OPM Disability Retirement Law: The Retrospective

There is a proportional increase as one experiences a greater linear accumulation; some would call it a heavier luggage to carry; others, of a more cynical nature, would term it as mere “baggage”.

The retrospective is engagement of looking back — of recounting memories or dealing with nightmares.  Human beings live in a state of constant turmoil based upon the past, the present and the future.  To be stuck in the past prevents the needed attendance to daily living; to disregard the past and merely live for “the moment”, is to repeat history’s mistakes and foibles; and to only live by greater angst for the future steals from experiencing the joy of today.

The retrospective is always a part of each of us; as we grow older, we tend to relate to things which have impacted us from the past; and so, to that extent, the retrospective is a necessary and natural, material part of our lives.  The key, however, is to resist the temptation of allowing the retrospective to dominate our lives as we grow older.

There is a natural inclination — a deliciousness, if you will — in letting the retrospective rule; for, whether of a trauma or of joyful memories, the retrospective as something which has already passed, is passive by definition and can no longer actively harm us.  Furthermore, it is important to have an objective, true view of the past, and not allow our imagination to warp or otherwise overstate the experiences of the past.

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 current job, it is important to provide a concise retrospective of one’s medical condition, but more importantly, to delineate the current impact.

As always, a balance must be achieved — of how the past is relevant; how the present is impacted; and in a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — how the medical condition will last a minimum of 12 months.

Thus, as with most concerns of life, the retrospective must be put in its proper perspective and context — of how far back; of how much; of what relevance; and it is in this balance of life that the retrospective can be invaluable in its present significance.

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 Retirement Benefits: Seeking Reason

Some would argue that the search itself is an abject lesson in absurdity.  On that front, perhaps there would be agreement between Russell and Camus.

The former — that giant in developing and advancing symbolic logic along with Whitehead (although, the story goes that Bertrand Russell had to prod Whitehead repeatedly and with annoying insistence from long periods of slumber and inactivity to work on the 3-Volume Principia Mathematica — but likely such a rumor was spread by the mischievous Russell himself) — would no doubt have questioned the wisdom of seeking reason after Wittgenstein essentially destroyed the foundations of philosophy and belittled Russell in the process.

The latter — Camus — believed that the universe itself and the teleology of humankind’s constant obsession with happiness, would have resulted in his uproarious laughter at the thought that men seek reason.  And perhaps they are both right.  Looking at the present epoch of modernity, can we honestly seek reason?  The war in Ukraine; the dysfunction in government in this country; the pandemic; the rise of inflation not seen for decades; the disparity of wealth as never before; the severity of pollution everywhere — is seeking reason a viable endeavor?

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, “seeking reason” is often twofold: 1. Trying to find a reason NOT to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, because to do so is to admit to one’s own medical conditions, and 2. Trying to find a reason why you had to be the one chosen to suffer such a medical condition that has become career-ending.

Unfortunately, sometimes “reason” is neither enough nor discoverable.  Always remember that “reason” is an artificial construct of human beings, and it is reason enough to suffer from a medical condition, without seeking reason as to the “why” of it.

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 Representation: Just…

We, all of us, are never “just”, as pigeonholed by nameless and countless others.  “Oh, he’s just…”.  “Oh, her?  She just….”

We fight against such restrictive categories; for, to be “just” is to be minimized, cast into perpetual irrelevancies, and forever “just” that which we just cannot be relegated to.  To just be the doorman, the janitor, the Project Manager, the Civil Engineer, the top-ranked Electrical Engineer — it is the narrowing designation of the “just” which underlines the injustice of it all.

There are, of course, exceptions — as when your son or daughter is overhead to say, “Oh, he’s just Dad” or “Nah, she’s just Mom”.  Then, of course, the “just” can bring a smile and the warmth of love; for, to be “just” a parent to one’s child is the rare time in life when reduction strips away all complications of life and reveals the straightforward, unfettered nature of a special relationship.  But in all other contexts, the “just” of reduction fails to encapsulate the greater complexities of the uniqueness of an individual.

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 “just” label has likely become somewhat akin to: “He’s (or She’s) just someone who constantly fails to…”.

Such a reduction doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of who you are.

Contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, so that you can move on to the next productive phase of your life and leave behind those who reduce you to the “just” category.

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: The Idiot

Of course, it is the title to one of Dostoevsky’s lesser known works — or one which few have read.  The author, of course, is the great Russian novelist — who wrote long and arduous depictions of psychological compendiums that only a person of great patience can read.

It is assigned in some high schools; perhaps, still in some colleges; then, after exiting the world of academia, it is quickly forgotten.  It is like many books: claimed to have been read by many, but which are actually only glanced by a very few.

There are other books similar to it: Not in plot or character, but in the fact that few read them — Tolstoy’s works; Arno Schmidt’s, Bottom’s Dream; and others.  But of The Idiot — its central character is a man who is simple and good, but it is in his simplicity and goodness by which people question his intellectual intactness.

And there is a point to that, isn’t there?  We have become so tainted with cynicism that we equate moral virtue with cautionary ineptitude.

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 — be wary of approaching your agency, your postal manager, your Human Resource Office, or even the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, with an attitude of simplicity and goodness.  For, if you do, you may end up like the character in Dostoevsky’s work, The Idiot.

Instead, contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to help you maneuver through the bureaucratic morass of a Federal Disability Retirement application, lest you end up being characterized by that term in the truly pejorative sense of the word.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Trapped, the feeling

It is an unmistakeable sense; of panic which may ensue, or a narrowing of the universe where being shuttered, the walls shrinking, a sudden and overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia; and of physical manifestations, of an inability to breathe, of constrictions and lameness of limbs; it is all of being trapped, the feeling.

It need not be in a physical sense; a psychological condition that is just as real as the reality of the chair one sits upon; but others cannot see it, empathize about it nor conduct one’s actions toward ameliorating the condition; for, in the end, being trapped, the feeling, is an existential condition that can only be cured by first recognizing the source of one’s situation.

Observing an animal, trapped can evoke an empathetic comity of such feelings; we “know” how they “feel” just by the mere manner of actions they reveal.  The pacing back and forth; the eyes which tell you of their anxiety and distress; and constant movements in a frenzy of attempting to escape.

We have all been beset with being trapped, the feeling, and not knowing where to turn to, how to escape, what to do.  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, being trapped, the feeling, often accompanies one’s situation when handling both the medical condition and the reaction of the Agency or Postal Service.

The vicious circularity that begins to swirl like the formation around the hurricane’s eye or the tornado that touches down upon flat plains near an unwary midwestern town — of the increasing pressures being placed by the Federal Agency or the Postal Service and the need to attend to one’s medical conditions — at some point, something has to “give”.

Preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be ultimately filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is often the “escape route” available.  As to understanding the various exit points, the method and manner of escaping — for that, you should consult an attorney who specializes in preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, and one who performs the practice of law exclusively in the area of Federal Disability Retirement.

Being trapped, the feeling, is never a “good” feeling; but consulting with an attorney who specializes in finding the best approach in formulating an effective Federal Disability Retirement application allows for its opposite and positive feeling: being freed, the sense of elation.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement Legal Representation: The peskiness of life

Somehow, like children and rats, or of mice and men, the peskiness of life continues to trail behind us.  We think that things are going well, and then suddenly we realize that the nagging peskiness of life’s challenges has once again come upon us.  We wonder when that period of nirvana will be reached; that goal that we allegedly strive for each day of our lives; when will it come to fruition?

Life is difficult, and it becomes all the more so because of the technology all around us that persuades, convinces and pulls the proverbial wool over our eyes by making us think that everyone else lives a life of perfection.

Yes, yes, we believe we are all so much more sophisticated than to be “taken in” by the lies of advertisements, instagram pictures and those ads that urgently scream at us to “Call Now!  Don’t miss the opportunity of a lifetime!”  But are we?  If we truly believe in the subconscious — and advertising agencies certainly do — why then would we discount the power of the subliminal message, the persuasive impact of repetition and the daunting images that haunt and pursue?

Movies and television programs tell us daily of the exciting lives of others; instagram photographs reveal that lives of perfection exist in all other households; Facebook postings establish that everyone but you live interesting lives; and the peskiness of life seems to just follow me and you, while the rest of the world merely splashes through the gaiety of life’s endless stream of summer laughs and winter’s avoidance of discontent where youth is never stretched beyond the smile of a springtime dream and old age never comes upon the drifting leaves of fall.

Then, of course, there is the medical condition that suddenly comes upon us — where peskiness of life becomes magnified by the reality of human frailty.

Fortunately, for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, there is the added benefit of a Federal Disability Retirement when that peskiness of life begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal job or the Postal craft.  Remember, however, that in formulating the Statement of Disability on SF 3112A, be careful in not including too many whines and groans about irrelevancies that do not focus upon the core of answering each question.

But, then, the questions themselves are quite tricky, are they not — showing further that even in trying to obtain a benefit that is part of one’s Federal career or Postal package of compensatory benefits, one must always take care in making sure that the peskiness of life — that bundle of problems that makes it seem like life is so simple and beautiful everywhere else but in your own corner — doesn’t finally defeat you by making the simple mistake of not consulting with an attorney before you proceed down a road that makes peskiness into a very real legal problem of greater proportions than it was ever intended.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: The greater monsters within

Have you ever engaged in lengthy ruminations, procrastinating because of fear, trepidation and cautionary constraints before proceeding, only to find in retrospect that there was really nothing – or, at least, not much – to have worried about?

Often, it is the greater monsters within that become compounded, exaggerated and increased in fearsome proportions beyond the reality of the objective world, in parallelism with the anxiety we release and the angst we allow.  Within the insular world of our language games and conceptual apparatus created by a complexity of admixtures involving conscience, history of childhood imprints, traumas and psychic damages, it is important to bifurcate the universes of our own makings from those of manifested plenary encounters that can be evaluated, assessed and properly analyzed.

The ability and capacity to judge between the reality of the problem and the internal struggle of an imagined encounter grows exponentially the longer we procrastinate, and that is why the anticipation creates those “butterflies-in-the-stomach” that flutter about like so many somatic consequences of the subconscious angst we create.

The greater monsters within roam about in the neurological fissures that connect the physical brain to the consciousness of life, and when they are allowed to exit from the jailhouses we have compelled them to remain constrained within, it is the damage done from roaming unrestrained, when they trample upon the safe zones we have created, meandering into secluded corners where previously we have carefully posted signs of “no entrance beyond this point”, but have let our guard down, allowed the nailed-down posts to deteriorate, and misplaced the orange cones to be shoved aside in our careless lack of disciplined living.

How do we stop such miscreants from wandering through the sensitive crevices of our own consciousness, and to restrict their access from creating havoc and tumult which we least can afford because of the vulnerabilities and fissures created by the objective world’s intrusion firstly, and secondly and all subsequent times, the exponential expansion of the greater monsters within.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the procrastination resulting from the greater monsters within becomes a vicious circle of eternal damnation:  The medical conditions are worsening, exacerbating the internal struggles and the external responsibilities compelled by the job itself, the requirements of the position and the Federal Agency’s and Postal Service’s expectations; concurrently, the greater monsters within create a turmoil that influences, impacts and worsens the medical conditions themselves, such that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy of self-immolation.

It is the greater monsters within which must be challenged, slaughtered and vanquished, and that can begin by taking the first and subsequent steps in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, and thereby successfully activating the proverbial ending of killing two birds with a single stone, and also overcoming the greater monsters within.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Civil Service: The topic of conversation

How does it come about – that “topic of conversation”?  Is it merely and completely randomly selected, and in a spurious manner caught like the quiet embers that ignite an out-of-control wildfire?  Or, does someone Google on the Internet, something like, “Good dinner conversation topics”, and then proceed to print them out so that silence does not pause the ebb and flow of a party’s chatter?

If you listen carefully at conversations (which, by the way, are becoming a rarity these days, as one becomes ensconced in one’s own insular world of smart phones and Facebook postings, Instagram obsessions and Twitter feeds of inane utterances), you realize the randomness of subjects embraced, and how they often travel like a drunken driver meandering without lights or signals to brace the passersby.  Is that how Darwinian evolution looks like as an analogy of sorts?  A senseless, meandering coveting of erupting utterances without guide, meaning, direction or purpose?

But what if you become the topic of conversation – does it suddenly change, where the ear is suddenly turned red, the interest enlivened, and the aura of disinterestedness suddenly lifts?  And what if you are not in the room, but left to freshen up or take a break, and upon your reentrance, the silence suddenly pauses and the topic of conversation reveals a fissure and a gravitational shift that suddenly embarrasses and shames?  The ears burn – is that merely an old wives’ tale, or does that really happen?

Isn’t that what occurs with Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management?

As an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, the undersigned is often asked as to when the agency or the Postal Facility should be informed, prior to submission of an OPM Disability Retirement application, of one’s intent to file. It is a rather complicated question, and can have consequences unforeseen and not always positively received, and thus should be specifically tailored to each individual circumstance.

But do not be fooled:  The Federal or Postal employee who files a Federal Disability Retirement application through OPM, at some point during the process will inevitably become the topic of conversation; whether that should bother you, or you should care, depends upon many factors, and not the least of which is often influenced by sound representation by a Federal Disability Retirement lawyer who has guided the Federal Disability Retirement process throughout the gambit of the administrative process.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Medical Retirement from Federal Gov. Employment: Degree versus knowledge

Does a degree hold as much worth, if everyone possesses one?  Why are the economics of supply and demand not attached to degrees conferred by so-called institutions of “higher learning”?  Is the degree conferred of value because of the opportunities granted by the elevated status, or by the knowledge gained and imparted?  Or is the disjunctive bifurcation into universes of counterparts, between diploma represented as opposed to a jewelry box of wisdom, an offer of false alternatives, when some may indeed gain knowledge as well as certification in completion of courses advanced?

If everything is nothing, and nothing constitutes the combined aggregate of everything, can a distinction with a difference be proffered?  So, if everyone has gone to college, and the conferring of a degree is disseminated to all, has nothing been gained by the accessibility to everything?  It is, of course, best represented by Cordelia in Shakespeare’s Tragedy, King Lear, where he responds to the hesitant daughter, “Nothing will come of nothing”, and entreats her to further to expound by extravagant and flowery profusion of meaningless trope; or would it have been meaningless?

The silence which ensues between the cacophony of emotions in the short scene is painful and agonizing.  The old king whose feelings have been devastated; the insincere showering of expressed flattery by his other daughters; the pauses and elongated silences between entreaty and loss of words; for, it is ultimately that wide expanse and abyss between the words fabricated and the intent revealed, which formalizes the fate of a person’s soul and destined catastrophe.

It is the identical nature of a degree versus knowledge, and there are multiple parallels and counterparts of such contending artifices of conceptual constructs enamored; of silence versus quietude; of peace which merely poses as a veil for a ceasefire.  Knowledge is what is lacking in a society that promotes glitter, padded resume and degrees dispensed with abandon and devalued wisdom.

There are exceptions, however, and the pragmatic cynic will counter with:  Would you allow an individual without a medical degree to perform surgery upon a vital organ?  The answer, of course, is an unqualified “no”.  And that is why, in a Federal Disability Retirement application, the case-law conferred and rendered by Administrative Law Judges at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board have consistently held that a treating doctor possesses the greater credibility in formulating an effective Federal Disability Retirement application in a Federal Disability Retirement case, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

For, like the issue surrounding the distinction between “degree” versus “knowledge”, the medical doctor who has never treated a particular patient, but who certifies that the Federal or Postal worker is unable to perform one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal employee’s positional duties, is likened to a person who wears the formalities of credentials, but lacks the individualized knowledge elevated to the heightened ascendency to wisdom, representing the doctor who has had multiple clinical encounters and can determine the capacity and capabilities of the Federal Disability Retirement applicant with confidence paralleling the man of knowledge who may lack a degree, but never fails to notice the pitfalls present on the pathway to an unlit gaze upon the heavenly stars of folly.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Caution

It is the characteristic which precludes and prevents unnecessary harm, and allows for the survival instinct to flourish; yet, as with most traits, there are both positive and negative aspects to it.  Yes, the telltale signs of hesitation, trepidation in approach, care in proceeding, and sometimes outright flight, allows for the evolutionary dominance of survival of the fittest and the genetic propagation of a species on the rise.  In modernity, however, when the dangers once diverse in the State of Nature are no longer applicable, that same innate fingerprint can be the preventative modality of stunted growth.  What was once the thrust for endurance of longevity may now be the invisible thread which holds back.

Caution, as a philosophy of living, can indeed limit the potential for greater good.

Perhaps in finance, the conservative approach with steadiness of investment is the preferred methodology; in politics, the inane and incomprehensible mumblings which meander with linguistic elasticity and meaningless tropes, the pathway to elected office; and in the Federal Sector and the U.S. Postal Service, to “not make waves” may well be the quiet road to disregarded competence and allowable step-increases at expected intervals.  But sometimes life brings about change without the seeking our of disruptive interludes, and that is precisely what a medical condition does to a life of serenity and quietude.  They are life’s misgivings not asked for, and interruptions unearned.

There again, caution and hesitation go hand in hand, and making a decision about filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is but a manifestation of a character trait which may have served you well up to this point, but which may exacerbate the collaboration of an unwanted triumvirate:  work, health, and one’s future security.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM often has a daunting sense of the unknown, and that is never a positive sign for the cautious by nature.  But nature’s course may not be the best, or even the wisest, avenue in this era of modernity; for, as the trait which allowed for narrow escapes in eons past, it is also the identical essence which may have delayed the promotion, interrupted the dream, restrained the hope, and dashed the fantasy which remained as an unscented residue quashed by a desire suppressed in the first chapter of that cautionary tale called “you”.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire