If there is a legal argument to be made, make sure that it is applicable; further, it is important to distinguish between the necessity of making a legal argument, as opposed to allowing the facts to speak for themselves, and the medical reports and records to establish the necessary proof by a preponderance of the evidence.
In administrative law, and specifically in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, the “applicant” (the one filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether as a Postal Worker or as a non-Postal, Federal Worker) has the advantage of thoughtfully compiling the material, documentation, legal memorandum, narrative reports, and the entire compendium of proof necessary to meet the legal requirements of eligibility, and therefore entitlement, to Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
It is essentially a “paper presentation” to the Office of Personnel Management. As such — because the applicant is able to take the necessary time and effort at the front-end of the process to prepare a compelling case, it is important to “pick and choose” the viable legal arguments to be made.
Sometimes, facts can speak for themselves, and there need not necessarily be a legal case to support the facts. Other times, the medical report and records can meet the legal requirements, without citing a specific statute or case-law. Then, there are applicable legal arguments which must, and should, be made, if merely because one should assume that OPM will not recognize the legal requirements unless aggressively informed about it.
In making such legal arguments, however, don’t undermine your own case unless you know what you are talking about. Better to remain silent on matters not known, lest you reveal your lack of knowledge on the matter.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire