Postal & Federal Employee Disability Retirement from the OPM: Fighting for Your Rights

Everything of value is worth fighting for.  Further, just because you win a battle, it does not mean that the “war” has been victorious.  Of course, the language of “war”, “battle”, “fight”, etc., is often overused and can be misinterpreted, and perhaps over-hyped: games are games; a football game is not truly a war; an administrative process of “fighting” for disability retirement benefits is not strictly a “battle”, but merely a legal process of obtaining a benefit.

When we utilize and apply words in context-specific circumstances, we tend to misinterpret the true nature of the process.

In Federal Disability Retirement Law, however, the metaphors used are, indeed, appropriate — “fighting” for your rights is the applicable wording, and being prepared to “battle” with OPM is also appropriate.  Federal Disability Retirement benefits are worth fighting for; it is of great value; and, once won, you must continue to maintain vigilance in retaining your benefits.

Contact a Federal Disability Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law and make sure that you understand the value of what the “battle” is you are fighting for.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employees with Chronic Medical Conditions: What to Do

It is the universal question which confronts us all: The next steps; how to react; what sequence of actions to take; and, in the end, it also involves any verbal or written responses, as well.  For, the “doing” part can involve both actions and words.

From the little boy confronting a bully who asks the question, “What are you going to do about it?” — to the adult who is faced with a crisis which may involve other family members, where the question is somewhat altered: “What are we going to do about it?” — the answer is not always clear; the response, not always known.

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, “What to do” is the question posed, the problem confronted.

We are never expected to know everything, although all of us would like to think that we have an answer to most of life’s problems.  But this is a unique circumstance, a special order, a confrontation of unknown proportions.  And when you are faced with the unknown, it is best to contact someone who is experienced in the “What” and the “Doing” in response to the “what”.

Contact a Federal Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin the process of confronting the “what” — as in, What to Do?

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Life Goes On

Americans make of politics the same as everything else we do: It becomes a passion with a responsiveness tantamount to life and death.  We do it in almost all else, as well, as in sports — if our team doesn’t win, it is as if the world has come to an end.

We do it in marriage — we put on a great show at tremendous expense to announce that it is an event which will last forever.  We do it in religion — where every denomination and every pokey-little church has a corner of truth in interpreting “the doctrine”.  We do it in Supreme Court nominations, who our Congressman or Senator will be, and in every other sector of life.  We act as if the world will come to an end — like Y2K, Climate Change and the Presidential Election.

But Life Goes On.

The “day after”, everyone else has to move on and make a living and deal with life, no matter who won, what occurred or which side prevailed.  And 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, dealing with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is still a reality which must be faced.

So, recognize your priorities in life and realize that whatever happens, you will still need to consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement, because no matter what, life goes on.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The Forever Tomorrow

We can always fool ourselves by talking about tomorrow.  For, today has a tomorrow, and tomorrow has a tomorrow, and the day after also has a tomorrow.  That is the great thing about a language game encompassing future concepts of indeterminate future tenses — they can go on forever without a pause.

We can say to ourselves, “I will take care of that tomorrow”; and when tomorrow arrives, the same can be said again, and each time it is stated, it protects itself in an intimate, cozy cocoon because “tomorrow” is always nearby.  And though the delay and procrastination may become extended over a period of months, or even years, so long as we say to ourselves, “Well, I will attend to it tomorrow”, or that things will change for the better “tomorrow”, that closeness in proximity and time articulated by the concept of an event so near to today is what delays any actions or solves any problem based upon an eternal delay in the linguistic deception contained within the concept of tomorrow.

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, consider that tomorrow is the thief of today’s life, and yesterday is the looted loss of precious time.  If you need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, also known as OPM Disability Retirement, forego the forever of tomorrow, and call a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer today.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Who I Am & Who Am I

One is a question; the other, a declarative statement.  The latter of a more subjective nature; the former, perhaps a composite of observations by third parties together with self analysis.  Both must begin with a query — of analyzing a statement “about” myself, through others who are well-known as well as of opinions rendered and judgments passed by acquaintances and passersby strangers barely acknowledged.

“Who I am” is often answered in response to a preceding query by a third party: “Who are you?”  It might be answered with fairly objective and short statements which are incontestable: I am X’s brother in-law; I am the husband of Y; “Oh, I am Sarah’s father” (in response to Sarah’s classmate who sees you standing outside of the classroom); or, “I am nobody”.  This last statement, of course, has implications well beyond being an unresponsive nullity; for, it goes to the heart of one’s own assessment of one’s self, one’s consequential impact upon the limited universe of one’s role, and the very essence of an ego left abandoned.

The other — Who Am I — is often followed by the grammatical punctuation of a question mark.  It is often a self-reflective query — one which causes a pause, a momentary furrowing of eyebrows raised, and then a regrouping of having just previously been taken aback by a question which stabs too closely to the essence of one’s being.  Perhaps a soliloquy follows.  One will normally cast the question off with a shrug and answer the self-query with, “I am X” and then move on to take out the garbage, watch a movie, see a documentary or engage in what Heidegger refers to as an activity which allows us to forget our mortality.

Will the question inevitably haunt us and force us into facing ourselves at some point in our lives?  Perhaps.  Can we avoid the question entirely?  Maybe.  It is the former, asked by others, which fails to have the force of the latter, and merely because of the placement and substitution of positions of the two words after the “Who” that makes all of the difference.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition and who must face the prospect of facing the question, “Who I am” in reference to one’s position and role in the workplace, it is often the medical condition itself which prompts the second, more incisive query of “Who Am I?”

Does a medical condition define a person?  Certainly, the Agency or the Postal Service makes it the primary issue by questioning one’s competence or capabilities based upon your condition.  Both questions go to the heart of the issue in a Federal Disability Retirement application; for, in the end, the Federal Agency and the Postal Service treat both questions with a foregone conclusion of an answer: You are Nobody if you are no longer part of the “Mission”, and that is why filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management becomes a necessity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Answering the question

What constitutes “answering the question”, and more importantly, how does one determine when its opposite occurs — NOT answering the question?  Does the former occur if the questioner fails to follow up, and does the latter become an issue if the person asking responds with, “That doesn’t answer my question,” or some such similar declarative assertion?

Take the following hypothetical:  Person A asks Person B, “So, where do you come from?”  Person B answers, “The skies of Normandy were grey on that June day in 1944.”  Now, Person A could have various responses to such a statement, as in:  1.  “No, no, I asked where you came from.” 2. “Are you telling me that you come from Normandy, France?”  3.  “That doesn’t answer my question.”  4. Or, silence, with no follow-up.

Person B, of course, could similarly respond in variegated ways, as in:  A.  “I just told you.”  B.  “Yes” or “No” (in response to the follow-up question, “Are you telling me that you come from Normandy, France?”).  C.  Silence, or “Yes it does.”  D.  Nothing further.

It may be that Person B simply has a poetic bent, and from his perspective, the mundane query was answered in a metaphorical, literary manner.  More to the point, however:  Who determines if a question has been answered (leaving aside the further query of whether the answer itself has “sufficiently” or “fully” been responsive to the question) — the one who asks, or the one who answers?

In a normal conversation, of course, the issue rarely comes about; in an argument where one or the other side, or both, are trying to get answers and defeat the other side, the heat of the moment may determine the answer to the question; and the penultimate paradigm of the question, “Who determines whether the question has been answered?” occurs in the highest form during a deposition or cross-examination in the legal arena.

Observing what occurs during a court proceeding is an interesting experience of human behavior; of the back-and-forth between counsels and the witnesses being deposed or examined, as in:  “You didn’t answer the question.”  “Yes, I did.”  “I asked you…”.  “Asked and answered.”  “Objection, the question has already been asked and answered.”  And on and on until a singular point is pursued to an exhaustive level ad infinitum and ad nauseum.

Is the issue of what constitutes an answered question somewhat akin to the question or “original intent” — i.e., that just like an author’s original intent as to the meaning of a written document is what should rule, similarly, the person who asks the question has the sole power to determine whether or not the question asked has been answered, and moreover, adequately and sufficiently answered?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are beginning the process of 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, these questions concerning the “answering of questions” will and should come to the forefront when confronted with the questions asked on SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability.

Inasmuch as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has promulgated the questions in a carefully-crafted manner, there are some inherent pitfalls and dangers in what constitutes an adequate response, a sufficient answer and the complete delineation that rises to the level of a satisfactory statement.

SF 3112A is replete with unanswered questions within the very substance of each question, and the answers you provide are best guided by an attorney who has had the experience of legal encounters previously, and who specializes in the Law of Federal Disability Retirement.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Lawyer Representation for OPM Disability Claims: Cat’s Cradle

It is the complex game of strings wrapped around the small fingers and thumbs of each hand (or a modification of that contorted vestibule of human appendages), and where each player turns the cradle of the strings into greater complexity with each move by the other.

When children play it, the ease with which each turn of transforming the cradle of strings is a fascinating experience to witness.  When grown-ups do it — or, more accurately described, mess it up royally and invert the design into a an ugly bundle of irreversible entanglements that can no longer be played — the “overthinking” begins, the hesitation blockades and the uncertainty overwhelms.

It is always the grownups who mess up the beauty of the world’s designs, while children play it effortlessly, without conscious thought and with an innocence of proceeding that reveals much about what happens to an individual when you “grow up”.

Of course, we all have to grow up.  It is a sad inevitability.  That is why when the stunted individual who never quite got over his or her high school years, and still to this day talks about that grand finale of his senior year where the glory days of football, parties and friendships that were promised to last forever — that these frozen images yet remain so many years later as the pinnacle of one’s life and achievements — we shake our heads sadly and wonder at the fragile nature of man’s folly.

Cat’s cradle is the metaphor for much of life itself — of how simple childhood is, and yet so complex like the strings that bind the hands that create.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal job, the time to “think” about the next move — like the overthinking grownup who is asked to take the next step in the game of Cat’s Cradle — may seem complex because of its very simplicity.

There is the future to think about, and all that comes with it.  One’s career, health and future security are all entangled within the strings that wrap around and throughout one’s life, but the question that remains is similar to the conundrum of a Cat’s Cradle — is it you who will make sure that the next design of strings will turn out “right”, or will you leave it up to the Federal Agency or the Postal Service to determine your future course of actions?

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is a complex administrative process —much like the tangle of strings in a Cat’s Cradle —but it is the simplicity of deciding that will make all the difference as to whether the next move will be a successful one.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire