OPM Medical Disability Retirement: The Nimbus Implication

Subtlety is gone; everything must now be explicitly stated and proven.  Diplomacy was often known as the art of the subtle — of making statements which could be interpreted in multiple ways; of committing, and yet not; of appearing to be cordial while hiding the tensions of subterranean hostilities — sort of like the relationship between the United States and China, as opposed to the now-openly hostile and confrontational geopolitical interplay with Russia.

The “nimbus” is that halo often depicted over the head of a saint.  It is vague; somewhat of a haze; a luminous color that remains even when the individual walks about.  What does it imply?  Somehow, we all know — that it implies saintliness, of a purity and quality we ourselves do not possess, and when we encounter a figure who possesses it, the implication is clear and unequivocal: We have encountered the supernatural.

Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal worker from being able to perform all of the essential elements of his or her job, often walk about with what is tantamount to the nimbus implication — except, with the opposite effect.  Instead of saintliness, it is about being a pariah; for, over time, the Federal Agency, the Postal Service, the Supervisors of both, they all lose patience with the individual who suffers from a medical condition.

Suddenly, the nimbus implication leads to a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan); a restriction on leave usage; even discriminatory practices deliberately initiated by the Federal Agency or the Postal Unit; and, sometimes a removal from Federal Service.  The option once the nimbus implication reaches an extreme point?

File for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Contact a FERS Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of avoiding the consequences of the nimbus implication.

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: The Fabrication of Certainty

There are innumerable truths of certainty, mostly of fabrication and artificiality, and much of it meaningless and of inconsequential inanity.

For example, you can join a local chapter of the Flat-Earth Society, and so long as you contain your discussions about the flatness of the earth within the confines of the society’s reaches (however limited that may be), your conviction that the earth is flat can be maintained, reserved, and with vigorous belief, sustained.  You can even go out into the greater world and retain such a conviction, and believe it with certainty.

On the other hand, it would be unwise to entertain certain types of fabricated certainties — such as the belief that you are a super-human being who will incur no harm if you run in front of a bus traveling at 50 miles per hour — leaving aside even a lesser speed.  The test as against the objective world and the rules of force and biology simply will not cooperate or comply with such fabrication of certainty.

Human beings have an unlimited capacity to create and manufacture fabrications of certainty, even if they have absolutely no correspondence or connection to the outside world.  You can even believe, with absolute certainty, Russell’s statement that the “King of France is bald”, and as there is no King in France, and thus the individual without a referential-point in the universe cannot be bald (because a non-existent person cannot possess the characteristic of “baldness”) — and yet, because the “sense” and “meaning” of the statement can be comprehended, we can walk about the world with the fabrication of certainty without any consequences in the real world.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition compels and necessitates the proper and effective preparation, formulating and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the recognition that fabrications of certainties can defeat a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS is important.

Always be clear on the certainty of “the law”; review the medical records and reports for any inaccuracies which may defeat your disability retirement application; and make sure that there is a correspondence between your Statement of Disability on SF 3112A and on the medical documents to be submitted.

For, in the end, the fabrication of certainty is fine only so long as the insularity of one’s world doesn’t extend beyond the tip of one’s growing nose.  And one more thing: For all Flat-Earth Society members, it is not recommended that you travel too far on a ship, lest you fall off of the edge of the earth.

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 Law: Disappearing Fences

That pithy old adage; of “good fences make good neighbors”; it is a saying which old people used to say in delineating acceptable social norms; of an ethos which was generally known, frowned upon when violated, and reflects an antiquated time in our society when everyone “knew” their place.

In modernity, the large corporations have convinced us all that fences are unnecessary; that boundaries are meaningless; that bifurcations no longer apply. Instead, to be “connected” is of utmost importance, and loss of connectivity — even for a day, an hour, a minute — means that your entire source of self-identity may have become expunged from the ethereal universe.

It is all well and good for the wealthy to declare that there should not exist a “division” between one’s personal and professional lives; that your job should be enjoyed as much as in your personal sphere; or that taking calls, doing work, etc. while on vacation or on off-days is completely acceptable.  Fences have all but disappeared.  What was their purpose?

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, erecting and maintaining — even building new ones — is important; for, in the end, one’s “quality of life” begins with maintaining one’s health and well-being, but when that health deteriorates and cannot keep up with the demands of work, it might be time then to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, if only to establish again that, indeed, good fences make good neighbors.

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 Medical Disability Retirement: Self-Consciousness

It is a state of heightened awareness of one’s self.  At what point does an individual first experience such an encounter?

For, the newborn, the toddler, the young lad — it is through the encounters with the objective world, fully conscious, certainly, but unaware yet of the reversal and looping back into one’s own being.  Some would posit that the state of self-awareness cannot occur until there first exists a “self” of some sort to begin with.  Thus, a newborn cannot be self-conscious because there is not enough of the “stuff” of one’s self in order to be aware.

Thoughts, beliefs, memories, a history of having been — these, and much more, in their aggregate and totality, comprise the molding and making of a “self”, and awareness of one’s self — of self-consciousness — can occur only when enough of the self has been developed in order to realize the very existence of one’s self within a universe of many others.

In the end, self-consciousness is merely a state of heightened awareness of another being existing within a world of multiple beings, who happens to be one’s self.  Too much of such self-awareness — a preoccupation, as it were, or an obsession to the exclusion of the needed encounter outside of one’s self — can become unhealthy.

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, becoming self-conscious as to one’s medical condition and the state of existence in relation to one’s career and Federal Agency or Postal unit is a natural phenomena — precisely because of the impact of one’s medical condition upon one’s self.

Yet, such preoccupation must ultimately be translated back to a direct engagement with the world, by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of looping back away from self-consciousness, and engagement with the world around.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Federal & Postal Employee Medical Retirement: The Mistake Unrecognized

We can always quibble about what constitutes a “mistake” — but, generally, there are circumstances described which fall into the center of the conceptual definition, those which border on the periphery, and then the remainder which, while having a consensus that they stray outside of the boundaries, nevertheless are often described as a “mistake”, but only in a retrospective manner.

Examples: A man is driving down a road and makes a left turn instead of a right.  He thought he knew where he was going, but clearly did not.  He made a mistake.  A clerk in an ice cream store thought the customer said, “Give me a scoop of Godzilla Ice Cream” — a specialty of the shop comprised of chocolate and large fudge bits. Instead, the customer had said, “Give me a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.”  In the din of the noisiness, the clerk misheard and made a mistake.

An individual purchases some stolen items from a street vendor.  She suspects that they are stolen, but because of the extraordinary price for which the items are aggregately offered, represses such thoughts and agrees to the purchase.  Later, the police raid the woman’s home and confiscate the property.  Was it a “mistake”?  In what way?

Here are several: It was a mistake to repress the suspicions aroused; it was a mistake to purchase such items from a street vendor; it was a mistake to fail to connect the dots of illogic; but had the person never been caught, and the value of the items later increased a hundredfold and was legitimately sold at Sothebys for an eye-opening profit, would the transaction be characterized as a “mistake”?

And finally: A similar transactional relationship; but let’s change the hypothetical somewhat.  In the new scenario, the person about to engage in the transaction asks for advice before concluding the deal.  Everyone tells him, “Don’t do it.  It is clearly fenced goods.”  A friend — a retired police officer — gives the following advice: “You know it’s gotta be stolen. You can be arrested for participating in receiving of stolen goods.  Don’t do it.” Multiple family members say t he same thing.  The person goes ahead and attempts to close the deal and, in the process, the police raid the establishment, charge the individual and place him in jail.  Was it a “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 — don’t make the mistake of unrecognized scenarios.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and avoid those “mistakes” which are clearly there and which can — and will — defeat a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Telling a Tale

We all have one to tell; it is the telling of it that becomes the question, and not the answer.  The tale itself is the unspoken journey of one’s life, until the telling of it leaves it spoken and revealed; but until the tale is told, the un-telling of it leaves a silence within a cavern of echoes where memories flourish but the story remains unfinished.

Why do famous people hire ghost writers to tell the tale of glamorous lives yet untold?  Is it because their own telling would fade the sheen of glory in the very telling of it — like a monotone in a soliloquy where heads begin to nod off into a slumber of boredom because the very telling of the tale failed to be the vehicle and vessel of excitement and adventure?

Why are some Olympians able to “cash in” on commercial endorsements, while others cannot seem to form or articulate a single sentence of coherent authenticity?

That is the real “rub”, isn’t it — of being “authentic” in the telling of a tale?

What if a former president (who will remain unnamed) whose sexual exploits in the various rooms of the White House (isn’t that giving too much of a hint?) were to tell a tale of moral uprightness and gave a lecture about the importance of fidelity to marriage, self-control of one’s desires, etc. — would it “sound” authentic, and does the person who tells the tale make a difference in determining the truth or validity of the tale?

Does it matter, in an audio-book (which is apparently becoming more and more popular these days, where reading is waning and people no longer have the time nor the interest to lug around great works of literature, leaving aside the actual reading of them) — say, an autobiography — whether the author him/herself reads it, or whether a “famous voice” does the reading?

Can an autobiography of a president be read by a comedian who is good at mimicking the actual voice, and does it add, detract or make no difference who tells the tale, even if the “telling” person is different from the actual person who told the tale?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who must file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the telling of one’s tale is necessarily prompted by SF 3112AApplicant’s Statement of Disability — and it is important that the “voice” which tells the tale is both authentic and persuasive.

It is perhaps the single most important component of the Federal Disability Retirement application, and you might want to consider getting the guidance, counsel and experience of an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the telling of your tale concerning the progressive deterioration of your health “sounds” less than persuasive.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Chess

Two quick observations about the game of Chess and those who play it:  Few are actually very good at it; and, like self-image and a false sense of confidence for many in the United States, too many who play it believe themselves to be very good at it.  Stefan Zweig wrote about the game brilliantly in his novella, the “Chess Story” (or otherwise translated or sometimes referred to as “The Royal Game”), and debunked the notion that the greatest of players are by implication, necessity and prerequisite of an intellectual character, either as brilliant mathematicians, logicians, musicians, philosophers, etc.

The “brilliant” chess player, Czentovic, is a moron at best, and a blithering idiot at worst — but boy, can he play chess and beat everyone and anyone.  To some extent, the reality of Bobby Fischer confirms the skepticism of Zweig as told in the Chess Story — of the idiot savant whose distorted singularity of brilliance being limited to the ability for adeptly maneuvering within 64 squares of white and black spaces and utilizing 16 pieces each in a game that requires foresight and some amount of insight.

That is not to say that one should minimize or diminish the attributes of a Grand Master and, indeed, many such people were “brilliant” in other ways, as well.  One cannot make generalizations and say that every good chess player is a blithering idiot; but nor can one assume that, because one is good or great at the game, ergo he or she must be an intellectual, philosopher, physicist, etc.  The downfall of most is in the notion that you are good because you think you are good; for everyone else, the tempering of reality normally comes about when one’s own notions come into contact with the reality of the world.

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, initiation and submission of 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, may become a necessity.

Filing an OPM Disability Retirement application is somewhat akin to playing chess — from the crucial initial “move” of the pawn, to maneuvering your way through the landmines of a complex administrative and bureaucratic process, until the final stage of a “checkmate” that results in an approval from OPM.  But the game of chess is not merely the physical aspect of it, and encompasses a wide range of psychological characteristics — of fooling one’s self into greatness; of becoming overconfident; of underestimating one’s opponent.

Similarly, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM is not just the “physical aspects” of filing — it must encapsulate proper legal citations; persuasive argumentation; careful gathering of information, evidence and documents, etc.  And like the fool who believes himself to be a great chess champion, one should always remember that being the “best” at something doesn’t just involve thinking that it is so, but should include consultation with an expert to objectively determine it to be so.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement: The compelling reason

What makes a “reason” to do something “compelling”, as opposed to voluntary or optional?  Is it when the choices given are no longer existent and one must by necessity or default act — not out of choice but by being forced to?  Is it the unwillingness of the individual that defines the act, or the lack of alternatives remaining that determines the defined moment?

Or, perhaps it is a “feeling” of involuntariness that justifies the declaration that there was a “compelling reason” to do X or Y, which would create an oxymoron of sorts, to breathe the utterance of “feeling” alongside “reason” in the same sentence.  Is there ever a compelling reason to do or to say something, or is it all voluntarily undertaken, just some acts or declaratives taken with better reasons than others?

For the Federal employee or 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 oner’s Federal or Postal job, is there ever a compelling reason to inform the agency prior to a submission of a Federal Disability Retirement application that one has an “intention” to do so?

If the Federal or Postal employee is under pressure because he or she has already exhausted all SL and AL, and has used up the weeks of FMLA that have garnered some semblance of protection, is it a good idea to inform one’s Federal Agency or the Postmaster of one’s facility that you are gathering the necessary information to prepare a Federal Disability Retirement application?

The general rule in such matters is: Unless there is a compelling reason, Don’t.  However, each individual case is different, and unique and particularized circumstances may well define what the “compelling reason” is — as to whether it is indeed “compelling”, or even a good enough “reason”, as opposed to a “feeling” that one possesses.

In the end, the compelling reason is the one that is made without alternatives to consider; but alternatives are the reason why you should consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, precisely in order to consider those options which you may not even be aware of.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Disability Retirement: The stain of knowledge

Both remain with us; and like innocence which, once tarnished, refuses to be whitewashed, they cast a looming shadow of irreversibility upon the fragile tissue of one’s psyche.  Stains endure; knowledge persists; and once the two combine, the stain of knowledge never relinquishes its hold, whether ugly, radiant, gnawing or insidious; neutrality is rarely a chosen point upon the spectrum of unraveled ignorance.

You can ignore knowledge, and yet it surfaces from deep within one’s consciousness and reveals itself in dreams, nightmares, moments of openness and times of clarity.  You can also ignore a stain, but others take furtive glances, smile to themselves and shake their heads behind your back.  And that stain — like the indelible inkblot which smears and spreads — continues to haunt and follow no matter the number of attempts to outrun it.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the stain of knowledge is that realization that one cannot continue in the career of one’s choice, and it is the realization itself that then prompts one to consider the alternatives faced: To stay, which is becoming increasingly impossible; to resign and simply walk away, which is never an intelligent option; or, to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

Sometimes, knowledge comes in bits and pieces; at others, in a rush of overwhelming force; but when the stain of knowledge remains like the gnawing feeling that forebodes of anxious anticipation, it is time to consider options that previously may have seemed like an inkblot upon an otherwise stellar career, and consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement with OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Servitude

It is a term that is viewed as neutral in one sense; for, the concept itself, while implying subjection to an owner or master, does not require it.  “Slavery”, on the other hand, necessarily connotes a system of ownership and involuntary compulsion; “servitude” can quite simply be tied to the idea that there exists a lack of freedom.

Taking it a step further, one can experience servitude if one has complete freedom; for, the excess of X often results in the opposite of X, as in the statement, “If everything is nothingness, then nothing is everything.”  Thus do we believe that, in modernity, everyone has greater liberty and freedom.  Fewer and fewer issues are any longer societal taboos – from what entertainment we prefer to any constraints on the choice of a career, Western society claims to have the greatest extent of freedom.

Yet, why is it that people don’t “feel” free?

That economic limitations and restrictions seem oppressive; that no one has time to gather together as families; that the more technology accords and claims to give us greater freedom to do “other things”, the less time we feel we have to do anything but work and rush about in this world where the intrusiveness of technology has had its opposite effect – not of granting greater freedom, but of voluntarily goading us into a servitude of acceptance.

Medical conditions, too, have a way of creating that bondage of servitude.  Somehow, when a medical condition begins to develop, it ties us down, requires us to change the way we have been living, and forces us to think again about the priorities in our lives.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have “served” their Federal and Postal “masters” well, the rise of a medical condition often magnifies how much we are a “slave” to time, to productivity and to the pursuance of goals that somehow, in light of the medical condition, become less and less of importance.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application is often a necessity required by and resulting from a medical condition that makes the Federal or Postal employee realize that he or she can no longer perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job.

All the while, the anomaly of life intrudes: One had believed that one had chosen freely one’s Federal or Postal job, but when the medical condition began to impede, and the demands of the Federal Agency or the Postal Facility made it clear that it had become a job of servitude, it may be time to cut those chains of bondage and free one’s self to attend to the greater arena of liberty – one’s health, by preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire