Tag Archives: va employee disability retirement attorney

Postal & Federal Disability Retirement: Sufficiency

Sufficiency is the area of opinion and dispute and reaches just beyond the more certain standard of necessity.  X may be necessary , but is it sufficient?

In a basketball game, it may be necessary to play defense, but is it sufficient?  For, if you prevent the opposing team from scoring, but your own team fails to score any points, you may have satisfied one necessary aspect of the game but simultaneously have failed to sufficiently satisfy another, integral aspect — that of offensive scoring of points.

Similarly, in a legal case, while you may meet the necessary formal requirements to win a case, the question remains open as to the sufficiency of the evidence to persuade a jury as to the size of a compensatory award, or whether it was persuasive enough to cast sufficient doubt in the jury’s mind.

Necessity thus becomes the minimal satisfaction whereas sufficiency is the battleground where leeway is given as to whether the quality or quantity satisfies the extent beyond the minimum criteria met.

In a Federal Disability Retirement case under the FERS system, this is the area where the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will focus upon in denying a FERS Disability Retirement case.  They will make such generalized statements as, “While we do not dispute the existence of your health conditions, there was insufficient documentation to establish that you are disabled from performing the essential elements of your position.”

How does one rebut OPM’s argument from insufficiency?  Is it a qualitative or quantitative insufficiency?

That is the question and area of law where it becomes an art form more than a science, and only experience and years of knowledge can discern the underlying requirement needed.  There is no one “right” answer.  Sometimes, faxing to OPM a voluminous amount of treatment records is the only way to meet the “sufficiency” test, but more often than not, it is the quality of a medical report prepared by the treating doctor which is the only means of satisfying the sufficiency criteria.

As with all things in life, areas of dispute rarely have a single answer, precisely because the very nature of disputation involves issues that reach just beyond the point of certitude.

Thus, in responding to the question of sufficiency, you may want to contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and who has the experience and background in addressing the issues of sufficiency beyond mere necessity.

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 from OPM: Objectivity

In the West, the traditional approach is to be far removed and dispassionate in attempting to attain that level of acceptable discernment.  If there is even a whiff of personal involvement, a suspicion of a self-serving motive, or some indication of emotional application, the revered status of objectivity comes into question.

For some unknown reason, the label “To be objective” must ignore and minimize all that is preternaturally human.  A Kantian would argue that objective knowledge is a goal inherently impossible to achieve, precisely because we possess only subjective capabilities and impose our worldview upon everything we analyze, evaluate and assess.

To that extent, it becomes a mere tautology, for if we are incapable of reaching beyond  ourselves, then there would be no point in even trying.  But try we do, and in the Western Philosophical tradition, we employ devices such as Logic, the Socratic method of endless self-examination, and a touch of mystical fairy dust sprinkled as “objective analysis”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who submit a Federal Disability Retirement Application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under the FERS system, the argument for objectivity is often refuted by OPM based upon a “lack thereof”.  OPM will argue that the “pain” one experiences, or the emotional impact from psychiatric conditions, is “purely subjective” and is therefore invalid as a basis for approving a FERS Disability Retirement application.

This, too, is a circular, tautological argument, precisely because ‘pain’ by definition, is always subjective.  Yet, that is not what the applicable law concerning the established legal criteria of proving a FERS Disability Retirement case holds, and despite OPM knowing this, they will systematically ignore the applicable laws governing FERS Disability Retirements.

In order to rebut OPM’ s baseless charge that your Federal Disability Retirement case lacks objectivity, contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in the practice area of OPM Disability Retirement Law, and successfully refute the fallacy of objectivity or the lack thereof.

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: Empathy: What it Says About Us

In a recent Wall Street Journal Article, there was a story about 3 people who died — of professional individuals who had purchased cocaine, but where the “product” was tainted with fentanyl and perhaps some other deadly additives.

Why was it so difficult to feel a sense of empathy for these people?  The fact that they all seemed “privileged” — of having good jobs, being young and having all of the alleged “appearance” of having social, professional and financial advantages — seems to come into play.  The judgment we make is: It was their “choice” to buy the drugs, to take them, to understand the chance they were taking, and so….

Yet, how are they any different, substantively, from the child who grows up in the “projects” and is daily surrounded by drug dealers, criminals and bad parenting?  What is the substantive difference between the two?  Why do we have empathy for the child who grows up with disadvantages and succumbs to them, but not for the ones who seemingly have all of the advantages in life, and yet, squanders them and descends to the level of those who have always been without?

Empathy is a funny animal; and moreover, it probably says something about us when we show it for some, feel it for others, and yet for those “others” — none at all.  Which is a lesson for Federal and Postal employees who suffer from an injury or disease, and who have shown a sense of loyalty to their Federal Agency or Postal Unit for many years, and expect to find some sympathy when they file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under the FERS system.

Perhaps you believe that you will receive some modicum of empathy from your Agency or Postal Service.  Don’t.  And when you do not, don’t begin ruminating about it; for, in the end, it says something about your Agency, and not about yourself.

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: 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.

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Annoyance or Irritant

They are both nouns, but the difference is one of perspective — of the view or angle from which it is felt, experienced, encountered or received.

To that end, it encapsulates the dichotomy between subjective and objective; for, the former normally refers to one’s subjective experience, the state of being or the sensation the “subject” experiences; while the latter refers to a substance — an “object” out there in the world outside of our internal, subjective sensations — which causes discomfort or a phenomena of displeasure.

An irritant may cause an annoyance, and an annoyance can be an irritant, and it is the classic distinction between the “inside” as opposed to the “outside” experience.  We can refer to certain chemicals, cleaning fluids and the like as irritants, but we normally do not declare that they constitute an annoyance; although, the linguistic lines are not so strict as to prevent a person from saying, for example, “That woman’s perfume is somewhat of an annoyance”.

On the other hand, one might refer to someone’s constant manner of clearing his or her throat in mid-sentence as an “annoyance”, but because it does not directly impact one’s own physical well-being, such a quirk is likely not referred to as an “irritant”, although one may use the adjective form of the word and confide that the person’s manner is “irritating”.

In the end, the two words are somewhat similar in meaning but reveal their differences from the aspect of perspective — of whom, or from where.

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 basic elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, it is important to understand and appreciate the distinction which the U.S. Office of Personnel Management often makes between “objective” evidence and “subjective” evidence.

OPM will often twist and misapply the law, and make you think that certain medical evidence deemed “subjective” are like second-class citizens and less than credible, and will insist that only “objective” evidence is acceptable.  Don’t let OPM fool you.

Contact a FERS Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and let not the ignorance of the law defeat your quest to obtain an approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and don’t let the word-games irritate or annoy you.

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 Disability Retirement under FERS: The Bellwether

It is the leading sheep of the flock, graced with a bell on its neck in order to establish its role for the others; or, in more colloquial parlance, the predictor or indicator of something.

Thus, a red sky may be the bellwether of a coming storm (not being a seaman, one forgets whether it is the night or morning sky which is the predictor).  If one is superstitious, a cracked mirror or the unexpected crossing of a black cat is likely a bellwether of something — although, in modernity, perhaps the anachronisms no longer apply.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition no longer allows the Federal or Postal employee to continue in his or her Federal or Postal job, the question of a bellwether is appropriate.

Under FERS Disability Retirement laws, one must be able to show that a medical condition will last a minimum of 12 months.  One does NOT have to wait the 12 months in order file; merely, that a doctor can, within reasonable medical probability, “predict” or provide a prognosis that a medical condition will last for at least that long.

Most Federal and Postal workers “know” from the start whether or not a medical condition will last a minimum of 12 months; such a bellwether is not rocket science, but more of an intuition established by one’s sense of one’s own health.

Contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and see whether the bellwether rings for the pathway towards an early medical retirement under FERS.

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.

 

Postal & Federal Employee Disability Benefits: Consider the Alternatives

It is a cognitive activity which we must all do — or, at the very least, which is forced upon us even when we don’t want to.  It is interesting how some people are simply unable to engage in the mental process of such consideration — whether because they were never “taught” how to sequentially weigh and prioritize, or because the “making” of the decision puts too great a finality upon one’s life.

In either case, it is often necessary to consider the alternatives, then to make a decision, then to act upon the decision.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the foundational basis in coming to a decision to file for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS, through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, consist of a 3-fold question:  How is my health?  Can I make it to “regular retirement”?  If I continue in my present circumstances, will my health suffer such that if I make it to regular retirement, I will not be able to enjoy it?

In the end, considering the alternatives is a matter of prioritizing one’s life — of health versus work, of now versus the future, of values versus things, etc.  To become better informed in order to properly consider the alternatives, contact an OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and take that information in making the proper decision for your life, your future, and the alternatives which you may not even know about.

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.