In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS and submitting it to the Office of Personnel Management, it is important to formulate a cogent argument for approval.
There are different methodologies of persuasive argumentation — including logical argumentation; appeal to emotional elements; presenting a compendium of multi-faceted sub-arguments; overwhelming the listener with volumes of facts and issues, etc.
A cogent argument, however, involves persuasiveness by means of the logical structure, believability and inherent clarity and incisiveness of the argument itself. It is the argument, in the context of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, which creates the necessary “nexus” between one’s medical conditions and the essential elements of one’s job. For, whether one agrees with, or understands this (or not), in preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, and specifically when one writes the narrative presentation on the Applicant’s Statement of Disability (SF 3112A) , in describing one’s medical conditions and their impact upon one’s ability or inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job, you are arguing for persuasive effect.
Cogency is the key to an effective argument. Clarity of logical and sequential dependent clauses building upon an ultimate conclusion — or a conclusion which will systematically follow from the premises which are presented in a clear and concise manner — is important in making one’s “case” to the Office of Personnel Management.
A cogent presentation is an effective one; lack of clarity only muddles the issues; and when a Federal or Postal employee is attempting to persuade, by means of a paper presentation, to a faceless bureaucracy, it is important to make the impact of cogency felt immediately.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire