Tag Archives: sf 3112 disability application package

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Is It Enough?

That is always the question, isn’t it?  Especially, these days, when there are so many options, so many avenues, so many ways to get off of the proverbial path and become a wayward nonconformist.

Is love enough to last a lifetime?  Is a sense of obligation enough to be committed for the agreed-upon enmeshment?  Is religious fervor enough to maintain one’s faith even in the face of secularism’s hedonistic pull?  Is pleasure enough to sustain one’s sense of wanting to exist?  Is duty enough to compel a soldier to sacrifice for his country?  Is life enough to sustain?

That was the ultimate question for French existentialism, especially as delineated in Camus’ set of essays, beginning with the Myth of Sisyphus.  What is “enough”?  How can it be quantified?  Underlying it all, isn’t the ultimate question beyond whether something is “enough”, actually an irrelevant question?

For, as Aristotle would put it (and in this Post-Factual World, where Aristotle and Plato are no longer read, and thus, no longer relevant), we must go back to the basics, to the “foundational principles” underlying our belief systems: What is meaningful in our lives?

When there is a void in meaningfulness, hedonism fills that emptiness.  That is why teenagers turn to drugs; that is why adults succumb to alcohol; and that is why, when ISIS came into existence, and when the war in Ukraine began, thousands of Americans flocked to join in the “cause” — because, when the void of meaninglessness pervades, people jump to join anything and everything which becomes the cult of relevance.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows you to continue in that career of choice — the work which gave “meaning” to your life — it is important to recognize that, indeed, there is “life after a Federal career”.  Likely, you may be somewhat saddened by the fact that your Federal or Postal career is over.  However, beyond your career, there is no meaning to life without your health.

And yes, there actually is “life after getting a Federal Disability Retirement” — and there abounds countless testimonials which attest to the fact that it is, indeed, “enough” to get a FERS Disability Retirement annuity, focus upon your health, then go into some other line of work in the private or state sector.

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 under FERS: Vicious Circularity

There is a direct correlation between the growing mental health crisis and the increasingly focused reliance upon cognitive insularity — where engagement with “the world” is not between the subjective (our own thoughts, senses, moods, etc.) and the objective (the world “out there” in what Kant deemed unknowable, as encountered in the noumenal — not the phenomenal — universe), but rather, between the subjective and the perceptual apparatus of the meta-universe.

Whether at work or play, everyone, everywhere, at most times, is engaged on the computer, Smart Phone, etc.  A growing consensus says that a healthy mind requires engagement with the objective world for some period of time each day — of taking a walk and leaving your Smart Phone behind; of making some connection beyond the vicious circularity of your own thoughts within the meta-universe of a virtual reality.

The corporate giants clearly have a monetary self-interest in having the world become insular; for, the greater use of the electronic devices results in greater profits and increased dependency.  No one asked the common man whether we wanted a world made up of this vicious circularity, but here we are.

With the growing mental health crisis, more Federal and Postal workers need to consider filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.  Fortunately, the MSPB and the Federal Courts of Appeals have recognized that there is no stigma to be placed on psychiatric medical disabilities.

Psychiatric conditions are just as valid a basis in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS benefits system, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, as physical, non-psychiatric conditions.

As for the vicious circularity magnifying our mental health crisis?  That is for Psychiatrists and Therapists to deal with; but in the meantime, take their simple advice: Leave the Smart Phone and the Computer behind, and take your dog out for a walk.

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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Quality of Life

It has never NOT been an issue in American life; for, with the opportunities available, modernity has placed a focus not just upon “living”, but upon a more grand concept:  That of “living well”.

The cemeteries and unmarked graves of silent history’s fallow grounds are filled with unstated sorrow and grief; and while modernity now knows of wealth and luxuries beyond the wildest imaginations, the past has known great poverty and suffering.

Prior to the age of refrigeration, much of every day was obsessed with preparing the next meal.  Between work just to eke out a living and considering what the next meal would be, survival was the point of existence — until the rise of the “middle class” upon the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.

Quality of Life?  Was that even a concept conscious for consideration?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where that medical condition will no longer allow you to perform all of the essential elements of your job, the concept of “quality of life” must by necessity enter into the equation.

The endless cycle of work-to-weekend and back to work, where the weekend is merely for purposes of resting those chronic medical conditions in order to have some minimal energy-level to make it into work — well, you know the routine, and that vicious cycle is certainly without any “quality” to the life one leads.

Federal Disability Retirement benefits are meant to rescue you from the loss of quality of life.

Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and let not your life reflect a period of history which was supposed to remain quiet in the fallow grounds of past burial grounds.

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: The Silence of Cemeteries

Whatever your theological foundations, the cemetery is a reminder that we return to the earth from which we came.  And the visitors to that place called “a cemetery” — the evocation of memories, of lives once shared, of a conversation and a soliloquy with those who have gone; it is a place of comfort whether you believe in the afterlife, of spirits and ghosts, or of nothing at all.

Sometimes, in the rural lands we pass so quickly by, you can see the old family cemetery lost in the overgrown weeds and woods of timeless echoes; or where new developments have cast them into roadside byproducts overshadowed by buildings and new houses; and where once they held a prominence in people’s lives, cemeteries have become vestiges of a world now too modern to notice.

It is well that cemeteries remain silent; for, if they were to speak, even in a whisper of barely audible voices, they would tell you of past regrets, and where time slipped away in foolish endeavors where people forgot about other people.  The silence of cemeteries betrays the agony of regrets throughout the long march of history’s cruelty.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition no longer allows you to continue in your career of choice, it is likely time that you considered your own health and well-being.  Preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under the FERS system does not require that you are one step closer to the silence of cemeteries, but it does certainly remind you of your mortality and the health which is otherwise deteriorating.

Contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether or not the silence of cemeteries might not be a reminder that our own health is what we take for granted, too often.

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: Just Beyond

That is what makes you pause, yet unsure — the “just beyond”.  Maybe its a dream — but it is just beyond your grasp.  Perhaps the directions you were given — just beyond the next corner, just beyond the next town; or just beyond what even Google Maps can lead you to.

Or, in a Federal Disability Retirement case, it is the argument that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management makes in denying your Federal Disability application under the FERS system:  the insertion of a word here, an unfamiliar legal phrase there, always “just beyond” a suspicion as to whether they are correctly stating the legal criteria or the statutory authority cited in denying your case.

OPM systematically engages in such word-usage — of using phrases and inserting words which go “just beyond” the law, but in fact do not comply with the actual legal requirements.  And, as the individuals who make the decisions at OPM are themselves just beyond any accountability, they engage in such misuse and mis-application of the law with impunity, knowing very well that they will never have to answer for such mis-characterizations.

Thus, for example, does a denial of a Federal or Postal Disability retirement application often refer to the fact that “Social Security did not find you unable to be employed” — which may be true, but is a statement “just beyond” the laws governing a FERS Federal Disability Retirement application because what Social Security determines has absolutely no relevance to your FERS Disability Retirement application.

Or, OPM might say something like, “There is no evidence that your Agency could not have accommodated you beyond all possible means”.  Yes, but that is not the law; rather, the issue is whether your Agency could have “reasonably” accommodated you; not, whether you could have been accommodated beyond all possibilities within the universe of theoretical possibilities.

Again, OPM engages in legal jargon “just beyond” the boundaries of truth and integrity.  To make sure that OPM stays within the boundaries of statutory authority, contact a FERS Disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and always make sure that you apply the law not just beyond, but within.

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 Application: Beyond Excess

This country has always espoused the virtue of excess — in terms of wealth; of debt; of individuality; of exercise; of work; of different forms of diet; of opinions; of laws.  The laws of logic and of life generally dictate that if there are no constraints to excess, then it will exponentially continue to go beyond — beyond excess.

Is there a definition for such a phenomena?  Or, as the concept of excess is precisely that which is the “extra” beyond the normative constraints, already, is there any point in being redundant by placing the pretextual addendum of “beyond”?   Of course, “excess” can only have any meaning within the context of some restrictive norm; otherwise, without a comparative contrast to X, how would we determined if Y “exceeds” X in any way?

Thus do we compare the present-day national debt against the GDP, what amount of debt the nation held previously (as in the total cost expended in the effort to defeat Nazism in WWII), the subsequent impact of the ratio, etc.  Or, in terms of wealth, what it means to amass “billions”, own 20 different properties, purchase a yacht as large as a cargo ship, have 50 luxury cars in a garage the size of a football field, etc. — and then compare it to a person who works two jobs but is unable to afford enough food to get by.

Is the amassing of such wealth “beyond excess”?  Or, does it perpetuate the myth of this country, that “anyone” can become wealthy, the President of the United States, or begin a “start up” company in one’s garage and make it into an internationally-dominating company?  And what about the price which must be paid for going beyond excess?  Does it impact the health of the individual?

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 any longer extending one’s career in the Federal Government, the concept of “beyond excess” takes on a new meaning: of the comparison between one’s health and the excess of a demanding job.  And while the concept may not have much to do with wealth or the national debt, it does share a metaphorical synchronicity with the general concept: That there now exists an incompatibility between your deteriorating health and the excessive demands of a stressful job.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of reigning in the demands which have taken a toll, and which have become beyond excess.

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: The Hope Next Door

Hope is the basis of life prolonged; it is why people buy lottery tickets, go to sleep soundly with an expectation that tomorrow will be different; and that, like the old quiz-shows of choosing “Door Number One, Door Number Two, or Door Number Three…” — we retain a hope that life will present us with the good luck, tomorrow or the next day, to choose the right “door” for our lives.

Few of us are smart enough to think in terms of Bertrand’s Box Paradox — presented as a veridical paradox in elementary probability theory.  We are rarely as rational as to embrace life in such a calculating, methodical or mathematical manner.  Instead, most of us blunder through where hope = ongoing existence, even if in reality we know that situations and events don’t often change no matter how hard we try.

Society as a whole — of governments and the Age of Therapy — perpetuates the concept of “the Hope Next Door”.  Politicians running for the Senate, House or state positions make promises all the time, knowing that he or she will merely be one representative within a cauldron of many, and will never be able to pass any legislation because there will never be a consensus enough to do so.

But words have a powerful effect in engendering the hope next door; somehow, we tend to be gullible no matter how many times we get duped.  Thus, the famous quote normally attributed to the greatest showman on earth, P.T. Barnum, that there is “a sucker born every minute”.  Why such gullibility?  Because, without hope, existence itself would be too bleak to go on; and thus do politicians, used-car salesmen and con artists sell not promises, but hope.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and need to file for Federal Disability benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the Hope Next Door may well be to obtain an approval for a Federal Disability Retirement annuity, so that you can focus upon regaining your health.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and look for the Hope Next Door that is real, and not merely as a chimera sold as snake oil or words of eloquence.

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.