Preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS becomes a consequential necessity arising from the impact of one’s medical conditions upon the ability or inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job.
The medical condition, whether chronic or situational; whether a single episode or recurrent; or whether from a singularly traumatic event or one of progressive deterioration — the present impact of the medical condition and its likely impact for 12 months or more into the future, as a prognosis by the doctor based upon reasonable medical probability is far more relevant than the historical origin of the medical condition.
The Federal or Postal employee who is contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is often focused, with myopic distractions and irrelevancies, which may be detrimental to the successful outcome of attempting to prove one’s eligibility, upon events, history, and symptoms which have little or no effect upon the criteria of eligibility for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
Each professional has a specific purpose, and it is important to recognize the specific purpose for which a professional has been retained. Thus, the medical doctor’s job is to attempt to treat the medical condition; the therapist’s job is to provide therapeutic intervention through various means for tapping into the psychology of one’s problems; the physical therapist’s purpose is to set physical goals and attempt to increase flexibility, mobility, reduce pain thresholds, etc.
The job of an attorney, in representing a Federal or Postal employee to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS from the Office of Personnel Management, is to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that a Federal or Postal employee meets the legal criteria set by statutes, regulations and case-law.
There is a spectrum of necessity which each professional must meet, and while the spectrum sometimes blurs one into another, such that the distinct lines may become somewhat indeterminate, the singular focus of an attorney who is hired to obtain Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS should be to always do that which is required on the spectrum of necessity, to meet the legal criteria.
For, in the end, it is the approval letter from the Office of Personnel Management which the Federal or Postal employee seeks. Once sought and obtained, the job has been accomplished.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
OPM Disability Retirement Attorney