepare for something, how can you then engage in that activity if X is an anomaly, a conundrum, a mystery yet to be uncovered and revealed such that the prior stage of preparing for it can be accomplished?  Is there a necessity for the pre-preparation stage?  Does one have to prepare in order to prepare to perform the actual act of engaging the substance of that which must be prepared for?

Certainly, learning about a subject — reading, researching, analyzing and evaluating — prior to performing acts which constitute “preparation” is an important component, but how many people have time to do such things?

Nowadays, if a person is asked whether they can “do X”, we just whip out our Smartphone, Google it and watch a You-Tube video and declare, “Yeah, I can do that.”  Is that what self-appointed lawyers do, these days — winging it by quickly reading some summarization of an article, then head into court and stand before a judge and make motions, argue cases, etc.?

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, preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may well become a necessity.

It is the “preparing” part of the entire process which may be the lynchpin of success or failure.  Yes, you can read various articles (including this writer’s many pointers, legal articles and the like), but always understand that each case is unique — as is yours — and legal guidance based upon the individual circumstances of a particular case is very important in preparing for the unknown.

The “unknown” is the Federal Disability Retirement process, the administrative venue and the bureaucratic morass that encompasses the entirety of Federal Disability Retirement Law, and while no lawyer should contend that he or she knows “everything” about a subject, an experienced lawyer can certainly provide for valuable “pre-preparation”, as well as the preparation and the substantive work on formulating and finalizing that which is yet unknown, but ready to be revealed, uncovered, and refined into a Federal Disability Retirement application that stands a good chance of challenging the unknown.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Weight of evidence

When you walk into a room full of people, how does one differentiate, define, separate and discern?  Remember that once-popular fictional work entitled, Tarzan of the Apes by (originally) Edgar Rice Burroughs?

There is a scene (whether from one of the various versions depicted on screen) where young Tarzan is surrounded by a crowd of “civilized” individuals staring, prodding, looking on with curiosity — and the young man who had been brought up in the wild lacks the capacity to compartmentalized the sudden bombardment of overstimulation, and runs amok amidst the finery of a social setting.

How is it that we learn to differentiate and categorize from among the massive aggregate of stimuli directed at us?  Do we, as Kant posits, impose mental categories upon the chaos of the world?  How do we learn to determine the “weight” of importance, significance or even of relevance upon the various activities that surround, impart and become directed at ourselves or around and about our purview?

And in the legal context, how do we know what weight of evidence should be submitted, and how to organize it into a priority of relevance?

You know the old joke — or is it merely a “trick”? — Of telling a person to “listen carefully,” and misleading the listener into thinking that the question you will be asking concerns the number of people left, when in fact you are deliberately misguiding them, saying: “Now 5 people entered the elevator and it went up 2 floors, then 3 people got off and 5 more got on, then the elevator went up again 2 more floors, where 1 person got on and…”.  At the end of the “story”, the question posed is not, “How many people are left?”, but instead, “What floor are you on”?

The evidence for both are there; it is the weight upon the relevant information that was missed.

Or, of that eccentric oddball who watches an action-packed movie or episode, and at the end of it, while everyone is commenting about this or that favorite scene of explosions, mayhem and bad-guy-got-his-due scene, the odd-man-out says, “Yes, I thought that the person who wore the yellow tie should have retied it, because it was a bit crooked.”

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 is important to recognize the weight of evidence, the relevance of the information submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the significance of guiding OPM into viewing the evidence with a roadmap of persuasion.

Legal memorandums that delineate the evidence compiled, argue the law that is persuasive, and preemptively organizes the basic components in answering “why” a client is eligible — nay, entitled — to Federal Disability Retirement benefits, is important in light of the variety of evidence being submitted, not only by the applicant, but also by the Agency or the Postal Facility (which is not always favorable).

Is the Federal Disability Lawyer you have consulted or are about to consult, doing this?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney for Federal Disability Retirement Claims: The Whisper of Discontent

Seasons come and go; it is one of those ponderous “throw-away” lines that people utter without much thought, somewhat akin to the customary “hello, how are you” declarative that is stated without a pause as the speaker rushes quickly past without waiting for an answer.

Yes, and there are also winters of discontent — borrowed from the line in Shakespeare’s Richard III, and also, by happenstance, the title of the last novel by John Steinbeck; but more often, it is the whispers of discontent that prevail more pervasively, for “discontent” is not necessarily a lasting emotion, or even one that endures for a season; rather, it is whispered precisely because of its fluctuating characteristic.

We whisper it because we know that, like seasons and emotions, time may heal and further time will alter it; and others may whisper it because the fleeting nature of it may not stand the test of objectivity.  And when the whispers of discontent turn and become the louder shouts of adversity, we often failed to listen carefully and instead ignored the voices that forewarned of foreboding toils.

Medical conditions have a tendency to provide such preludes, as well.  One often knows well before a doctor tells us, whether and to what extent the chronicity and severity of the condition foretells; and whether and to what extent the impact upon one’s Federal or Postal career will be.

The law concerning Federal Disability Retirement requires that the medical condition must “last at least 12 months” — but that does not mean that one must endure a 12-month period of suffering before filing a Federal Disability Retirement application; rather, that the treating doctor or medical provider must provide a prognosis that the medical condition will last, at a minimum, that length of time.

For the Federal or Postal employee who is considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the whisper of discontent comes about with the realization that the medical condition suffered is impacting upon one’s career by preventing the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s job.

Although seasons do indeed come and go, and there may well be winters of discontent, the Federal or Postal employee who hears one’s Federal Agency or the Postal Service whisper utterances of discontent, may deem it advisable to begin to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, before such whispers become a winter of discontent where the avalanche of a proposed removal becomes initiated.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire