In every life, in every human condition, there is the narrative to tell. In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is an opportunity to convey a “narrative”. It is, however, for a specified purpose — to obtain OPM Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. As such, there is a “context” within which one is asked to communicate the narrative of one’s life; and that context is delimited and defined by the questions posed on an Applicant’s Statement of Disability, Standard Form 3112A.
The communicating of one’s narrative is an important desire and need for human beings.
The story entitled “Grief” or “Misery”, written by Anton Chekhov, answers the poignant question, “To whom shall I tell my grief?” In that story, Iona has lost a son, and the story unfolds of how, at every opportunity in the quest to tell the narrative of the human condition, he is rebuffed, ignored and left unsatisfied.
It is often the case in similar fashion with Federal and Postal workers who are attempting to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management — a need to describe and tell the story of pain, medical conditions, harassment, stress, anxiety, etc. But it is the job of the attorney to refine, limit, restrict and streamline the story; for the story of the human condition will have amounted to further misery if the story is told unedited, and the Federal or Postal employee is unable to obtain the Federal Disability Retirement benefits because the unedited version of the story was left to be told, resulting in a denial from OPM.
There are counselors and therapists; there are treating doctors; the attorney is neither. It is the job of the Federal Disability Retirement attorney to effectively represent a client, and sometimes that involves the necessity of being blunt and forthright.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire