Federal Disability Retirement Application Denied: The Response

How do we learn how to respond?  Are all responses appropriate?

If a person you pass along the street says, “Hi, how are you doing?” — is the appropriate response to actually stop and give an hour-long dissertation about your life history, how your cat recently was run over by a car, and about your kid’s problems in school?  Or, do we just tip our head with a quick nod and respond with: “Good. Have a nice day”?

And of that irritating car in front of you in a one-lane road going 25 mph when the speed limit is 50 — do we honk aggressively, try to pass even though there is a solid yellow line, and finally accelerate illegally on the shoulder, on the right side, and speed past him?  Of course, when the police officer stops you and tickets you, it is hardly a response to say, “But officer! He was going 25 in a 50 mph zone!”

Every society possesses established conventions to follow, and “appropriateness” is generally defined by recognition of, and adherence to, such conventions.

And to an OPM Denial in a Federal Disability Retirement case:  Do you write a long dissertation and attack each point — or do you call a Federal or Postal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law?  Or, even if you haven’t filed, but you know that you cannot reach retirement age because of your deteriorating health — do you just submit a letter of resignation and walk away?

No; the proper response is to contact a FERS Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and to discuss the strategy and the proper response in order to file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, under FERS.  For, in every endeavor of life in this complex world of conundrums and perplexities, there is a “response”, and then there is the “proper response”.

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.

 

Attorney Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Steps of Deliberation

Steps of deliberation must be taken to accomplish anything.  By deliberation is meant: A plan based upon knowledge; actual progress towards a goal; a recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of a case; and the application of any and all advantages which can be engaged.

Obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity requires those steps of deliberation: Knowledge of the process; steps toward the end-goal; assessment of the legal criteria and their applicability; citing of past case-laws which possess persuasive influence in arguing your case.

Consult with a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin actually moving forward in the steps of deliberation which will result in a successful outcome.

For, it is those first steps of deliberation which determine the course of one’s future, and Federal Disability Retirement is ultimately nothing more, and nothing less, than securing one’s future by stabilizing your financial outlook in a retirement you have worked so hard to obtain.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from OPM: Factors Not Considered

They are the ones which delay and defeat; those factors not considered which, had consultation with an expert been considered beforehand, might have saved both time and money in accomplishing the very goals which one expected in the first place.

The factors not considered will ultimately rear their ugly heads at the most inopportune of times; for, they are the obstacles not contemplated, the impediments unforeseen, and the problems unsolicited.  It is precisely the factors not considered which are avoided and circumvented for which we pay the “experts” to predict, foresee and forestall; and that is where expertise is precisely the worth one pays for.

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 is important to consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer in order to consider the factors not previously considered.  For, once OPM sees something — an issue not addressed, a statement unintended, a document unsolicited — you cannot put blinders on them.

It is precisely the factors not considered which must be considered; and by consulting with a Federal Disability Retirement Attorney, you will lessen the chances that those factors not considered will pass through the gates of opportunity, which can close with sudden rapidity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: What to Do

It is both a question as well as a concern; a reflection, a statement of loss; a somewhat neutral muddle; like being stuck in quicksand and not quite knowing whether to move or to remain still.  There is a pause right after the words are spoken; an uncertainty, even a feeling of paralysis.  When confronted with a complexity, the query itself may have to be set aside, thought about, reflected upon, pondered for a time.

Often, the best “next step” is to consult with an expert in the field; for, the mere query itself, of openly declaring — and not necessarily with a question mark following — of “What to do” provokes a prefatory consideration that the puzzle was too great to tackle in the first place.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prompts the query, “What to do?”, the first step in the process is to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.  The OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law will be able to guide the Federal or Postal employee into the next steps, and the first steps are often the most crucial in the long and arduous journey through the thicket of OPM’s bureaucratic maze.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Medical Retirement under FERS: Giving Up

It is, and historically has been, an option of last resort.  There are those, of course, where it is simply never an option; at whatever cost; sacrificing whatever means; it is simply not a consideration to be entertained.  Is such a “principled” approach ingrained within the DNA of an individual, or is it merely a trifle of stubbornness which prevents a person from giving up?

It is certainly not a character trait which is taught; in fact, more of the opposite is true.  We tend to teach our children the pablum of perseverance: “Keep at it, and one day you will…”; “Don’t give up; you’ve only just begun” (a paraphrased lesson for young children of what the American revolutionary, John Paul Jones, purportedly stated, “Surrender?…I have only just begun to fight!”); and other such lessons where the fine line between intelligent perseverance and fatalistic stubbornness must often collide.

Yet, there surely are times when it is prudent to give up — and perhaps come back to fight another day.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal employee to perform all of the essential elements of his or her position, “giving up” may be a matter of filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Of course, “giving up” may also be the thought when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management denies a person’s FERS Disability Retirement application, as well — but in the opinion of this writer, that is the time when the approach of John Paul Jones should be taken.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether or not “giving up” is a prudent option to consider, given your unique circumstances.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Illness

It is the pause button rendered by the universe, often without warning, without invitation and unwelcomed by all.  Is it the gods laughing in the heavenly seclusion, as wanton children playing with the mortality of souls unrequited, as matches in the hands of mischievous hearts undisciplined by law, life or empathy?

Then comes the triteness of wisdom, yet true but too late: “Oh, what a blessing health is”; “Is there a lesson to be learned?”; “Why me?”.  Is this the crisis of life that is merely an obstacle to overcome, or the long road towards a progressive decline where mortality is not just tested, but revealed as the weak link in the proverbial chain of man-to-gods-to the theology of our own creation?

Illness comes like that unwitting thief in the dead of night, but unlike the burglar who tries to remain silent but for creaking floors and unoiled passageways, it comes without concern for being revealed.  Does the universe test – or remain impervious like Aristotle’s Unmoved Mover, where perfection attracts all towards its essence and destroys everything that attempts to escape?  Who determines the criteria of such a test?  What constitutes a “passing grade” as opposed to a failure in its mere attempt?  Is the evaluation contained within the strength of one’s own character, and what results in a declaration of “success” as opposed to the failure of everyday lives?

If it is truly a test of character, then Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers certainly get enough of it to collectively get a passing grade.  Yes, fortunately, there is the option of filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, but for almost all Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the reality is that such a step is the last option chosen.

It is not so much that the benefit reaped from a Federal Disability Retirement is so miserly as to not make it worthwhile; no, to a great extent, the annuity of 60% of the average of one’s highest three consecutive years of pay, then 40% every year thereafter until recalculation at age 62 is generous enough to survive upon, especially when the alternative is to remain and kill oneself, resign and walk away with nothing, or file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; and, in conjunction with the ability to go out into the private sector and be able to make (on top of the Federal Disability Retirement annuity) up to 80% of what one’s former position currently pays – it can lead to an acceptable level of financial security.

Ultimately, however, it is a truism that Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers wait until the final possible moment before making the decision to file a Federal Disability Retirement, often allowing the illness to debilitate beyond the point of reasonable acceptance.  That, in and of itself, is a character test, and one that makes the illness itself of secondary concern, when one’s health should be given the highest priority, lest we allow the gods of wanton carelessness to have the last laugh.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Civil Service: The Clock

It is an interesting device.  We can try and project back to a time of its non-existence, or at least when not every household owned one.  What could it have been like?  Where the hour was guessed at by the position of the sun – or was that not even part of the thought process?  Did the sun, dawn, dusk and twilight merely present a foreboding for a different paradigm?

Certainly, minutes and seconds likely had conceptual meaninglessness, and everyone worked, played and lived for the “moment”, without great regard or concern for the next day, the following season, or a decade hence.  Ship’s captains had a greater sense of future foreboding, though not necessarily of time, but of oncoming storms or changes in the currents; farmers lived season to season, and fretted as they still do about droughts or floods that might destroy crops; but as we entered into modernity, it was the grind of the clock that set the day for the city dweller, where payment for labor earned was remitted not by the rising and setting of the sun, but by increments of hours, minutes and labor beyond the darkness of a day ended.

At what point did time entrap us into a thought-process of expectancy that destroys the joy of a living moment?

If Friday provides a needed anticipation for a weekend of rest and repose, we immediately destroy and capacity to enjoy it by looking at the clock and realizing how many hours and minutes have passed by, and further denigrate our ability to appreciate by calculating the remainder of time.  We can become obsessed with the clock – its ticking diminution by projecting the decrease; the foreboding of what is yet to come, though it is merely within our minds; and the constant checking of incremental living of a life as against the clock that rules.

Medical conditions tend to remind us of the clock; or, perhaps it is the opposite, where the clock reminds us of our mortality when we suffer from a medical condition.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application may become a necessity, the clock can serve as both a reminder as well as an obsession of foreboding thought processes.

Yes, the clock is likely ticking in a proverbial sense in terms of the Agency or the U.S. Postal Service having the patience (does such an animal exist for either?) in trying to “work with” the medical condition (a euphemism often interpreted as, “You better become fully productive soon, or else”), but in a more real sense, the Federal or Postal employee must make a decision at some point as to the prioritizing of one’s health as opposed to the positional elements of the job which is increasingly becoming more and more difficult to fulfill.

By law, the Federal or Postal employee who is released, separated or terminated (yes, there is a distinction between the three, but for the Federal employee of Postal worker, not enough of significance to define them here), the Federal or Postal employee can file for Federal Disability Retirement within one (1) year of such separation from service.  Certainly, in that instance, the clock begins to tick, and not just in a proverbial sense but in real legal terms.  One need not, however, wait for such an event to realize the clock’s significance; watching the clock as the medical condition continues to deteriorate, is reminder enough that time rules us each day whether or not we succumb to it, or not.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire