Federal Disability Retirement Law: Innocence & Wonder

The loss of the former results in the disappearance of the latter; for, it is the conditional existence of the former which allows for the latter.  The question in modernity is, Can a child even possess a modicum of innocence these days, in the midst of technological dissipation?  And if the answer is a fervent, “No”, then what chance is there of preserving that wide-eyed characteristic of Wonder — of curiosity compelled by a belief that there is value in the world to search for?

How often have we heard parents say something to the effect of, “I just want my kid to have some sort of childhood to enjoy,” or, “Let kids be kids.  They will grow up soon enough”?

In today’s world where pressures are so persistent to excel, to competitively grow up in order to have the greater advantage of material success, it is a wonder that children have any childhoods at all, as innocence has become equated to a disadvantageous naïveté and wonder a mere byproduct of ignorance.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a health condition such that the health condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the basic elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the time for innocence and wonder has long passed; for, while you may once have had the experience of both, your medical condition combined with the way that your Agency or the Postal Service has treated you, has likely resulted in a more cynical perspective.

Don’t let that, however, prevent you from reaching the ultimate goal: Of obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity under the FERS system from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and return to a time where Innocence & Wonder may still be experienced.

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 Medical Retirement: The Pause Before Advising

That momentary hesitation — is it because the answer is unknown, or because all other factors must be taken into consideration before sound advice is rendered?

If the former, then it is likely bad advice, if rendered regardless; of the latter, it reveals a thought process where all of the avenues to a potential answer, and their natural consequences gleaned through experience of prior similar instances, will likely ensue with what can only be declared “sound advice”.

Advising is what people love to do; unfortunately, it is the rare instance which results in rendering “sound and good advice”.  It is a cheap mode of feeling important and relevant; to render freely one’s opinion and advice on a matter; and even paid advice, whether in the legal field or financial investment arenas, can lead to dire consequences if followed inadvisedly.

The pause before advising — for an experienced attorney, that hesitation is always because the question posed must be seriously considered before rendering advice which is important and relevant to the query.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need guidance, advice and experience in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, contact an attorney who always pauses before advising; for, in the end, the best advice is the one which has first considered all aspects of the query posed, before giving a lifetime of experience in an art form which only rarely approaches science in its certainty.

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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement benefits: Misjudging Yourself

It is not an accident that most people are unable to accurately assess or evaluate themselves, their circumstances or the road forward.  Look at Plato and his magnum opus — The Republic.  Therein lies the hoax of unfettered hubris — of the declaration of who should be the ruler and king?  None other than the Philosopher — or, more humbly put, Plato himself.

Are we the best judge of ourselves?  All of us have a tendency towards seeing ourselves in greater or lesser degrees which fails to reflect reality.  To compound the problem, we also rarely appreciate criticism or outside evaluations which do not comport with our own self-assessment.  Yet, in most serious circumstances, that is precisely what is needed — an objective accounting of a given situation; the alternatives available or potentially open; the solutions possible; the road forward.

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, the need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is a given; but the assessment in the strength of a case, what is needed to bolster the chances of winning against OPM and the requirements to meet the legal criteria — those issues should be handled by a competent disability attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

For, as the patient as well as the Disability Retirement Applicant, you will likely misjudge yourself because you believe that your medical condition — by which you suffer so much — should automatically qualify you.  However, that is not how OPM sees it.

Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and avoid the pitfall of misjudging yourself, and allow the Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer make the crucial assessment and evaluation of your case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
FERS Disability Attorney

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Selective Exclusion

The danger of attempting to present a specific viewpoint is that one almost always engages in selective exclusions — sometimes inadvertently; most times, deliberately.

Selective exclusion involves a 2-faced lie: A. You selectively choose to include only those statements, quotations, references, etc., which support your viewpoint and (B) concurrently and in a parallel manner, you exclude those statements which might support or otherwise strength the opposing viewpoint.  A third — often unspoken — component implies the following: Truth is not the guide; rather, winning an argument is what prevails.

Now, if a person, entity, organization or agency is supposed to be “objective” about a matter, such deliberative intent to proceed in a biased manner makes it all the more poignantly unacceptable.  Yet, that is exactly what the U.S. Office of Personnel Management does when denying a Federal Disability Retirement case — of engaging in selective exclusion in justifying its position of denying a case.

How to rebut and answer such an approach?  By including all that was excluded, and arguing the law — which, by the way, OPM also selectively excludes.  Contact a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of answering the selective exclusion engaged in by OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Retirement: Ostensibly

Apparently; on the face of it; in all appearances.  Isn’t that how OPM views all medical disability retirement cases?

It is as if the “medical specialist” opens each file before reviewing it, with a notation under his or her breath, of: “Ostensibly”.  And so the challenge is on — of persuading from the presumptive world of the “Ostensible” to the world of approval where appearances are turned into reality.

How does one do that?  Why are some Federal Disability Retirement applications more persuasive than others?

Of course, there will always be the “irrefutable” cases; then, some cases which fall in the “probably no chance” category, simply because there is not enough medical evidence to persuade; then, as with most cases, somewhere in the middle kingdom where the coalescence of medical evidence, the law, agency actions or inaction, with a dash of concurrent and parallel legal issues must be all taken into consideration in their aggregate evidentiary presentation.

Ostensibly.  By all appearances.  That is the challenge — to persuade OPM that the ostensible is the real.

Contact an OPM Disability Retirement Attorney who deals only with OPM Disability claims, and begin the process of putting together an ostensibly viable Federal Disability Retirement case and turn it into the reality which brings about an OPM approval.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Lawyer Representation for OPM Disability Claims: The story

Everyone has one; some, more interesting than others; others, less interesting than most; most, told in disjointed streams of subconscious dilemmas often coopted by deceitful tellings that leave amiss the juicier elements that would otherwise offend.

Is there “the” story, or just many little details comprised of “a” story here, a story there, and in the aggregate, it makes up the total picture of a person?  Can one ever know a person in his or her fullness, or must there always be left out an element of surprise, mystery and a deficiency otherwise not noted?  Can people be married for 50 years and still be surprised by something in the other spouse’s past?

How are memories triggered to begin with — say, for example, a couple has been married for half a century or more, and one night they get a carry-out from a newly-opened restaurant in their neighborhood that serves a special Moroccan dish from the menu, because the restaurant owner’s wife’s late husband’s third cousin twice removed recently visited the country and brought over a recipe that could not be resisted.

The two older couple (yes, you may infer from the fact that they have been married for over a half-century to connote that the couple are rather elderly) sit down for this delectable dish, and as they begin serving the various food items and transferring them from the paper boxes onto dinner plates, the wife takes in the aroma of the vegetables, cooked in a certain sauce, and declares to her husband, “Oh, this reminds me, I was in Morocco when I was younger.”

Now — for fifty some odd years, this couple has been married; they have had children; they have shared the many stories to tell, both included and some where each experienced a slice of life separately; and one would think that such a detail as having been to a foreign country which not many Americans visit in the first place, would be something that was told during the course of their long and lasting relationship.

What would be the explanation for not having told?  How about: “Yes, I was kidnapped and held for ransom for months, and I repressed the memories these many years”; or, “Oh, I was just 2 or 3 and don’t really remember much about it, other than my parents dragging me to Morocco just to get away”.

Such explanations might be understandable; but how about the following: “Yes, I was there for 5 years, from about the age of 10 – 15, and it was the most impactful experience of my life.”  Now, this last explanation — one would wonder, of course, what kind of a marriage this elderly couple could have had if the spouse had never related the most “impactful” period of her life, would one not?

“The Story” of one’s life will always contain some omissions (that is a conundrum and an oxymoron, is it not — to “contain” and “omit” at the same time?) about various experiences encountered, but that is a natural course in the very “telling” of one’s narrative.  Most narratives have a beginning and an end; some are interesting, others not; but in the telling, the narrative itself must be coherent and comprehensible, as well as containing relevance and significance within the meat of the narrative itself.

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 ones’ Federal or Postal job, it may become necessary 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.

During such an administrative process, it is necessary to “tell one’s story” by completing SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.  It is a “slice of life” story, and should be as compelling as the aroma that triggered the admission of one’s Moroccan past — for, every story is a unique one; it is in the telling that brings out the mystery of a person’s singular tale of painful experiences, and this is one more slice that needs a coherence within a narrative required in order to obtain a Federal Disability Retirement benefit.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: In the “not working” world

Excellence is rarely seen; the artisan is dead to the world; and we all struggle through knowing that trinkets from foreign countries symbolize the incompetence of the universe in which we must continue to exist.  Something is not working.  We all know it, feel it, worry about it and whisper in circles where such things are concealed and rarely revealed.

Life is formed by multiple concentric circles; we live within various spectrums of such parallel universes, sometimes entering into one and exiting another; at other times, remaining stuck in between.  There is the objective reality “other there”; there is, then, the subjective world of our own thoughts, emotions, anxieties and unspoken soliloquies.

There are “worlds” out there that we know nothing about – of corporate boardrooms where issues are discussed that we only read about; of high places and conspiracies; of dungeons in other countries where unimaginable torture and cruelty are conducted; and all throughout, we remain within the narrow concentric circle of our family, friends, the limited sphere of people we know, and the problems that loom large within the consciousness of our own worlds.

Throughout, we know that there was once a time, long since past, where the world worked better; maybe, perfection had never been achieved, but the age of politeness, of courtesy, of communities actually caring and thriving; or, perhaps that existed only in those old black-and-white television shows like “Leave it to Beaver” or “Happy Days” (yes, yes, the latter one was in color).

There is a sense, today, that something is not working; that we live in a “not working” world, and no repairman can be called to “fix it” because no one has the skill or expertise to diagnose the problem, and even if there were such a person, we don’t quite know what the “it” is, anyway.

It is quite like a medical condition that begins to impede, to impose, to interfere – like Federal and Postal employees who have dedicated their entire lives to working for a Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service, then are beset with a medical condition that begins to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position.

What does one do?  Can the doctor “fix” it?  Often, we have to simply live with it.

In those circumstances, the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition and can no longer perform all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal position, who lives in that concentric circle of a reality of living in a “not working” world, must consider the next steps – of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, in order to step into another concentric universe of sorts, and move on in life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Game changers

Rarely do we have advantages in life.  Instead, most challenges are full of obstacles in our way, advantages tipped in favor of another’s, and an imbalance that seems to make life’s lottery of spectral choices a weighted unfairness that no amount of complaining seems to make a difference about.  We hear about them; yet, they rarely attend to our own needs nor join “our team”.

Game changers are those influences or components that suddenly make winning more favorable.  They normally become a part of the “other” team, but every now and again, life may throw a ray of sunshine down our path, and game changers become an element of one’s own “team”.  Perhaps it is a secret piece of knowledge no one else is privy to; or a piece of information that others have not yet been provided access to; or a person with exceptional talent who has given indications of sympathy to a particular cause; or even a new methodological approach that has not yet been widely disseminated.

Whatever the element of advantage, game changers open up circumstances that favor the success of one side over another, and appear at an optimum time when others have yet to prepare for the surprise addition.  At least, that is what they appear to do in novels, movies, plays and fictional life.  In real life, there are rarely such advantageous elements that make a difference.  Instead, most of life is a steady monotony of hard work, less complaining and a representation of the tortoise-like ethic as opposed to the hare that dashes off and runs ahead of everyone else.

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, the concept of a “game changer” should be a familiar one.  For, when the medical condition first began to impact one’s health, that– in and of itself — was a game-changer: against you.  And when your work began to suffer because of the medical condition — that, too — was a game-changer: against you.  And when you needed to take excessive Sick Leave and Annual Leave, then LWOP, that was again a game-changer – again and too familiarly, against you.

It is perhaps time to begin preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; that, too, may be a “game changer”; but this time, in your favor, so that you can perhaps begin to focus upon the changing games that need a true game changer – your own health.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: Content

What do we mean when we distinguish between “content” as opposed to “context”?  Are the two always distinguishable, and if so, are there any features or characteristics that make inseparability a potential difficulty?

We have all heard the famous phrase from King’s speech about being judged by the “content” of one’s character, as opposed to the “color” of one’s skin – a deviation of sorts from the more customary reference to the distinction made between appearance and reality, form versus substance, or even of spiritual versus material (although, as to the latter, one will often hear the metaphysical argument that it is the spiritual which is the “real” reality, and that the material is merely that fleeting, temporal existence that lasts for only a limited time).

Can the two truly be separated so cleanly as to allow for harmless independence – or, like the Siamese twins that share a vital organ, would any attempt necessarily devastate both?  For, isn’t it the very appearance of a thing that attracts and allows for an investigation further into the inner depths of the thing attracted towards?  Doesn’t context always matter when looking into the content of a thing, whether it is an incident, a conversation or a person of whom one is interested in committing to for a lifetime of relational considerations?

We often like to make such grandiose claims of bifurcating distinctions, when in fact the reality of the matter is that both are needed in order to complete the picture of the whole.

One may argue, of course, that content nevertheless is “more important” than context, or that substance by definition is of greater consequence than appearance, and by fiat of ascribed significance, one often argues that the former is necessary but perhaps not sufficient without the latter, whereas the latter is not unnecessary, but nevertheless cannot be made without unless one wants to walk about through life with a missing leg or a part of one’s soul left behind.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, always remember that – in preparing the SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability – the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is looking for both content and context, and thus must one always be wary and cautious about the implementation of both.

SF 3112A is a trick form.  The questions seem simple enough, but what is put in there; the legal consequences of what medical conditions are included; the result of failing to include certain other conditions that may later be of greater consequence; these, and many more pitfalls, obstacles and unknown legal impact that may or may not be made aware of – well, OPM is not going to tell you beforehand, or help you out, and will indeed judge the Federal Disability Retirement application based upon the content of what is included, and not by the “color” of contextually missing information.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement: That Sudden Urgency

It happens all of the time in life; we leave things to fester, then suddenly the matter becomes important, then vital, creeps into a state of urgency, until it finally develops into a crisis.  The underlying impetus is based upon procrastination; the psychological explanation is deemed avoidance behavior, and the reality of experience merely recognizes it as the nature of human living.

We ask ourselves in wonderment, where did all of the intermediate phases dissipate to?  How did the incremental steps and half-steps in reaching this point of sudden urgency disappear unnoticed?  It is tantamount to children and puppies; that exuberance now gone, when yesterday they were seen with the innocence of youth and folly running through the field.  How does time suddenly evaporate and necessity emerge and develop into the here and now?  Is it mere hope of resolution, or laziness neglected upon a return of minimal investment?

Time was that once, in childhood years of visionary glories, we sought refuge in the calluses of existence where others took care and nurtured, and suddenly those “others” were no longer around, and growing up meant that responsibilities became our personal ownership, and we had to embrace those very things long neglected like faded photographs left discarded in the garden heaps of memories and fears, loathing and angst.

Medical conditions tend to be like that.  They are conditions of human existence which require attending to, and tending to like gardens left dying on vines of eternity; and suddenly it becomes clear that no one else really cares, but for self, family and the closest of friends.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have suffered for many months, and perhaps years, because of a medical condition, such that the medical condition impacts the ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, there comes a day when the realization of reality suddenly comes upon us, and there is no more tomorrow, no room left for delay, and no time reserved for excuses.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is a long and arduous process involving multiple levels and stages of a bureaucratic morass, and it is this long and hard road of an administrative nightmare which must be dealt with when the sudden urgency of recognition and realization hits home.  And as home is where the heart and hearth are, so finding that restorative space of grace and fulfillment requires planning, deliberation, and a will to win, especially when dealing with a Federal agency such as OPM which views all medical conditions and Federal Disability Retirement applications with analytical suspicion.

Finding that it is suddenly necessary to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits did not become an urgent state of being overnight; but through many nights and days of toil, it crept upon us like that unseen monster laying wait under the bed in the childhood fears of yesteryear, where protective mothers and fearless fathers long ago left for destinations still unknown, leaving the wide-eyed child of former days to fend for him or herself in this world of cavernous carnivores and restless winds of change.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire 
OPM Disability Retirement Attorney