OPM Disability Retirement: Discretionary Selectivity

Having the discretion to do X can have two possible meanings:  One has the power or authority to choose to make decisions; or, alternatively, one has the ability to do X, as in having the judgment and talent to discern in order to selectively choose, refrain to act upon, etc.  The two are not necessarily possessed by one and the same; i.e., the fact that a person has the power or authority to do X does not mean that such a person should, or competently could, assert such power or authority to act.

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important for the Federal or Postal employee who is contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, to recognize that while he/she as the potential applicant, has the “discretion” to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, it is often unwise to be both the subject of the application, concurrently with being the object of the application, and as such, the highest recognition of discretionary selectivity is to recognize the inability to assert sound discretionary judgment, and to delegate the (applying second meaning of the concept of “discretion”) act to someone else; or, at the very least, to ask for assistance in the preparation, formulation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application.

In most issues of life, to be both the subject (the applicant filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits) as well as the object (the person of whom the application itself is the primary focus of discussion in a Federal Disability Retirement application) presents a difficulty and obstacle, if only because the one suffering from a medical condition is hardly the most objective person to be describing and communicating the essence of the medical condition and its impact upon the subject of the object.

Discretionary selectivity requires the ability to approach issues in an objective manner; but when the subject (the pervasive “I”) becomes inseparable from the central focus of discussion (the “thou” or “him/her”), it is often a good idea to delegate the vehicle of communication.  This is not a matter of split personalities; it is a practical approach in order to “how” best be effective in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

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