The “cut and dry”, “slam-dunk”, “no possibility of denial” case rarely exists. In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, the approaching attitude of humility, caution and scrupulous care for detail should always dominate, and any attitude that one’s Federal Disability Retirement application should be treated as a “given” will often backfire.
Such an attitude, however, should be distinguished from one of confidence.
If one has properly prepared one’s case, with scrutiny of detail, meticulous compilation of medical evidence, technical application of legal citations and attention to creating the nexus between one’s medical conditions and the positional duties of one’s job, then the Federal or Postal employee should be confident that the Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS or CSRS, will be approved, whether at the Initial Stage of the administrative process, at the Reconsideration Stage of the process (both at the Office of Personnel Management), or at the “legal” forums — the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Petition for Full Review, or the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
What is always important throughout the process — whether with an attitude of confidence, humility, or even arrogance — is to prepare the foundation for each stage, with an eye towards the next stage.
Thus, careful preparation — of thoughtful and concise legal citations and arguments — are not necessarily for the “present” stage, but always for the future. For, everything that one does in life should always contain an ingredient of preparation for the future, and for a future eventuality; preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS is no different.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire