Whether through illiteracy or the natural evolution of our language, it is becoming more difficult to convey meaning through the vehicle of language. Text messaging; grammatical irrelevance; lack of widespread rigor in linguistic disciplines; and the legal profession pushing to bend the outer limits of what language allows for — these are all contributing factors to the changing face of the English language.
Paper presentations present a peculiar problem, however, in that the words conveyed can be reviewed and re-reviewed multiple times by the reader.
In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important to strive for precision, clarity, and focus upon the centrality of the issue, and not to deviate too far from the essence of one’s narrative form. Nuance may be effective in love letters; it is rarely of value in formulating a Federal Disability Retirement application. The causal connection between one’s medical conditions and the essential elements of one’s duties must be firmly and clearly established.
There is no singular “technique” in putting together a Federal Disability Retirement application, other than to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that which is necessary in meeting the applicable legal criteria. It is a genre in and of itself, requiring technical competence and expertise. Not the time for a “hit or miss” approach; a paper presentation, with inherent problems of potential scrutiny, must be conveyed with conceptual constructs of clarity.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire