Aristotle always refers back to foundational principles — back to ‘first principles’, or to the basics of life. And so we must always keep that in mind too, even in — or especially when — filing a Disability Retirement application under the FERS retirement system with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
Yes, there are always a multiplicity of ancillary issues involved — of Agency efforts for accommodating the employee, of the character of a proposed separation of the Federal or Postal employee, and the subsequent invocation of the Bruner Presumption. But in the end, it goes back to the first principles — the medical condition itself. What are the symptoms; what is it about the condition itself which makes it inherently incompatible with the essential duties of the position; what is it about the incompatible nature of the condition that OPM fails to appreciate?
The health condition itself — that devastating failure of the body and/or the mind which profoundly alters one’s chosen career, character, and life. How much more ‘basic’ can it get?
One’s career is often inseparable from one’s self-identity and consumes a greater proportion of time than most any other activity. Yes, yes, we give lip service, to ‘family-time’ and ‘leisure time’, etc. but the reality is that we expend most of our own energies in pursuing our careers, and that is why when an injury, illness, or disability hits us, it has devastating consequences. And so it must begin with the foundation of the first principle — of the basic medical condition, and from there — to build from it.
Of course those issues which OPM takes advantage of — the ancillary concepts of Agency accommodations, of applying relevant case law and preemptively addressing those pitfalls which OPM seems to take pleasure in forming the basis of a denial, but that all begins with the basic understanding of those first principles — the originating medical condition itself.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal Service workers who suffer from a medical condition and need to file for Federal Disability Retirement under FERS with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, those overlooked first principles must be the originating source in compiling an effective FERS Disability Retirement application.
Contact a FERS Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement under FERS, and consider whether beginning from the “basics” may be in fact the best way to start.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.