An applicant or potential applicant for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS exhibits tendencies which can range on a wide spectrum of behavior, thoughts, fears, actions and reactions. Some individuals believe that his or her application is so self-evident and self-explanatory, that all that is necessary is to obtain the medical records, list the diagnosed medical conditions on the Applicant’s Statement of Disability, file it, and… When the Denial letter appears from the Office of Personnel Management, there is the surprise and shock, and the: “I thought that…”
Then, there is the other extreme of the spectrum, where there is an almost irrational fear that unless every ache and pain is detailed in long, explanatory narratives, and pages of pages of “personal experience” diary-like formatted chronologies are submitted with the packet, with tabulated references to justify each and every medical experience from two decades before until the present, that the Office of Personnel Management will deny the application. Remember this: It takes just as short a time to deny the first type of application as it does the second. The Office of Personnel Management does not read through any materials which it deems “superfluous“. Somewhere in the middle between the two extremes is normally the correct balance. Or, as Aristotle would say, it is important to achieve the mean between the two extremes.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire