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.

 

OPM Medical Retirement: The Monotony of Familiarity

It is familiarity which defines monotony; the new brings about excitement; but while excitement may be a consequence of change, it is always that monotony of familiarity to which we return, for where our comfort resides, and to that we cling until necessity compels abandonment.  The new year; as if the continuum of the seasons has been altered.  The deer in the forest know not 2022; for them, the monotony of survival is an unbroken and timeless paradigm of life.

There are, of course, exceptions to human behavior — for some, a chaotic life of change and renewed excitement brings about an adrenal “high” which compels and feeds the need for further change; but for most of us, it is the life of drama which we tend to avoid, and we return to the old habits which provide the foundation for a quiet contentment where familiarity and monotony are the mainstay of comfort and habitual yawning.

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 monotony of familiarity often includes the medical condition itself — if only until you reach a critical juncture where it becomes apparent that the “familiar” (one’s job) can no longer remain consistent with the monotony (the chronic condition which one has come to accept as part of one’s life).

Federal Disability Retirement is a benefit available to all Federal and Postal employees under FERS who have met the minimal legal threshold of having 18 months of Federal Service.

Contact an OPM Disability Attorney in this New Year of change — one who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and make sure that the monotony of familiarity remains in your life of declining health.

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.

 

Federal OPM Disability Retirement Law under FERS: Humming Along

Or, perhaps a person who is “whistling along”; either way, it is an indication of contentment.  People don’t even seem to have the time to “hum along”, anymore.  One doesn’t do that on Social Media; there is never any time on Zoom; and when there is ever an encounter in a public place, everyone is too busy and in a rush to be “humming along”.

And so the phrase is left as a metaphorical anomaly — of a life in contented fashion, a sense of self-satisfaction which is rarely seen these days.  It was perhaps also a concept applied to a well-oiled engine — of a vehicle “humming along”, indicating that all mechanical elements were working properly, and there was no fear of a sudden breakdown.

We can “hum along” in life; where things are going fairly smoothly; there is a sense of contentment, and even moments of “happiness” as a byproduct of our accomplishments.  Medical conditions, of course, can disrupt that characterization; it is an unfortunate but very human element which impacts everyone’s life.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition is interrupting and impeding the “humming along” scenario, contact an OPM Medical Attorney who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law.

Humming along is a state of being; a medical condition can interfere with that sense of contentment; and where the collision occurs between one’s ability and capacity to continue in one’s Federal or Postal career, it may be time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Lawyer

 

Medical Retirement for Federal Government Employees: Lying

It is a peculiarly human endeavor, not known to be prevalent — if in existence, at all — in other species of the animal kingdom.  Shakespeare references it often; criminal behavior is detected within the web of it; and in everyday life, half of the population in courtrooms across the world engage in it; or, is that fair?  Can it be that there are “differing perspectives” or “alternative truths” (the lexicon of modernity)?

For instance, when an eye witness to an event swears under penalty of perjury that “I saw X stab Y” when, in a closed-circuit video replay, it clearly shows that it was Y who stabbed X — is the “eye witness” lying?  Is being mistaken the same as lying?  Or is it good enough that the prefatory qualifier of “I saw” enough to justify the mistaken encapsulation of an event having occurred?

Does intention matter?  Does it make a difference if, prior to making the statement under oath, revenge was a factor in one’s motive?  What if the eye-witness said to her/himself prior to taking the stand, “I’ll get X back for being mean to me by testifying that he stabbed Y first before getting stabbed himself”?

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 is often the case that — unfortunately — lying abounds when it comes to others in the agency filling out the Agency’s portion of a Federal Disability Retirement application.  Whether in stating that the Agency tried everything they could do in their power to “accommodate” a person — when the truth is, they did nothing and didn’t care to do anything — it is unfortunately a pervasive fact of life in the kingdom of man.

We are a species with a proclivity for lying, and the best we can do is to counter our own proclivities by trying to present the truth in as strong a light as possible.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: The sparrow

It is a bird that remains unappreciated — that generic entity which, when not identified by the wandering ornithologist, is simply referred to as a “sparrow”.  They are like the “default” bird, unassuming, pervasive, lost in the underbrush of time and history, and are taken for granted in their existence, presence and attraction — sort of like most of humanity.  One doesn’t hear the wandering bird-lover with his or her oversized binoculars strung heavily around a neck that is straining from a disc herniation from the sheer weight of the magnifying mechanism suddenly stop and declare loudly, “Look — a sparrow!”

People walk by throughout the cities of the world without ever noticing the thousands of such generically-forgotten creatures; those brown little blurs that fly about singularly or in large groups; flitting about, searching for sources of food, flooding the air with their chirping and fluttering.  But then, most of humanity is somewhat like the sparrow — in great numbers, never standing out from the rest, and merely trying to break out from the anonymity of life’s toil.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job duties, the sense that can remain as a “sparrow” of sorts becomes less of a possibility — but not because of any unique features that have suddenly been noticed by the plumes of one’s species; rather, you have suddenly been noticed and selectively chosen precisely because of the medical condition itself.

Suddenly, you have become the narrow focus of greater observation:  Leave Restrictions are imposed; your performance is reviewed with greater interest; harassment ensues; the magnifying glass of the Federal Agency or the Postal Service is upon you.

Once upon a time, the sparrow was flying about happily unnoticed, perhaps wishing to be a peacock, not knowing how fortunate it was to remain in the abyss of anonymity.  For the Federal or Postal worker, to be noticed can have some negative effects, and it may be time to begin to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, lest the sparrow that wished to be a peacock suddenly realizes the looming shadow of a predator overhead, bearing down rapidly to end the anonymity that was lost because of a medical condition.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement for Federal Government Employees: The Hub

It is the center of the universe; upon and around it, all things revolve.  The axle is attached to it; the spokes; the planets that circle about; the hub constitutes, represents and relates to all else by being the primary foundation from which all else is dependent and subservient.  And thus the phrase, “That’s the hub of it all, isn’t it?”  Or, is the idiom, “That’s the nub of it all” the true way of saying it?  If a person replaces the “h” for the “n”, and let’s say he or she has a strange inflection or accent, anyway, do we stop them and correct them?

Say two people are watching a show, and afterwards a discussion ensues as to the meaning of what one of the characters said or failed to say, and one says to the other, “That’s the hub of it all, isn’t it?”  The other turns and says, “You mean, that’s the NUB of it all, don’t you?”  The other pauses, reflects and retorts, “What’s the difference?”  Now it is the first one’s turn to pause, reflect and answer back, but what would be an appropriate answer?  While the true idiom or adage may well be the “nub” usage as opposed to the “hub” application, perhaps the other person was just being somewhat eccentric and creative.

Or, let’s say that you knew of the other person the following: When he was just a young boy, he lost his mother, whom he loved very much.  Her last words to him as she lay in bed suffering from tuberculosis was: “Now, remember Bobby, it is love — that is the … [and, here, she was overcome with a fit of uncontrollable coughing, and could not get the “n” out and instead, pulled herself together and said hoarsely] the hub of it all.”  And to this day, Bobby remembers his mother’s last words, and the slight difference of idiom used, and likes forever after to repeat the phrase, “That’s the hub of it all”.

Would you, knowing this, correct him on the misuse of the idiom?  And even if you didn’t know the history of such misusage, why correct something when the underlying meaning remains the same?  Isn’t “hub” a synonym for “nub”, and vice versa?

In life, we too often focus upon the spokes of the wheel, and not the hub; or, put another way, we walk right past the nub of a matter and become too easily distracted by tangential, irrelevant or insignificant obfuscations.  But life is too short to aim at the spokes of the matter instead of the hub, nub or essence of it all.

For Federal and Postal employees who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition is beginning to prevent the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal job, just remember that there are certain things in life that cannot be ignored — like one’s health.

If one’s health is deteriorating and the Federal or Postal job is contributing to that deterioration, what is more important?  What is the hub of the matter?  What essence of life’s priorities are more important?  Identify the nub — and proceed on to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, so that you can focus upon the hub or nub of the matter, which and whatever, so long as it points to the essence and not the spoke.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Sorrow behind the facade

How do we know a person’s sorrow?  Of other emotions, we question and retain suspicions, but why is sorrow placed on a separate plane, untouchable and abandoned as sincere despite warranted evidence to the contrary?  Of love, we question constantly — as to sincerity, whether fidelity has been maintained and preserved; of joy or happiness, daily do we self-analyze and evaluate; but of sorrow — once the tears pour forth upon the event learned and considered, there are few who doubt for fear of being tarred as the cynic who had no feelings or remorse.

There are instances — of an unnamed president who purportedly was seen joking and laughing on his way to the funeral, but suddenly turned dour and despondent in facial expression once recognition was noted of cameras filming and spectators observing; or perhaps there are relatives who are known to have hated a deceased kin, but arrived at the funeral out of obligation and duty; of those, do we suspect a less-than-genuine sorrow?  Is it because sorrow must by necessity be attached to an event — of a death, an illness, an accident, or some other tragedy that we consider must necessarily provoke the emotional turmoil that sorrow denotes?  But then, how do we explain the other emotions that are suspected of retaining a facade and a reality beneath — again, of love and happiness?

Medical conditions, especially for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, are somewhat like the sorrow behind the facade.  Few will openly question it — whether because to do so is simply impolite or impolitic — but some will suspect as to its validity, especially when self-interest is at stake.  The declaration, “Is there a malingerer within our midst?” will never be openly spoken.  For, what is the evidence — excessive use of SL, AL or LWOP; frequent doctor’s appointments; inability to maintain the level of productivity previously known for; lack of focus and concentration at meetings; inability to meet deadlines, etc.

For others, these are harbingers of irritants that delay and impact the agency as a whole; for the Federal employee or Postal worker suffering from the medical condition, they are the symptoms and signs beneath the brave facade that is maintained, in order to hide the severity of the medical condition in a valiant effort to extend one’s career.  There comes a time, however, when the reality of the medical condition catches up to the hidden truth beneath the facade, and once that point is reached, it is time to prepare, formulate and file 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.

In like manner, the sorrow behind the facade is similar to the medical condition in and around the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service — both may be real, but it is the “proving” of it before OPM that is the hard part.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The complex simplified

Ultimately, that is the reason why we hire experts in a particular field.  Life has advanced with such complexity that everything has become particularized into specialized fields where focus upon a subject becomes narrower and narrower.

The days of former times when the neighborhood doctor came and made house visits with his black leather bag are no longer existent; instead, we go to the doctor’s office, and only then to be referred to countless and whatever other specialists for further consultation and diagnosis.  The “general practitioner” is merely the gatekeeper; once inside the gate, there are multiple other doorways that must be approached, entered, and traveled through a maze of further developments of referrals until the “right one” is finally connected to.

Law has become the same as medicine; no longer can one simply hang up one’s shingle and “practice” law in every generality; rather, the legal field has become such a conundrum of complexity that the best approach is to first understand what legal issue needs to be addressed, then to locate a lawyer who specializes in that particular field of law.  From the lawyer’s perspective, it is a job of taking the complex and simplifying it such that the layman can comprehend the issues at hand, the approach that will be taken, and the resolution offered.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the 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, the issue is encompassed by the developing need to think about the future and to adjust and adapt to whatever benefits are offered for the Federal or Postal employee in such circumstances.

The benefit of “Federal Disability Retirement” is not often even known by Federal or Postal employees to exist.  However, whether under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is certainly an option to be considered.  It is, however, a complex administrative process where adequate and sufficient medical documentation must be gathered, where certain key elements and points of law must be addressed, and if it is not carefully formulated, can have dire legal consequences without careful review and processing.

As with so many things in life, having a legal representative advocate for your case becomes a necessity where the complex is simplified, but where simplification does not mean that it is simple –merely that it is indeed complex but needs to be streamlined so that it is cogent, comprehensible and coherent in its presentation, substance and submission.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire