How does one formulate “the argument”? Is it merely a reaction that comes naturally, like the person who has been tagged as one who is “constantly argumentative”? Do all arguments need to provide a foundation of rational discourse — of coherence within an invective of counter-statements, and structure countermanding a deterioration of civility?
For example, when a person begins to answer the questions posed on SF 3112A, that is, the Applicant’s Statement of Disability, in preparing an effective Federal OPM Disability Retirement application under FERS — does one pause, consider the various answers that may be provided, and establish a methodology in proceeding to satisfy the question? Does the Federal or Postal employee contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits consider first the consequences of one’s answers, and do you weave throughout a thoughtful argument for an approval? Or, should the “argument” be filed via a separate Legal Memorandum, pointing out the relevant laws, citing the statues and quoting from various cases that have previously addressed the issues posed?
Most people who file for FERS Medical Retirement through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management fail to consider the preemptive arguments that should be made within the answers to questions posed on SF 3112A, and thus are denied at the First Stage of the process because the applicant thought that a simple question asked required a similarly-simple answer as requested.
Then, of course, when the Initial Denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application is received through the mail, the Second Stage of the process — the “Reconsideration Stage” — merits further formulation of legal arguments. At whatever “stage” you are at — whether at the First and Initial Stage; the second, “Reconsideration” Stage; or even at the Third Stage, an Appeal with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board — formulating a coherent, cogent and rational argument that persuades OPM to approve the Federal Disability Retirement application is an important component in a winning FERS Medical Retirement application.
Remember — to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is not like having an argument with a friend or spouse; it is an argument which must be based upon facts, evidence, and legal precedents, and to have the best “shot” at it requires the hand of an Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer