Each and every stage of a Federal Disability Retirement process is important to view in the preparation of a Federal Disability Retirement application. You cannot take any stage of the process in a vacuum; for example, answering SF 3112A, Applicant’s Statement of Disability, in and of itself forces one to consider stages beyond the Initial Stage of the process.
Questions to ask: Are you bound by your answers without the possibility of further amendments to the narrative delineation you submit? Can changes, amendments, additions be made even after a CSA/Case number is assigned by Boyers, Pennsylvania and sent on its way to Washington, D.C. for an initial assessment and determination by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management? What if, in the meantime, a “new diagnosis” is provided, one which has not been included in the original Statement of Disability?
Should the language used in describing one’s medical conditions and the impact upon one’s positional duties and inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job be elastic enough to allow for greater content at a later date, or should it be concise, precise and without room for maneuver or wiggle? To what extent will prioritizing of diagnosed descriptions be used, either for or against, one’s Federal Disability Retirement, and are there consequences in submitting a non-sequential order of non-prioritized conditions, whether in terms of a spectrum from severity of pain or relevance based upon conditions recognized to be “serious” as opposed to secondary, more exacerbated-based symptoms that are considered corollaries more than central conditions?
To view the world from a perspective of bifurcated and compartmentalized episodes, where each circumstance of life has no impact or connection to any other, results from the insularity of lives we lead. But reality forces upon us the realization (note the close connection of the two words – reality and realization) that our own mental insularity does not impose a compelling argumentation upon the objective world; instead, we continue to delude ourselves into thinking one way, while the universe goes on and exists with impervious fortitude until the two contradict and ultimately clash.
For Federal employees and U.S. Post workers who try and defy the universe by ignoring the reality of preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application, and further, by attempting to sidestep the methodology of analytical determinations made by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the onus is on you: take care that you consider preparing a Federal Disability Retirement application carefully and with full view as to the value of knowledge and information, lest it come back to haunt you with a denial because you did not foresee the burden of proof.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire