There is a tendency to want to “reveal all“, as if not revealing every aspect of a narrative is somehow misleading, untruthful, or deceptive. But there is a distinction to be made between information, whether it is background information or information pertaining to relevant facts and circumstances, as opposed to the essential core of a narrative.
As the Office of Personnel Management attempts to reduce the backlog of Federal Disability Retirement applications under FERS or CSRS, it becomes more and more important for each application to be submitted in a streamlined, “only the pertinent facts” type of submissions. This is not to say that all “relevant” facts must be distinguished from documents and submissions which provide for contextual understanding of a case. Rather, the days when volumes of medical documentation of all treatment notes, test results, etc., without a guiding cover letter, may do more harm than good.
In this day and age when there is so much information on the internet (much of which is irrelevant and meandering), it is good to keep in mind the conceptual distinction between that which is merely informational, and that which is essential. For Federal and Postal workers who are contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, make sure that you are focusing upon the essentials, and not merely providing information without context and relevance.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire