“Clean” cases are those which need no further elucidation. Like events and documents which speak for themselves, the clean case in a Federal Disability Retirement application, as in other sectors of legal encounters and adversarial processes, requires little, if any, explanatory addendum.
It is a rarity for two primary reasons: First, because life itself defies a linear, uninterrupted sequence of events which follows along the parallel universe of administrative rules and regulations, and second (and probably more importantly and certainly problematically) because most people are unable to distinguish between an objectively clean case, and one which — because of one’s personal and subjective involvement in one’s own case — merely appears to be less embroiled than others with potential problems.
The Federal or Postal Worker who is preparing one’s own Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application, is the same person who suffers from the pain or psychiatric illness which is the foundation and basis of one’s claim. As such, because the private world of medical disability is the identical consciousness which must prepare, formulate and present one’s Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS or CSRS, to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is difficult to make an objective, unbiased assessment of one’s own case.
The one who “feels the pain”, believes that one’s own pain is in and of itself persuasive to others as to the extent and severity of that pain. That is why the truly “clean” case is a rarity; it exists mostly in the minds of those who believe in their own suffering. The rest of the world, however, has little empathy for the suffering of others, and the systematic, bureaucratic volume of denials in Federal Disability Retirement applications is a testament to the harsh reality of the world in which we occupy.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire