OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: Shame

Shame was once thought to be a valuable societal tool.  While not replacing laws, it often preempted the need for legislative enactments passed to curtail certain unwanted behaviors.  A society without shame is one which prompts and necessitates a state of unlimited laws attempting to regulate the population.

For, a society with traditions, including a general consensus regarding long-standing and known actions which have been deemed “shameful”, requires fewer laws, because self-regulation is performed through a community of unspoken and subtle repressions by mere looks, grimaces, and wordless expressions of contempt and condemnation.

Here in America, sometime in the late Sixties and throughout the Seventies, a quiet movement developed, which was anathema to shame.  We decided that the primary goal in raising children was to make sure that each child developed something obscurely indefinable and named it, “Self-Esteem”.  Shame, of course, was considered an emotion which did not help to indoctrinate or inculcate this thing called “self-esteem”, and so a concurrent movement developed: The campaign to stamp out anything and everything which might trigger a child’s having a sense of shame.

As a result, here we are today — everyone is a winner; nobody has more talent than anyone else; we are all the best that we can be; and whether you stink at something, you should still receive some sort of an award.

Yet, despite all of the educational nonsense and malpractice (Note: during the same period, some Harvard educators decided that learning to read by phonetics needed to be replaced by something called a “whole word” approach, until it became apparent that illiteracy became rampant and reading comprehension turned into a joke; but the trend is now being reversed and “phonetics” — a learning approach which worked for hundreds of years — has finally come back!  Another disastrous trend initiated in the Sixties and Seventies) perpetrated upon our kids, somehow, shame still continues to rear its ugly head in various sectors of our society.

At least, that is true of the “older” generation — like Federal and Postal employees under FERS, who try and hide their medical conditions because they feel a sense of shame that they cannot perform at the same level they are used to.

No need to feel such shame.  Go with the flow of the Sixties and Seventies, and contact a FERS Retirement Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and quit being silly — shame is something of the past, never to rear its ugly head, except maybe in unenlightened countries like Japan — a country where accomplishment is still recognized, and no, not everyone gets a prize just for showing up.

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: Did Anyone Ask Me?

Being powerless is the plight of most; feeling powerless, the reality with few exceptions.  Even the wealthiest of the world have limited control; for, a devastating illness can in an instant make one’s wealth irrelevant, if not a burden.  And of the world in which we abide in — did anyone ever ask me whether or not this is the pathway I wanted to construct?

Did anyone ask me whether the creation of the personal computer, of emails and attachments being sent electronically; of social media where kids no longer engage in the real world but merely through virtual means; of endless wars and school shootings; of geopolitical decisions, worldwide inflation and shortage of goods and services — Did anyone ever stop and ask me whether decisions made at world conferences was what I wanted?  No — and no one ever will.

But there are certain levels of decision-making — of questions which must be asked and can only be answered by the individuals — which can and must be taken hold by specific individuals.  Such as: Preparing, formulating and filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Only the Federal and Postal worker who has been impacted by a disabling medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job can answer the question: Do I need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS?

So — while the rest of the world’s questions are often never asked of most individuals, there are some which are, and for help in answering those important questions, contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, where in the end, you can answer “yes” to the question, Did Anyone Ask Me?

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: Knowing the Law

Is it important?  How can the U.S. Office of Personnel Management make a proper decision on a Federal Disability Retirement application without knowledge of the law?

Yes, yes — the ones who make decisions are “medical specialists” — but that is only one-half of the equation.  That is precisely why the bureaucratic process of a Federal Disability Retirement is so frustrating — because OPM looks at 1/2 of the equation for the first 2 stages of the process — of the Initial application stage, then the Second Stage, the “Request for Reconsideration” Stage — and then leaves the Second Half of the process (the “legal stage”) to the paralegals and lawyers who represent OPM before the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

Wouldn’t it be wiser and more efficient if there were a legal department which oversees and supervises the denial letters issued by the “medical specialists” at OPM for the first 2 stages, thereby making sure that the denial is based not solely upon medical issues, but on the legal issues underlying them?

Of course, it is rarely the case that a Federal Disability Retirement application is ever validly denied based upon the medical conditions alone; for, the benefit of “Federal Disability Retirement” always involves the legal criteria for eligibility, and that is why the applicant who wants to pursue the benefit should contact a disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law. For, in the end, knowing the law is what will prevail in a Federal Disability Retirement application 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.

 

OPM Disability Retirement Benefits: The Trick Question

There are many.  In the media, it is often described as the “Gotcha” question — where the reporter springs upon the unwary target a query which cannot be answered without placing one in a negative light.

Or the lawyer’s cross-examination barrage beginning with, “So, Mr. so-and-so, Yes or No — did you ever stop beating your wife?” (Such a question, of course, is rather laughable and should be immediately objected to; but the “fun” of the question is that the answer becomes a quandary: If you answer, “Yes”, it means that you are admitting to beating your wife but that you merely stopped at some point; if you answer, “No”, it means that you continue to beat your wife.  Either way, you have shot yourself in the proverbial foot).  And there are many others — of “trick” questions to get you into the proverbial hot water.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents you from performing one or more of the essential elements of your Federal or Postal job, the Standard Forms contain many and multiple trick questions.  They may not be intended to actually trick you, but the manner, form and content of your answer may become problematic in the way in which they are answered.

Contact a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and make sure that the “trick” question doesn’t do what it is meant to do: To trick you into answering it in a way which you don’t intend to, or otherwise shouldn’t need to.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: How we fit in

Federal employees who don’t fit

Federal employees who don’t fit

 It is the misfits of whom we scoff at; of the random and discarded puzzle-pieces that seem to never find their proper configuration and therefore are cast aside before the picture is completed; and those square pegs that don’t fit into the round hole — whether, either the pegs must be shaved in order to conform, or the whole must be widened so that the peg can be dropped in; even though they don’t actually fit but remain loosely within the hole, but that’s okay because at least they are no longer seen as “not fitting in”.

In the end, the grind of life fatigues us.

We all conform, despite our initial resistance to such conformity.  The world requires conformity and predictability; and school, well, it is a means of ensuring the mass production of conformed groups who all think alike and behave in parallel fashion.  Every now and then, of course, a creative genius breaks away from the mold of artificial constructs; but in the end, even creative geniuses fall prey to the constant punishments meted out to those who dare to be different.

Federal employees who suffer from a medical condition and who can no longer perform one or more of the essential elements of his or her Federal or Postal job — they are, essentially, misfits within a Federal system that cannot accommodate misfits for long.

Federal Disability Retirement is a pathway out of the mold that dictates how we fit in; it is part of the “system” of dealing with misfits so that you are no longer deemed a disrupting influence upon the smooth flow of the Agency’s “mission” or the Postal Service’s massive mail distribution system.  It is a long and arduous process by which various criteria must be met, and as such, the Federal or Postal employee should consult with an experienced Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law so that the Federal Disability Retirement attorney can guide you into seeing how you will “fit in” — into the system as a Federal Disability Retiree.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement under FERS: Adopting an Adaptive Plan

Most of us barely have one; and when we do, we quickly forget about it and move on, satisfied that —by the mere declaration of having one — we need not implement it or follow it rigorously beyond the mere possession of it.

The old Soviet Union (do we remember what the abbreviation, “U.S.S.R.” stood for?) had 5 and 10 year plans, and when the stated goals were not met, they simply cooked the books and declared that they were well ahead of the declared plans, and so the satellite nations under the rubric of the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” nodded its approval and genuflected to the Soviet Central Planning Committee (for, you couldn’t have a plan unless there were multiple committees to make those plans) and were grateful for the plans even though their populace were starving, despite the declared success of all of that planning.

Battlefield officers rely upon them; although, in recent years, because war is no longer fought by armies planning an attack upon other armies, the need for adopting an adaptive plan has become a survival necessity.  Life itself rarely follows a plan; most of the time, one’s day is consumed by just trying to survive.

When a medical condition hits us, of course, then all of the planning in the world — from a retrospective and myopic viewpoint — didn’t amount to much.  What is the plan, then, for a Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform his or her job because of the medical conditions that prevent one from doing so?

The Federal Disability Retirement “plan” is to allow for a Federal or Postal employee to file for OPM Medical Retirement benefits under FERS, so that the Federal employee can medically retire, focus upon one’s health and still, hopefully, enter the workforce in the near or mid-future and continue to contribute, all the while receiving a disability retirement annuity.  Now, that sounds like adopting an adaptive plan where interruption of a life plan allows for some grace beyond lack of planning.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: The river of life

The evocative images of such a metaphorical phrase are immediately understood by most.  As in challenges we all face throughout life, a river snakes across different and foreign terrain; in some seasons, a drought may dry up the vibrancy of the river, while in times of plenty, flooding and overabundance may occur.

There are periods of swift currents, and days of lazy haze; and underneath the calm exterior is an underworld of activity and blur of living, both of tumult as well as those timeless memories forever remembered, and it is precisely the paradigm upon which Heraclitus staked his perspective upon with the statement that “No man steps in the same river twice.”  For, indeed, the essence of the universe is one of ever-present change; it is the one constant in a life filled with unpredictable indifference, of inchoate beginnings that never lead to any fruition; of trials encountered without reason or rationale; and the river of life leads us through the mountaintops of emotional pinnacles and down into the depths of a valley so dark that despondency fails to reach the eternal chasm of sadness undefined.

Streams flowing into rivers; unexpected tributaries swallowing up the nameless and uncharted waters; and of snowcaps that melt and flow without fluidity of purpose, so life brings about such challenges, engagements and unexpected face-offs.  What are we to make of this river?  What to do in this life?  Must we always be defined by accomplishments, or can the value of a human being be sufficient by reason of a self-fulfillment of an ego’s search?  Is it truly the person who has amassed the greatest amount of “stuff” who is considered the “winner”, and does the river of life grant any greater significance, relevance or meaning to the quantifiable monetary value than to the man who dies penniless?

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition necessitates the Federal or Postal worker into preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, such questions embracing the river of life can be daunting, obsessively important, and awakening of a spark in the deeper recesses of one’s forgotten past to come to the fore.  Why?  Because medical conditions force a prioritization of values, meaning and relevance in one life; and, indeed, that is the foundational essence of every river of life – of what we believe; that we believe; and for which we believe.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Government Employment: Life’s enjoyment

Are we ever taught that?  If the answer is in the negative, then from whence did we learn, attain or otherwise receive the tools to engage in the purity of sensation such that we could embrace it?  Did we become such through osmosis; from imprints; from learned behavior encompassing a lifetime of observations reinforced by wisdom’s refrain upon the blank chalkboard of our consciousness?  How does one “enjoy” life, anymore than learning to ride a bicycle, drive a car or care for a cute puppy (the last in the list, of course, need not be learned, but only be taken in by the natural affinity one has upon seeing the eyes of warmth, intelligence and fierce loyalty displayed, and is an exception and one of life’s conundrums to be accepted without questioning)?

There are many who walk about, who have absolutely no clue as to how one can, should or would have any enjoyment at all; and thus the total immersion in one’s work, or projects begun and always left unfinished – for, to complete them would mean that something ended, and that would force one into a reflection about the meaning, value and relevance of one’s activities, would it not?

One often hears the familiar refrain:  “I don’t know how to enjoy life; to me, unless I am busy with work, chores, updating my Facebook page, texting friends or jogging, I can’t be happy.”  Productivity is the measure of success; time set aside for vacations – despite still doing email, texting, messaging or other forms of “connectivity” as advertised to be the horror of all horrors if loss of it were to ever occur – is a concept that questions the very meaning of life’s enjoyment.  For, if one pauses for a moment to reflect:  Is the treadmill one is on merely for purposes of getting off for a moment, then to get right back on in order to find, again, a time to get off for another period of repose?

If so, how is that any different from Camus’ essay on the absurdity of life’s perspective as seen through the eyes of a French Existentialist, and specifically, of the Myth of Sisyphus and the condemnation by the gods to roll the boulder up the hill, only to watch it tumble down, then to engage in the eternal monotony of pushing it back up, only to observe its descent?

Life’s enjoyment, and the promise for tomorrow, was always meant to be more than that – of a daily sense of joy, a widespread sensation of contentment, and an ease of burden when once we were innocent children playing with but a ready laughter to give.  It is the truth that haunts, and especially the proverbial quip about the final straw that breaks the camel’s back.  With the persistent onslaught of stimuli unable to be resisted, we allow for the daily bombardment to deplete the little energy we have in reserve.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition not only intervenes in the ability and capacity to perform the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, but further, depletes, diminishes and – ultimately — destroys even the potentiality to enjoy life and all of its complex presentations, the option to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits must be considered.

Yes, it is a long and arduous bureaucratic process.  No, going through the process will not enhance, for the short term, life’s enjoyment.  But in the end, necessary changes are called for – nay, compelled by – medical conditions that interrupt life’s enjoyment, and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is to enhance that potential for the future enjoyment of life’s joys, while perhaps foregoing the short-term stubble of inconvenient interludes of angst-driven necessities.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire