Tag Archives: removal from federal service health issues

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: A Proper Assessment

Of what?  A problem?  One’s life — where one ascribes to the Socratic view that an unexamined life is not one worth living?  Of one’s current circumstances — however dire at first glance, is likely overstated and over-analyzed.

We often over-state current problems in terms of obstacles unable to be overcome, and fail to assess them within the context of past issues and future unknowns.

How often have we looked back at our past and quipped with wonderment, Boy, did that seem like something we would never be able to get out of — but somehow, we persevered and overcame and arrived relatively unscathed.

As to current problems, we always over exaggerate and state thus:  “This time, it is different. There is no way out.”  We often get embroiled in the weeds of current issues, thinking that no one else has ever become so stuck, with no way to get out.  What about a proper assessment of a case?  How strong is your case; what are the weaknesses?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a serious injury or disability such that this injury or disability no longer allows you to continue in your career of choice in the Federal sector or the Postal Service — it is best to first put all of the potential hazards and roadblocks in front of your path, and see if they can be overcome.

Problems never resolve of themselves — well, actually, they sometimes do.  But in the case of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under the FERS system, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), it is best to begin with a proper assessment of your case, then proceed with deliberate consciousness of the strengths and weaknesses which will be faced as the bureaucratic process with OPM begins.

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: 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.

 

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 Disability Retirement: The Difficult Case

Is there one that is not?  Each case, with inherently unique facts and circumstances, presents difficulties because that is the way “the law” is set up: Multiple issues, each complex in their own application of the law, where the legal criteria must be scrupulously met in order to qualify for OPM Disability Retirement benefits.

The “showing” in order to meet the requirements of being eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits must encompass the facts, establish the nexus to the medical documentation, must meet the legal criteria covering each and every aspect of all of the issues critical to success: of the minimum eligibility requirements; of showing an inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of the position; of passing the “accommodations” test under Bracey; of showing that you could not have been reassigned; of rebutting any prior assertions by the agency that you have already been “accommodated”; of making OPM understand the technical and legal definition of “accommodation” — and an endless stream of legal minutiae which must be met at every turn.

The “difficult case”?  There is no such thing as an easy case, and for Federal and Postal workers who want to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is best to accept the basic fact that each case will involve a fight, as all of life is a constant struggle where the goal is worth something.

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.

 

Postal & Federal Employment Disability Retirement: The Sport of Life

Many see it that way: Of life in general as nothing but another “sport”, where competition governs the rules of conduct, the rules themselves can be thwarted by devious means, and where only the best and the brightest prevail, leaving the rest to fend for themselves.  Television; the medium of professional sports; the manner in which we idolize the talented on their courts, fields and rinks of influence, like gladiators of old vanquishing and allowing for crowds in mindless unison to cheer onward to defeat the opponents who dare to challenge.

Most of us remain as mere spectators; the new gladiators in their wealth and fame, strutting about as the masses look with eyes of adoring vacancy.  The sport of life leaves behind a trail of wounded and dying; some wounds cannot be seen visually; others, and those dying, do so quietly along the roadside of detritus cast aside.  Life is more than a sport; it is a period and slice of time where meaningful interaction can take place beyond merely winning or losing.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition will no longer allow you to perform all of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job, and where the “sport” of your Federal Agency or the Postal Service has become one of harassment, intimidation and constant punitive measures in order to “win” and “defeat” you, consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The sport of life is sometimes not worth the strain of the sport, especially where one’s life and health are at stake.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: The Tightening Standard

Some would say that, since 2018 or so, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has been “tightening” the standards in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  Perhaps that is a valid point.

However, whether by way of an unofficial quota system or because there has been a policy change at the highest levels, the fact remains that there are laws in place which must be followed, a criteria of regulations which must be complied with, and standards dictated by case-law and legal opinions set both by the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, as well as by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which govern all decision rendered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

All benefits must be fought for, and fought hard.  Nothing should ever be taken for granted.

Whether one believes that there is a tightening standard or not, the applicable rules, regulations and case-laws must be asserted, cited and demanded to be applied, and that is why, when a Federal or Postal employee begins the process of preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is a given that you should consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, to prepare for the fight ahead.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

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

 

Medical Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Sun rise, son set

Can homonyms be mistakenly utilized in spoken language, or only if written?  When we speak, do we have a conceptualized entity of the sentence spoken within the mind’s eye, or is it all just the blather of our own voice which prevails upon the sensitive ears of others?  If we have a word misspelled in our own minds as we speak of it, does it count?

Or, what do you make of a person who says, “I believe that the son is about to set”, then apologizes profusely, saying, “Oh, I am so sorry for the mistake; I was thinking about my son just as the sun was about to set, and mistakenly inserted one for the other as I declared the sun about to set.”  Does it even make sense to apologize?  Yet, in his own mind, he has made an error that needed to be corrected, so the further question would be: Can an error be one if no one else but the person who made the error recognizes it?

Oh, but if only this were true in all sectors of life — take, as another example, a person who finds that his bank account has been deposited with an astronomical sum: instead of $200.00 deposited on Thursday, the bank records show a deposit of 2 millions dollars.  You go to the bank and inquire, and the bank manager treats you like royalty and says, “No, no, there was no error; it was definitely a deposit of 2 million dollars.”  You know that an error has been committed; no one else will acknowledge it, and feigns either ignorance or rebuts your presumptuousness that you are correct and all others are wrong.

Is such a case similar to the one about homonyms in one’s own private world?

Or how about its opposite — Son rise, sun set.  You say that to someone else — “Yes, the son will rise, and the sun will set.”  It appears to sound like one of those pithy statements that is meant to be profound: “Yes, the sun will rise, and the sun will set”, stated as a factual matter that cannot be disputed.  Was an error made?  Do you turn to the individual who made the declarative assessment and correct him — “Excuse me, but you misspelled the first ‘son’ and should have been ‘sun’”?  And to that, what if the speaker says, “No, I meant it as it is spelled; you see, my son gets up to go to work when the sun sets.”

Of course, how would we know unless the speaker were to spell the words out as he is speaking — you know, that annoying habit that people engage in when they think that everyone around is an idiot who cannot spell, as in: “Now, watch as the entourage — e-n-t-o-u-r-a-g-e for those who don’t know how to spell and who don’t know the meaning of the word — comes into view.”  To such people, we roll eyes and step a distance away.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are wondering what homonyms have to do with Federal Disability Retirement issues, the short answer is: Not much.  Instead, the point of it all is to have the Federal and Postal employee understand that preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is much like having a private thought — the medical condition — which is suddenly revealed only after we choose to do so.

Medical conditions are extremely private and sensitive matters, and are often hidden by taking great extremes of cautionary steps.  Privacy is crucial, but when the decision is finally made to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, you must accept that others will come to know the reality of the privacy you have protected for so long — somewhat like the sun rising and the son setting, only with greater significance and painful reality.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Flavor of Our Times

Each generation has a flavor of the times — that obscure and fuzzy sense of “something” beyond which one cannot quite describe, but nevertheless leaves a distinctive aftertaste that remains and cannot be washed away.  Hypocrisy may come close to identifying it — of saying one thing, meaning another; of using words and virtual reality in order to conceal the true motive and intentions.  We see it in our politicians, in newspapers and neighborly barbecues; as truth is not the sought-after goal, and as relativism and the capacity to perform linguistic gymnastics at every turn of words, so the natural consequence of our deeds should not surprise us.  We claim empathy, but act indifferently; we teach our kids grandiose belief-systems, then act surprised when rebellion monitors the day.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the stark reality of what they hear as the “official” pronouncement of one’s agency, as opposed to the practical and day-to-day occurrence and action in “real time”, is like the echoing chasm of a hollow pit which reverberates with each unintelligible sound.  All of the rules and regulations promulgated for public consumption about protecting the rights of disabled Federal employees sound like collected baseball cards reserved for showing off to guests who are gullible enough to gasp with excitement over items of dubious value; but it is the “behind-the-scenes” reality of how individuals treat each other, which tells the true story of shame, deceit and indifference.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents him or her from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the gap between declared public policy and the reality of that insular shame, is a daily recognition of man’s inhumanity to his or her fellow man or woman.  Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers experience this violation daily.  That is why opting to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is often the best, only, and remaining self-preservation option, to secure one’s future and to separate from Federal Service with a semblance of dignity.

Federal Disability Retirement benefits, filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, allows for the Federal or Postal employee to obtain a base annuity, then go into the private sector and begin to pursue a second, or third, vocation of choice.  It is not an abandonment of one’s principles, nor a retreat from one’s beliefs. That was already accomplished years ago, when the flavor of our times became the official stance of an uncaring system which betrayed the dedicated Federal or Postal employee merely because of a medical condition beyond one’s control.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal Disability Retirement: Medical conditions and the “to-do” list

We often approach everything in life in a repetitive, systematic manner; of a routine which engenders habituation of comfort, and of identity harkening to obsession of similitude.  It is said of Kant that his neighbors set and corrected their watches and clocks according to the regularity of his walks, as his life maintained a predictability of precision so reliable that error could only be ascribed to a mechanical defect, and never to his human constancy.

It is as if there is an internal “checklist” in order to attain a progression of human development, and in an effort to achieve that advancement, both of thought and of physical growth, we must be assured of completion and fulfillment.  But medical conditions are never like that; we cannot “do something about it” and expect to “check it off” of our “to-do” list, only to move on to the next item on the itinerary.  A pastor once quipped, “Where there are people, there are problems.”  True enough; although, there could have been an addendum:  “And where there are problems, you can always find impure motives.”

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 problem is one of duality of purpose:  For the Federal or Postal employee suffering from a medical condition, the approach of attempting to “check off” the medical condition as another item on a “to-do” list is always rebutted by the stark reality of the medical condition itself; and from the Federal agency’s perspective (or the Postal Service’s), the thought-process of “when will it go away” simply avoids the issue, and fails to address the problem of the conflict which arises.

Thus, the benefit of OPM Disability Retirement is there for the Federal or Postal employee, precisely to allow for those circumstances in which (A) the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal employee to be able to perform all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, (B) the medical condition will last a minimum of 12 months — not that one must wait for 12 months, but rather, that the prognosis by a doctor or medical provider is willing to state that the medical condition will, within reasonable medical probability, last for that long, and (C) accommodation of the medical condition is not possible, and reassignment to a position at the same pay or grade will not ameliorate the situation.

In the end, medical conditions defy the human attempt to treat it as merely another obstacle to overcome, or an irritant to set aside.  It is a condition of human existence which represents a trial for a linear life we attempt to manage, when in fact a change of course is often the remedy, and not the repetition of comfort found in the thoughtless quietude of habit.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire