Form, Content & Substance. Form is the appearance and the general approach & methodology of a Federal Disability Retirement packet; Content is the essence of that which makes up the materials in the packet; and Substance (hopefully) is the “meat” of the packet itself. Make sure that what is stated is substantive.
OPM Representatives have multiple cases. From the perspective of the Federal Disability Retirement applicant, it is a singular case, because it is one’s own case, and the personal nature of such a case makes it of paramount importance. From the perspective of the OPM Representative, however, it is one of multiple cases, and it is part of his or her job. If one has to wade through a generous amount of fluff before getting to the content of the Federal Disability Retirement application, the energy expended may be a distraction from a serious review of the substantive content.
A descriptive narrative bridging the medical condition with the type of job one performs is a necessary component; but as between a concise short story and a novella, the former is to be preferred in preparing and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS & CSRS.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire