OPM Disability Retirement: Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience

Much of life is an experience of repetition.  It is the act of habituation which allows for the sustainability of life.  If every experience — each day, each hour, every day, every hour — is a new experience, it would be tantamount to the antithesis of sustainability: Chaos would prevail.

Then, there are once-in-a-lifetime experiences — perhaps of an astrological event where certain planets align themselves once in a million years; or of a “Supernova” that is witnessed; or of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  Yes — that, too, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, inasmuch as it is unlikely you will file for the benefit more than once in a given lifetime.

Being such a unique event, it is advisable to consult with an OPM Disability Lawyer who has performed the chore of legal representation more than once, in order to obtain the experience of wisdom and advice which is, indeed, a once in a lifetime experience — but not for your FERS Attorney.

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

 

Federal & Postal Employee Disability Retirement: The Steps

There are many of them; throughout, even in a small village or town; steps to enter a restaurant; steps to get to the front door; steps down the back porch; then there are baby steps, giant leaps and small steps; hesitant ones and confident strides; steps that are loud and stomping; steps which are heavy, evoking images of a haggard day full of dashed hopes and downtrodden emotions.

Then, there are metaphorical steps — as in what steps you must take in order to “reach your goals” or the steps that have to be endured in order to “climb up the corporate ladder”.  Steps are many; some are few; and whether in a metaphorical sense or in a pragmatic statement of reality, they either take you up or down, and sometimes merely on a plateau of equilibrium where gravity and reality pulls at you in either direction.

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, the steps you take at the initial stage of the process are important in establishing where you want to go, how you want to go about it, and whether or not you will make any progress in reaching your destination point — a receipt of an approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, lest the steps you take lead you backward, instead of forward, in the complex administrative process of Federal Disability Retirement.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Medical Retirement: The Dystopian Perspective

Books from all ages depict such a view: The classic one, of course, is Orwell’s 1984; or of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451; but more recently, of Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and even more recently of Ogawa’s, The Memory Police. They all possess a thread of commonality: Of a society both frightening and oppressive, based upon human fears and the insecurity wrought by where we are going, the trends of modernity which succumb to believability, and the suspicion that such dystopian consequences are actually possible.

Orwell was wrong, of course — Big Brother did not have to forcibly place tele-screens into people’s homes; instead, each of us volunteered to go out and purchase such spying screens, and with our own hard-earned money in the form of Smartphones, televisions and laptops.  And while no one comes and burns our books, we have effectively accomplished such a misdeed by slowly and incrementally converting them all into digital devices, thus ensuring that we won’t actually know whether the published content of a book is what was originally intended; for, he who controls the digital device has ultimate control over its content, whereas a book published in its original form cannot be altered except by forcible means.

As for Atwood’s theme and Ogawa’s portrayal of the world — they deal with the two aspects of a life in a frightening way: Of the subjugation of the body (The Handmaid’s Tale) and of controlling the mind (The Memory Police).  All are fictional works; yet, somehow we can “relate” to the stories being told. How is that? Is it because we have a dystopian perspective already prepared within us by society’s callous conduct?

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 his or her Federal or Postal job, the Dystopian Perspective is a very familiar one.  For, being ostracized; being condemned; being harassed and being subjected to unfair treatment — it all comes in a bundle once you can no longer “perform” at the level expected by the Federal Agency or the Postal Service.

When that Dystopian Perspective becomes unbearable, then it is time to consider preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  And, while the Dystopian Perspective may not turn into an Utopian Reality, it is far better than the subjugation of the human mind and body that gets increasingly worse under Big Brother’s eye.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Disability Retirement Benefits: The Use of Language

Some are better at it than others; others, still, can state in a single sentence what most will try in a paragraph or a novel.  Poets are linguistic craftsmen who utilize an economy of words but convey the greater qualitative vehicle of descriptions and word-pictures; and essayists, confined often by space limited by editors and restricted by practical concerns, not the least of which may involve the potential boredom or attention-span of readers, must by necessity struggle with clarity of content.

The use of language is a funny thought; for the best of those who engage in it effortlessly, the ideas, concepts and descriptive pictures conveyed is accomplished without concern of the process, but merely by “doing it”.  Language is something we use daily; yet, few of us pause to consider it as a tool or implement of our daily lives.  A gardener who has mislaid his or her spade will look for it and, if it turns out that it is lost, will declare, “I cannot go out into the garden to work, today.”

Do we do that with language?  Do we wake up and say, “Well, today, I mislaid my X, and therefore I cannot engage in the language game.”  Of course, we refer to language as a “tool” in a metaphorical sense, and so we recognize that there are practical distinctions to be made between a spade and language, but nevertheless, they are both “tools” which are used — or misused — in our everyday lives.

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 his or her Federal or Postal job, the time to consider the use of language becomes an important and relevant issue precisely because persuasion, description and argumentation are what must be engaged in presenting an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Consult with an attorney in preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application with OPM; for, in the end, the use of language will be necessary in maneuvering through a complex bureaucratic process that also uses language to deny one’s right to a benefit which must be fought for, and language is just as much a tool of use as it is a weapon of abuse.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

Federal Employee Disability Benefits: Philosophy of Life

Is it necessary to have one?  Does one ever begin this process of organic expansion with a conceptual paradigm which encapsulated the activities, movements, thought-processes and decision-making judgments that, in their aggregate, define a person’s “Philosophy of Life”?  And if we all have one, when did we subscribe to it, create it or “own” it?  Or is it all just some pithy mandate which we follow — you know, some line here or there that we picked up, either from a book, a movie, some T.V. serial, or even from some bartender who likes to mete out wisps of wisdom to those half drunk?

“Joe’s philosophy of life is to never trust anyone.”  Or: “Kim — she just believes that you should finish whatever you began.”

Of course, if you went to college and took that “Introductory Philosophy” course, you received a Reader’s Digest version of various philosophers, and perhaps came upon Seneca, the Roman Stoic, whose attempt to bifurcate the physical world from one’s inner soul has become popularized in modernity; and perhaps there are those who have grasped upon a coherent or systematic philosophical paradigm such that one actually possesses a “philosophy of life” —but few of us are organized enough to have that and, even if we did, how many of us actually follow our own philosophy of life?

Most of us just struggle through and meander, responding from one mini-crisis of life’s travails to the next.

For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, where that medical condition begins to prevent one’s ability and capacity to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal job, it is not a “philosophy of life” that will help you survive the bureaucratic process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, but rather, correct knowledge, helpful information and a plan of attack.

Consult with an attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law before initiating the process.  And, after obtaining your FERS Disability Retirement benefits, perhaps that will be the time to begin to formulate your Philosophy of Life — that is, the life beyond Federal employment.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

 

FERS Employee Disability Retirement Benefits: Meaning

It is the centrality of being, the core of life and the essence of who we are, what we do and why we endure the hardships of daily living.  Without it, the soul drags, the body wanes, the mind begins to wander.  With it, there is the deliberative step, the bounce in one’s actions, the energy within and the purposeful glint in one’s eyes.

Meaning” is what drives; its lack, like a balloon which has been punctured and is allowed to sputter aimlessly through the air.  Whether philosophy can solve the conundrum that is questioned; or that faith can endure a lifetime of disappointments; and of what it is “made up of” — whether in answering the most profound of questions, or merely enjoying the company of friends and family — we may never know.

Is there a “formula” to having it?  Can there be meaning in one’s life without close family or friends?  Is there a singular definition of what “meaning” means, or is it different for each individual?  Is it something to “find” or discover, or is it something that we are either born with, or not?

Work is certainly a part of it; for, as so much time is spent in working, one must be able to derive some meaning from a vocation —otherwise, we would end up admitting that a greater portion of our lives is spent in meaningless endeavors.

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 job, it often means [sic] that there is a loss of “meaning” in the job that one has because of the struggles one must endure in balancing family, personal obligations and work requirements.

Federal Disability Retirement may not be the answer to the loss of meaning; it does, however, allow for the Federal or Postal worker to secure a base annuity in order to make plans for the future.  And planning for the future is, at a minimum, a good start in finding that pathway for greater meaning in one’s life.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire