It is important in preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application to make the distinction between essential, substantive issues which will need to be addressed, and those issues which should be deemed “peripheral“. The substantive issues should be those which go to the “heart” of your case (i.e., the medical disabilities; the impact upon the work; sometimes, the issues concerning medication regimens and treatment modalities, etc.). The peripheral issues are those which will not only detract from the essential issues, but also some which may, if focused upon too prominently, derail a Federal Disability Retirement application.
Further, a potential applicant for a Federal Disability Retirement must have the wisdom and discernment to sometimes leave an issue alone. Perhaps an issue is brought up by a Supervisor in a Supervisor’s Statement, or in the SF 3112D concerning an accommodation issue; or perhaps it is brought up on an SF 50. In any event, remember the general dictum that if a person protests an issue too vehemently, it may bring the attention and focus of the Office of Personnel Management upon an issue which otherwise may have been ignored.
Such approaches in determining peripheral issues from substantive issues are made in the course of filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, based upon experience, wisdom, and discernment.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire