FERS Medical Retirement from OPM: Did Anyone Ask Me?

Being powerless is the plight of most; feeling powerless, the reality with few exceptions.  Even the wealthiest of the world have limited control; for, a devastating illness can in an instant make one’s wealth irrelevant, if not a burden.  And of the world in which we abide in — did anyone ever ask me whether or not this is the pathway I wanted to construct?

Did anyone ask me whether the creation of the personal computer, of emails and attachments being sent electronically; of social media where kids no longer engage in the real world but merely through virtual means; of endless wars and school shootings; of geopolitical decisions, worldwide inflation and shortage of goods and services — Did anyone ever stop and ask me whether decisions made at world conferences was what I wanted?  No — and no one ever will.

But there are certain levels of decision-making — of questions which must be asked and can only be answered by the individuals — which can and must be taken hold by specific individuals.  Such as: Preparing, formulating and filing for FERS Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Only the Federal and Postal worker who has been impacted by a disabling medical condition which prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job can answer the question: Do I need to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS?

So — while the rest of the world’s questions are often never asked of most individuals, there are some which are, and for help in answering those important questions, contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, where in the end, you can answer “yes” to the question, Did Anyone Ask Me?

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 Law: Difficult Times

We tend to think that ours represents the apex of such characterizations, but such a view would betray our ignorance of history.  Whether defined within the limits of our own personal circumstances, or by contrast to others within the same country; or, if one takes into account the world — other nations — “difficult” becomes relative, and can never be taken in a vacuum within the historicity of such a linear perspective.

Reading about the Great Depression, one immediately recognizes the fallacy of attributing these difficult times in descriptive adjectives which fail to accurately portray an appropriate contrast to modernity; of going hungry for days; of rampant homelessness; of rudimentary health care, and so much more.

Yet, comparing one’s present circumstances to prior historical models does nothing to diminish the crisis one experiences today — for, indeed, these are difficult times, and very little comfort can be achieved by hearing the words, “Yes, but others have had it worse”.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one of more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, recognizing one’s own “difficult times” is the first step towards initiating the necessary process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal or Postal Disability Retirement claim through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, under FERS.

Whether the Great Depression or other malevolent times were worse or not, matters little.  What matters is to move forward in life regardless of past historical circumstance, and to contact a FERS Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law so that these difficult times may see the light of a future which offers greater hope than the despair of modernity, or of past times, as well.

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.

 

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Disability Retirement Benefits: Other Languages

Learning another language is an interesting phenomena — one requiring difficult dedication, a capacity for memorization (even with access to Google and the easy tools of translation, vocabulary, etc.) and a requirement of patience.  Perhaps you studied the language in college, or grew up in a foreign country where, as a child, speaking it was a natural way of life, somewhat like the process of osmosis.

Each language, of course, has its subtleties; some are more foreign than others.  French uses many words similar to English; Japanese or Chinese, on the other hand, are languages which do not share a common origin, and thus are often considered more difficult to learn.

Pronunciation of any foreign language is another matter altogether.  In some ways, the process of learning a foreign language is akin to learning a new “language game” — to understanding and comprehending terms and concepts in a different field or discipline.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is somewhat like learning a new language, and the fluency with which one masters the concepts and legal strategies will often determine the pathway of success or failure.  Contact an OPM/MSPB Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and leave the learning of this “language” to an expert who speaks it fluently.

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 under FERS: Self Delusions

We all engage in it at one time or another; and, of course, there are different names for it, depending upon the context and conceptual application.  Some call it “positive thinking”; others, of just trying to talk yourself into something; and it is only when interference with reality poses a risk of harm that it becomes of concern when engaged in.

Self-delusions are, otherwise, harmless.  Some use it as a reverse therapeutic mode: Tell yourself X a hundred times in a day, and you will come to believe it; the “power of positive thought”; the need to constantly self-affirm, etc.

In the wilds, of course, it may not work out so well.  For, telling yourself that you can kill a lion with your bare hands, or that you can jump off of a cliff and soar through the sky, will likely result in death.  Then, too, to persuade yourself that an oncoming bus will do you no harm is taking positive thinking to a level of absurdity.

But there are less drastic forms of self-delusions, as in saying to yourself multiple times a day that you are happy; or that things will get better; or that today is the first day of the rest of your life, etc.  Such pablum of self-delusions will sometimes even provide a positive influence.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition where the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, self-delusions should be replaced with sound advice from a Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer.

Consult with a Federal Disability Retirement Attorney today, and consider whether your expectations for the future coincide with the reality that may rebut the self-delusions of a reality gone sour.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Medical Retirement under FERS: Giving Up

It is, and historically has been, an option of last resort.  There are those, of course, where it is simply never an option; at whatever cost; sacrificing whatever means; it is simply not a consideration to be entertained.  Is such a “principled” approach ingrained within the DNA of an individual, or is it merely a trifle of stubbornness which prevents a person from giving up?

It is certainly not a character trait which is taught; in fact, more of the opposite is true.  We tend to teach our children the pablum of perseverance: “Keep at it, and one day you will…”; “Don’t give up; you’ve only just begun” (a paraphrased lesson for young children of what the American revolutionary, John Paul Jones, purportedly stated, “Surrender?…I have only just begun to fight!”); and other such lessons where the fine line between intelligent perseverance and fatalistic stubbornness must often collide.

Yet, there surely are times when it is prudent to give up — and perhaps come back to fight another day.

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 perform all of the essential elements of his or her position, “giving up” may be a matter of filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Of course, “giving up” may also be the thought when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management denies a person’s FERS Disability Retirement application, as well — but in the opinion of this writer, that is the time when the approach of John Paul Jones should be taken.

Consult with a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and consider whether or not “giving up” is a prudent option to consider, given your unique circumstances.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Qualifying Standard

What if a group of individuals gathered to compete in a race, of sorts, and trained, engaged in strenuous preparatory work and did all of the things necessary in order to “qualify”? They all gather on the agreed-upon date and, in customary athletic clothing, run a predetermined distance where 3 individuals out of ten cross a white line in sequential fashion. There is no doubt as to who the 3 “front runners” were. Yet, when the prizes are handed out, they are given to the 10th, 7th and 5th place runners. There is an understandable uproar. A protest is filed.

Umpires and referees gather (are there such people, or is that just in baseball, football, soccer and basketball?) and discuss the situation at length. Small, hand-held rule books are consulted and the audience sits in anguished silence as the outcome is debated in a deliberative fashion. Furrowed eyebrows are mashed in faces of concerned silence; the crowd that had gathered to witness the sporting event argue vociferously over the unfairness of it all; television crews have arrived, having been tipped off that a major scandal has been scented and the sharks have gathered for the afternoon kill.

No one notices that a little old man who has stood watching the entire spectacle with a peaceful, quiet calm has slowly made his way onto the platform where a microphone has been set up. He approaches the podium, adjusts the contraption and begins thus: “Ahem”. He pauses, waiting for everyone at the event to recognize the point from where the clearing of his throat originated, and continues on: “I am Mr. X; I organized this event. If you look at the last paragraph of the rules-book, it specifically states the following: ‘Mr. X is the sole determiner of the qualifying standard’. I am, as I said, Mr. X, and I determined that runners 5, 7 and 10 are the winners. End of story”. The little old man then turns around and walks back down, and away from the event.

Now, for Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition leads the Federal or Postal employee to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, this story may appear to parallel the manner in which the U.S. Office of Personnel Management acts: As a law unto itself.

Fortunately, they are not the sole arbiter of the qualifying standard and, instead, there is such a thing as “The Law”. In order to apply the law and force OPM to follow the true and only qualifying standard, however, it is necessary to “know” the law; and, in order to do that, it is best to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law. Otherwise, you might be subject to the same standard (or lack thereof) as the little old man who does what he wants on any given day depending on how he feels on that day, or in that moment.

Sincerely,

Robert R.McGill, Esquire

 

Disability Retirement under FERS: Adopting an Adaptive Plan

Most of us barely have one; and when we do, we quickly forget about it and move on, satisfied that —by the mere declaration of having one — we need not implement it or follow it rigorously beyond the mere possession of it.

The old Soviet Union (do we remember what the abbreviation, “U.S.S.R.” stood for?) had 5 and 10 year plans, and when the stated goals were not met, they simply cooked the books and declared that they were well ahead of the declared plans, and so the satellite nations under the rubric of the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” nodded its approval and genuflected to the Soviet Central Planning Committee (for, you couldn’t have a plan unless there were multiple committees to make those plans) and were grateful for the plans even though their populace were starving, despite the declared success of all of that planning.

Battlefield officers rely upon them; although, in recent years, because war is no longer fought by armies planning an attack upon other armies, the need for adopting an adaptive plan has become a survival necessity.  Life itself rarely follows a plan; most of the time, one’s day is consumed by just trying to survive.

When a medical condition hits us, of course, then all of the planning in the world — from a retrospective and myopic viewpoint — didn’t amount to much.  What is the plan, then, for a Federal or Postal employee who can no longer perform his or her job because of the medical conditions that prevent one from doing so?

The Federal Disability Retirement “plan” is to allow for a Federal or Postal employee to file for OPM Medical Retirement benefits under FERS, so that the Federal employee can medically retire, focus upon one’s health and still, hopefully, enter the workforce in the near or mid-future and continue to contribute, all the while receiving a disability retirement annuity.  Now, that sounds like adopting an adaptive plan where interruption of a life plan allows for some grace beyond lack of planning.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement Appeal: Second Opportunities

In life, how often do we get a “second opportunity”?  To correct a past mistake; to avoid the consequences of an error committed; to rekindle a damaged relationship; and other acts of revitalized and redemptive scenarios rarely allowed.

Second opportunities, and the rare third ones, allow for erasures to be made, modifications to be incorporated and additional, corrective information to be inserted.  Of the following, what would one think? “Oh, a mistake was made in the contract which goes against you, but not to worry, go ahead and make the changes and we can sign everything again as if … “ Or: “Oh, your rich aunt disinherited you after you called her that horrible name and in a drunken rage knocked her over the head with vase, but not to worry, she forgives you and has placed you back in her will.”

Those are, to be sure, instances of second opportunities, but rarely to be had and more likely to occur in fictionalized accounts of redemptive fantasies otherwise unpublished because of their unlikely occurrences.

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 “Second Opportunity” (and the “Third”) comes in the form of the Reconsideration Stage, and then an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.

Don’t let such an opportunity for corrective action slip through the “proverbial fingers” by making the same mistake twice.  It is, at either the Reconsideration Stage or the appeal to the MSPB, an opportunity to fill in any gaps (whether merely perceived by OPM or substantively existing, it doesn’t really matter); and to reinforce any lack of medical evidence by having the opportunity to supplement, and even modify, statements made or omissions allowed.

Some OPM Disability Retirement cases may be weak in their very essence, whether because of lack of medical support or because of other reasons undefinable; other cases may simply need further development, explanation or supplemental evidence to “shore up” the unpersuasive peripheral issues that have appeared in the case.  Both the Reconsideration Stage, as well as the appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, open opportunities to resolve one’s case in one’s favor — by being granted the ultimate end and goal with an approval of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application.

The road to attain that goal, however, must sometimes travel through multiple doors and second opportunities, and that is how one should see the Second (Reconsideration) and Third (an appeal to the MSPB) Stages of the process in trying to get one’s OPM Disability Retirement application approved.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Retirement for Mental or Physical Incapacity: Responsibility

What is it about the ascription of such a word, that there can be a direct correlation or, if taken in a different context, some mere connection but no causality?  We can say of a person, “He is responsible for X”, and yet never have directly encountered X or (if a person) never even have met X.

Thus of monsters and thugs throughout history, for instance, we might say that “Stalin was responsible for 20 million deaths, at least,” or that Mao was “responsible” for a 100 million peasants dying during the late 50s; or, of course, of ascribing to Hitler the countless millions; and, so that we don’t leave out other “responsible” monsters of history, of Pol Pot, Idi Amin and many others besides, though we cannot link a causality that would pass Hume’s skeptical test of anything more than events following one upon another, we nevertheless accept that all such political figures were “responsible” for the deaths of millions.

What is the criteria in coming to such a conclusion?  Is it a negative proposition — that if X had the power or position to prevent such events from occurring, then Responsibility-Y can be ascribed?  Or must it be a positive declaration: If X engaged in Acts A, B and C, then Responsibility-Y can be attributable to Individual-W; and further, if only Acts A & B, but not C, then less so; and if only Act A, but not B & C, even less so?

Responsibility”, of course, is a malleable and transitive concept; it can change with the contextual winds of opinion, historical perspective and a cultural shift of viewpoints.  Look at how we approach our Founding Fathers — of responsibility for the slave issue in the United States, but somehow excusing each if (A) any one of them willed that they would be freed upon their deaths, (B) that one was “personally” against the issue but for economic, practical reasons were “forced” to go along or (C) they treated them “kindly” and “responsibly” (here, we have a double-meaning of the term, for such an individual was both “responsible” as well as being ascribed the “responsibility” of being a slave owner).

Or, look at the manner in which America treated Native Americans — of a genocidal history no less cruel than Mao’s starvation of the peasantry; and yet, because of such grand concepts as “manifest destiny” and the depiction of an entire populace as “uncivilized”, we can avert “responsibility” by distancing the causal agents; and the greater distance between the agents, the less we ascribe responsibility.

On a lesser scale, what about work?  If work suffers and there is no reason for it but laziness and lack of attention, we ascribe “responsibility”.  But what if a medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties — is that Federal or Postal employee “responsible”?

The short answer is a “no” — and that is recognized by “the Law”, in statutes, regulations and case-laws cumulatively aggregated under the conceptual aegis of “Federal Disability Retirement Law”.  It is precisely because society recognizes that a medical condition itself — and not the individual — is directly responsible for one’s inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, that Federal disability retirement exists as a benefit to pursue.

But it cannot be accessed until and unless there is an affirmative step taken by the Federal or Postal employee, by preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, filed with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.  That is where “responsibility” comes into play as a direct causal link — of initiating the steps and actually filing.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: That carefree child

Whatever happened to him or her?  That child who would shrug the shoulders, move on to the next thing and be free of worry or concerns.  “Carefree” is not a synonym for “careless”, or even of “uncaring”; rather, it is the capacity and ability to maneuver throughout this complex universe without allowing for life’s burdens to weigh upon one so heavily that past events prevent future actions of progress and advancement.

That child that is now lost was caring; he or she was also careful in every endeavor, every project and helpful in many ways; yet, that same child was known to be carefree.  Where is that child, now?  What happened such that life interrupted, anxieties developed and stresses multiplied?  Does that same child – now a hunk of an adult sitting in the corner somewhere – stay up at nights worrying about tomorrow, “stressed out” about the next day, paralyzed with panic about the future?

Often, the troubles we face within the confines of our own minds are greater in horror and imagined size, than the reality that is actually to occur.  Depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bipolar spectrums of manic and depressive phases, coupled with suicidal ideations, agoraphobia and other psychiatric diagnoses – these can comprise the lost paths of a child who is no longer carefree, but has grown into adulthood and experiences the commonality of society’s growing problems, exponentially expanded because the rest of society has indeed become uncaring and careless in its treatment of that child who was once carefree.

If that once-carefree child has become a Federal or Postal employee who is suffering now from the cares of the world, and the medical condition no longer allows for the Federal or Postal employee to perform all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, it may be time to consider 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.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits will not be the solution to all of life’s problems, but it can at least begin to pave a path towards “coming home” to a time that we remember, when that carefree child walked about with less of a burden and more of a smile.  Federal Disability Retirement is meant to do that – to allow for the Federal or Postal worker to focus back upon one’s health and well-being and not become burdened with the stresses of work and performance, where love is anything but unconditional and the summer days of tomorrow may still have some warm moments to enjoy.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire
Federal Disability Retirement Lawyer