OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Pariah

The irony is that some in the universe of bloggers and ceaseless appearances on the Internet consider that the word itself should be cast out of the sphere of daily lexicon usage; the word itself is considered a pariah, and therefore is treated as such.

Yet, words in and of themselves have no meaning; Wittgenstein is correct in positing that the concept of a “private language game” known exclusively to a single individual is nonsensical — literally — precisely because “meaning” is imported by the manner in which a word or sentence is communicated between two or more individuals, and the purpose and motive by which it is applied.

A pariah is an outcast, and there are many in the world who are treated as such.  Whatever its historical origins or derivative usage which have engendered insult or resulted in a connotation of disparagement, the problem is not in the word itself but in the motive behind its application.  The word itself is actually quite descriptive and describes accurately the manner in which many individuals in society are treated.  Expungement of the word would indeed be a great loss.

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 treatment of such individuals as a “Pariah” aptly describes how they are looked upon.

Consult with a Federal Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and see whether or not you might qualify for a Federal Disability Retirement annuity so that you can escape from the designation of a “pariah” and move forward in a life where you are treated as an equal, and not as an outcast.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement from the OPM: Careful Planning

Is there any other type?  Do we ever plan, but do it carelessly?  Or, is it a redundancy to ascribe any planning as being “careful”?  Another question, of course, is the manner in which we determine the basis of such planning; i.e., is it only a retrospective judgment that is made after the fact?  In other words, do we ascribe the designated title of “careful planning” only after things have gone smoothly, and that of “careless planning” when things have not?

When the boss pats you on the shoulder and says, “Good job” and you turn and smugly respond, “Well, it’s just a matter of careful planning,” is such a response appropriate only because things had turned well?  And when it does not, do you just say: “Well, despite careful planning, there were some unforeseen circumstances that arose and all we can do is to counter them as best we can”?

There is, of course, such an animal as “careless planning” — where one has engaged in the motions of planning a future course of events, but has not taken the time to think it through, plan alternative avenues for “handling a potential conflict”, or otherwise did not meticulously prepare for the upsides and downsides of potential difficulties.  And that is the key, isn’t it — to consider the options, take into account the possibilities, and to plan accordingly?

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 position, careful planning in the preparation, formulation and submission of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is a “must”.

We all engage in retrospective confirmation of our actions, and the single telling factor of careful planning in a Federal Disability Retirement application is when you receive an “approval” from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Of course, when dealing with a Federal bureaucracy, a denial does not necessarily mean that careful planning was not engaged in, but merely that further planning and careful consideration must be given in order to battle with, and prevail, against OPM.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to formulate the plans which will be most effective in obtaining your disability retirement benefits from OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement under FERS: Balancing the Unfair Advantage

It is the advantage itself — whether by one side or of the other — which creates an imbalance to occur, and it is thus the greater weight on either side defines and constitutes the unfairness of it all.  A weighted scale; a pair of loaded dice (it was once the case that such a phrase — “pair of dice” — was unnecessary, because the singular of “dice” was die, and to identify ”dice” was to necessarily state the obvious that it was a pair; but in Modern Standard English, the word “dice” now represents both the singular as well as the plural; but we digress); a biased referee; a bribed umpire — do these all have something in common?

No, this is not an IQ Test (remember those questions where you are given a series of words and you had to either choose the one that would fit into the same category or exclude the one that was a misfit?), but it does symbolize the state of affairs in so much of life.

Where unfairness abounds, it is often the concealed aspect which tips the balance in favor of one side or another.  Thus do politicians allow for silent exceptions within the detailed language of legislation; undeclared biases determine advantages otherwise unidentified; insider information gives the unfair advantage to stock traders and members on financial boards and subcommittees; and the team which steals the rubric of the other’s signals and signs gains the advantage both in predicting future behaviors and battles.

In law, who has the unfair advantage?  Is it the entity who fails to explicitly define the criteria which determines success?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, just remember that filing a Federal Disability Retirement application guarantees nothing.

The legal criteria inherent in the process; the administrative procedures which must be advanced; the supporting documentation that must be submitted; the answers on standard forms which must be completed — these are all within the purview of knowledge by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and is not easily comprehended by the unwary applicant. Seek the counsel and guidance of a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and begin to balance the unfair advantage that OPM naturally and already possesses.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Recognition

At some point in one’s life, there is a recognition that a “gap” has been established between the dreams of one’s youth, the expectations of reality embraced in adulthood, and the lack of achievement one has attained in the final stages of one’s life.  It need not be a final moment of a gestalt-like profundity, where we suddenly realize with a declarative “Aha!” at some critical juncture in our life; rather, it can be a subtle realization over time, concluding with an expectation of acceptance, or of bitterness towards life’s unfairness.

Life is, indeed, unfair.  Two people can toil and sweat at one’s work and have starkly differing results.  One may become very wealthy; the other, constantly struggling just to live from paycheck to paycheck; and yet, the extent of cognitive or physical effort expended by each may be of little difference.  One may counter: It is not the effort expended, but rather, the value of the product or service offered.  But even that is not quite true, is it?

The classic example is the pay scale of a teacher — irrefutably of greater value than the sale of vehicles or mink coats, yet of relatively paltry return.  One never hears of a wealthy teacher; one hears of wealth attained through frivolous services based upon an idea engineered in the basement or garage of a computer whiz-kid.

Recognition is an important crossroads; of the disparity between what one expected and what one has achieved; of determining early on what is of value, of how one defines “success” as opposed to “failure”; and of resisting the idea that all of youth’s folly must be realized in order to be deemed a success, leaving aside whether success itself must be narrowly defined by a person’s pocketbook contents.

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, there is often a necessary prerequisite of a recognition that one’s Federal or Postal career is over.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS is not, however, a recognition that one will never achieve or attain what one originally set out to do; rather, it is a recognition that there is life after a Federal or Postal career, and that the medical condition has merely revealed an incompatibility between one’s Federal or Postal position and the medical condition that one never asked for, but a reality with which one must deal with — a recognition itself that is an important first step.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: Intolerable conditions

We all have a threshold of tolerance; it is, in the end, a spectrum and a range which cannot be generalized.  The MRI that reveals degenerated tissue or organic dysfunctioning may parallel the pain experienced, but it does not determine the level of tolerance for any given individual.  Yet, while thresholds may vary, there is a limit to human toleration, and the question for each individual is: At what point do conditions reach the limit of my tolerance, and do I wait until I reach that ceiling, or is it then too late to have waited so long?

Most people wait until the intolerable conditions reach a critical juncture.  That is the rub of the matter — that, yes, human beings possess a great tolerance for the intolerable, but the further question that is too often missed, is: Should we?  Is it healthy to?  And: What damage is incurred by resisting the warning signs that our bodies and minds give such that we reach beyond those warning triggers and milestones of caution, and when we get beyond them, we leave them behind as sirens which have faded and been forgotten?

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 intolerable conditions which have erupted often includes: Increasing harassment from one’s Federal Agency and the Postal Service; exhaustion of SL, AL and FMLA; dealing with the medical condition itself; the failure of coworkers and managers to empathize or understand; the stress that is placed on personal relationships because of the deteriorating conditions in the workplace; the loss of stability; the increasing loss of livelihood, etc.

Any one of these, or all in combination, create those intolerable conditions, and when it becomes apparent that the proverbial rubber band that has held the whole together is about to snap, then it is time — beyond the time, maybe — to prepare an effective FERS Disability Retirement application, to be filed through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Medical Retirement under FERS: Castles in the air

Is it the same idea as Cervantes’ Don Quixote who charges at the wind mills?  Or of Don McLean’s soulful lyrics when he wrote, “And if she asks you why you can tell her that I told you, That I’m tired of Castles in the Air.”?

Is there a difference between dreams and visions realized, and those that remain as castles in the air?  Are such unrealized castles merely the childish remnants that were left behind within the bundled laughter of grown-ups who saw the folly of youth, or are they they vestiges of frustrations discarded because, when we “grow up”, we realize that reality doesn’t quite share the optimism of youth’s unfettered vision?

Whatever the origin, wherever the spark, it is important to preserve a semblance of a dream, even if never realized.  The “dungeon” is its antonym, where all such dreams drain because the lowest point of any location is where the water flows and the desolation of a desert abounds.

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, it may well be that castles no longer exist in the air or elsewhere; that the medical condition itself has become the “reality” that one must deal with, and castles — in the air, on the ground, or somewhere far away — is a luxury one cannot afford to even consider.

And filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management may be the farthest thing from childhood dreams of what you saw yourself achieving; but in the end, it is the best option available precisely because it frees you from the workplace harassment, embarrassment and resentment where work is no longer compatible with your medical conditions; and as for those castles in the air?

They may still be there once you can focus upon and regain your health; for it is the dream even unrealized that allows for human creativity to spawn and spread, but the pain of a chronic medical condition is what makes of us all the Don Quixote who charges at harmless windmills.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire