Of course, the penultimate approach would be to have the first stage of the process in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, to be the first and final step of the process. But life in general is imperfect; particular lives are generally in disarray; and to expect any administrative process — especially one at the Federal level — to be one of attaining perfection at the First Stage, is to expect that there are no ancillary motives, purposes or quota-driven mindsets behind the decision-making process.
The very concept of a “building block” is itself an interesting one, for it is a metaphor used to convey a sense of progress. And that would be the key. One does not purposefully leave out any single building block in the process of constructing a foundation. Instead, each block is an addition to the greater expanse of the structure, solidifying its base, preparing for the completion such that the end product will withstand weather, elements, unforeseen circumstances and potential challenges to the structural integrity itself.
Similarly, if the U.S. Office of Personnel Management questions an issue or aspect of one’s Federal Disability Retirement application, the entire structure of the application should not be in danger of crumbling; rather, it may be a question which leads to an easy resolution, or a clarification which can be answered, challenged or expanded upon.
That is why time expended at the initial stage of the process before the filing itself — the pre-formulation part of the process, if you will — is important. Old adages die hard, and thus to be penny wise and pound foolish is perhaps the most appropriate, wisdom-filled statement which proves itself perennially valid.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire