Often, during a consultation with a Federal or Postal employee, the issue comes up about what “X said” about “Y-issue”. Information is plentiful, and especially in this age of the internet, the plethora of information, abundant in volume and scope, can seemingly provide the generic and universally appreciated mass of unidentifiable vacuity called, “Information“.
The problem is no longer the lack of information; rather, the problem is to be able to discern the difference between “useful information”, “relevant information,” “effective information,” and “peripheral information”. In preparing, formulating, and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, it is important to make the distinctions. However, in this world of unlimited sources of information, a person who first approaches a subject — especially a subject involving legal consequences such as Federal Disability Retirement law — may have a difficult time in distinguishing between the various “types” of information.
Further, it is important to recognize the “source” of information — Who said it? Where did it come from? Is there statutory authority to back it up? Is the source reliable? These latter questions must also be asked, and the way to determine the credibility and reliability of information is often to take some time and cross-check information from various sources, and decipher as to whether a particular source provides a consistency of information which can be trusted. When it comes to preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, where one’s future may depend upon the information gathered, the Federal or Postal employee would be wise to “check out the source” before proceeding forth.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire