OPM Disability Retirement: Beware the Goal Reached

Beware the goal reached; for, it often results in the loss of vigilance, a sense of completion, a notion that being ever protective can now cease.  We tend to think in terms of “finish lines” and projects completed; and upon reaching and satisfying that goal, a “letting up” occurs.

The underachiever who believes that he or she need not put any further effort into things because of an early series of conquests and accomplishments; the marriage partner who concludes that no contribution is further required once the proverbial knot is tied; the traveler who let’s his guard down upon avoiding the highway robbers known to lurk in a given area — all, wrong assumptions and dangerous presumptions.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, and for those who obtain an approval from OPM — remember that getting an approval from OPM does not mean that OPM cannot take away your benefits in the future.  Maintaining and safeguarding your OPM Federal Disability Retirement benefits is just as important as securing it in the first place.

Contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, and beware the goal reached.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Medical Retirement: Performance Levels

They vary.  What are the indications of reduced, lesser or insufficient performance levels?  Perhaps for a professional race car mechanic, the mere sound of a NASCAR team’s engine, its vibrations, its volume, its purr, the sounds at high RPM or at idle — the performance level can be intuitively known from experience.

For the rest of us, it is a subjective drive, a feeling known day in and day out; we can push ourselves, but some days our performance levels are merely adequate; on other days, they surpass even our own expectations.  There are factors that impact upon our performance levels — the weather; whether we are sick or in good health; our moods; our energy and stamina levels for the day, the week, the month, etc.

Most of us are driven — whether by hope for the future, fear of what may come about if we do not meet expectation levels, or perhaps even by a mere desire to please.  When medical conditions hit, the inevitable decline of our performance levels follow soon thereafter.  There is a direct and inextricable correlation between our performance levels and the health that we find ourselves in, at any given point in our lives.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition impacts our ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of our job, you may want to consider preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law and consider whether your health is more important than your performance level.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Postal & Federal Disability Retirement: The Invisible Barrier

The visible ones come in all shapes and sizes, and it is the challenge of “how” to overcome them, get around them, climb over them, dig under them, etc., that presents the unique problem.  It is always the “invisible” ones which are the most difficult to overcome and challenging to prepare for.

We can sometimes identify the invisible barrier; at other times, we know not what prevents us from moving forward.  The psychology of inner turmoil; traumatic events which paralyze us; loss of motivation, cessation of interest, fears that freeze and ruminations that distract; whatever the invisible barrier, it prevents an individual from moving forward in life.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition that prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is often that unknown, unidentifiable and unrecognized invisible barrier that stops you from moving forward.

Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement benefits, and let the legal representative move you forward on the chessboard of life’s refrain.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Gov. Employees: Something Less

This is a country that has preached abundance for multiple decades, a couple of centuries, and certainly for a lengthy run on the concept: Expect more, not something less.  It has been touted as the flagship of opportunity, a place where dreams come true and hope abounds.  There has never been a view towards something less, for something less is an unacceptable concept to endure.

Commercials and television ads tout that we can “have it all”; that with a pill, things will be better; that if you buy a certain product, magic occurs; and if you whiten your teeth, everyone will like you better.  But what if life occurs where something less must be accepted?

Federal Disability Retirement pays 60% of the average of one’s highest 3 consecutive years of service for the first year, then 40% every year thereafter.  It is something less than what a Federal or Postal employee makes, but certainly something more than “nothing”.  It then actually does allow you to make something more — for, on top of the 60% the first year and 40% every year thereafter, you are allowed to go out into the private sector and make up to 80% of what your former Federal or Postal position currently pays.

Of course, your medical condition has already made you realize that life has to be adapted to with something less — something less than your full health; but Federal Disability Retirement does allow for something more, as well: Of a career beyond the Federal government.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and obtain the counsel and guidance of something more in dealing with a medical condition which has already resulted in something less — in terms of health and your ability to perform all of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement from OPM: Feelings

There are appropriate contexts within which to consider them, as well as places, insertions, events and conversational modalities where it is partly or entirely irrelevant; but as with most things in life, the boundaries that bifurcate are not always clear and distinct.  When one is considering purely subjective circumstances, it is clearly the “appropriate” moment — of personal relationships; of a vacation to be taken; of emotions being considered.

In a court of law, it is probably not the best approach to take with a judge; although, in the sentencing phase or the “damages” argument to be made to a jury, it may be the singular force of persuasive impact that makes not only the distinction unclear, but the decision quite the decisive edge.

“Feelings” are to be reserved for puppies, late nights in bed with a fever, and how the toes tickle when lying on a grassy knoll in the middle of summer when the lone ant walks along the pathway of your bare skin.

Do we dare admit to them?  When you are in a heated argument, is it not an oxymoron to shout, “Feelings don’t have anything to do with it!”  For, what is the criteria to be applied when making a decision based upon them?  Does the spectrum of emotions never cloud one’s judgment?  Or can we, as we often claim, set them aside so easily, like so many automatons in those doomsday movies that have become popularized, where androids and mechanized juggernauts that have taken over the earth and tried to suppress humanity are now the very beings whom we always wanted to emulate?

And what of the French Existentialists and the horror of reaction to that old favorite, “Invasion of the body snatchers” — what was it that made it so fascinating, where beings were stripped of their souls and emotions were all of a sudden undone, extinguished and no longer relevant, where bodies devoid of feelings walked about the earth like so many empty tombs?

Feelings are funny animals; they make up so much of who we are, and yet we spend a lifetime trying to avoid the very essence of that which makes up who we are.

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 the Federal or Postal job, the anomaly concerning “feelings” becomes quickly apparent: for, confronted with having to prepare an effective Federal Disability Retirement application before an administrative body — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — you are asked to remain “clinical” and antiseptic in the face of “proving” the medical evidence by the cold calculus of “the law”, and yet at the same time you are trying to convey your “feelings” with respect to the impact of the pain, the anguish of anxiety or the daily levels of profound fatigue felt.

It is a tightrope, balancing act that must be done with expertise, subtle techniques and an interspersing of line-crossing deftly engaged. Completing the SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability, is the single most important form in preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, aside from gathering the proper medical documentation and making the persuasive legal argumentation.

For, in the end, that lifetime of trying to suppress those “feelings” must be utilized carefully, yet at the same time you have to be persuasive enough to touch upon the emotional makeup of a fellow human being who, also, likely has had to suppress those same feelings in order to apply “the law”.  Go figure.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Attorney Representation OPM Disability: Analogies and life

Life is lived by analogies.  It is how we understand, comprehend and make sense of a world in turmoil.  By identifying a resemblance between two or more particulars while perhaps remaining somewhat different in other aspects, we are able to relate things, understand them, comprehend the isolation of differentiation between X and Y and yet embrace those differences despite the lack of commonality in all other respects.

Without the tool and transporting impact of an analogy, most of the objective world would remain isolated, irrelevant and separated from the subjective coherence that we bring to the world.  Explanations and argumentation would often lack any comprehensible understanding; scientists would simply speak in technical languages that non-scientists (i.e., laymen like most of us) would fail to appreciate; and life would continually remain a series of isolated islands of conceptual conundrums that would be separated from civilization as a whole.

That is essentially why the administrative laws governing Federal Disability Retirement must by necessity be spoken of in analogic terms – precisely because, in order to make sense in the greater context of life, everything in particular can only be “explained” and “made sense of” through analogies that we can relate to.  Without relational contexts and reference points, life’s various complexities would remain in isolation from one another.

Thus, analogies, life and Federal Disability Retirement benefits all share a common perspective – that of human beings who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal positional duties, and that a particular “condition” or life shares with all other conditions of life the reference points that we can all understand: Law, Complexity, Human suffering, Pain, The fear of change, The need for change; Confusion; Trauma; Medical conditions, etc.

Analogies allow for understanding; life, left in isolation, is confusing as it is, and even after a lifetime of trying to understand and simplify, still remains a mystery.

And for the Federal or Postal employee who is at a point in one’s career where a medical condition impacts the ability to continue in that career, the reference point that needs to be kept in mind is that there are lawyers who specialize in getting Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and we are here to help.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: A remnant of bygone memories

Memories are funny animals; they travel and traverse endless miles of countless eternities, over fences artificially constructed and through tunnels built within the deep caverns of one’s mind; and in the end, they represent only a slice of accuracy in the whole of what really happened.

Sometimes, even after decades of being together with a “significant other”, a remnant of bygone memories erupts.  Perhaps some scent, or something someone said, or a picture that jarred and shook one’s cobwebs from the recesses of the brain occurred without a deliberative consciousness to do so; and we say, “Oh, yes, when I was six years old, I remember…”  And a remnant of bygone memories surfaces, like a corpse buried with a tombstone long forgotten behind the churchyard overgrown with weeds, and a flood rushes in and ravages the soil by erosion of natural forces and digs up the caskets rotted by time, whispers and hidden secrets.

Were they ever forgotten, and did we simply allow them to remain in a corner of closeted images? Does a truly forgotten memory ever resurface by accident, or is it by fate, destiny, karma and coincidence that at a given place in time, we are suddenly forced to relive a time period buried deep within the unconscious triggers of a soul haunted?  Do we bury memories like we do to the dead, because to not do it would mean to allow the stench of decay to fester within the sensitivities of our inner health?

Encounters with reality and the problems of the day often provoke a remnant of bygone memories; it is, in the end, the present that we must face, within a context of past wrongs committed and previous difficulties perhaps too easily avoided, that come back to haunt us.

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 duties, a remnant of bygone memories can include serious medical conditions that trigger PTSD, depressive symptoms, anxiety and panic attacks.

Are they a valid basis for filing a Federal Disability Retirement application?  Yes.

Do they need validation from a medical doctor to affirm the foundation of a valid case?  Yes.

For, a remnant of bygone memories can impede and prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, and it is that medical nexus between human memory, job elements and psychiatric capacity that in the end creates the foundational paradigm of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, based upon a remnant of bygone memories.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Resigning from a Federal Position Due to a Medical Condition

To resign is often considered the last vestiges of giving up hope; somehow, it contradicts our DNA, and the resistance to it reinforces the Darwinian idea that the evolutionary drive for survival rules our choices, as determinism persists despite our best efforts to remain free.  To resign is to give in, surrender, abandon the lifelong plans and dreams for the future; it marks, for many, a decision of raising the white flag.  In life, however, sometimes the choices offered are but a few, and within that limited arena of options, the best must be taken.

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal and Postal worker from performing the full panoply of the essential elements of one’s positional duties with the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service, it sometimes becomes necessary to “cut the losses” and move onward to other ventures in life.

When the level of harassment becomes untenable; when the best negotiations lead to the Agency’s offer of resignation in order to keep the record “clean”; when access to one’s TSP is necessary in order to survive the long period of waiting for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to decide upon a Federal Disability Retirement application; or even when the constant “fight” is no longer worth it, or is not there within one’s self; then the only thing left is the proper characterization of such a resignation, for inclusion as a short statement on one’s SF 50 or PS Form 50.

Depending upon the particularized circumstances, a resignation is not always a surrender, but merely a regrouping in order to return to resume the fight of life on another day.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire