Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Expertise

What constitutes it, and who determines the status of when it is achieved?  We hear about people who are “experts” in this or that, referring to either experience, association or credentials, and based upon that, we accept their status of being an “expert” in the field.  Can that be undermined by personal experience?

Say a person has a Ph.D. in a given field, has worked in the capacity of that field for 30 years, and everyone in the field refers to him as the “resident expert” or “the best of the best” in the field; and yet, in a given situation calling for his or her expertise, he or she fails, is wrong, or otherwise falls short of having provided any competent input.  Does that undermine the expert’s status as an expert, or does one shrug one’s shoulders and say, “Well, you can’t be right all of the time”?  Say a “non-expert”, during the gathering of expertise and amassing of various opinions in making a critical decision, suddenly pipes up and says something contrary to what Dr. X – with-the-Ph.D-with-30-years-of-experience believes and has stated, but in the end he turns out to be right — does that make him or her the new resident expert?

There are, of course, the various logical fallacies — like the fallacy of “association by reputation” or of presumed certitude based upon past experiences (refer to David Hume, for example); but the ultimate question may come down to a simple grammatical one: is the concept used as a noun, an adjective or an adverb?  How does one “gain” expertise, or attain the status of an “expert”, and can it be by experience alone, a credential earned, or by reputation gained — or a combination of all three?

How did Bernie Madoff swindle so many people for so many years?  Was he considered an “expert” in financial matters, and what combination of the tripartite status-making byline (i.e., reputation, experience and credentialing) did he possess to persuade so many to be drawn to him?  Or, is it sometimes merely greed and a proclivity of vulnerability to a good storyteller enough to persuade one that a certain-X is an “expert”?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have come to a point in their lives and careers where a medical condition has begun to impact one’s ability and capacity to perform one or more of the critical or “essential” elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, a certain level of expertise may be necessary before 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.

Ultimately, it is not “expertise” or some prior reputation that is important, but the accuracy of information received and the truth of the knowledge relied upon — and for that, one should do due diligence in researching not merely the “credentials” of those who declare some “expertise” in the area of Federal Disability Retirement Law, and not even self-puffery of self-promoting success, but in addition, an instinct as to the truth of what is stated.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Medical Retirement from Federal Government Employment: Still Life

The meaning can evoke a duality of concepts; of the artistic mode, where self-contradiction is inherent – for, it is often in depictions of inanimate objects, presented in combinations not normally seen in true living circumstances, that the artist arranges in order to capture a semblance of that which is never, or rarely, encountered.  Or of the alternate implication:  Once thought to have been deceased, the realization that there is yet a soul to revive, an aspiration to embrace, and hope again to realize.

Both, however, have something in common:  A frozen placement for all of eternity to encapsulate; the organic matter from which to work with, endure through and contrast to the opposite – of Nothingness devoid of any purpose, teleology or construct of animation; and the two together will posit a compound concept of contrasting contradictions:  loss of movement, but gain of Being.  But, then, that is so often true of daily living, isn’t it?

There is a contradiction in what we do; on the face of it, we appear to be “doing something”; but deep within the recesses of our thoughtful doubts, we know that we are failing to accomplish the hope of our dreams, the aspirations still surviving deep within our hearts, and the very failure of moving towards that which we desire, diminishes our inner selves and begins to slowly, insidiously shrivel the core of our souls.

Medical conditions tend to have that effect, and when the “outside” world begins to confirm that which we fear, the shriveling effect becomes accelerated on an exponential scale where proportionality of judgment becomes askew and fails to meet the expectations of our own essences.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition begins to pervasively impact all aspects of life – home, recreational, work and relational – the danger is that of a Still Life painting:  the combination of events and objects are not what they are supposed to be, and the encounter with “real” life no longer allows for further movement.

We become stuck in a painting arranged by someone else, and more and more, we lose greater control over our own destiny.  And in the alternative meaning of that concept – that we “still” have some life in us – is where taking the pragmatic steps toward preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset comes into play.

Still Life does not have to prevent movement where there is still life; and for the Federal or Postal employee who is no longer able to advance because a medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal positional duties, it is the Still Life painting which represents the impetus that there is still life to be lived beyond one’s Federal or Postal job.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: The Poverty of One’s Soul

The locus of one’s soul has been much debated throughout the history of Philosophy; Descartes, of course, took the incommodious step of actually identifying the central point, but left some “wiggle room” by declaring it merely as the “principal seat of the soul” (is there a secondary, back-seat area for the soul, as well?), but of course, the French can be excused for such seemingly drunken issuances of localities, when belief in supposedly impenetrable defenses can provide for a mirage of security.

The question itself is non-sensical, if one pauses for a moment of reflection.  For, as the soul is not part of the physical universe, to ascribe to it a point of defined location is to misunderstand the conceptual paradigm itself.  Rather, it is the state of the soul which is of greater relevance, and whether enlivened, invigorated, or impoverished.  What deadens the soul?  From Plato to Scruton, the argument can be made that music is an important component in the cultivation or demise of soulful activity.  Repetition of meaningless and monotonous actions, engaged like Camus’ Sisyphus, can also inflict harm; but even he, along with other French existentialists, found meaning in the absurd.

Medical conditions, obviously, can have a profound impact and effect upon the soul.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who find that a medical condition begins to prevent one from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, the relationship between “meaning” and “employment” can remain the single most significant obstacle to filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

For, it is often fear of the future and the unknown elements which pervade the dark recesses of nightmares abounding in the subconscious of one’s mind, deep in the caverns of sleep, or interrupted, non-restorative slumber, where childhood visions of dancing daisies and carefree summers have long been replaced by the reality of adulthood, ogres and goblins as real today as when the child once watched with innocent eyes; it is from those vestiges that grown men weep and feel the tiny droplets of fear, and we call them “insecurities”.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM is indeed a large step into the unknown.  Poverty, let alone poverty of one’s soul, is a fear of real proportions in these uncertain economic times; but in the end, one’s health should be the priority of ultimate concern, precisely because health engenders the continuing viability of the soul, and for the Federal or Postal worker who fears for one’s future, to prepare, formulate and file an effective Federal Disability Retirement application is a positive step towards securing a safety net to further prevent the impoverishment of the soul, whether located in the pineal gland, or in the ethereal universe of a childhood summer long gone and lost in the innocence of daisies returned to the bosom of the earth.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement: Requisite Sense of Control

Most of us require a semblance of self-determination, if only to conceal the inadequacies and keep at bay the disasters which portend, or pretend, whichever the case may be.  By controlling circumstances, we believe that we can maintain prevention of crisis, pre-determine the outcome of expectations, and squirrel away the hesitations and insecurities controlling us in our lives of desperate needs.  But life has a way of defying the macro-minutiae of the limited universe within our reach and immediate control.

Mastery of life is difficult to attain; just when we thought we had grasped the foundational principles of life and living, old age sets in, and the youthful vigor dissipates, like the ethereal dust of residue left behind by the flight of angels.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers, it is that sudden onset of a medical condition which nags and refuses to go away, which becomes the harbinger of things to come.  Agencies and the Postal Service tend to be “meddlers”, and once a particular Federal or Postal employee becomes the trigger-sighted individual, the stray bullet that travels is normally not too far behind.  Loss of control, or the abandonment of a requisite sense of control, is derived when agencies target, and when adverse actions are issued, a PIP is imposed, and leave restrictions commanded.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement is an option which is a viable avenue to pursue, precisely because it attains and reasserts that requisite sense of control, by securing a needed annuity for some semblance of financial security and stability.  Federal Disability Retirement is also a means of re-focusing one’s life upon the priorities which matter — such as one’s health and well-being, so that the harassment and hostility at work will cease.

But the long road in preparing, formulating, filing and waiting upon a Federal Disability Retirement application, filed ultimately through, and decided by, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, is another bureaucratic morass which — for a time, at least — will feel like entering another and surreal universe where one’s destiny is in the hands of another:  OPM.  But in life, as in the parallel universe of the absurd, one must first lose control in order to gain the requisite sense of control.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Law: Avoidance

It begins with a subtle turning away, perhaps; reduction of contact, lessening of coincidental interactions, etc.  The fact is, in an office environment, or out in the proverbial “field” of employment, if a coworker or supervisor wants to get a hold of you, they normally can, and with aggressive intent, quite quickly.  But suddenly and in a spiral trajectory of avoidance, people begin to shun and shove aside.

It’s not like the medical condition is contagious, or will by some mysterious process of osmosis spread like a viral wildfire merely by standing next to you; but that is how it is perceived and attributed.  When a medical condition impacts one’s ability to perform the essential elements of one’s job, whether the person is a Federal employee or a U.S. Postal worker, the palpable sense of ostracizing begins immediately.

Loss of productivity; being placed on a PIP; developing a reputation for being on the wrong side of an agency’s favor; these are all of the ills which portend; and the greater the degree of avoidance by fellow workers, the increasing pressure of evidence to begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing for OPM Disability Retirement.  Federal Disability Retirement is a process which can take many months, and is ultimately filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.

The inevitable is written in the rosters of future events; avoidance merely delays that which will come about, anyway; and procrastination exponentially compounds the cumulative problems aggregated by neglect.  Thus does avoidance work to wound, and rarely to enhance, the fragile future of the Federal or Postal employee in securing one’s financial stability, by filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through OPM.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire