In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under either FERS or CSRS, from the Office of Personnel Management, one often overlooks the basic, foundational questions needed to have answered in the preliminary stages of a Federal Disability Retirement case.
The fact that one has a medical condition which impacts one’s ability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job is a “given” — i.e., a fact that then prompts or initiates the entire procedure of even contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
To proceed from that “given”, however, requires further insight and questioning — more of a practical nature, as in: What are the essential elements of my job? Do I have doctors who view my medical condition in the same way as I do? More importantly, will my doctors support me in my quest to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS? How will I explain to them the very processes and procedures, of the legal and medical requirements which must be met in preparing a medical report, such that the medical narrative report will meet those legal requirements? Do I have the resources ready in order to sustain a protracted administrative battle with the Office of Personnel Management? Will my agency allow me to continue to work while I engage in this application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits?
These are all serious and substantive questions — ones which go beyond the mere appearance of thinking that preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the Office of Personnel Management, is merely a matter of “filling out forms“.
It never is, and just as “substance” differs from “appearance” (which is the entire philosophical basis of the Socratic and dialectical tradition of Western Philosophy), so the questions one asks at the outset of the process is important in determining the substantive nature of one’s quest.
Sincerely, Robert R. McGill, Esquire