OPM Medical Retirement for Federal Employees: Imperfect Lives

Bringing up the very concept itself implies that the opposite exists: That of “perfect” lives.  We perhaps attribute the existence of such; perhaps it is the same line of thought processes which persuades us by the Ontological argument for the existence of God: God is that than which nothing greater can be thought of; To exist is greater than not to exist; therefore, God must by necessity exist.  The corollary argument which persuades us of the existence of a “perfect” life would then be: The perfect life is a life which erases all imperfections; perfection is better than its opposite; therefore there must by necessity exist perfect lives.

Yet, does reality indicate the existence of perfect lives?  Certainly, its opposite is true: imperfect lives being all around us, including our own, we then assume that there must be other, similarly imperfect lives.  Yet, while perfection is a non-relative term (it cannot be dependent upon a comparison to other terms, but is the paragon of all things not imperfect), its antonym — imperfection — can be.  Thus, X’s life may be less perfect than Y’s, and Z’s life may be less perfect than Y’s but better than X’s.  Can we ever say that X’s life is “more perfect” than X’s or Y’s?  Doesn’t “more perfect” necessarily imply imperfection and thus cannot approach a definitional plateau of “more”?

The plain fact is that all of our lives are imperfect, and perfection is an unreachable goal, and perhaps even undefinable.  For, who can define perfection of a life which fails to ever meet such a standard, and given the sins of human frailty, can it ever be achieved?

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 or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal position, the time may be ripe to admit and acknowledge that “perfection” is a standard which can never be met, and to try and maintain that appearance of perfection is an unrealistic goal.  Medical conditions have a way of humbling us; and as we keep struggling to maintain an appearance of perfection, what we are doing is failing to acknowledge that such a standard is a harmful, detrimental one.

Filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is an admission of our imperfection; consulting with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law is a step towards acting upon that admission — that, try as we might, we live imperfect lives, and that’s okay; for, to err is human, and to file for FERS Disability Retirement benefits is to admit to being human.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

OPM Disability Retirement under FERS: The Coherent Story

What makes it so, and when it isn’t, can anything make up for its lack in order to bring it around?

The historical myth of the early days of moviemaking is that the audience needed to be shown certain fundamental scenes in order to prevent any confusion and loss of interest — i.e., to start a scene with a character entering or exiting a doorway in order to “set the scene” of coherence, etc.  Otherwise, people were caught wondering how a character arrived at a certain place to begin with, and became distracted from engaging in the fantasyland of a fictional world in watching a movie.

Whether or not this is true — and there are some who doubt this, given that novels and short stories have always allowed for scenes, conversations and topics to jump from place to place without “reinventing the proverbial wheel” — nevertheless, every story hinges upon parts which make up a coherent whole.

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 coherent story must be formulated, narrated and conveyed in a manner which is both true, valid and persuasive.  Moreover, it must “fit into” the rules, regulations and statutory authorities which govern Federal Disability Retirement eligibility criteria.  How to tell “one’s story” on SF 3112A, the Applicant’s Statement of Disability, is critical in formulating a successful strategy in the proper preparation and submission of a Federal Disability Retirement application.

Consult with an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law in order to begin to tell your “coherent story” — the one that will captivate the “audience” at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Sufficiency Test

Sufficiency” is a funny word; like other subjective experiences, one often doesn’t know when it has been satisfied, but one nevertheless knows when it has not.  Like spectrums which reveal a range, sufficiency is a point of satisfaction which is recognized to have been met only after the point of sufficiency has been passed.

What constitutes “passing” the sufficiency test?  If someone has been kidnapped and a ransom note has been received, demanding payment for the safe return of the individual, is there an amount less than the demanded amount which would be “sufficient” to satisfy the kidnapper’s demands?  Can a platoon be “sufficiently” prepared for a combat mission, although not completely combat-ready?  Can percentages be applied which establishes meeting the criteria for sufficiency, at all times and in all instances, which can be applied as having met the sufficiency test?

Say a person says, “It is 80% done — sufficient for the purposes?”  Would this apply in painting a room, building a house or constructing a bridge?  Say that a bridge has been built 80%, and the last 20% is the part of the end where there remains a gap where suddenly the bridge ends with a missing piece where the gap exists such that a vehicle traveling would crash down a 100-foot drop to a tragic end — do we still say that the bridge was sufficiently built?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Workers who are intending on filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the issue of sufficiency takes on an important role: What constitutes sufficient medical evidence and how is the unspoken sufficiency test met?

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law to make sure that the Sufficiency Test will be met. In doing so, you may prevent a leisurely drive over a bridge only 80% finished, and be provided an alternative route in order to help you arrive at your destination in a sufficiently safe and efficient manner.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal & Postal Disability Retirement: The Successful Equation

Remember those days in school when — not only did you have to know how to figure out the answer to a question — you actually had to know what the right “equation” was?  Without the proper equation, you could never solve the “problem”.  Yes, yes, you could do some tinkering around the edges — of “figuring out” in some unique way, but ultimately the only way to solve the issue was by rote memorization (something not required, anymore, in this day and age of computers and smartphones) of that mathematical statement on the near side of the equal sign.

If only life were like that — of simply memorizing the equation, then proceeding forward and solving every problem.  But that’s the nub of it all, isn’t it?

Life brings forth encounters and circumstances, “problems” and difficulties that refuse to respond to an equation pre-planned for the vicissitudes of life’s misgivings.  Are mathematicians better at adapting and responding to life’s travails?  Or, do philosophy majors and those who embrace dictums to live by (e.g., that all of life is a “river” and we can never step into the same one twice, and other such Chopra-like platitudes that carry us through difficult times) better sail through the trials that everyone inevitably faces?

The fact is, equations are often best left for mere theoretical applications, and rarely conform to the changes of life’s encounters.

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 search for an “equation” in preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application should begin with a consultation with an FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

While there may not be a pre-set equation to follow, there are certainly important steps to take in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Retirement: Adapting to Change

Survival of the species depends upon it; the paradigm of evolutionary theory mandates it; and the human propagation for advancement thrives through it.

Change is difficult.  It was once believed that the malleability of youth allowed for greater resistance to a damaged psyche; yet, from the plethora of late-night confessions, it has become clear that divorce and family divisions left residual scars upon children no matter how “friendly” the split-up was, no matter how much love, co-parenting support and so-called theories of “if I’m happy, you’re happy” blather was pasted thick upon the self-justifying reasons given; in the end, the trauma of change, upheaval, disruption and interruption have their lasting effects upon the shaken foundations wrought by the earthquakes of human existence.

Change; how we respond to it; what adaptive measures are taken; where the vulnerabilities appear; and the manner, timing and susceptibility to reverberations of lasting consequences — they all take their toll, don’t they?

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, change is inevitable, and adapting to change — a necessity.

But, then, adapting to change has already been a reality, if one pauses and thinks about it — to the change in one’s health through the chronic and debilitating medical condition; the need to have adapted to the growing sense of urgency as the medical condition has worsened over time; these, and many more changes have already forced the Federal and Postal employee contemplating further changes to adapt at each step of the way.  But that “final step” — of preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application — is an important one, and to make the best of the changes that are inevitable, it is a prudent idea to consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire