Tag Archives: qualifications for medical retirement under fers or csrs

OPM Disability Retirement: The Frustrating Process

Every administrative and bureaucratic process is a frustrating one, and waiting for an OPM Disability Retirement application to be approved is likely the epitome of frustration.

Thus, it is essential to understand at the outset that filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is a long and arduous process that will likely take many years to accomplish, and nothing short of a miracle will expedite the time required.

One’s own efforts in attempting to take shortcuts will have minimal impact upon the ultimate outcome.  Still, an Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law can undoubtedly enhance the chances of an earlier approval.  Even then, however, Federal and Postal workers need to understand that a great deal of the process merely involves waiting.

Filing quickly does not result in OPM rendering a quicker decision.  Often the contrary is true: By preparing an application quickly, it is likely not as strong a case as it could have been and when OPM finally gets around to reviewing it, a likely denial will be issued, further prolonging the waiting period because of needing to go to the next, “Reconsideration” Stage of the process.

And while every bureaucratic process inherently possesses its unique set of frustrations, OPM Disability Retirement has the added feature of contending with a serious medical issue, which tends to magnify the frustrations involved.

Can anything be done about it?  The short answer is, Not Really.  Calls to OPM will often only exasperate the level of frustration, and while “doing something…anything” may temporarily appease the frustration in the short term by making it appear that some progress is being made, almost all such efforts come to naught, and all that remains is to await OPM’s response.

Once received, of course, the entire process can be a further stage of frustration.  For, if an approval is received, there are further battles in getting the annuity payments started, and that doesn’t even touch upon whether the annuity is correctly calculated.  On the other hand, if a denial is issued, the bureaucratic frustration is further extended, especially because of the short timeframe provided in preparing and submitting a response.

Any Federal or Postal employee contemplating preparing, formulating, and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under the FERS system to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, must be prepared for a long and frustrating administrative process.

And if you want further insight into this lengthy and frustrating process, you may want to first consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

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 OPM Disability Retirement: Happy New Year 2023

Each year brings forth a new set of challenges – or as it were, a new set of problems.  It all depends upon how we view it.  The optimist will see an opportunity within the new set, while the pessimist will have a negative perspective and affirm an unconquerable obstacle.

And the cynic?  The cynic will combine the optimist’s and the pessimist’s beliefs and see the former as a fool and the latter as even a greater fool, and where both will fail in their endeavors regardless of attitude or mood.

Whatever the outcome of all, the march of time trudges onward and the new year brings about changes regardless of our feeble attempts to control and circumvent them.  The natural, objective world cares not about human needs, problems, or tragedies, and time nor changes of calendric alterations fail to alleviate them.

Nevertheless, we celebrate each new year as if it provides a clean slate to begin anew, and that is a good thing, let all the days of our lives be looked upon as a single aggregation of comedic inconsequence.

Everyone likes to have a fresh start, whether by artifice or natural inclination and so we celebrate this next new year as we have every year, “as if’ when the clock strikes midnight and the single tic-tok following has made any difference at all; and yet, let us cheer a  toast of goodwill and prepare a celebratory welcome, if only to bring hope and joy to those less fortunate.

For, after all, while nature sleeps unencumbered by the problems of tomorrow, it is the human effort which can make a difference in people’s lives, and that is what distinguishes the optimist from the pessimist, and force silence upon the cynic’s lips.

For Federal Employees and U.S. Postal Workers who suffer from a medical condition that may necessitate filing for Federal Disability benefits in the coming year, contact a FERS Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement law in 2023, and begin to adopt an optimistic view for 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.

 

FERS Employee Medical Retirement: Sticking Out

Like a sore thumb; or, merely embodying a strangeness.  In traditional societies, conformity is the normative value: to not be a part of the herd is to make yourself a part of the outcast, and thus to deliberately deny yourself the benefits granted to you by your own community.  “Sticking out” has become the normative value in our society; and by becoming so prevalent, strangeness has become non-strangeness, sticking out has become the normal everyman, and thus has uniqueness become normal and everyday.

Moynihan spoke in the early 60s about dumbing down deviancy, to the point where — today — sticking out like a sore thumb is no more unique than school shootings or weekend murders.  Why do we need to stick out?  What is the unstated need so prevalent in this country?  Why must individualism be defined by appearance — a standard which goes against the grain of Plato and Western Philosophy, where substantive truth was always preferred over the mere appearance of things?

For Federal Gov. employees and U.S. Postal workers who have come to a point where preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under the  FERS system has become a necessity, for so long, you have attempted NOT to be the one sticking out; and, instead, you have tried to hide your “uniqueness” — that chronic health condition which has steadily and progressively deteriorated your health conditions.

This may turn out to hurt you.  For, this is the one time when “sticking out” helps your disability retirement application — i.e., sticking out in not being able to do your job; sticking out in taking too much sick leave; sticking out to your supervisors in not being able to complete assigned projects, etc.

If you have been trying to hide your sticking-out-ness but now need to stick out like a sore thumb by filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS, contact a Federal Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of sticking it out by maneuvering — through the assistance and guidance of a FERS Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law — through the stickiest bureaucracy by pointing out the eligibility criteria of a FERS Disability Retirement claim.

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: Joy

It is the cousin of happiness, the nephew of contentment; or, the shadow to a smile and a residue of pleasure.  Joy is what we are supposed to experience, as evidenced by the seasons of Christmas and the New Year.  The smile which is forced; the laughter that sounds hollow; the caricature of the Norman Rockwell painting — and by contrast, the life which most of us live and encounter.

Much of life is a struggle, strangling the pop-up moments where joy might peek around the corner.  It is a wonder that most people don’t all become Buddhists, and will themselves to believe that the world around them is merely an illusion, given the sadness which prevails in most lives.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a chronic and increasingly, progressively debilitating medical condition, “joy” is often the last cousin to enter the household.

Contact an OPM Attorney to discuss the possibility of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, especially where joy is no longer the nephew to embrace because he has already left for other, happier circumstances.

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 for Federal Employees: Future Planning

It is perhaps a redundancy to put the two concepts together; for, “planning” is almost always about the future (can one plan for the past?  Or, even for the present — as every moment of the present must by conceptual imposition tick the time for a future event), and thus the inclusion of the concept, “future” becomes an irrelevancy and an unnecessary conceptual appendage.

One can, of course, confuse some concepts — as in, for example, planning for one’s future funeral, or writing one’s obituary (which is essentially future planning but incorporating past events); or of writing a story about something which occurred in the past (as opposed to a science fiction story, which by definition would involve some future event).  So, one might simply entitle an essay, “Future” — but would that necessarily encapsulate “planning”?

On the other hand, to simply say, “Planning” would, by conceptual inference, necessarily involve the future, merely because we all presume that any “planning” would incorporate the future because of the absurdity of thinking that we could plan for what has already passed.

That being said, future planning is always a problem because of the very fact that it must involve “unknowns”, as every future cannot be completely and entirely predictable.  The future, by definition, is an unknown and unknowable quality and quantity; it is not quantifiable; it remains a mystery.  Otherwise, we would all be able to predict which numbers would appear in a lottery, what stock market picks will be winners, and even be able to understand what a “commodities futures” is/are.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers suffering from a medical condition necessitating a filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, “Future Planning” can be difficult, at best.  How strong is your case; what is a realistic assessment of time frames involved; what can be done to enhance the chances of success; what will be a predictable amount of the monthly annuity; and many more questions, besides.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the arduous process of future planning — or just planning.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal & Postal Medical Retirement: Stupid Mistakes

Of course, one can argue that all mistakes, by their very definition, are “stupid”; but, of course, that would then make the entire concept differentiating between “mistakes” and “stupid mistakes” disappear, as the distinction between the bifurcated differences becomes one and the same.

It is a difficult concept to define; yet, we know when we or others have made them.  When we make them, we slap our forehead and say, “Duh!”  When another person makes one, we try to put a gentle cover over it — if we care at all for the person; if it was made by a child; when we know that the other person is “sensitive” to criticism, etc. — and try and say things like, “Oh, it’s okay, anyone could have made that mistake”.  On the other hand, when it is made by someone whom we dislike, is arrogant or condescending (or all three), we get the joy of “rubbing it in” and say offhand things like, “Boy, not even stupid ol’ me would have made a mistake like that!”

“Stupid” mistakes are distinct from “common” errors; the former is made without thought, while the latter is often made with thought, but without knowing the inherent consequences contained.

For Federal employees and U.S Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, and where the medical condition may require the Federal or Postal employee to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM, one wants to — if at all possible — avoid not only the “common” mistakes, but the “stupid” ones, as well.  Mistakes happen; we all make them; but the one mistake that cannot be corrected once a Federal Disability Retirement application is filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is the one where “blinders” are placed upon OPM once OPM sees something.

It is thus important to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the “common” mistake turns out to be a “stupid” mistake that cannot be corrected.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Perfecting life versus living perfectly

It is the latter which most of us do, or pretend to do, and which stunts the capacity to engage in the former.  And so that which we should be doing (the former) is prevented because of that which we are already doing (the latter), in a never-ending cycle of self-destruction.

Those Internet internecine attempts which include Facebook and Instagram don’t help in these matters, and perhaps exacerbate them exponentially.  For, in both cases, they encourage each one of us to “appear” to be living perfectly, when the whole endeavor of human existence should be a striving towards perfecting our lives — i.e., of recognizing the imperfect status of our current condition, having a paradigm towards which one strives in order to correct those defects, and thus towards the “end” of this prosaically-described “journey” of sorts, to be able to declare that “perfection” was somewhat achieved.

But — no — instead, we create an appearance, a facade, a dissembling image of one’s appearance and put forth a self-portrait of an already-achieved perfection: The perfect happiness; the perfect outing; the perfect couple and the perfect participle.

The origins of philosophy (i.e., Plato, Aristotle and those who followed) were always concerned with the differentiation between “Appearance” and “Reality”; in modernity, the two have been conflated, where one’s appearance is the reality of one’s existence.  By commingling concepts which were once clearly bifurcated, we prevent the capacity of human beings to strive to be better, to grow and mature towards greater fulfillment of one’s potentiality.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is a familiar concept — of hiding one’s imperfections in an environment that demands perfection daily.  Medical conditions and their impact on a person’s life — these are considered “imperfections” in a society that demands nothing less than perfection.  Thus does the targeted harassment begin — to “punish” the very person who needs support, empathy and understanding, instead of the constant barrage of unneeded animosity.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may not, in and of itself, be the perfect solution; but, as imperfect a solution as filing a Federal Disability Retirement application may seem, the appearance of an imperfect solution may be preferable than the perfection expected but unattainable in a society that appears to be perfectly fine with imperfections pervasively perfected by appearances of concealed imperfections.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Representation: Order & Disorder

Isn’t that what most of us are trying to do for a good deal of time spent?  Not to compare it to such a “Biblical” extent — but like the figure in the very first chapter of the very oldest book some hold as “sacred”: out of chaos, order is created.

Throughout one’s day, from the very awakening of those sleep-encrusted eyes, when the dreams dissipate and the nightmares subside, we wake up and try to create order out of the chaos that surrounds us.  The key to sanity is to keep pace with, or try and “get ahead”, if possible, of the impending disorder around us.  Thus can insanity be redefined as: We “lose” it when the disorder around us becomes exponentially quantified beyond one’s capacity to maintain the level of order required.

Think about it: the bombardment of stress that continues to envelope us; of a time not too long ago when “correspondence” was a written letter sent by one individual to another that took 2 – 3 days by first class mail to arrive after the postage stamp was licked and carefully placed, now replaced by a quick email and a button-push with a singular finger, multiplied by hundreds, if not thousands, and in a blink of an eye one’s “Inbox” is filled with requests, tirades, FYIs and spam beyond the measures order needed.

Isn’t that what “bringing up children” is also all about — of creating order out of disorder?  Without discipline, guidance, schooling and a bit of luck, we would all become maladapted individuals running about in diapers devoid of the learned proclivities of polite society, and be left with the allegation that one is “eccentric” or, worse, an “oddball”.

Medical conditions, too, have a way of overwhelming a person with a sense of “disorder”, in that it forces a person to do things outside of the ordinary repetition of an ordered life.  That is why it is so difficult to “deal with” a medical condition, even if it is not your own.  It interrupts one’s goals, plans, and the perspective of order that is so important to one’s sanity.

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, preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often necessary just in order to attain that lost sense of order that has become created by the disorder of one’s medical condition.

Medical conditions make the universe formless and void; and it is the regaining of a sense of stability — of molding some sort of order out of the disorder — by obtaining some semblance of financial security through an OPM Disability Retirement, that the devil of disorder can be overcome with the gods of order in a genesis of new beginnings.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The realization

In most cases, it is not as dramatic a moment as we all tend to think; it is rarely “The X”, as in the penultimate juncture of enlightenment where the “The” is prefatory to the noun, as opposed to a more general article such as, “A realization” — meaning, one among others, or just another one amidst many.

Most such moments are not “Aha” ones, where there is a sudden and profound revelation, like the proverbial Road to Damascus experience or the Gestalt shift in thinking.  Instead, the realization of X is more often than not subtle, incremental and a slow progression towards an acknowledgment, observable and quantifiable over a period of many months or years.  Whether we make it into a momentous period, a critical juncture in our lives, or as one of many tokens of change often depends upon how we view each segment that results in a modification of a life judged in its totality.

Aristotle’s belief is that a person’s life cannot be fully evaluated until much later in life.  Indeed, what do we make about a person’s career, reputation and overall “life” when a critical mistake is made at the beginning — say, in the early years of youth when one is more susceptible to the vicissitudes of emotional upheavals and pursuance of desires without thought?  Or, of the fool who, in old age, does something similarly rash?  Do we make an evaluation at the eulogy and excuse the one bad bit?

Something like, “Now, we all knew X.  He was a great man.  He had, of course, that one incident, but …”.  Is it better to have the negative incident occur early in life so that you can rectify and redeem for the remainder?  Or, is it more acceptable and palatable to live an exemplary life, then commit an error in later life so that you can excuse it as the “folly of age”?

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 the Federal or Postal employee’s job and duties, “the realization” that something has to change will mostly come about over a period of time — incrementally, perhaps even subtly, and then one day there is a determination that has to be made that priorities of life need to be reordered and modifications to a life of struggle necessitates modifications.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is the necessary next step after such a realization.  Preparing, formulating and filing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application is the natural course of events once the Federal or Postal employee recognizes that change must occur.

Consulting with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is also a good next step — for that points to the realization that not all things in the universe are known, and some things may need some further guidance in pursuit of a gargantuan effort required to go up against a behemoth of a bureaucracy — OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

How much OPM Disability Retirement Pays?

“What will the benefit pay?”  That is often the primary concern of a Federal or Postal employee who must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), and it is certainly a valid first question.

The greater concern that cannot be overlooked, however, is the one that involves calculating the cost of NOT filing.  In the end, those Federal and Postal employees who must consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits have three fundamental options: Stay put; resign and do nothing (or wait for termination/separation proceedings to occur, which amounts to the same thing); or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

The benefit of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity is quite simply calculated as 60% of the average of one’s highest three consecutive years of service for the first year (offset by 100% of any Social Security Disability benefits received during the concurrent payments received) and 40% of the average every year thereafter (offset by 60% of any Social Security Disability payments received during those years), until age 62, at which point the Federal Disability annuity is recalculated as “regular retirement” based upon the total number of years of Federal Service, including the time that the disability retiree has been on Federal Disability Retirement.

Thus, the “greater” benefit in calculating the cost has to take into account the fact that one is actually “building up” one’s own retirement by the years one stays on disability retirement — for, those very years that you are receiving a disability retirement annuity count towards the total number of years of Federal Service when it is recalculated as “regular” retirement at the age of 62.

Yes, it is true that on the cost/benefit ledger that one should review before filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, you need to take into account the lesser income and the lengthy bureaucratic process that must be engaged, but you should also never forget what the originating basis for considering such filing compelled the consideration in the first place: Your health.

Calculating the cost of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits too often places the emphasis on what is lost — in terms of monetary gain and loss, etc.  But in calculating the cost of filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted and considered to and by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the primary issue involves one’s deteriorating health and whether you can continue to remain in a job which has clearly become inconsistent with the medical conditions one is suffering from.

In the end, calculating the cost must go beyond the lessening of income; it must calculate the cost of one’s health, which is the single greatest asset one possesses.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire