It is important to have an objective tone in one’s Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS. This is inherently difficult, of course, if one is representing one’s self in such an application, because naturally the subject is the very person one is attempting to be objective about — one’s very own self. Because of this difficulty, it is often important to have legal representation, in order to attain that level of objectivity where the voice which speaks concerning the subjective pain, medical conditions, and impact upon one’s ability or inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of the job, is portrayed in an ‘objectified’ manner, tone and tenor. Further, the problem with an overemphasis on emotionalism in any Statement of Disability is that, while it may evoke sympathy, it often overstates the case. Overstating a case occurs when the subjective description collides with the ‘objective’ medical documentation which it is meant to support — not to undermine — the case as described by the applicant for Federal or Postal Disability retirement benefits. Remember that, from the perspective of the Office of Personnel Management, the applicant who has prepared the Federal or Postal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS has an underlying motive beyond filing for a benefit — that of being the recipient of the benefit.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire