In preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application from the Office of Personnel Management, part of the necessary preparation must always include research of information. Such research of information, however, must include the ability to conceptually distinguish between information which is relevant, useful, and ultimately accurate.
The exponential growth and explosion of information on the internet certainly has made research easy and accessible; however, the ease of access of information also means that the plenitude of information contains the inherent dangers of inaccuracy, if only because the source of such information must be valued and evaluated based upon the source’s motive, background, reason for existence, and intent for providing and supplying such information.
Thus, for example, if the information comes from the Office of Personnel Management, such information will not contain a viewpoint of advocacy — in other words, not much guidance will be provided in terms of attempting to successfully formulate a Federal Disability Retirement application. Or, for many websites which provide legal services and representation, the obvious underlying intent and motive is to persuade and convince the reader that a particular law firm is the “one for you”.
Information must be accessed carefully; information should be evaluated thoroughly; information needs to be conceptually dissected and analyzed for accuracy, reliability, and for its relevance and applicability.
But as always, remember the maxim which applies to all information: there is a difference between information and knowledge. Alas, the latter will often require experience in the use and application of the former, and in preparing, formulating and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, because the Federal or Postal employee is relying upon such information to determine the course of one’s future, it is important to recognize the distinction.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire