OPM Disability Retirement: The U.S. Department of Health & Human Sacrifice

Does modernity reflect progress?  And, more to the point, by whose definition do we apply the standard of “progress”?  Does mere movement or change constitute advancement, or do we fool ourselves by the proverbial content of shuffling the chairs on the deck of a sinking ship?  Each generation believes fervently that the previous one represents an archaic mode of static thought and stale fashions, and that youth itself somehow supersedes the necessity for any generational transfer of wisdom or insight.

In former times, certain societies would offer the best and the beautiful as human sacrifice to the gods of fate, in order to please, appease and gain favor.  In current times, we do the same, but cheat the gods by offering less than the healthy ones, and instead give to the winds of fate the decrepit, deteriorating and destroyed individuals who no longer contribute fully to society, thinking that by shedding ourselves of the rabble and remains of shorn vestiture, the favor of formidable fate will be attained for future payment in place of delayed gratification.  Why is it that health and human sacrifice have become terms of mutual exclusivity?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, the Department of Health and Human Sacrifice has become the largest entity of bureaucratic morass, employing more people than all other agencies combined.  It is the place where “health” is disregarded, and while lip service is paid to “accommodations” and those with disabilities, the reality of it is that such Federal and Postal workers are thrown down over the cliff as fodder for human sacrifice.

Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition no longer allows for fully embracing all of the essential elements of the positional duties required by the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service, know well that the Department of Health and Human Sacrifice exists for them.  Whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the relegation to this last bastion for infidels is the secret of modernity, kept in whispers where corridors of power and privacy prevail before being pushed down the chute of despair.

The only escape from such fated sacrifice is neither a replacement lamb nor a plan of refuge, but to prepare, formulate and file for an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  For, the Department of Health & Human Sacrifice was created under the guise of protecting the general public, when in fact its very existence is to advance the horrors as told by a generation of Orwellian drones; but, then, that is from a previous generation no longer relevant to current residents of modernity.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Long, Longer & Longest View

I have often spoken of the need to take the “long-term” view in filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS & CSRS — both in terms of having patience for the inherently long process in terms of time, as well as in terms of preparing a case for not just the First Stage of the process, but further, for the second Reconsideration Stage, as well as for an Appeal to the Merit Systems Protection Board.  This “long-term” view is meant to prepare a potential applicant for what it means to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits; to not be overly concerned if you are denied at the first, or even the second stage of the process; and to be prepared financially to weather the “long haul”.  In short, it is meant to prepare the potential applicant for the long, and longer, view of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. 

It is also necessary, however, to prepare one’s self for the “longest” view — that of maintaining and keeping safe the disability retirement benefits once it is approved — by preparing to be randomly selected every two years or so with a periodic “review” with a Medical Questionnaire.  The Medical Questionnaire is an innocuous looking form, asking for an “update”, and giving you 90 days to respond.  Be cautious.  Be aware.  Take it seriously.  Don’t wait for the 89th day to begin responding to it.  None of my clients who have gotten his or her Federal Disability Retirement benefits has ever lost it; people who have gotten Federal Disability Retirement benefits on their own and have later lost the benefit, have come to me to regain it; I have been successful in recovering the benefit, in every case.  However, it is not always easy — if only because the disability annuitant initially thought that it was an “easy-looking” form.  Preparation for the “longest view” begins not upon receipt of the Medical Questionnaire; it begins at the very, very beginning — when one first decides to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

CSRS & FERS Disability Retirement: Viewing the Office of Personnel Management

Agencies are “like” people; they are “organic” organizations (a redundancy?), and as a corporate-like entity, they respond and react as people do:  cerebrally, emotionally, reactively, angrily, etc.  If one views an agency in this way — treating the entity as one would a person — then you will often get the same or similar results as when dealing with your brother, a spouse, or a neighbor.  And, indeed, as a logical approach, this only makes sense, because agencies and organizations are made up of people. 

Thus, when filing an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, it is often important to think of “incentives” in approaching the Office of Personnel Management, to make every effort to have a carrot/stick approach in filing a disability retirement application.  The “stick” part of it, of course, is the law — the threat of making sure that OPM knows that you will be willing to go the full course — to the Merit Systems Protection Board, to the Full Board Appeal, to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.  If OPM denies your case and they get it reversed at the appellate level, it makes them “look bad”.  That is the stick to hold over them — the force of the law.  The carrot part of it is to streamline it and make it as easy as possible by obtaining a clear and concise medical report.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

CSRS & FERS Disability: The Disabled Federal and Postal Worker

As with most attorneys, I try to maintain an appearance of detached professionalism. It is my job to provide sound legal advice; to guide the client/disability retirement applicant with logical argumentation, rational perspective, and legal foundations as to the strength or weakness of a case, and to guide my client over obstacles, around legal landmines, and through the briars and thickets of “the law”. I try to remain aloof from the inherent emotionalism which arises from the human story of my clients, because not to do so would be to defeat the essence of why a client hires me: to maintain and retain an objective perspective, in order to provide the best legal advice possible. However, to maintain that wall of professionalism is not always possible.

The human story of the Federal and Postal employee is indeed one of encompassing a juggernaut of loyalty, professionalism, dedication, hard work, and the driving force behind and undergirding the economic might of the United States. Yes, of course the United States is built upon the economic principles of the free market system of the private sector; but the services which the government provides are not accomplished by some faceless or nameless entity; each such service — from the letter carrier through “rain, sleet or snow”, to the Special Agents who investigate and put criminals behind bars; from the border patrol agents who guard our security, to the IT Specialist who safeguards our internet viability — is provided by a competent and dedicated worker. That is why I am often humbled by my clients; because, truth be known, the disability retirement applicants who come to me have come to a point with his or her medical condition, where there is no other choice. It is never a question of dedication or hard work; the Federal and Postal Worker has already proven his or her dedication and hard work through the decades of service provided, prior to coming to me.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire