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Postal and Federal Disability Retirement: Persuasion

Persuasion is a funny animal; when it is effective, success is determined by the reversal of an opponent’s viewpoint, but if it is ineffective, mere silence ensues, and unless prompted by subsequent queries, one never knows how close one came to persuading another and what further evidence or argumentation may have pushed the other side over the edge.

Then, of course, there is always the question of whether the opposing party is open to persuasion or not, and what are the conditions within which it may occur.  The danger lies especially when an organization or bureaucracy has become so powerful or autocratic that it need not ever be persuaded because there are no consequences to being left unpersuaded.

The presence of outside safeguards is often necessary for persuasion to have its salutary effect, as a more obscure sense of “fair play” is often not enough to make a difference.  All of this, of course, doesn’t even touch upon the substantive content of what constitutes a persuasive argument, as context is often just as important as content (anyone who has been married will immediately understand the truth of this statement).

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have submitted a FERS Medical Retirement claim with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (also known for its acronym “OPM”) and have received an initial denial and must now respond to the denial at the Reconsideration Stage of the Process, “persuasiveness” becomes the battle cry in preparing the proper response.

OPM has all the time in the world in preparing its denial and needs little basis in its persuasive content.  They merely need to have some minimal basis of reasons to issue a denial.  On the other hand, the denied Federal or Postal applicant has (A) a very short timeframe in responding and (B) must advance a heavy burden of proof in order to overcome the denial, despite the often scatter-brained content of an OPM Denial.

Furthermore, in preparing a reconsideration Response, one should always keep in mind that the targeted audience is not just OPM, but the next stage in the event that OPM remains unpersuaded — that of the Admin Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB).  That is why any response to an OPM Initial Denial should include a recitation of the relevant case laws discussing why your particular case meets the legal criteria for an approval.

As with spousal arguments and discussions around the Holiday dinner table, context matters as much as context when trying to persuade the other side.  And also in preparing a persuasive response, you may want to consider consulting with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer specializing exclusively in FERS Medical Retirement Law.

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.

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: Spectator Sports

Psychologists and commentators in general have had a field day (yes, the bad pun is intentional — but who can avoid it?) with analyzing and providing “expert” opinions on the matter, which essentially plays with (yes, yes, another bad pun) the following question: Why are people so enamored by watching others play a game?  What is it about the concept of spectator sports that draws such a crow?  What is it about being part of a “team” that results in people acting in such bizarre ways?

It is, of course, an easy transition to other areas of one’s life — from spectator sports to the political rally; of parades and cheering crows; of legions of a cheering populace gathered to welcome the Roman troops returning from battle; of D-Day and V-J Day; of the stadiums filled for the World Cup in Soccer to the excesses of the Super Bowl; of March Madness and the tradition of Friday Football (High Schools), Saturday Football (Colleges) and Sunday Pro football games; and what the Covid-19 Pandemic reflected when everyone was shut in, but with curtailed capacity to view such spectator sports.

What does it reveal about us?  Had the Romans, with their vast coliseums, already figured out the human psychology — of the need for spectator sports — in order to satisfy the blood-thirsty need of a restless populace?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are needing to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, hiring a disability attorney who specializes in Federal Medical Retirement Law is often approached as one does a spectator sport: Who has the highest winning percentage?  What Law Firm will treat me as a “team member”?  And, the flip side is also true, concerning the perspective of the Agency: “How will my ‘team’ (the Agency) treat me?” “How will my team react?

Whether fortunate or unfortunate, the psychology of spectator sports is how everyone views things, but for the Federal or Postal employee who is ready to contact a FERS Disability Lawyer to initiate the process of OPM Disability Retirement, understand that trying to get an Federal Disability Retirement is ultimately not a spectator sport; for, it is the reality of a life endeavor, and your full participation will be needed on the “field” of the early retirement process.

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 Medical Retirement from OPM: Random Occurrences

Kant’s view is that the structures of order are imposed upon the objective world by human thought processes; thus, ultimately, the argument is that there are no such things as random occurrences, for everything is random, and therefore nothing is such.  For, if everything is X, then it is the same as saying that nothing is X, just as, If everything which is X is also Y, how can you distinguish between the two?

It is similar to David Hume’s contention concerning causality.  There is nothing in the world that tells us that the next time you hit a cueball and aim it at the 8-ball in a game of pool, that it won’t hit the target but fail to move it.  The fact that you have seen it done a hundred times before is no guarantee that it will happen the next time; for, what you saw the hundredth time gave you no new information than the first time you saw it.

Volume of incidents in identical form is no basis to argue that causality exists, if only because no “necessary nexus” is discovered whether you have witnessed something once, or a thousand times.  Yet, we crave stability and consistency; it is these random occurrences which trouble us, like a bad hair day which ruins and depletes our sense of confidence in the world we occupy.

Medical conditions have that effect upon people — that they are random occurrences which hit some, but not others.  It is when that happens when we believe the world to be unfair, and that the gods of fate somehow look with disfavor upon us.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition which prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job, the search for greater consistency and stability in your life may be to prepare, formulate and file an effective FERS Disability Retirement claim, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

For, while the objective world around you may appear to be merely a series of random occurrences, it is the affirmative act of a human being which can impost some semblance of Kantian order upon an otherwise chaotic world.  Such an affirmative act begins, for the Federal or Postal employee, but contacting a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Medical Retirement Law under FERS, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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 Law: The MSPB and Consistency of Argumentation

Is it even important, anymore?  Lawyers, of course, are notorious for making alternate arguments, presenting to a Judge or a Jury different explanations, alternative legal theories and justifications, often within the span of a single sentence, and even sometimes contradicting each other.

It is only when the contradiction occurs within the confines of a single theory that the Judge may say, “Wait, counsel — hoooooold on there!  Are you trying to argue X and Not-X at the same time?”  The answer by the clever lawyer: “No, your honor, I am merely pointing out that X could be, and Not-X is also credible, leaving my client to appear not only as an innocent bystander but, moreover, a not-guilty one as well!”

In some forums, that may hold; but in a Federal Disability Retirement case, the only way that inconsistency of argumentation works is when an OPM Medical Specialist says so.  OPM denies cases systematically without any regard to consistency of argumentation.  This is because there is no accountability at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  They can review a case, deny it, and it is out of the hands of the Medical Specialist who made the decision.

Then, at the Reconsideration Stage, a completely different Medical Specialist will make a brand new determination, based upon his or her own perspective and viewpoint, and it need not have any consistency of argumentation with the previous decision.

Fortunately, however, when it goes before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, Consistency of Argumentation becomes an important factor.  For, that is one of the primary basis upon which an MSPB Federal Disability Retirement case is lost — when consistency of argumentation based upon the evidence becomes questionable.

Inconsistency is the downfall of most cases at the MSPB; consistency — even with less than adequate evidence of a compelling nature — will often overcome much, and win the case.  The one thing that Administrative Law Judges at the MSPB dislike above all else: Inconsistency in testimony, Inconsistency in evidence, and Inconsistency in the closing argument of an attorney.

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 OPM: The Fish Story

Over the years, Uncle Ben’s famous catch of the marlin in a skiff off the coast of Maine became suspiciously similar to Hemingway’s famous novel, The Old Man and the Sea.

There were some details which remained somewhat believable — like, the fact that he actually caught something.  But of others, the exaggerated embellishments — of some “unknown sea monster, likely a Great White Shark or a Killer Whale” which gobbled up most of the catch by the time he arrived on shore, the skiff barely seaworthy by that time; of how the townspeople had to “fight off” the sea monster and hit it with various implements; and of the photograph taken — but somehow lost — of the skeletal remains of the large fish caught and lost.

Alcohol on nights gathered seemed to exponentially embellish the story of Uncle Ben and the Sea, when as twilight tended to quiet the lips of nodding heads, it would begin with, “Did I ever tell you about the Big One that almost got away?”  Everyone, of course, had heard the story 10x over and more, but it was more told by tradition than a query for interest or information.

It was like the Hasidic challenge as told by Chaim Potok in The Chosen — where a new and inaccurate twist would be inserted in the narrative, and someone would say, “But Uncle Ben, you never told us about that, before!”  There would be a pause, and everyone would laugh uproariously, knowing that the Fish Story had added to it anther saga that was to ever develop as the years ensued.

That was, in the end, the beauty of The Fish Story — for, the house of words was built upon a memory, with no evidence needed to back it up.  In most other aspects of life, however, that is not the case.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS retirement system, facts and evidence matter.  The preparation of an effective application for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, cannot be like the Fish Story — even if it is well-told like Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea.  Instead, it must be meticulously prepared and detail-oriented.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether or not you want to rely upon an experienced Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer, or on Uncle Ben’s rendition of The Fish Story.

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 Pensions under FERS: Faith in Fairies

In a Post-Factual world, it is easier to have faith in fairies.  The universe for human beings has become almost exclusively insular — of being on the computer; of Smartphones dominating the focus, concentration and attention of everyone at all hours, every moment, every minute, etc.

As the age-old “correspondence theory of truth” has been debunked — alas, even forgetting the “correspondence” part, the entire structure of the theory of truth itself has been dismantled — so we need not compare our word games with anything “out there” in the objective world to determine whether or not “what we say” corresponds to “what is out there”.

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, as in the rule of whether or not human bodies can withstand walking in front of a 2-ton truck traveling at 50 miles per hour, and other such life-endangering events which may not quite correspond with the declarations that “I am superman and indestructible”.

And if you can believe that the earth is flat so long as you are not planning on taking a cruise beyond the ends of the earth; or, even if you are, likely no harm will come to you.  And you can believe in Fairies.  Actually, some Scandinavian countries always believed in them, and apparently have road signs allowing for their safe crossings.

But of more practical matters — like preparing, formulating and filing an effective FERS Disability Retirement claim under FERS with the Office of Personnel Management — you may want to abandon, or at least set aside, any faith in Fairies, and instead to contact a competent retirement attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the correspondence theory of truth might still somewhat apply.

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 Medical Disability Retirement: Ostensibly

It is a funny word, in many respects; for, it presumes and assumes what may not actually be the case.  The word, “Ostensibly”, is used to describe that which is apparently so, or purportedly assumed, but may not actually be so.

Thus, one might say of an individual who is wearing clothes appearing to suggest that he or she works in a blue-collar job, and perhaps wears a tool-belt which suggests and confirms him/her to be such, that “he is ostensibly a carpenter”.  How does the adverb qualify the noun?   Because we don’t actually know, do we?

By his appearance and the fact that the individual carries around a tool belt which contains, perhaps, a saw, a hammer, a nail gun and other pertinent and revealing instruments indicating what a carpenter would require, we make an assumption that he is “ostensibly” a carpenter.

Now, it would be strange if you were to ask the individual what his profession was, and he confirmed that yes, he was a carpenter, then to state to a friend later on that “Joe is ostensibly a carpenter”, because if you have confirmed that the person “Joe” in reality is a carpenter and there is no longer an assumption, then to apply the word “ostensibly” would be rather odd — unless, of course, you thought that he was lying and that he only wore the tool belt to fool you, or was a half-wit who was engaging in “make believe” that he was a carpenter, etc.

In other contexts, the term “ostensibly” often applies, as well — as when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management denies a Federal Disability Retirement case and makes a multitude of arguments which, in the end, implies that you are merely “ostensibly” disabled (although they will never use the word itself).

For, what OPM is saying in a Federal Disability Retirement case under FERS in denying the Federal employee’s application for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits, is that while you may allege to be disabled or unable to perform one or more of the essential elements of your job, you are actually not disabled.

If that happens, you will need to contact a disability attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law; for, you will need more than an attorney who “ostensibly” does Federal Disability Retirement Law — rather, one who is, in reality and in fact, an attorney who specializes in it.

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 Retirement from Medical Conditions: Proof to Conclusion

It has been pointed out by many philosophers that Socratic Method is not the manner in which most people conduct their lives in arriving at beliefs.

Rather than the traditionally-accepted engagement of searching for evidence and analyzing such evidence, then arriving at a conclusion based upon the strength of that evidence, the very opposite occurs: We first form our own conclusions, then accept any and all evidence which tends to support that belief, simultaneously excluding and ignoring any semblance of evidence which may contradict our firmly-held beliefs.

“Proof to conclusion” is the supposed paradigm; in reality, “conclusion without proof” is the working norm.

And, perhaps, part of the problem as to why we operate in this manner is because we are a nation of lawyers, and why the adversarial system is also “supposed” to operate in a dialectical manner where contending “proofs” are meant to clash and contradict, until the “truth” somehow dominates the adversarial contentiousness and makes its appearance in a persuasive manner; yet, somehow, it doesn’t seem to work in the way it is supposed to.

In reality, what law school teaches is the following:  “Here is the conclusion we want to reach; now, go and find the legal precedents which justify the conclusion which we have already reached.”

For Federal Government employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who are contemplating preparing an effective Federal/Postal Disability Retirement application under FERS, this manner of counter-rational — or, reverse-thinking — can be a detriment in putting together a sufficient Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

On the one hand, “Conclusion-then-proof” is somewhat of a “given”, inasmuch as the “conclusion” has already been reached:  That you have an impeding medical condition requiring the submission of a Federal Disability Retirement application, and the “proof” must thereafter be obtained.  On the other hand, the legal criteria required by Federal Disability Retirement Law looks for the Socratic Method — of providing proof, then allowing the governing body (OPM for Stages 1 & 2; the MSPB for Stage 3 of the Federal Disability Retirement process) to reach its own conclusion.

Thus, both the “traditional” method (otherwise known as the Socratic Method) as well as the counter-normative method are involved.

In either case, it is important to have the guidance of a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, where both the Socratic Method and the Counter-Normative Method can be employed, where — in the end — the “proof to conclusion” can stand a chance to get an approval for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.

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.

 

Federal Medical Disability Retirement: Of Life’s Bindings

What is it that binds us to life?  We are well aware of those things which unbind us — loss of family and friends; major changes; upheavals; divorce; medical conditions.  The things which unbind us from life are those which create havoc, extend joylessness beyond mere momentary emotions, etc.

The things which bind us to life are those events, encounters and elements which enliven us, reinvigorate our spirits, and compel us to a level of energy which declares to the world, “I am alive. I want to contribute.”

Of life’s bindings: Helping young people to find their bindings of life; Of learning how to maneuver through the maze of complexities and challenges which daily living brings to the fore; Of having a special relationship with others; Of having a loyal dog beside you; Of work which is satisfying, and of which you are competent and successful; of health.

The last of these are often taken for granted; yet, it is always the first on one’s list of life’s bindings when it begins to fail.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers whose health is beginning to fail, and where the failure of health impacts one’s ability and capacity to continue in the career of a Federal or Postal employee, the time to consider preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application for submission under FERS to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is — now.

Don’t wait until the primary basis of all other of life’s bindings begins to fail — of one’s health — where the dominos begin to fall and knock down all other of life’s bindings.

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.

 

Federal Medical Retirement: Eager Wishes and Little Thoughts

We all have them both, don’t we?  Of eager wishes: We wish for wealth; we wish for fame; we wish for friendship; we wish for love.  Wishes project us; they compel us; they motivate, even though such wishful thinking may never become fulfilled.  And so they remain little thoughts — “little” in the sense that they remain mere thoughts, mere wishes, with little chance for fulfillment.

It is often the little thoughts which loom large, if only because they reflect the fundamental needs and desires of most everyone.  Perhaps it is those little thoughts combined with eagerness which results in unfulfilled dreams and hopes, when the imagination expands beyond the monotony of our lives and we become sustained by the little thoughts, prompted by those eager wishes.

Much of life is a negation; of not having, of never fulfilling, of rarely achieving; and yet, when it comes to children, we fill their heads with grand dreams of illusory abstentions.  We tell them, “You can be whatever you want to be” or “live out your dreams”.  No wonder that cynicism easily and readily dominates in early life; and so the eager wishes and little thoughts replace the fairytales we tell our children, if merely to sustain their lives within the containment of reality.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a health condition such that the health condition necessitates preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS) through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it may well be that the eager wish is to cease the madness encircling you between the disabling medical condition and your inability to perform all of the basic elements of your job.

It may seem like a “little thought” to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS, and your eagerness may be restricted by the daunting task of engaging a monster of a bureaucracy like the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  But do not despair; such an eager wish upon a little thought may be attained through the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Contact a disability attorney who exclusively does Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to advance your eager wishes of the little thoughts which make for life’s sustenance.

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.