Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Law: The Novelty Vanished

As it should be, for a child, everything is viewed in terms of, “Wow!”  The novelty of life, of the experiences brought about by a world freshly encountered — like winter’s first snow or the dawn of spring’s warmth, it is the combined meeting of a world newly seen by the eyes of youth yet untarnished and without the destructive force of cynicism which accounts for curiosity, eagerness, innocence, unvanquished optimism and hopeful initiation of plans for a bright future.

That novelty vanished — and vanquished, extinguished and beaten down — comes from repeated encounters with a world which shows no care or concern.  It is when life’s complications keep knocking us down; that is when the novelty vanished.

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 novelty vanished comes about from a combination of events: The critical juncture where the medical conditions become chronic and restrictive; the Agency’s or the Postal Service’s unsupportive attitude; the steady exhaustion of one’s sick leave; the potential of being put on a Performance Improvement Plan; the likelihood of being terminated; the administrative sanction of being placed on AWOL status; the refusal to allow for LWOP; and it is the combination of any or all of these factors which results in the Federal employee shaking his or her head and saying, “Wow” — but not with a sense of wonderment, but because the novelty has vanished.

It is time to file, then, for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and try and win back that time when the first snow of winter stunned you, the first breeze of spring refreshed, and the world could again be described with a singular encapsulation of a word exclaimed: Wow!

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 Employees Retirement System (FERS) Disability Retirement: Time Off

Time off is supposed to be a healthy thing.  There is such a thing as being overworked, overburdened, overstimulated, over-everything.

The constant problems which are confronted, the “small fires” which must be put out each day, the creation of crisis captivating one’s attention, etc. — over time, the min-stresses of each can lead to a breakdown of sorts because the cumulative impact of the aggregate can be overwhelming.

We begin life with internal mechanisms designed to withstand the stresses abounding.  Childhood is supposed to be the preparatory stage for learning to “deal” with stresses — of frustrations felt where desires cannot always be fulfilled; of conformity to a society which cannot accept uniqueness; and where social norms are taught and learned, preparing one for the road to a civilized existence.

“Time off” is part of that learning process; but the question one must ask is, “Time off for what purpose”?  For, if the time one takes off is merely to spend in ruminations of anticipatory disasters upon one’s return, then the rejuvenating effect of such time off becomes a self-defeating proposition.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to contact a OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

If “time off” is merely a vicious cycle where the off time fails to rejuvenate for the challenges of work, and does not reverse the slow progression of one’s inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job duties, then it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement case.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The World in Upheaval

These are chaotic times; all around us, the things we relied upon, the places we visited regularly, the people we gathered with — crumbling, coming apart, corona virus.  Sometimes, it seems too much to bear.  How will this all end?

The uncertainties of life, the inability to fathom a future of promise; hope once dashed is the one fate we all dread.  Has there ever been a precedent of a similar sort?  Is there a model that we can point to where we can have a paradigm for comfort?  Perhaps in one’s personal life?

Chaos and upheaval in the world around us may seem like the world is falling apart; yet, for many, the experience of the world in upheaval is akin to the Federal or Postal worker suffering from a medical condition where the medical condition impacts one’s ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.  The microcosm of life now reflects upon the macro-reality of the greater world.

Federal Disability Retirement is still an option to consider for the Federal or Postal worker whose world has been in an upheaval — not necessarily from the corona virus, but from a medical condition that has disrupted the career of a Federal or Postal worker.

Consult with a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Stress Test

It is meant to determine the vulnerability of structural foundations, or to gauge whether, under certain extreme circumstances, it will withstand catastrophic levels of pressure for safety and soundness.  Distress triggers the ultimate test; and whether a breaking point can be established is always a fear — of how low or high, and of what tolerance the test itself will reveal.  Objects, composite elements meant to reinforce; and most of all, people — to the extent that stress can damage, and whether such damage can be repaired.  “Repair”, of course, is a relative term, and whether or not the structural firmness can be attained after any damage has been repaired, to a level of pre-damage status, is always of concern.

Can a psyche once damaged be repaired to a state of original soundness?  Are the vulnerabilities inherent in individuals capable of withstanding the stresses of modernity, and is the “test”applied the same as the reality of daily stresses exposed?  Is there even a “test” that can determine the safety or soundness when it comes to human beings?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the daily stresses of the medical condition itself, with all of its inherent complications, are overwhelming enough; it is then the “piling on” of everything else — of Agency actions; of the adversarial nature and responses of the Agency; of the potential for denying continuation of LWOP while even under FMLA protection, and the concern for one’s future with an Agency that seems bent on making one’s life harder than it needs to be: These, and many other “stress tests” determine the need to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to apply the legal stress test to determine eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; for, in the end, the only Stress Test for a Federal or Postal employee seeking Federal Disability Retirement benefits worth applying is the one which determines the potentiality for a successful outcome, and seeking the counsel and guidance of a FERS Disability Retirement attorney is the best way to relieve the stresses that surround such an endeavor.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement: Damaged goods

Perhaps it is of a fine porcelain statue; or a painting that depicts perfection in a pastoral panorama presenting a private purview of picturesque purity (sorry for the alliteration that cannot be resisted); or a first edition book that is without blemish; or a host of other “goods” that one values, admires, cherishes — and is purchased with anticipation of contentment.

Upon returning home, one notices an imperfection not previously spotted: a small “crack” on the forearm of the porcelain figure; a tear in the upper right portion of the canvas, just below the line where the frame casts a shadow and becomes almost imperceptible; or a crayon marking on page 324, in the middle of the book, unnoticed unless one inspects each and every page.

The item cannot be returned, because of either distance (perhaps it was purchased on international travel in a small shop in a foreign country not known for return policies); policy (the sign clearly stated, “All sales are final and the purchaser bears all responsibility in inspecting the condition of the item prior to buying”) or some other impracticable reason.

The imperfection is so minor that no one else knows, would notice or otherwise cares to comment on such an impurity of the state of the condition, except for one small and irritating fact: You know.  It bothers you.  The fact of the damaged goods betrays something about yourself — not merely that a contrast against a paradigm of perfection has stirred an irrationality that struggles against good judgment, but moreover, that there exists an intolerance for a standard of less than the penultimate apex of an unreachable standard.

What does one do?  You can: Hide and stash away the item (but it yet remains with the knowledge that, hidden or not, the aura of imperfection exists); you can give it as a gift, or sell it to a third party (but what if the potential purchaser recognizes the imperfection and bargains for a better price, leaving you with a loss — will that constantly remind you of your lack of judgment when once you thought that your expertise in such matters was the paradigm of perfection itself?); justify to yourself over and over that, “Yes, it isn’t perfect, but boy is it a great piece regardless!” (perhaps, over time, this approach may work); or, do the most drastic of solutions: destroy the item and trash it.

Medical conditions have a way of impacting individuals in a similar manner as the discovery of imperfection in what one once thought was a paradigm of perfection: somehow, it is even worse, because of the personal manner that medical conditions impact: it touches upon one’s self, one’s self-image and the crumbling sense of self-confidence one possessed when health was taken for granted.

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, always try and keep in mind that the diminution of the “product” concerned (i.e., yourself, the Federal or Postal employee) is not discovered by the mere fact of filing for Federal Disability Retirement — rather, the fault is in the system of the Federal Government for not being able to be patient as you struggle to recover from you illness or injury.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset is not a reflection on the “value” of you; it is, instead, the reality of a system that fails to recognize the difference between the relative value of “goods” as opposed to the priceless perfection of a human being and his or her contribution to society.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Lawyer for Federal Disability Retirement claims: Fact and opinion

These days, the distinction between the two has been almost completely lost.  One must qualify such a statement with “almost”, only because there may still be minority bastions and pockets of hope still holding out that the madness prevailing will someday be overcome.

Somehow, the lines bifurcating the distinction that once were so obvious became obscured, until suddenly it was no longer a matter of just blurry lines, but the lines themselves had disappeared, and no one spoke as if there was a difference to be had.  Facts were confirmed and established “somethings” in either the objective world or of tradition-laden statements that we could all agree upon; opinions were various interpretations of those commonly-accepted facts, interspersed with the subjective content that often prefaced with, “It is my opinion that…”.

We have now discarded even the prefatory admonition, now, because it has become an unnecessary addendum; since there are no longer any facts, and everyone is privileged to hold an opinion, we go ahead and speak not facts because our opinion holds out just as well, thank you very much.

Where did it all begin?  Was it because Plato made too much about the difference between reality and appearance — so much so that he was forced to manufacture his conceptual fiction of ethereal “Forms” that itself became so problematic?  Or was it with Descartes, where certainty of one’s own existence became relegated to the subjective “I”, and so it was bound to become a muddle as more and more philosophers came to realize that, like Russell’s muse about language and the destruction of the traditional correspondence theory of truth, statements made could not so easily be identified as either fact or opinion.

It becomes much more problematic when statutory, reputation, education and logical methodology are altogether discarded and made irrelevant, and so we come back full circle in questioning ourselves, the categorizations we have imposed, and how to get beyond the conundrum of modernity’s own making.

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 job or Postal position, the question concerning “fact or opinion” is an important one, because the weaving of one into the other is queried in Standard Form 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.

How one’s answers are formulated and presented; whether they can be verified, established, “backed up with facts” as opposed to being left as mere subjective opinions — are all bundled up and contained within the questions asked, and how you will be answering them.

Fortunately, there is still remaining an approach and methodology of presenting facts as facts, and setting aside opinions and interpretations of the facts, and in preparing, formulating and filing 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, it is important to recognize the difference still, and be cautious in completing SF 3112A in light of modernity’s obsessional disorientation on the difference between fact and opinion.

Just the facts, as stated by my opinion.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Legal Representation on FERS/CSRS Disability Claims: What isn’t known

There is often that final question during a consultation — of “any other advice” that can be given, or whether something else was forgotten, or the generalization of “Anything else I should know?”  That is where the particulars of a case must be known, and the wide chasm that exists between “being a client” and merely receiving an initial overview of a person’s case.  For, what isn’t known is often the element that can harm or injure, and the question asked but left unanswered is the one that no one thought about but should have.

Lawyers like to enter an arena of legal battles well-prepared; all questions asked, normally already are presumptively answered, and no lawyer worthy of his opponent asks a question that he or she already doesn’t know the answer to, or at least has a fairly good idea about.  In a Federal Disability Retirement case, where there are multiple stages of an Administrative Process to tackle and prepare for, the First Key to success is to not submit that which will be harmful to one’s case.

As an attorney who represents Federal and Postal workers in preparing, formulating and filing 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, the primary issue is obviously upon the medical report and records to be submitted; followed by the legal arguments to be presented and established, normally through an extensive Legal memorandum, which provides a kind of “road map” for the assigned OPM Specialist to review and (hopefully) become persuaded as to the validity, incontrovertible legal basis, and the substantive qualification of the Federal or Postal employee in meeting all of the legal criteria in becoming eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

For the Federal or Postal employee who attempts this complex Administrative Process without legal representation, the obstacles, pitfalls and potential hazards are many, and it is often what isn’t known that defeats a Federal Disability Retirement case.

Sure, there are cases where the presented facts, medical conditions and evidence constitute an undeniable, “slam-dunk” case, but those are few and far between, and we can all recognize such cases and a competent attorney would normally advise such individuals to go ahead and complete the Standard Forms, attach some relevant medical documentation and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits with OPM.

Then, of course, there are cases on the far side of the spectrum that constitute a “weak” or otherwise invalid case, and those, too, are easily recognizable.  Most cases, however, fall in the middle, within the spectrum where one must affirmatively and by a preponderance of the evidence “prove” one’s eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  And for all such cases that fall in that “middle” area of the wide spectrum, what isn’t known is the lynchpin that must be identified and prepared for further assessment and formulation, whether by addressing it in a medical document or reinforcing it by legal argumentation.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Attorney Representation Federal Disability Retirement: Life puzzles

Depending upon the accent or inflection, the phrase can take on differing meanings.  If stated in a monosyllabic intonation, it can be a quiet declaration that the entirety of life is comprised of multiple puzzles in an inert, non-participatory manner.  The other way of “saying it”, is to pause between the two words in dramatic form, or even put a question mark at the end of the phrase, making the second word into an active verb and the noun of “Life” into a projectile that deliberately confounds and obfuscates.

In either form, we all recognize the truth underlying the sentiment: from birth to the continuum of living daily the challenges and encounters, it is always a constant struggle to try and maintain a semblance of rationality in a universe that continually creates flux and mayhem.  That was the philosophical strain that was always taught between the contrasting foundations of Parmenides and Heraclitus; of the wholeness and unity of Being as opposed to the constant flux and change that the world imposes.

Life puzzles us in so many ways, and the life puzzles that confront us daily confound and confuse.  See the subtle difference between the two ways of using the phrase?  In the first, it is in an “active” form, invoked as a verb (transitive or intransitive), whereas in the second, it is used as a noun.  We can get caught up in the grammatical form and usage of words, and in the process, get lost in the theoretical issues surrounding words, concepts and thought-constructs surrounding so many endless and peripheral issues; but the point of recognizing such subtle differences in the language we use is precisely to avoid and deconstruct the confusions we create within the language we use and misuse.

In either form of usage, it is important to state clearly how and for what purpose we are engaging in a formulation of words, thoughts, concepts and narrations.  We all carry narratives within ourselves that we must be ready, willing and able to use in order to describe, explain and delineate.  Those subtle differences that words create must always be untangled.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering 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, the importance of being able to distinguish between subtle forms of language usage cannot be over-emphasized.  For, Standard Form 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability, is in and of itself a life puzzle that puzzles even the clearest of puzzling lifetimes; it is, moreover, a legal conundrum and a language puzzle that must be carefully reviewed, discerned, untangled and responded to by first recognizing that life does indeed involve puzzles, and such life puzzles must be approached in a non-puzzling way.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire