It is assumed in the West that knowledge, in and of itself, is a valuable thing. And in this country, periods of pragmatism overtake that viewpoint, but always seem to revert back — otherwise, how else would we persuade children to spend countless hours sitting in a classroom, year after year?
As “making a living” has become the primary focus of society in general, there is an ever-pervasive tension between knowledge for its own sake as opposed to knowledge that is “useful” (translation: the “know-how” to make a living). This is a tension that every society must grapple with — of becoming educated as an end in itself or as a means to a different end.
Few believe that there is a downside to having a good education, but a well-educated populace that lives in poverty cannot for long sustain its justification for perpetuating inapplicable knowledge. Society must always maintain a balance between theoretical knowledge and applied knowledge.
Law is a discipline which straddles the fence between the theoretical and the practical, inasmuch as it engages in conceptual/intellectual issues, but concurrently, must be able to be applied in the everyday lives of people. For example, in domestic relations law, there are overarching conceptual principles focusing upon what constitutes “the best interests of a child” in a custody battle, but in the end, the practical application of determining a workable visitation schedule must be hammered out between the parties involved.
Similarly, in Criminal law, while a society may adopt a conceptual apparatus as to whether “reform” is the goal or “punishment” is the justifying foundation for a lengthy incarceration imposed, nevertheless, in either case, society must consider the practical issue of protecting its citizens from further harm which may predictably be committed by the party found guilty.
In a similar fashion, for Federal employees and U.S. Postal employees who file for Federal or Postal Disability Retirement benefits through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under the FERS system, knowing the Law and cases governing Federal Disability Retirement is essential in engaging the bureaucratic process, precisely because Federal Disability Retirement benefits is not merely about the medical condition in and of itself, but involves a complex consortium of issues in relation to the job one is positioned in, whether the Agency can accommodate an individual’s medical disabilities as well as what constitutes a legally-viable accommodation, as well as a whole host of other similar issues.
Here, knowledge precedes application, and having a ‘working’ knowledge of the laws governing Federal Disability Retirement in order to apply it at each stage of the administrative process is a necessary prerequisite before considering even applying for the benefit. Yes, there are rare cases in which the medical disability is so severe and clear-cur that the medical documentation is and should be sufficient unto itself; but that is a rare case indeed.
As such, at whatever stage of the process one finds oneself in the Federal Disability Retirement bureaucracy, you may want to consult with an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes exclusively in Federal Disability Retirement law in order to have not only the knowledge but the practical application of proceeding against the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in fighting for your FERS Disability Retirement benefits.
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.