Federal and Postal Employee Disability Retirement Law: At Its Worst

We can all be at our best — so long as we are never tested.  We can talk, and talk some more, about what we “would have done” had we been in such-and-such situation.  And since we relegate our military to men and women who are the economically-disadvantaged — instead of a draft which would impact all sectors of society — we can talk endlessly about what we “would have done” if we were in this situation or that.

We can say we will never do X — until we are actually confronted with the circumstances which constitute X; and a person can give a vow, have children based upon that vow, and years later renounce the vow without blinking an eye.  “Well, we drifted apart”; “The circumstances changed”; “He/she didn’t want to be married anymore” — and on and on.  But what about the vow?  Silence.

The test of virtue is not mere words; rather, it is the actions which result from actual circumstances encountered.

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, you may have seen your Agency or the Postal Service at its best — because nothing has tested its response to what you are going through.

Unfortunately, experience has taught that Federal Agencies and the Postal Service reveal their true character when confronted with an issue at its worst — such as treating an individual who needs to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

Don’t be foolish and assume your Agency or the Postal Facility will respond and treat you the same as when things were going smoothly and everyone was at their best, for such is not the test of character; it is when things are at its worst when the true test is applied.

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 from the OPM: The Emotional Side

One side always accuses the other of having too much of it; and by merely alleging it, you immediately denigrate the opponent’s relevance, weight and substantive import of the argument engaged in.  It is a tactic often used in debate — of alleging that the other side has engaged in an “emotional” argument.

Showing it has been associated with weakness; admitting to it is tantamount to defeat.  Yet, we all have that side, don’t we?

Human beings are not mere automatons built with computer chips and Spock-like demeanors.  The Stoic, of course, has trained himself to deny that side of humanity; likewise, the Hindu priest, the Zen Buddhist, the warrior-brute.  Civilization itself has, in more modern times, declared that the emotional side is psychologically healthy to exhibit; and concurrently, there exists and has arisen a countermovement which believes that the pendulum has swung too far and that “real men” (whatever they are) need to reestablish themselves.

Clearly, wherever one is on the discussion-spectrum of this issue, there is a time and place for the emotional side to manifest itself.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is a relevant place for the emotional side.  Yes, legal argumentation is important.  Yes, a logical, sequential exposition of one’s case is needed.  But in describing the impact of one’s medical condition, there is clearly a relevant place for the emotional side.

Contact a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and discuss where and to what extent the emotional side of the process is appropriate.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Medical Retirement for Federal and Postal Employees: Stupid Mistakes

Our first reaction may be that such a phrase is in fact a tautology; for, to make a “mistake” is by definition to do something “stupid”, and so it is merely a redundancy to use and place both terms together.  But surely we can conceive of circumstances in which “making a mistake” turns out to be the very opposite of having done something “stupid”?

Perhaps some earth-shattering mistake in science resulted in a new discovery — of having made a mistake in combining two or more elements but resulting in a new, composite element beneficial to society?  Or of having made an accounting error which accrued to one’s personal financial benefit?  But even then, one may argue that the mistake itself was a stupid one; the consequences merely turned out to be beneficial, but that doesn’t necessarily impact the character of the mistake itself.

And what of follies in our youth?  Does age and greater experience, retrospectively reflecting back into the series of life’s mistakes and actions thoughtlessly taken, lead us to conclude that we have made multiple “stupid mistakes”?  What, then, constitutes a “mistake” such that it was stupid?

Often, a glimpse into what we did in the past — of having forged ahead without a plan, thoughtlessly, and without due diligence in considering all of the factors; these, and many more actions taken without an inkling of preparatory counsel, constitute what most people consider as a “stupid mistake”.

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 may be necessary to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.  In doing so, it is necessary to have a full and comprehensive understanding of the laws which govern FERS Disability Retirement and the administrative process and procedures abounding.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, lest you come to regret it as one more “stupid mistake” that was made — as one of many that we all make throughout our lifetimes.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The rate of return

At what point does the rate of return diminish to the extent that it is “no longer worth it.”?  And, what is the “it” referring to?  Is it the effort expended in contrast to the compensation received?  Is it the dividends paid upon an investment ignored?

Often, in all of the contexts just described, the focus is upon the wrong point; it is not the “end product” or the final sum that should determine the worthwhile aspect of the “rate of return”, but rather, the key term overlooked — not the “return”, but the “rate”.  One might argue that the two essentially are the same, inasmuch as the “return” (the sum received) is determined by the “rate” (the calculus that determines).  But are they?  Doesn’t it depend upon what context it is being applied to?

Certainly, when conceived of in a traditional investment category, the final sum received can be backtracked to the rate that has been applied; but what about other, more non-traditional contexts, such as friendships, work — even marriage?  Or does one never apply such cold-hearted calculations when discoursing upon the arena of human relationships?  Can we so easily drop friendships and end marriages based upon the same criteria applied in changing investment firms?

Come to think of it, our own lack of active interest is probably the single biggest reason that marriages and friendships last — because, like those investments that we allow to remain because we are too lazy to take an active interest in, many remain in marriages and friendships well beyond the love that has been lost long ago, or the affection that has waned all too subtly; for, in the end, it is our own laziness and lack of motivation that allows the fallowed pastures to let life slowly die in the uncaring tenements of thoughtless stupor.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers that suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent the full performance of one’s positional duties and the essential elements of the job, the conceptual paradigm of the “rate of return” should be applied in contemplating whether or not to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Surely, the Federal Agency or the Postmaster is thinking along the same lines — is he/she getting the job done?  Can I get more out of someone else?

That is the Agency’s perspective; but what about yours?  Such questions as: Is my health going to improve by remaining?  What will the future options be: remain, resign or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits?

If the first and second choices are no longer real options, then the third one is a necessity, as it becomes clear that the rate of return is no longer a worthwhile investment to remain in a job that clearly is destroying any semblance of one’s quality of life — and that, in the end, is what the purpose of the investment was all about to begin with.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Lawyer Representation Federal Disability Retirement: Biding time

Inmates in correctional facilities do it; criminals in wait; patients in doctor’s offices who have been informed that there will be a short delay because of an emergency procedure that the physician had to attend to; and most of us in general who live life anticipating disasters, tomorrow’s unfortunate events or the next day’s calamity to come.

We all bide our time in living our lives, and it is the time of biding that is wasted away until, near our deathbed, the expected outcome of disaster never came, the calamity never developed and the corrosion of life never materialized.  It is one thing to wait on another person; another altogether to engage in the patient virtue of sitting motionless or passing the time away in anticipation of something beyond; it is quite another, and perhaps unique, that human beings actually actively engage in the activity of “biding time” in order to start a process.

Vengeance often takes biding of time; planning for a future definitely requires biding time; and old men and women in nursing homes have nothing better to do than to bide one’s time.  To live life biding time, even at the horizon of one’s twilight in elder states of despair, is no way to exist.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are beginning the process of, have already begun the procedural steps to, or otherwise are in the middle of the administrative process of preparing, formulating or filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the key to “biding time” during this complex administrative process is to have “a plan”.

It is a long, arduous, difficult and time-consuming process.  Even after it is successfully filed, the time waiting upon a decision just at the First Stage of the administrative process can now take a very, very long time, and how one plans to bide one’s time during this long process is something one needs to consider.

Will you remain on LWOP during this time?  Will you resign, get terminated, and will you work at a private-sector job while waiting for OPM’s decision?  Will temporary loss of health insurance be a consideration?  If it is denied at the Initial Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, will that mean that you can endure the lengthy second Stage, the Reconsideration Stage?  And if you have to go and have a Telephonic Hearing before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, which will take a minimum of 120 days beyond, will that still be within the plan of attack in biding time?

Hopefully, one’s Federal Disability Retirement filing with OPM will go smoothly; but in the event that all of the proverbial bumps on the road are encountered in your particular journey, it is important to consider the extent of biding time during the process.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: Identifying the Substantive Significance

We all know people who meander; whether aimlessly, or with thoughtful purpose, but in a circuitous manner belying of deliberate direction.  Instead of focusing upon the subject matter discussed, perhaps the creative impulse within constantly distracts, and so the splatter and spew of words and sentences are never formulated into a singular track from Point A to Point B, but rather, like the dow jones graph of recent phenomena, directionless outputs traversing the entire spectrum of possible ideas to touch upon.

Such creative constituents of unconventional thought processes make for interesting lives; if everyone spoke in formulations of straight methodological contents, science would rule the universe, and statistical boredom would control the monotony of the daily drone.  But recognizing the substantive core of a subject can be necessary, at crucial moments; identification, formulation and focus upon that which is significant, as opposed to peripheral matters which may be of importance in a personal manner, but irrelevant in the context of the business world or technical endeavors, cannot always be overlooked or dismissed merely for the sake of upholding creativity or charm.

The bomb expert attempting to deactivate the explosive mechanism cannot wander in thought from the task at hand; identification of that which is substantively significant must always be the primary focus of the detail, and wavering from that course of thought-process may have more than mere theoretical consequences and repercussions.

For the Federal employee and the U.S. Postal worker who suffers 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 positional duties in the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, the need to file for a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, requires a level of focus, concentration, and capacity to identify the core issues to be discussed, and to create the proper legal nexus which satisfies the multiple criteria required in order to meet the eligibility mandates delineated by OPM regulations and laws.

As with every endeavor of life, preparing, formulating and filing for Federal and Postal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is never merely a logical algorithm of mathematical precision; yes, it involves a level of creativity, especially because it must inform the OPM specialist of the narrative of the medical condition and its impact upon one’s professional and personal life.  But in the end, the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker must be able to identify the substantive significance of the facts, the law, and the coexisting intersection and interplay between the two, in formulating an effective Statement of Disability as prepared on SF 3112A.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Extending the Vibrancy of Life

Much of life is spent in avoidance and protective retreat; it is only in the ignorance of youthful exuberance that we recklessly run into the streets without looking for oncoming traffic.  Sports reflects the truth of that human essence; it is not an accident that we witness the repetitive folly of gaining an early lead, only to act in fear of losing and thereby fulfilling the prophesies of our own making.

The question, then, 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 positional duties — is it an option to remain?

If the answer to that question is an unequivocal “no”, then the two other choices harken: File for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, or wait until the agency fires you or forces you to resign.  If the latter, then the Federal or Postal employee still has up until 1 year to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the date of separation, whether through termination or separation by voluntary (or “forced”) resignation.

Avoidance of the issue will not do; at some point, either the decision to move forward in life will be made by the central actor in the cast (you), or by the supporting residue surrounding the play (the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service).

In the end, the vibrancy of one’s life is not determined by blindness or disregard of one’s circumstances, but by recognizing the steps necessary to enliven daily value.  One’s career and the extension of worthwhile work is always important to one’s life, but when a medical condition begins to exacerbate and devalue the substantive content of one’s life, then it is time to move beyond and search for an extension of that vibrancy of life.

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 often a “first step” in achieving and resetting that youthful exuberance we once felt, but lost along the way, precisely because it allows for a base security of the foundational needs of living:  an annuity obtained, then time to recuperate from one’s medical conditions and determine a course for the future.

One need not be looking back with fear of losing the game, as the repetition of sports history will reveal; rather, the future still can hold the key to extending the vibrancy of life once grasped, but somehow lost in the morass of our busy lives.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Medical Retirement: The language of law

Wittgenstein recognized that there exists various forms of languages within a community of a shared language — with words everyone understood, sentences all were familiar with, but the usage and meaning of which were unique to a particular group or set of individuals.  Such comity of meanings and esoteric application of language were designated as “language games”.  Information Technology groups have their own set of insulated meanings; advertising agents, insurance companies, and children who form an exclusive club may formulate within-community code words exclusive to the group alone, and alien to all around.

What, then, is the language of law?  Certainly, analogy and hypothetical models of similar situations and transactions are a part of it; and the methodology of argumentation is to show the familiarity of classes of subject-matter issues and identical-sounding situations which penetrate the judge’s capacity to accept and anticipate precedent-setting citations of prior acts.  Why the language game of the legal arena accepts as a primary basis of interaction similar-sounding prior fact-scenarios is often a mystery to “outsiders” (i.e., non-lawyers), and confounds with frustration the enormous expenditure of time and money in engaging such circuitous narratives of persuasive argumentation.

What about my case?  What difference does it make whether or not a decades-old case applies in an analogical manner to the facts at hand?  But that is precisely the point of the language of law; for, it is consistency of application and perpetuation of stability which makes for reverence for “the law”.  Arbitrariness and malleability creates suspicion of motives, and justice requires the fair constancy of applying “the law”.

This is important to understand in all arenas of the “language game of law”, and for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who may need to entertain the potentiality for filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal Worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the entrance into “Administrative Law” (which is what filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM falls under) is no different.

Precedent-setting cases develop over decades and epochs of lifetimes; and whether the OPM Disability Retirement applicant is aware of it or not, the compendium of rules, regulations and decision-setting conclusions are all guided by, constricted within, and influenced throughout, by prior cases handed down by judicial opinions rendered “on high” by administrative law judges and Federal Court of Appeals mandates.

Should case laws be cited in the submission of a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application?  As the law is the hinge upon which society survives, so the question of persuasive argumentation may live or die based upon the vocalization of precedents.  But always remember that the language of law is a specific type of language game, and the exclusive club of legalese requires some training of usage, where applicability may sound like gobbledygook unless formulated with an ear towards coherence within the insular language game of law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire