In one sense, it is nonsensical to ask the question: “Is it possible to…?” For, is there any limitation to the concept of the possible? Isn’t it possible that there are Martians on Mars, but in a parallel universe unseen and concealed from the human eye? Isn’t it possible that the room you leave disintegrates molecularly, then reconstitutes itself the moment you reenter? Isn’t it possible that it will rain tomorrow, despite the national weather service predicting otherwise (this latter example is actually not too absurd, as it is a regular occurrence experienced by most)?
Does it alter the significance and qualitative relevance of the query if, instead, we exchange the word with “probable”? Does probability by numerical quantification of possibility negate the extremes and unfettered boundaries of the possible? Does a statistical analysis make a difference – say, if a “scientist” asserts that the chances of Martians existing on Mars in a parallel universe unseen is 1-in-1 Billion (as opposed to 1-in-999 million – i.e., are such statements and declarations really accurate at all?) – to the extent that it somehow replaces with credibility the conceptual construct of the possible?
It is all very doubtful, and beyond some cynicism of puzzlement and suspicion that such statistical assertions constitute a perfection of any reasonable methodological approach, the reality is that for the person who is struck by lightening while golfing on a sunny day, that 1-in-a-trillion chance is negated by the 100% probability that he or she was, in fact, in reality, struck by lightening, no matter what the statistical analysis declares.
In the end, probability analysis places some semblance of constraints upon the fenceless conceptual paradigm of possibilities, but it is the latter which compels man to attempt feats beyond the probable, and it is the former which places a reality check upon the limitless creativity of fools, madmen and eccentric geniuses throughout history.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who are considering the possibility of pursuing a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal employee or U.S. Postal Worker is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, the question often constraining is the probability consensus of “success” – and, yes, that is a consideration that the reality of a bureaucracy and administrative process should face and take into consideration.
In the end, the possibility of a successful filing can be enhanced by the probability factors that are required by law: A methodological approach; a supportive doctor who is willing to provide a narrative connecting the dots between the medical condition and the essential elements of one’s positional duties; a systematic legal argumentation that provides a “road-map” for the Administrative Specialist at OPM; and an understanding that the possibilities to pursue can be qualitatively quantified by the probability of supportive documentation. Go figure.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire