OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Coherent Story

What makes it so, and when it isn’t, can anything make up for its lack in order to bring it around?

The historical myth of the early days of moviemaking is that the audience needed to be shown certain fundamental scenes in order to prevent any confusion and loss of interest — i.e., to start a scene with a character entering or exiting a doorway in order to “set the scene” of coherence, etc.  Otherwise, people were caught wondering how a character arrived at a certain place to begin with, and became distracted from engaging in the fantasyland of a fictional world in watching a movie.

Whether or not this is true — and there are some who doubt this, given that novels and short stories have always allowed for scenes, conversations and topics to jump from place to place without “reinventing the proverbial wheel” — nevertheless, every story hinges upon parts which make up a coherent whole.

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, the coherent story must be formulated, narrated and conveyed in a manner which is both true, valid and persuasive.  Moreover, it must “fit into” the rules, regulations and statutory authorities which govern Federal Disability Retirement eligibility criteria.  How to tell “one’s story” on SF 3112A, the Applicant’s Statement of Disability, is critical in formulating a successful strategy in the proper preparation and submission of a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to begin to tell your “coherent story” — the one that will captivate the “audience” at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Benefits: Why We Persevere

The question itself often never comes up; for the “Why” questions the motive, when in fact there is never really any other option.  Obligations and commitments; the fact that we have to continue making a living; the alternatives considered; in the end, there is no “Why” relevant to the matter because the choices are limited.  To ask the “Why” question is to engage in an Aristotelian query — as to the “foundation” of an issue, or “first principles” that provide the underlying substratum of origins and causes.

“Why we Persevere” is, for some, a nonsensical query, for there is no alternative but to struggle and to maintain the composure of outward normalcy.  There are times, however, when the question is relevant — as when a given X is necessitated by Factor Y such that the choice of X can no longer be continued because of the condition of Y.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who continue to persevere in one’s Federal or Postal job, but where the medical conditions suffered have made it no longer possible to continue in the same manner or vein of one’s career, Federal Disability Retirement is the option that needs to be considered.

Perseverance is an admirable trait of human endurance, but when a medical condition no longer allows for even perseverance to maintain the status quo, it is time to consider another option such that one’s health can be focused upon, and where perseverance alone may be the factor that stands in the way and the “Why” question begins to take on greater significance where it is beginning to destroy one’s health.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Certainty of Defeat

There is nothing more demoralizing than to “know” the certainty of defeat.  But that is the crux of the matter, isn’t it?  How does one “know”?  Certainly, one can balance the odds for and against; to take into account the factors which determine a statistical chance of success or failure; but does one ever have “certainty” in anything, or is it often merely a perspective of the glass being half full, or half empty?

Where the odds are overwhelming and objectively insurmountable: a 100-to-1 advantage that the opposing force has; a predetermined outcome that cannot be reversed; in such circumstances, then, what hope is there?  For, the only counterbalance to “certainty” is the glimmer of hope for some unforeseen “X-factor” that somehow saves the day.  On the other hand, it is the determination of “certainty” which extinguishes any flicker or flame of hope.

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, there is often the sense of an inevitability — a “certainty of defeat” — where the medical condition reveals a progressive march towards greater deterioration.

The counterbalance of hope is in the benefit of Federal Disability Retirement.  Yet, even that benefit — of a Federal Disability Retirement annuity — is not a certainty; it is, instead, a benefit which must be fought for.  The Agency which oversees the approvals and denials of a Federal Disability Retirement application — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — does everything to try and find reasons to deny, deny, deny.

Does this mean that every application will face the certainty of defeat?  No — but it must be carefully prepared and effectively pursued.  To provide the greater counterbalance against the certainty of defeat, consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement; for, as hope is the countermeasure to the certainty of defeat, so the lawyer is the one who can provide an objective perspective as to the potentiality for success.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for FERS Employees: Incompatibility

The proof that must be shown, by a preponderance of the evidence, is that the Federal or Postal worker has a deficiency with respect to performance, conduct or attendance, or in the absence of any actual service deficiency, a showing that the medical condition is incompatible with either useful service or retention in the position held.

In recent months, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has been ignoring the part about the “incompatibility” provision, and instead has been unfairly focusing upon whether or not a supervisor has deemed an individual’s past performance as having shown any deficiencies in performance, attendance or conduct.

The system of “performance reviews” favors passing most employees through without any deficiencies, and the reason for this is that it is often too much of a headache to give an employee a “less than fully successful” rating, lest there be grievances filed and appeals noted, creating a greater workload for the supervising authorities.

But even when there are noted and substantiated deficiencies in one’s performance, conduct or attendance, OPM will often dismiss such deficiencies as not being supported by the medical documentation, anyway, and so the basis for a denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application is often a compendium of circular arguments posited by OPM without any adherence to the law or acknowledgment of the facts.

More cases appear to be denied by OPM in recent months; ignoring the law and asserting unfounded reasons for such denials, and so it is important to fight against the trend that seems to be asserted by OPM: Ignoring well-established precedents in law and ignoring the facts by selectively extrapolating what OPM wants to focus upon.

If you have been denied, or want to put forth the best First-Stage OPM Disability Retirement application possible, contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire