FERS Medical Retirement: Mind/Body Distinction

Perhaps in other cultures, different civilizations, foreign philosophical foundations, the distinction was never made.

In the West, the “Cartesian model” — of Descartes’ alleged search for truth and the bifurcation between the “physical” universe and the “cognitive”, subjective phenomena; and, of course, the Freudian focus upon that inner consciousness and subconsciousness which further divides the objective from the subjective.

In the East (generally speaking, and of no geographical or geopolitical ascriptions of borders or boundaries), there never was a separation of the mind from the body, as the two were intimately and inseparably connected.  Tai Chi is based upon this concept, as are the martial arts (Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Karate, etc.).   The mind is considered as an extension of the body, and in reverse conceptual order, the body is merely part of the mind.

Whether the Mind/Body distinction itself is the culprit for so many ills in Western societies (of treating psychiatric conditions, as an example, as something separate from a physical manifestation of a condition), is a question left for science.

For Federal Government and Postal Service employees, however, who are contemplating the need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS system, the important thing to note is that applicable Federal law does not make a distinction between “mental” conditions as opposed to “physical” conditions.

Both are valid reasons to file for a Federal Disability Pension under FERS code, and this attorney always reminds OPM that under the case-law, there is no discrimination of validity between one or the other.

Contact a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in OPM Disability Law, and let not the Mind/Body distinction so prevalent in the West defeat a valid basis for an OPM Disability Retirement application under the FERS retirement system.

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: The Adversarial System

Commentators often note the proportional imbalance reflected by the number of lawyers in this country.  Is it s good thing?

One can argue (yes, the irony cannot be avoided, that we begin with an “argument” when discussing the “adversarial” system), of course, that the number of lawyers merely reflects the origin of Western Society — for, isn’t the foundation of Western Civilization based upon Greek Philosophy?  Specifically, isn’t the foundation of intellectual endeavors founded upon the “Socratic Method”, which is the precursor of legal argumentation?

The Adversarial System, at its core, is a dialectical methodology of attempting to arrive at “Truth” — or so it is supposedly intended.  In a vacuum, that is the context of the system; in truth (yes, that age-old irony, again), because there is involved human emotions, underlying subterfuges of intent, the pure “competitive” desire to sin, and the sheer motivation of simply wanting to defeat the other side — in the end, what the adversarial system lacks, in most instances, is the exact counterpoint and self-contradiction of the necessary context in order to make it work: Civility.

The Adversarial System, without the outer clothing of civility, merely becomes reduced to linguistic battle.  But that is the system which we are left with when — over decades and even centuries — the natural course of every and any legal system becomes barren with the coarseness of its skeletal foundations.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, under FERS, don’t get fooled by the admonition that this is merely an “administrative process”, and that OPM is merely an “umpire” to make sure that you have met the statutory criteria for eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement.

To be sure — even umpires don’t just call “balls and strikes”, but get into heated arguments with the players and, similarly, OPM is just as much a part of the adversarial system as in any other legal process.

Contact a FERS Medical Retirement Lawyer, that is, a legal expert who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that you have acquired the necessary arsenal to win the battle in this adversarial system of preparing, formulating and filing an effective application for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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 Disability Retirement: The Domino Theory

It was a theory adopted during the Cold War — embraced by those brilliant Harvard-educated policy wonks in the Kennedy Administration and beyond — believing that if one nation succumbed to the evils of communism, others would quickly fall like a perfectly aligned row of dominos.

A theory is perfectly fine to have; once applied in practice, however, it can have devastating consequences.  It was based upon such a theory that Vietnam was fought for — a backward country full of jungles and malaria, of which few Americans were even aware of its existence until thousands — then, tens of thousands — of young men began to die there.

Like other theories which once were embraced by intellectuals and “experts” whom everyone accepted as smarter than everyone else, such beliefs and those who once held them are now merely leftover vestiges of historical follies.  Once Vietnam fell, the rest of the world did not fall like the dominos they were supposed to represent.

We tend to forget that a theory is merely a thought put together in an antiseptic setting divorced from reality and, even if applied to the real world, may remain as nothing more than an academic exercise.  It may be nothing more than the “flat-earth theory”; one can believe in it, but it doesn’t make it true.

In other areas of life and practice, however, real-world consequences force people to actually respond in more practical ways.  There are “theories”, and then there are applications which have real-world consequences.  Vietnam was a prime example.  Having a theory that you are invincible and indestructible is one thing; walking in front of an oncoming bus to test such a theory — well, that is quite another matter.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management because of a medical condition, one may well have a “theory” that getting an OPM Disability Retirement is merely a matter of gathering one’s medical records and filling out those incomprehensible OPM Disability Standard Forms (SF 3107 Series and SF 3112 Series); but if you actually test out that theory, it is likely that you will end up with a denial from OPM.

Before testing out such a theory, however, you may want to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest your theory concerning the ease of getting a Federal or Postal Employee Disability annuity ends up like those other theories, like the Domino Theory of the forgotten past.

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 Help: The Periscope

It is an interesting object; and allows for a capability beyond the normal and direct human eyesight.  As an instrument used to observe, it allows for getting around obstacles which prevent direct line-of-sight observation, and in its more advanced invented forms, utilizing prisms and advanced fiber optics, can view the world and its intended object from a vantage point unobserved by the viewed.

These days, of course, with miniature cameras and microchip technology, perhaps the periscope is an anachronism.  The purpose, however, always remains the same: To gain information through observation, without being detected.

Federal employees who suffer from a medical condition often have to use the “periscope” approach — of gutting through each day at the expense of one’s own health; of smiling when the upturned lips should reveal a downturned frown or a grimace of pain; and all the while, the Federal Agency is saying you are doing a great job, your health deteriorates behind the periscope of unobserved medical conditions.

At some point, perhaps someone points to the “periscope” and says, “Are you okay?”  This is a rare instance.  Instead, more often than not, there comes a critical juncture in one’s life where the debilitating medical condition no longer allows for lack of observation, and that is the point when the periscope is seen, and everyone scratches their collective heads and declares: Yes, yes, it was obvious all along.

And that is the point when the Federal or Postal worker needs to consider filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in OPM Disability Retirement Law, and begin the process of seeing the world not through the vision of a periscope, but with your own wide and opened eyes.

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 Medical Disability Retirement under FERS: Messing Things Up

Can you mess things up without knowing it?  Absolutely.  Can you mess things up while knowing it?  Again, absolutely.

We have all been in that situation, haven’t we?  The latter context is always troubling — for, as we are engaged in the activity, we begin to have a sense that things are taking the proverbial “wrong turn”, and there is a growing, sinking feeling our involvement and participation in the endeavor plays a significant role in messing things up.

We begin to think up of excuses as to why what we did was less than harmful; we try and minimize our own ineptitude; we try and justify how it would have turned out that badly, anyway.  Or, as in the former context, our own ignorance allowed for the messing up of things and, while the period of ignorance delayed our knowledge (or lack thereof) concerning out active participation in messing things up, when we come to a point of knowledge, we suddenly realize that what we were doing (or not doing) played a major role in messing things up.

Filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS can end up this way: Messing things up by not knowing what to do, what laws to comply with, what criteria needs to be met; or, messing things up by submitting too much information, etc.

To prevent this, contact an OPM Disability Retirement Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law, and consider the consequences of messing things up.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement for U.S. Government Employees: Now, What?

The question or declarative can be stated in two ways — As a query for the next steps, or as an expression of exasperation directed towards a frustration of multiple things gone wrong.  Or of a third: A combination of both frustration and an effort to understand what the next steps are.

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, the declarative query, “Now, what?” is often heard throughout the process of suffering from the medical condition itself, as well as during the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

The medical condition itself can lead to further complications, and thus the expression as stated; the Agency’s response of callous disregard can be the basis for the exasperation stated; the complexity of the administrative process of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits can also be the origin and cause of frustration.  To minimize the trauma of the entire process, consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Employee Disability Retirement Law so that the next time you need to express the sentiment, “Now, what?” — you can do so by picking up the telephone and calling your attorney.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: The Performance Appraisal

It is the system that we have created, a monster which cannot be slain, and the machine that cannot be turned off.  We learn it from an early age — good grades are the foundation for a successful future, and if a teacher has the audacity to give you a lesser grade than what you believe you deserve, call that teacher — harass him or her; file a complaint; heck, file a lawsuit.

In the Federal employment system, performance reviews are often given out like candies — and such reviews can come back to make it appear as if there is nothing wrong.  Managers and supervisors are reluctant to give a “less than fully successful” rating, lest a grievance be filed or a headache ensues; but for the person whose performance has been suffering because of a medical condition which has begun to impact a person’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the reflection upon the record when a Federal Disability Retirement application has been filed may have to be dealt with.

The Office of Personnel Management tends to rely heavily — and unfairly — upon performance appraisals, but there is another legal standard which can be applied — that of incompatibility between one’s medical conditions and the positional elements of one’s job.

Consult with a Federal Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Medical Retirement Law and discuss the impact of one’s performance appraisal within the complex administrative procedure of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
OPM Medical Disability Attorney

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Choices and Regrets

The two go hand-in-hand, although we may not necessarily see them as unalterable couplets forever ensconced and inseparable. Instead, we often make choices, then afterwards, express our regrets without having learned from the process of “choice-making”.

Choices available are often unanalyzed and nebulous; left to appear, remain inert and ignored; the “active” part of a “choice” is when we engage in the act of “choice-making” — of engaging our minds with an inactive but available “something” — a choice there, but lifeless until the activation of our choosing invigorates the inertia of indecision.

Regrets, on the other hand, are comprised by the dust of past choices made. Once settled, they remain in the hidden caverns of forgotten memories until, one day or hour, or moment of quietude when we have the time to reflect back, the unsettling of the dust collected is stirred and rises from the ashes, like the mythological Phoenix that appears with wings spread and ready for flight into our imagination and stabbing at the vulnerabilities of our inner soul.

We regret that which we have chosen; and like the past that haunts, such regrets are ever so painful when once we recall the choices available and the ones we made.

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 and position, the next steps taken — of choices being made in whether and how to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits — are important in determining whether regrets will follow.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the choices to be made will result in regrets later recalled; for in the end, it is the choices that determine the future course of success, and not the regrets that harken back the past of lost opportunities.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: Reenactment

Among the various species, are we the only ones who engage in reenactments?  Isn’t living life itself enough?  Do we really have to live it all over again, except in a “reality-based” methodology of reenacting what once was?

What does it say about a species which attempts to recreate scenes, scenarios and historically arcane contexts; or even of the lonely teenager who revisits the place of his or her first love, to go over a moment shared barely a fortnight ago?  Or even of the theatre — of a play reenacted night after night; and of battles from decades and centuries ago where we already know the outcome but desire to relive the moments leading up to the end.  Then, there is the “crime scene reenactment” — of extracting from scant evidence and trying to comprehend how it happened in an effort to discover the “who” of the crime.

Why do we humans want to recreate painful memories?

For most, there are moments and issues which we would rather forget, but forgetting means that it is already in the past and we have the capacity and ability to leave it behind us.  Medical conditions have a tendency to resist such forgetting; they remain as a constant reminder of our own mortality and vulnerability, and though we would wish for such a history of misery to be left behind, the daily reenactment of scenes of struggle remain as a constant reminder of the cruelty of the world around us.

Federal Disability Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may not diminish the pain and constant reminders of our mortality, but it allows us to focus upon our health in order to move on with life.

Reenactment of scenes of encountering the daily adversarial and contentiousness of going to work; of the Federal Agency’s stubborn refusal to accommodate your medical condition; or of the medical condition itself which is a daily reenactment of life’s unfairness; these and many more reasons are why a Federal or Postal employee may take the important next step in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal OPM Disability Retirement application.

If you don’t want to repetitively view the reenactment of an endless struggle, contact an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider filing a Federal Disability Retirement application in order to get beyond the repetitive reenactment of the drama daily encountered with your Federal Agency or Postal Service.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

 

Legal Representation on Federal Disability Retirement Claims: The Privy

As a verb, it allows for sharing in information secretive within confidences kept closely held; as a noun, an antonym of sorts — of a most public facility where privacy is needed, but which everyone uses for the most common of needs — of a place where we relieve ourselves and perform bodily functions that redden our cheeks with shame when spoken about.

Are we privy to the intimate thoughts of friends and loved ones?  Do we ask where the privy is when in London, Tokyo or Idaho?  Of the last of the tripartite places so identified, the response might be: “What’s that, hon?”  Of the middle, it could likely be: “Nan desu-ka?”  Of the first, with a neat British accent or the melody of a cockney dialect: “My good chap, just around the corner over there!”

Confidential information or the toilet; how many words in the English language allows for such duality of meanings depending upon where the word is inserted into a sentence?

That is how Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition often feel about their situation when a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job: For years, like the noun because he or she was a “valuable asset” to the Federal Agency or the Postal Service, where all confidential details were passes by you and you were always “in the loop” of everything important going on within the agency; then, when the medical condition hit and you began to take some Sick Leave and perhaps even a spate of LWOP, you were relegated to being a “noun” — no longer privy to the inner workings of the Agency or the Postal Service, but merely a privy on the outskirts of town.

When that happens — when you are no longer a verb, but an outcast noun — then you know that it is time to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether you are under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, so that your place in the sentence of life will once again become an active verb, and not merely an outcast noun to be abandoned and forgotten in the grammar of vital living.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire