Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The Narrative

In every life, in every human condition, there is the narrative to tell.  In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is an opportunity to convey a “narrative”.  It is, however, for a specified purpose — to obtain OPM Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  As such, there is a “context” within which one is asked to communicate the narrative of one’s life; and that context is delimited and defined by the questions posed on an Applicant’s Statement of Disability, Standard Form 3112A.

The communicating of one’s narrative is an important desire and need for human beings.

The story entitled “Grief” or “Misery”, written by Anton Chekhov, answers the poignant question, “To whom shall I tell my grief?”  In that story, Iona has lost a son, and the story unfolds of how, at every opportunity in the quest to tell the narrative of the human condition, he is rebuffed, ignored and left unsatisfied.

It is often the case in similar fashion with Federal and Postal workers who are attempting to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — a need to describe and tell the story of pain, medical conditions, harassment, stress, anxiety, etc.  But it is the job of the attorney to refine, limit, restrict and streamline the story; for the story of the human condition will have amounted to further misery if the story is told unedited, and the Federal or Postal employee is unable to obtain the Federal Disability Retirement benefits because the unedited version of the story was left to be told, resulting in a denial from OPM.

There are counselors and therapists; there are treating doctors; the attorney is neither.  It is the job of the Federal Disability Retirement attorney to effectively represent a client, and sometimes that involves the necessity of being blunt and forthright.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Professionals & Saving Time

In many areas of law, it is often the case that “professionals” prefer dealing with other professionals.  Thus, doctors will often encourage their patients to obtain the services of a lawyer when it has come time to consider medical retirement.  

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, submitted to the Office of Personnel Management, there are multiple factors to consider when engaging in the preparatory stages of the administrative process.  The reason why doctors often prefer to deal with attorneys when the patient is compiling the “paperwork” for Federal Disability Retirement is that it saves time.  

Time is a commodity which is scarce and valuable.  Doctors do not want to have to engage in multiple revisions or rewriting of medical reports.  Doctors are professionals who believe that their time is best spent in treating patients — and while such “paperwork” is a necessary part of a doctor’s practice, and one which ultimately assists the patient in furthering his or her medical condition and future well-being; nevertheless, if an administrative issue needs to be addressed, doctors will often prefer to accomplish such administrative tasks in the most efficient, expeditious manner possible.  

The same concept holds true for the Federal or Postal worker who is filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.  While there is never a guarantee that a “professional” will present a compelling enough case to the Office of Personnel Management such that an approval of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application will be a certainty; nevertheless, it is normally the most effective road to success.  

As time is a valuable and scarce commodity, so such scarcity and value should be considered at the beginning of the process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Postal and Federal Disability Retirement: The Spectrum of Necessity

Preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS becomes a consequential necessity arising from the impact of one’s medical conditions upon the ability or inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job.

The medical condition, whether chronic or situational; whether a single episode or recurrent; or whether from a singularly traumatic event or one of progressive deterioration — the present impact of the medical condition and its likely impact for 12 months or more into the future, as a prognosis by the doctor based upon reasonable medical probability is far more relevant than the historical origin of the medical condition.

The Federal or Postal employee who is contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is often focused, with myopic distractions and irrelevancies, which may be detrimental to the successful outcome of attempting to prove one’s eligibility, upon events, history, and symptoms which have little or no effect upon the criteria of eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.  

Each professional has a specific purpose, and it is important to recognize the specific purpose for which a professional has been retained. Thus, the medical doctor’s job is to attempt to treat the medical condition; the therapist’s job is to provide therapeutic intervention through various means for tapping into the psychology of one’s problems; the physical therapist’s purpose is to set physical goals and attempt to increase flexibility, mobility, reduce pain thresholds, etc.  

The job of an attorney, in representing a Federal or Postal employee to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS from the Office of Personnel Management, is to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a Federal or Postal employee meets the legal criteria set by statutes, regulations and case-law.  

There is a spectrum of necessity which each professional must meet, and while the spectrum sometimes blurs one into another, such that the distinct lines may become somewhat indeterminate, the singular focus of an attorney who is hired to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS should be to always do that which is required on the spectrum of necessity, to meet the legal criteria.  

For, in the end, it is the approval letter from the Office of Personnel Management which the Federal or Postal employee seeks.  Once sought and obtained, the job has been accomplished.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire