Federal Disability Retirement Law: The Comparative Perspective

It is a game which is played throughout history — of comparing one’s own situation to a projected, often inaccurate portrayal of “the other”, whether that other is the neighbor across the street, the stranger whom you see sitting in a cafe drinking coffee, or some celebrity who is obsessively followed for their seemingly outrageous lifestyle and unpredictable tantrums of demands and pubic displays of extravagance.

There are the traditional responses, of course, of: “The grass always appears greener on the other side of your fence”, or that you can never know of another’s life unless you walk in his/her shoes, etc.  But such pablum responses never stop the game that is played — of providing a comparative perspective by judging, on a superficial level, the more appealing life of someone else.

But what if that “someone else” was comparing his or her life to yours?  What is it that they would “not know” but would make a great difference “if only they knew”?  How about a medical condition which you have been masking for many years, which has taken a tremendous toll upon your life?

Indeed, that is often how Federal and Postal workers continue to work despite a medical condition slowly and incrementally destroying the health and well-being of a Federal or Postal worker’s life.  The comparative perspective is often the wrong one, precisely because the comparison itself is made on the most superficial of levels.

Contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement if your health has deteriorated to such an extent that any comparative perspective would open up the eyes of the person making that comparison — with the realization that it is time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through 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.

 

Federal and Postal Disability Retirement: How We See Ourselves

Is it ever static?  Does it evolve over time?  Are there individuals who never see a changed self while others believe in a rapidly-changing river on a daily basis?  Is the world comprised of the two “camps” of thoughts, sort of like the old Greek philosophers, Heraclitus and Parmenides?  Is there a successful approach in living — of “mind over matter” — which actually makes a difference?

If we see ourselves as a “failure” despite every objective evidence to the contrary — honors abounding, accolades showered, achievements attained, wealth garnered — does it make it so?

Then, of course, there are objective criteria — and in a Federal Disability Retirement case, it is important not only in conveying the subjective pain and interior psychological roadblocks which prevent a Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, but to combine them with the objective evidence in presenting the full picture of one’s disabling medical conditions.

How we see ourselves is important in a Federal Disability Retirement case; but, moreover, how one’s doctor sees you may be the crucial juncture in attaining a successful outcome in an OPM Disability Retirement case.

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 Benefits: Parting the Waters

It is a Biblical reference which was part of a common culture, at one time.  Perhaps the reference is no longer understood by many, or even by most.  It is in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 14 — and whether taken literally or metaphorically, it is meant to convey the story of a journey which meets an obstacle — as all journeys of life must by necessity engage in some form of conflict.

That is the crucial and inevitable symbole of life: Of how we meet the challenge of obstacles which are sure to arise.

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, the obstacles are essentially twofold: The medical condition itself (which the Federal or Postal employee will likely have to contend with for the rest of his or her life), and getting an approval of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The treating doctors are hopefully capable of attending to the first obstacle.  For the second obstacle, contact a Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of healing and overcoming the obstacles tantamount to Moses’ parting the waters.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: The People We Knew

Life is short; or, as Hobbes would put it, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short”.  Of course, he was referring to Man’s “state of nature”, which constantly placed him in a war-like state with others, and in this time and era where we find ourselves contending and struggling, makes it appear as if we have re-entered such a state of nature.

This global pandemic makes it likely that, like major wars previously fought, we will know of someone, whether close or distant, who has either been infected with the corona virus, or who died from it.  The people we knew remind us of the frailty of health and the human condition.  We work all of our lives in order to meet a goal; perhaps of retirement, maybe of enjoying grandchildren; and even of slowing down a bit in order to “enjoy” the better things of life.

But like all plans, there are disruptions and interruptions, and the people we knew remind us again and again that work is not everything; it just happens to take up most of our time.

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, one’s health and the importance of maintaining it becomes of paramount focus.  There can be life beyond a Federal or Postal job, and filing a FERS Disability Retirement application may be the way to achieve that life.

Consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the people we knew reminds us again that no job is as important as the health that we once enjoyed, and have now lost, as this time of a global pandemic reminds us daily with the people we knew.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Carefree Life

Is there such a thing, or is it a fiction, a mirage, a fantasy of those who create mythologies old and new — like the Utopia of some ancient history or of immortality in a netherworld of paradise’s dream?

To live is to care; to have a carefree life is therefore to die.  The incompatibility of the two concepts coexisting is intuitively clear; but the oxymorons we create are often as a result of dreams and goals expressed out of frustration from the overwhelming nature of those cares which confront us.

Life is a series of “cares”; to be free of them is to be free of life itself; and as living means that the human drama of interacting, helping, engaging in conflict and facing daily trials and all that constitutes the “stuff” that life is made up of, so it is the one who engages it successfully, who is able to maneuver through the complexities of such messes we make of it — that is the closest we can come to in becoming “care-free”.

There are those few who, perhaps, are able to escape a good part of the daily cares of life; but then the unexpected happens, such as a medical condition which one has no control over.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it may be time to modify the types and numbers of the “cares” that you are confronted with.

No, there never was or is a carefree life; but obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement may at least allow for the Federal or Postal worker to at least focus your attention upon the cares which matter most — that of health.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law today and consider preparing an effective OPM Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in order to come closer to that mythological paradise of the non-existent, carefree life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Denials: Selective reasoning

Of course, we all engage in it; some, merely by withholding certain known facts; others, by emphasizing and asserting portions of the logic employed while ignoring or deliberately averting the focus of other aspects.  Selective reasoning through deliberate omission is the height of pragmatic oppression; for, when it is accomplished with knowledge and self-admission of premeditation, it involves a mind that knows the difference between proper application of logical reasoning and the intentional misrepresentation of facts.

We engage in such folly during the course of normal fights and argumentation; for, to win is the basis of arguing, and the ends often justify the means.  Logic is a learned tool.  It is the foundation of sound reasoning.  It is not an inherent, in-born or even in-bred character of man, but it can bring out the evil therein.

As a tool, those who are good at it have a greater responsibility to use it wisely, honestly and with proper motives.  It is the “selective” part of the reasoning that makes for honesty of dishonesty in the reasoning process, and the anomaly and irony, of course, is that the process itself — of reasoning — necessarily involves selectivity, for logical argumentation encapsulates proper and effective selection of facts, syllogistic approaches and propositional logic all bundled into one.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management engages in selective reasoning, and their denials of Federal Disability Retirement applications reveal a level of such selectivity that one must conclude that it is being done intentionally and with deliberate knowledge.

Beware of denials; for, they try and make it appear as if you never had a chance to begin with in your FERS Disability Retirement application. OPM will selectively choose to extrapolate from various medical reports and records, and fail to mention or highlight the selective portions omitted, then reason that there was “insufficient” medical evidence despite facts and rational argumentation to the contrary.

Do not despair, and do not simply allow for the 30-day time period in which to file for Reconsideration to lapse; for it is precisely such selective reasoning that is meant to discourage, and to make you think that the denial is dismissively disproportionate so as to justify giving up altogether — which is precisely what their selective reasoning is meant to accomplish.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Denial: The Middle Stage

It is like those siblings who are “in between”; of caught in relevance and significance by being squeezed on the one side by the “giant first one”, and on the other side by an even greater presence; and, somehow, the middle stage is lost and forgotten.  Is that how life itself is viewed, as well?  Of being cooed and oohed over the baby-years, and then forgotten once the younger sister comes into the family; or of being cast aside by children in their teenage years, then suddenly realizing that time lost can never be regained, but recognizing that one’s parents now are too old to appreciate?

Is that why the “Middle Ages” are viewed as irrelevant, stuck between the “Ancient Era” of the great Roman and Greek periods, and then suddenly skipped over into the Renaissance and into modernity?

The “Middle Stage” is like the Middle Age years — of being present but quickly fading; of being there but barely noticed; of shying away and fearing the next stage because the one before was so full of energy and the disappointment of the failures of the previous stage is merely a foresight into the fearful expectations of the next.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition now prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the “Middle Stage” is called the “Reconsideration Stage” of the administrative process.

The Reconsideration Stage is the stage where the Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application has been denied at the Initial Stage, and it is the Stage before the Third Stage — an appeal to the U.S.Merit Systems Protection Board.  It is not a stage to be “overlooked” — as some inevitability of a further denial — but one which provides for an opportunity to enhance and add to one’s Federal Disability Retirement application by providing additional medical and other documentation in order to obtain an approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

If the applicant decided to forego consulting with an attorney at the Initial Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, then it is a good time to consider contacting an attorney at the “Middle Stage” — the Reconsideration Stage of the process — to discuss the next and crucial steps in order to correct any past mistakes and affirmatively assert the proper legal basis in meeting the preponderance of the evidence criteria in your quest to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits from OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS & CSRS Disability Retirement from the Office of Personnel Management: SF 3112C

As a “government form” it purports to provide guidance in general terms, and it is doubtful that the lack of clarity as to its purpose or utility will assist the medical professional into writing an effective report.

The plain fact is that SF 3112C is a confusing form — confusing both to the doctor or Nurse Practitioner who is presented with it, as well as to the FERS Applicant who is attempting to prepare an effective OPM Disability Retirement application.  It refers to a “position description” being attached, but fails to provide the necessary explanatory nexus between the PD and the medical opinion sought.

What part of the position description should be focused upon?  Is it the entirety of the PD, portions of it, or just the “essential elements”?  Is it relevant whether a person can work part-time, full time, or an erratic combination of both depending upon the severity of symptoms that may arise periodically?  Is SF 3112C meant to confuse, or like so many “government forms”, is the language inevitably misleading because it is (A) meant to be that way, (B) unintentionally written in an unclear manner or (C) is meant to be wholly unhelpful because OPM doesn’t want to go out of its way to help the Federal Disability Retirement applicant?  Must the SF 3112C, the “Physician’s Statement”, be used at all?

If you are still working with the Federal Agency or on the rolls of the Postal Service, or at least not separated for more than thirty one (31) days, must the prepared physician’s statement be sent directly to your H.R. Office without first being reviewed and validated by the applicant?  The form itself certainly makes it appear so, but is that really the case?

In the end, the applicant who is preparing, formulating and filing a 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, must make some initial and important determinations concerning the substance and content of the application itself.

Forms are tricky; the laws that oversee them, often vague; but if you are relying upon instructions written and formulated by the very government agency that will be making a determination on your application, you may want to first consult with an attorney who specializes in the very law that governs Federal Disability Retirement, before you begin “filling” out forms or having your doctor fill one out.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Relating negative events

Bad things come in pairs, or is it triplets?  Is there a tendency to relate and categorize in terms of color, logical sequence, similarities and characteristics?  Is the Kantian model of imposing categories upon an otherwise orderless universe the reason why we relate negative events in bunches, like grapes growing upon vines waiting to be picked?  Or do bad things happen in combinations naturally, as a law that cannot be avoided?

When we learn that others have been speaking ill of us, or of unkind statements and gossiping rumors spread about, do we not then consider the look of those around us and begin to suspect that the facial frown was directed at us, the distracted individual is not merely lost in his or her own thoughts, but is deliberately ignoring and shunning us, and even the dog that was once friendly is heard to emit a low-growling sound of unfriendly disposition?

Relating negative events is a natural response to a world that is orderless, and one that can be cruel — a perspective that is easily and readily confirmed by the uncaring attitude not just from an impervious universe, but from those who pretend to be out best friend, as well.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the Universal Law that dictates relating negative events becomes unavoidable: Suddenly, because you have taken too much SL and have requested FMLA, you are no longer the “golden boy” (or girl) who can be relied upon, and next comes the leave restrictions; the “Memorandum of Warning”, and then even a PIP; and what next?

Termination is the target for the future.

All the while, the “negative event” was the deterioration of one’s health, which then set into motion all of the other negative events which became related one to the other.

Bad things, unfortunately, happen in bunches, and it is important to initiate a “positive” element and infuse a “good” thing into the middle of those bunches of negative events, and preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is that positive step one can take for one’s self in the morass of relating all of those negative events that seem to have occurred without your consent.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire