In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, the self-contradiction involved in the entire process is that the Federal Disability Retirement packet is being submitted as a “paper presentation” to people at the Office of Personnel Management, yet, concurrently, the preparation of the submission is done with the intent of eliminating the “human factor”, and instead to meet all of the critical elements and the legal burden of proof.
The human factor necessarily involves human elements, and therefore the potential for errors. There is no mathematical formula in preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application. It is not an exact science, and one cannot predict the guarantee of a Federal Disability Retirement application as to its approval.
Because of the human element involved, one can only attempt to formulate the packet by inoculating against the potential of human errors, and that means that one must understand and interpret all of the legal criteria which are necessary for a successful approach to the process. The human factor is countered by more human factors — that is why there is a process of appeals — before administrative judges, and Judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The appellate process is a further attempt to review the possibility of human errors, and an attempt to correct such human errors.
If there was a mathematical construct which could precisely determine the eligibility of each Federal Disability Retirement submission, and there was unanimous agreement that the computer model was fair and without error, perhaps such a computer program will one day make the determination of an approval or denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application. That is doubtful, however, because we are dealing with human beings, human medical conditions, and human suffering. As such, the human factor can never be entirely eliminated, and nor should it.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire