In every submission of documentary evidence for a Federal Disability Retirement application, whether under FERS or CSRS, there is the need for discretionary decision-making.
Not every piece of information is relevant or necessary; volume of attachments does not make for sufficiency of substantive content; allowing for certain information to “speak for itself” is often more effective than a long-winded explanatory addendum; and the extent of irrelevant or unimportant information attached or included may well have a decidedly negative impact upon a decision, both in terms of questions raised as to the reason for inclusion of such material, and the detracting nature of such information from the centrality and essence of the submission.
Balance of information is always a consideration. As time is always of importance, so is maintaining the acuity of attention upon the case worker assigned to review, evaluate and decide upon a case. Streamlining; making certain that the focus is always upon the nexus between one’s medical condition and the ability/inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job; and the editorial process of discretionary inclusion of relevant material — these should be the final steps in the formulation and compilation of a Federal Disability Retirement application just prior to submission to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS.
Balance the information — always in favor of relevance, importance, and substantive content. Fluff is best left to descriptive articulation in a fictional genre.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire