Early Out for Federal Employees with Disabilities: Indicators

They are the flashing lights to warn others of actions about to be taken; or, they can be “clues” which allow for a preview of things yet to occur.  Retrospectively, we are all experts at identifying them; prospectively, many of us ignore or are otherwise oblivious to them, despite their obvious presence.

When we perform a forensic analysis in looking back, we will often realize that there were, indeed, many indicators which should have forewarned us of the impending troubles.  While no one likes to play Monday-night quarterbacking (actually, we all love doing it; we just like to pretend as to its involuntary necessity), such forensic analysis is a useful tool in apprising ourselves of the things which we missed.  But when an event in life occurs only once, or we only have one shot at something, no amount of retrospective analysis is going to be helpful.

Medical conditions have that characteristic — of indicators or signs which should have warned us of future problems, of which we dismissively ignored in hopes that the warnings — and the future substantive troubles — would simply go away.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is also like that — while you have 3 Stages in order to get approved (the 4th Stage being an irrelevant one because there is no quorum on the MSPB Board), you normally only have this “one-shot” at obtaining an approval.  Because of this, it is important to consult with a FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer and make sure that all of the “indicators” are taken into account before you make that proverbial “right turn” into the future.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement: Righting the Mistakes

Some have posited that we actually need 2 lifetimes: One for living, and another for righting the mistakes made in the first lifetime.  Then, a “Mark-Twain humorist” once quipped that, No, human beings need at least 3 lives — the first to live; the second to right the mistakes of the first; and another to do all of the things we always wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to because we were too busy worrying about it.

Life, indeed, is a series of regrets, and most of us still have consciences such that we worry and ruminate about the mistakes we made; how we go about “righting” those mistakes; and finally, on our deathbeds, to simply cry out for forgiveness because the weight of our past is too much to bear.  We can spend most, if not almost all, of our lives trying to correct the errors of our error-filled past; and, if not that, to worry about it.  Often, we don’t even know that we are making the mistakes until it is too late, or until that moment of revelation when we say to ourselves — How did I get myself into this mess?

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 important to try and file an effective and — as much as possible — an error-free Federal Disability Retirement application.  There is much to be worried about in filing a Federal Disability Retirement application: the complexity of the process itself; the legal hurdles which must be overcome; the bureaucratic morass that must be fought.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law and try and avoid the mistakes at the outset. In Federal Disability Retirement, you surely do not want to spend your “second life” righting the mistakes of your first life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement for Federal & Postal Workers: Meaninglessness

Without the second added suffix, it remains an adjective; with the addition of the second suffix, it becomes an abstract noun denoting quality and state of being.  The combination of the duality if suffixes, altering it from an adjective qualifying a noun (as in, “This meaningless activity”) into an abstract noun standing alone (as in, “The meaninglessness was evident in the manner he lived”) makes for an interesting conceptual construct.

It is, indeed, a word which describes a state of being — both the quality as well as the “kind” of.  It also denotes something else: that, at some time prior, both suffixes were absent, leaving the root of the word and the core of its origins intact — that of “meaning”.  It is thus a word which describes both a state “before” and a condition “after”, of once having had it, then losing it, then becoming a state of perpetual loss.

It is, in the end, the “state” of being which becomes of concern.  For, left as an adjective, one can argue that it is merely a temporary mode of being, as in: “The meaningless endeavor he engaged in was to merely get him through the day.”  However, when the second suffix is added and the root word alternates from becoming an adjective into an abstract noun, the denotation of becoming a permanent construct of eternal loss becomes ever more problematic.

So, as life mirrors language, and language expresses our inner state of thoughts, it is not only the meaning of words which becomes important but, moreover, the way in which we actually live.  Meaninglessness, as a way in which we live, becomes ever more pronounced when our health deteriorates.

For Federal and Postal 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 ones Federal or Postal job, the problem of “meaning” and “meaningless”, as well as “meaninglessness” becomes ever more pronounced.  As one’s health deteriorates, and as work becomes a greater struggle, so the once-meaningful career becomes a greater burden and begins to gnaw at the root of one’s existence.

While Federal Disability Retirement may not be the answer to all of life’s difficulties, it allows for a Federal or Postal worker to re-focus one’s priorities in life and turn one’s attention back to the basics — that of health and meaning. Consult with a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to discuss the particulars of your case, and begin to discard the suffixes which drag you down.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Medical Disability for Federal and Postal Employees: Comparisons

Does it help to make them?  Do we take comfort in judging the relative plusses and minuses in making comparisons — as in, X has A, B and C, but I have, in addition, D and E, and therefore I am more fortunate that X is.  Or, is it a comparison of one’s conditions, as in: “Boy, at least I don’t have X like Lisa does”, or “At least I am not in Y’s situation”?

To the extent that comparisons remind us of that which we are blessed with, they allow for a certain level of utilitarian value.  But there is a negative side to it: Of jealousy engendered by comparison, or of discontent resulting from making one.  Rousseau, of course, makes that point throughout his “Social Contract” analysis, of the purity of man’s intentions in that fictional state of “nature” that we were once in, but where society’s accretions of materialism created the artificial emotional response of discontent and jealousy.  But compared to what?

It is important to make the fair and correlative comparisons which are relevant — as in “apples to apples” and not “apples to oranges”.  For, it is the uniqueness of each entity, object or situation to be compared with the singularity of another that makes for a proper comparison.

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 inadvisable to compare one’s case to somebody else’s.  For, the proper comparison is not to evaluate one’s medical condition and the severity of one’s medical condition to that of another person’s medical condition; rather, the proper comparison in a Federal Disability Retirement case is to compare one’s medical condition to the essential elements of one’s position.

Thus, comparisons made must always take into account the relevant connections which relate not just in terms of similarities, but as is the case in Federal Disability Retirement Law — in what the law allows for and considers significant.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Percentage Game

We all play it; whether in calculating the chances of success (most of us are not knowledgeable enough to be statisticians, not having paid close enough attention in high school or college to that mathematics course regarding the numerical analysis of a numbers-based algorithm), or in merely keeping an eye on interest rates in the housing market, or perhaps taking note of how likely it is to be attacked by a shark before we step into the polluted waters of the Atlantic.

OPM certainly plays the game — one needs only to look at a Denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to realize that, the manner in which the Denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application is written, there will be a certain percentage of people who will read it and say, “Gee, I never stood a chance.  I might as well not even go any further.”

The Denials are often written in unequivocal terms, stating with a tone of certainty that there was never any basis for filing, and that any further efforts would be fruitless and futile.  And from that language of certainty, a certain percentage of Federal Disability Retirement applicants will simply give up and walk away.  That is what the percentage game is based upon.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who have received a Denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is wise to consult with an experienced attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to perform an objective-based evaluation of a Federal Disability Retirement claim.  Better, yet, consult with such an attorney even before you begin the process, to ensure the best chances in this “percentage game” which OPM plays.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire