OPM Disability Retirement Law: Life Without

Some learn early on to live with the “without”; others, perhaps those few who were born with that metaphorical “silver spoon” in one’s mouth, never learn the lesson; and whether living life without “things”, or loving parents, or a dog, or some such other tangible or intangible whatever is a valid question.

Is it better to have possessed X, then lost it, in order to appreciate X?  Or, if you never knew of life with-X, is life without it something you never missed, anyway?  Yet, we can certainly extrapolate from watching others “with” X, and thus experience various emotions, whether of jealousies, regret, self-pity or angered arrogance.

Life without can form better character, or so they say.  Then, perhaps, life with-X and the subsequent loss of X may also form greater character.  It all often depends upon the malleability of the individual, and not whether or not a person grew up with or without.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition necessitates preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, two issues of life without will be of immediate concern: Life without the same career you once had; and more importantly, life without the health you once enjoyed.

As for the latter, that is part of the point of filing for Federal Disability Retirement — so that you can focus more of your attention upon regaining that which you once had, and which you have partially lost.  As to the former — there is actually life beyond the Federal Government or the Postal service, and you may find that the future is yet bright, and life without your Federal or Postal job is not as important as life without health.

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 Help: A Worthy Life

Should such a question, or answer, even be entertained?  Or, should one always revert to the normative ethos — albeit, safe and uncontroversial — that by definition, any and all lives constitute a worthy life, merely because life itself is precious and therefore undeniably and incontrovertibly worthwhile?

Yet, surely we engage in such debates, if not directly, then circuitously and sometimes by engaging in linguistic euphemisms which betray our most sacred belief systems.

Are proponents of the death penalty those who have answered the question, already?  For, have you not made a judgment of “unworthiness” if you believe that the death penalty is an acceptable penalty?  Or, of a lesser offense — say, a homeless person who begs for food; should they all be shuttered in some part of the world where we don’t have to deal with them?

How do we define “worth”?  Is it by economic success, or are there other factors which determine fulfillment of a definition rarely complete and barely understood?

Is “worth” tantamount to “indispensable”?  If that is the standard, then none of us would qualify; for, looking back into the history of mankind, is there anyone from yesterday whom we consider indispensable today?  They are all deep in the ground where moss, grass and ivy have overgrown the cemeteries where once the worth was thought to be indispensable, but now are merely forgotten remnants of unrepentant memories.  Here is a thought: At a minimum, a worthy life is when a person provides a mangy dog a life of comfort and happiness.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service 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 question of a worthy life often begins to creep in, where the Federal agency or Postal facility is doing everything to question your worth with the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.

Don’t buy into that line of thinking.

You know your own worth; don’t begin to doubt it.  Instead, contact a disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and thus begin the process of ascertaining the unquestionable worthiness of a life which has many miles to go, if merely to have the opportunity to give a mangy dog a life of comfort and joy.

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 Employee Disability Retirement: Sound Advice

Sound” is a word which completely changes its meaning when combined with the word “advice”.  Taken separately, independently and in isolation, the word when articulated will not evoke the meaning produced by the combination, but rather, of noises one may hear, a song one is particularly fond of, or the voice of a familiar person, etc.  When placed together with the word, “advice”, it takes on an entirely separate meaning: Of being solid, reliable, truthful, etc.

Of course, one can also argue that it is merely a repetitive tautology, unnecessary and redundant; for, “advice given” should, by definition, be sound to begin with, otherwise it is neither advice nor sound and the duality of the meaning doesn’t add anything one to the other.  But clearly there is such a thing as bad advice, or advice which is “not sound”, and so there is a reason to combine the two words together, for the word “sound” does indeed add something to the word “advice” to combine and make up the concept, “sound advice”.

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, what is often lacking in the field of Federal Disability Retirement is not only “sound advice”, but any advice at all.  Agencies don’t want to disseminate information about Federal Disability Retirement; Supervisors and Managers offer ignorance as an excuse; and even your own Human Resource Office is deliberately unhelpful.

Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer and obtain some sound advice, lest the soundness be less than sound and the advice becomes one which is regrettable.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS: The Regrets of Today

Today is a fresh start; tomorrow, although unknown, allows for corrections of today’s mistakes; and yesterday — well, we cannot do much about the past except to attempt to learn from the errors already committed.

The Age of Wittgenstein prevails in our generation.  The great philosopher of the 20th Century wiped away the problems which haunted Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, et al, by relegating all such problems as propositional fallacies confused by the inaccuracy of language.  All we have to do is correct the “language games” we play, and all problems disappear.  Fast forward to today — there are no longer any “truths” with a capital “T”, but only relative ones and even “alternative” truths, all correctible by the modification of what is said, the words spoken, the language used.

The problem with such an approach is that it often is disproven by the reality of the mistakes we make, resulting in the regrets of today.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition presents the reality of a problem which language will not erase, filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS may be the best option for today.

Tomorrow will present a new set of problems; today, it is best to take an affirmative step forward and consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and begin the process of formulating a paper presentation to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in order to make yesterday’s regrets a mere language game of the past, and tomorrows challenges as a reality that is based upon the truth of today.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill
OPM Disability Attorney

 

OPM Disability Retirement Appeal: Second Opportunities

In life, how often do we get a “second opportunity”?  To correct a past mistake; to avoid the consequences of an error committed; to rekindle a damaged relationship; and other acts of revitalized and redemptive scenarios rarely allowed.

Second opportunities, and the rare third ones, allow for erasures to be made, modifications to be incorporated and additional, corrective information to be inserted.  Of the following, what would one think? “Oh, a mistake was made in the contract which goes against you, but not to worry, go ahead and make the changes and we can sign everything again as if … “ Or: “Oh, your rich aunt disinherited you after you called her that horrible name and in a drunken rage knocked her over the head with vase, but not to worry, she forgives you and has placed you back in her will.”

Those are, to be sure, instances of second opportunities, but rarely to be had and more likely to occur in fictionalized accounts of redemptive fantasies otherwise unpublished because of their unlikely occurrences.

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, the “Second Opportunity” (and the “Third”) comes in the form of the Reconsideration Stage, and then an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

Don’t let such an opportunity for corrective action slip through the “proverbial fingers” by making the same mistake twice.  It is, at either the Reconsideration Stage or the appeal to the MSPB, an opportunity to fill in any gaps (whether merely perceived by OPM or substantively existing, it doesn’t really matter); and to reinforce any lack of medical evidence by having the opportunity to supplement, and even modify, statements made or omissions allowed.

Some OPM Disability Retirement cases may be weak in their very essence, whether because of lack of medical support or because of other reasons undefinable; other cases may simply need further development, explanation or supplemental evidence to “shore up” the unpersuasive peripheral issues that have appeared in the case.  Both the Reconsideration Stage, as well as the appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, open opportunities to resolve one’s case in one’s favor — by being granted the ultimate end and goal with an approval of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.

The road to attain that goal, however, must sometimes travel through multiple doors and second opportunities, and that is how one should see the Second (Reconsideration) and Third (an appeal to the MSPB) Stages of the process in trying to get one’s OPM Disability Retirement application approved.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Responsibility

What is it about the ascription of such a word, that there can be a direct correlation or, if taken in a different context, some mere connection but no causality?  We can say of a person, “He is responsible for X”, and yet never have directly encountered X or (if a person) never even have met X.

Thus of monsters and thugs throughout history, for instance, we might say that “Stalin was responsible for 20 million deaths, at least,” or that Mao was “responsible” for a 100 million peasants dying during the late 50s; or, of course, of ascribing to Hitler the countless millions; and, so that we don’t leave out other “responsible” monsters of history, of Pol Pot, Idi Amin and many others besides, though we cannot link a causality that would pass Hume’s skeptical test of anything more than events following one upon another, we nevertheless accept that all such political figures were “responsible” for the deaths of millions.

What is the criteria in coming to such a conclusion?  Is it a negative proposition — that if X had the power or position to prevent such events from occurring, then Responsibility-Y can be ascribed?  Or must it be a positive declaration: If X engaged in Acts A, B and C, then Responsibility-Y can be attributable to Individual-W; and further, if only Acts A & B, but not C, then less so; and if only Act A, but not B & C, even less so?

Responsibility”, of course, is a malleable and transitive concept; it can change with the contextual winds of opinion, historical perspective and a cultural shift of viewpoints.  Look at how we approach our Founding Fathers — of responsibility for the slave issue in the United States, but somehow excusing each if (A) any one of them willed that they would be freed upon their deaths, (B) that one was “personally” against the issue but for economic, practical reasons were “forced” to go along or (C) they treated them “kindly” and “responsibly” (here, we have a double-meaning of the term, for such an individual was both “responsible” as well as being ascribed the “responsibility” of being a slave owner).

Or, look at the manner in which America treated Native Americans — of a genocidal history no less cruel than Mao’s starvation of the peasantry; and yet, because of such grand concepts as “manifest destiny” and the depiction of an entire populace as “uncivilized”, we can avert “responsibility” by distancing the causal agents; and the greater distance between the agents, the less we ascribe responsibility.

On a lesser scale, what about work?  If work suffers and there is no reason for it but laziness and lack of attention, we ascribe “responsibility”.  But what if a medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties — is that Federal or Postal employee “responsible”?

The short answer is a “no” — and that is recognized by “the Law”, in statutes, regulations and case-laws cumulatively aggregated under the conceptual aegis of “Federal Disability Retirement Law”.  It is precisely because society recognizes that a medical condition itself — and not the individual — is directly responsible for one’s inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, that Federal disability retirement exists as a benefit to pursue.

But it cannot be accessed until and unless there is an affirmative step taken by the Federal or Postal employee, by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.  That is where “responsibility” comes into play as a direct causal link — of initiating the steps and actually filing.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement Law: The voice of constructive criticism

It is rare for the individual to accept constructive criticism; rarer still, to invite and welcome it in any form, whether destructive, constructive or otherwise characterized as “positive”, “negative” or “neutral”.  The fact is that few of us accept any form of it at all, and quickly respond with the rebuttal:  “It’s not constructive”.  But why does it need to be?

Such a reaction assumes an inherent distinction that merely and preemptively places an obstacle to further engagement.  It may well be that, in the end, one can conclude as to the resultant characterization initially presumed, and perhaps even to attribute bad faith, unhelpful motivations and intended cuts.  But all of that should come at the end of the deliberative process, and not as the beginning firewall to prevent further discussion and consideration.

For some reason, the evolution of man has embraced the societal need to spend an exorbitant amount of time defending justifying, counterpunching and placing linguistic walls of protective measures in order to preserve the superficial appearances that we all deny we revere.  The irony of Western Philosophy is that, despite questions repetitively and exhaustively presented – with never any conclusive and satisfactory answers ever provided (like children and their eyes bulging with curiosity in a toy store) – the query never ends and the answers are forever avoided.

This age of modernity, however, has a new wrinkle:  as traditional philosophy has been relegated to insignificance and irrelevance by reducing it as a matter of language games and confusion in our thought-processes, so now the “new” approach is to avoid any substantive questions (and therefore any curiosity to have the answers) and, instead, to preserve and protect our superficial lives and appearances.

The beginning of Western Philosophy warned of this – from Parmenides and Heraclitus, and with the entrance of that irritant vagabond Socrates as related to us through the Platonic Dialogues – “appearances” were to be queried and investigated in order to get to the foundation of Being.  Now, we avoid even the appearance of superficiality in order to protect how shallow we are, and we do this by preemptively and viciously attacking the mere question in order to avoid any criticism at all.  This can obviously have dangerous consequences.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who want to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the key to submitting a “winning” Federal Disability Retirement application is in being open to self-criticism, whether constructive, destructive or otherwise neutral.

Vigilance in life is always the key, and refining, streamlining and formulating an effective Federal Disability Retirement application should go through a rigorous “vetting” process, such that the questions of Socrates through his dialectical methodology of getting to the “truth” should never be subverted.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Wisdom’s hold on life

We never quite “get it”.  Trans-generational imputing of wisdom is not part of modern society.  In more “traditional” societies, multi-generational families live together out of practical reasons:  Not only is it less expensive if the earnings are pooled into a single resource of means, but until marriage or an offer of economic leverage pulls a member away from the core, imparting of wisdom, experience and voices of learned care may be passed down from generation to generation.  In the West, instead, the rush is to depart and fracture; to get away as quickly as possible; for, as youth is the cult of modernity, so folly of youth is the means by which we live.

That was the point of alternative interactions, as well – of apprenticeships, internships and other similar ships moored to more experienced hands; but even those are now relics of an age no longer relevant.  And of age – old men with decades of experience in handling matters of great complexity, shuttled away into homes smelling of antiseptic camouflaging of decay and devoid of respect or gratitude; women who once gained a stature of serene contentment, now deluged in a cauldron of impoverishment and relegated to the insignificance of lost memories.  Where is wisdom’s hold upon life?

There is, in the end, no means for generational transfer of wisdom, and the wheel must be reinvented at every turn, by an ignorant and inexperienced first generation where “first” is always reenacted and “generation” is merely something to submit to have a family tree drawn in order to boast of one’s genetic predisposition towards folly and foolishness.  Yet, we have come to believe that wisdom can be equated to information, and so we hand out Smartphones so that we can mindlessly look up data, soft news and questionable sources where references cannot be verified, plagiarism may be rampant, and esoteric knowledge has been forever generalized to a point of neutrality of purpose.

Where do we get wisdom?  From advice columns, gurus of booksellers hinting of “secret” formulas and self-serving wanna-bees of Dear Abby.  Once, wisdom’s hold on life resulted in an evolution of greater growth, as generational transfer allowed for each within the greater whole to advance beyond the elementary foundations of first principles.  Now, we are solitary, isolated and disconnected.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to prepare, formulate and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, wisdom’s latent hold on life should not make one pause, but rather, as the dissemination of knowledge, information and guidance can be accessed through an experienced lawyer who has faced OPM many times, life need not be anticipated, but advanced beyond the folly of youth where wisdom’s hold on life is but a moment devoid of influence.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire