FERS Disability Law: The MSPB and Consistency of Argumentation

Is it even important, anymore?  Lawyers, of course, are notorious for making alternate arguments, presenting to a Judge or a Jury different explanations, alternative legal theories and justifications, often within the span of a single sentence, and even sometimes contradicting each other.

It is only when the contradiction occurs within the confines of a single theory that the Judge may say, “Wait, counsel — hoooooold on there!  Are you trying to argue X and Not-X at the same time?”  The answer by the clever lawyer: “No, your honor, I am merely pointing out that X could be, and Not-X is also credible, leaving my client to appear not only as an innocent bystander but, moreover, a not-guilty one as well!”

In some forums, that may hold; but in a Federal Disability Retirement case, the only way that inconsistency of argumentation works is when an OPM Medical Specialist says so.  OPM denies cases systematically without any regard to consistency of argumentation.  This is because there is no accountability at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  They can review a case, deny it, and it is out of the hands of the Medical Specialist who made the decision.

Then, at the Reconsideration Stage, a completely different Medical Specialist will make a brand new determination, based upon his or her own perspective and viewpoint, and it need not have any consistency of argumentation with the previous decision.

Fortunately, however, when it goes before an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, Consistency of Argumentation becomes an important factor.  For, that is one of the primary basis upon which an MSPB Federal Disability Retirement case is lost — when consistency of argumentation based upon the evidence becomes questionable.

Inconsistency is the downfall of most cases at the MSPB; consistency — even with less than adequate evidence of a compelling nature — will often overcome much, and win the case.  The one thing that Administrative Law Judges at the MSPB dislike above all else: Inconsistency in testimony, Inconsistency in evidence, and Inconsistency in the closing argument of an attorney.

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 Disability Retirement: The Law and Modernity

Recent Supreme Court decisions have, at the very least, engendered interest among the non-lawyer population of this country.  The concept of “stare decisis” — of the legal principle of determining points in litigation according to establish precedent — has been turned upside down and cast aside.  Is this a good thing?

Furthermore, there are now grumbles that recently-appointed justices “lied” to senators during their confirmation hearings, but no lawyer believes that such a charge can rise to the level of perjury.  Why?  Because if you ask a lawyer the question, “Do you agree that case-X is established law?” — the answer will always have 2 parts; first, the stated part: “Yes, it is established law and therefore should not be overturned.”

Then, the second, “unstated” and “silent” part — “Unless, of course, I find that when I am on the bench and a new case comes before me, that I find case-X to be unconstitutional, in which case I have no choice but to reverse and overturn the precedent.”

And so the law is as elastic as the best gymnasts qualifying for the Olympics.  Why the great hubbub?  Because society relies upon precedents, because precedents — whether you agree with them or not — provide a foundation of stability and reliability.

It would be as if a Federal Circuit Court Judge were to find all precedents on FERS Disability Retirement to be wrongly decided, and reversing every one of them.  Now, that would be a disaster.

Fortunately, that is unlikely to happen, and so, for Federal and Postal employees who have found it necessary to begin the process of initiating the Federal Disability Retirement application process, you may want to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, where the Law and Modernity still rely upon the stability of stare decisis.

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 Attorney Help: The Paralysis of Indecision

There is, on the one hand, an approach of charging forth with a decision; on the other, a more contemplative manner of considering the options, letting various arguments be heard, then taking into account the pros and cons and coming to a deliberative conclusion and decision.

Such differing approaches often reflect the personality of the decision-maker; and, of course, between the two extremes on a spectrum of decision-making approaches, there are various “middle-ground” ways.

One often hears about the need for “decisive” action, where such an approach is often viewed as more effective and enveloped with great confidence.  Military responses are often characterized by the “charge forth” approach, whereas political expediency is too often reflected in the long and tiresome “consideration of all sides” approach.

In the end, whether one takes a lengthy, deliberative approach in making a decision, or immediately issues a definitive command to perform a deed, it is the paralysis of indecision which fails to abide.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service 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 paralysis of indecision often comes about because of the hope for recovery of one’s health.

And that is often a good thing.  Hope springs eternal, but when the reality of one’s medical condition becomes chronic and never-ending, the paralysis of indecision merely exacerbates and worsens.

Contact a disability attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and do not allow the paralysis of indecision to keep you stuck in the quicksand of your medical condition.

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 Retirement from the OPM: Knowing the Issues

Without that knowledge, you are going into the arena of legal battle in a blind state, at a disadvantage, and with a high susceptibility of being defeated.  Not knowing what the issues are is like engaging in a frontal assault without having first scouted the position of the enemy — their strength; the terrain; the weapons they possess; their numbers; what fortifications they have established, etc.

You can take a shotgun approach — of guessing at what potential issues may arise — and address them with generalizations and attempted musings of preemptive arguments, but if you don’t know what the issues are, how will you specifically address them, even in a prefatory manner?

In preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS, it is important to not only know what the issues are, but to address them in a preemptive way by citing the case-laws which apply.  Each OPM Disability Retirement case has general case-law citations which are always applicable — Bracey v. OPM, for instance.  But then there are specific case-law citations which should be tailored to the unique circumstances of your individual case.

That is why consulting and hiring an effective OPM Disability Lawyer who specializes in FERS Disability Retirement Law is important — so that you do not engage OPM blindly, but with a full view of what you are facing, the issues which need to be addressed, and the confidence that you have given yourself the best chance at success.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Federal & Postal Disability Lawyer

 

FERS Disability Retirement: Vanishing Point

It was a 1971 movie that had a cult following, about a drug-addicted war hero wagered to transport a high-powered vehicle within a specified period of time from point A to point B.  Whether the story had a discernibly rational plot or not was beside the point; the story entertained, and we gleaned from it whatever points we read into it.

That is probably one of the primary reasons why the movie gained in such popularity: people argued as to the “meaning” of the move and its ending, all the while never realizing that there was never a single answer.

Life is often like that, and perhaps that is why the movie itself gained so much attention.  The meaning we demand from our own lives is often a matter of our own lack of imagination; we ask too much of concepts which have too little to give.  As one of the character’s father stated in a Woody Allen movie, How can one know about the greater questions of the universe when “I can’t even get the can opener to work”?

For Federal and Postal employees who need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the “vanishing point” may differ from person to person.  What you do not want to do, however, is to let the Agency or the Postal Service to determine the timing, nature, place and context of the “vanishing point” of your career.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and take control of your own “vanishing point” before a cult following you don’t even know about, develops behind your back.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Dismal

At the outset, you realize that something is wrong with the caption.  Not being a noun, the space following demands the question, “The dismal what?”  Adjectives require it; we all learned about them in grade school (if that is even taught, anymore) about grammar, and how they “modify” the noun.  It cannot stand alone.  It is a peculiar adjective, isn’t it?  It is one that cannot modify a noun except in a negative way.

Others can be modifiers but can themselves become altered by the mere fact of relational influence.  For example, one may refer to the “beautiful ugliness” of a landscape, and understand by it that the contrast between the two modifies one another.  But with the adjective “dismal’, it seems never to work. Whatever noun it stands beside; whatever word that it is meant to modify; in whichever grammatical form or content — it stands alone is a haunting sense of the dismal — of down, depressed and disturbed.

It is like the medical condition that attaches and refuses to separate; of an embrace that will not let go, a hug that cannot be unraveled; and a sense that cannot be shaken.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, the adjective of “dismal” often precedes the realization that one’s career must be modified in order to attend to one’s medical condition.  Work takes up a tremendous amount of one’s time, energy and strength of daily endurance, and obtaining a FERS Disability Retirement annuity is often required just so that one’s focus can be redirected in order to attend to one’s health.

The process of preparing, formulating and filing, then waiting upon, a Federal Disability Retirement application is a daunting one, and you may want to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the dismal turn into a morass of a bureaucratic nightmare which fails to modify the noun that all applicants yearn for: The approval.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Information: Lip Service to Losses

It is admitted under the cover of gaining, and never standing alone as a mark of proud achievement.  To lose is to be forgotten; and while we give lip service in various ways — as in, “Oh, we learned so many valuable lessons from our losses”, or “Behind every success story is a failure of tenfold that allowed the person to learn and grow”, or ever the clincher: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game” — such losses always end up in the ash heaps of history’s forgotten events, while the “winners” move on into the next phase of life’s ongoing narrative.

Yet, we continue to perpetuate the myth that life’s lessons are best gained by the failures and disappointments that we encounter, and that is what “giving lip service” ultimately means: the insincerity of words in contrast to one’s belief as beheld close to one’s heart.  That is why it becomes increasingly difficult for this generation, as opposed to and in contrast with previous generations, to handle the stresses of daily failures and unmet expectations.

We cannot strip away the reality of the world throughout one’s upbringing and childhood, constantly telling every child that everyone is doing a “great job” and have “special talents” at every turn and hiccup of life’s turmoils, then expect them to be able to handle the daily and overwhelming stresses of life’s experiences that must by necessity include setbacks and the bumping into the harshness of stark cruelty of the world, then expect a placid, calm and positive view of experiential stability.

The harshness of reality is that, indeed, this is a hard life, and no matter how much technology may promise the easing pain and modernity the hope for a utopian society, the frailty of the human condition cannot be avoided.  That is the reality-check that a medical condition imposes — that we are not mere lesser gods among beasts of burden, but in fact have just as many burdens and are subject to the unexpected vicissitudes of life’s happenstances.

Thus, for Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition such that 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, it is important to realize that filing a Federal Disability Retirement application may not meet the expectations of those who give lip service to the idea itself — i.e., that yes, the Federal Agency or the Postal Service will “support” you in your FERS Medical Disability Retirement application; that the Human Resource Office will do everything in their power to “accommodate” you; that your Supervisor or Manager is “sympathetic” to your situation, etc.

They may speak the words, but in their “heart of hearts” is that notion that filing for OPM Disability Retirement benefits is on the side of “losses” and not of categories empowered by “wins”, and therefore you must be careful in who you confide with when preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with OPM.

Always remember, however, that consultation with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law will guarantee that “lip service” will not be mere words, but a careful guidance and strategizing of that which is in your best interests, and with full confidentiality.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Employment: The elixir of life

Is the substance we expunge necessarily the opposite of the positive?  Does the mere fact of expiation denote that which is unwanted, or merely no longer of utility?

In ancient times, an elixir was considered to be a substance of great desirability; it possessed multiple meanings, including a reference to that substance which was used in alchemy to alter base-metals into the gleaming riches of the natural order found deep beneath the chasms of the earth – gold.  Or, alternatively, it meant the potion or mysterious concoction that prolonged and extended life into an eternity of ecstasy; and in other definitions, a curative medicine that attended to all diseases, corrected every malady felt and balanced the unbalanced humors within the human body.

A further meaning has encompassed the concept of an essential principle – that core of something that provides an Aristotelian connection of all first causes such that when one discovers and comprehends the elixir of life, one has attained a pinnacle of wisdom next to the gods who otherwise mock the foolishness of human suffering and striving.  But back to the original query: What about the waste that is squeezed from the substance we desire – of human detritus, urine, scatological excretions and the leftovers of those thought to be unproductive; are they not necessary in that, without the capacity to expiate, it would rot within the cavities of the human tissue and destroy the very fabric that retains them?

We often fail, at the expense and detriment of our own thoughtlessness, to consider an inversion category of the original posit; we accept, at face value, that human functions of expiation and riddance constitutes just that – of throwing away, expunging, extricating and discarding – as a categorization we simplify into elementary concepts: what we consume and embrace is “good”, and that which we expiate is “bad”.

Thus do we build toilets in unassuming locations within a residence; outhouses are just that – some dilapidated structure constructed away from the home, and somewhat upwind from the wind currents that carry the daily odors of life’s contrariness.  But is that the proper way to view things?  Should we not, instead, liken our activities to that which a messianic proverb once elicited: How we treat the least among us reflects the true character of our inner nature?

Inversion thinking is a process that is too often overlooked, and because of this, we often walk through life passing by opportunities and gifts otherwise there to be accepted.

For the Federal employee and U.S. Postal worker who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition no longer allows for one to continue with the present course of a Federal or Postal career, it was once believed that the elixir of life was intricately wrapped up in continuing the Federal or Postal job because it allowed for a certain career, standard of living and measure of self-worth.

This is where inversion thinking needs to be considered.  For, at what cost, and what price to be paid?

Preparing 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, is often a necessary step in order to attain a level of continence such that the proper balance and focus can be reached – of one’s health, as opposed to continuing in a job that has become harmful; of separating from Federal Service or the Postal facility in order to escape from the daily harassment of somehow being “lesser” because of one’s medical condition; and all of the other garbage that is thrown at the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition.

For, the elixir of life is not always that substance we thought was the pathway to a mythological fountain of youth, but an inversion of that thought – of removing, as opposed to taking more on; of separating, in contradistinction to enduring the pain; and of expiating, in contrast to accepting.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement for Federal Employees: Preparation subverting the moment

“Seize the moment” (or the day) – isn’t that the mantra of modernity?  Never let consequences or the hurt of others delay the enigmatic pleasures of bodily delights.  Forget results; ignore preparatory steps, as that would waste valuable time otherwise left for delectable dalliances.  If modernity has translated “worth” and “value” in terms of present moments of existential delights, then the greater heightening of each event of ecstasy experienced in the “now” of every life should be exponentially enhanced at every opportunity available and presented.

Technology has only further advanced the aversion to planning and foresight; for, the conversation quieted when memory once required of reflection and racking of remembrances is now quickly replaced by a button push that Google immediately answers.  “Now” is ever more the gratification never to be delayed.  Modernity and  youth have been its unfortunate byproduct, where any notion of  preparation constitutes a delay of that instant gratification.

But life has a tendency to create tumult and intervene with a dose of reality, and medical conditions exponentially show us that the moment left without delay requires greater reflection and contemplation – and this is especially so with Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

“Seizing the moment” and quickly putting together a Federal Disability Retirement packet when a medical condition begins to prevent the Federal or Postal employee from performing all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal employee’s position, is likely not the best approach in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.  Not in all cases does preparation subvert the moment; often, in life, the “moment” requires preparation, as well as a thoughtful course of planning and reflective methodology of formulating a strategy for the future.

Modernity has invented some great contraptions; technology has saved time (or so they keep saying) and replaced human capacity with easing of burdens.  In the end, however, it is up to the planner to plan, and the Federal or Postal employee to seize that “moment” and project it into a plan for a better tomorrow, by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire