The obvious and self-evident problems of many can be characterized as failing to know what the questions are; for, if the question is unknown, how can one provide an answer?
Thus, in entering into the surreal universe of Federal Disability Retirement benefits, which can be both a procedural, administrative nightmare, as well as a substantive morass of conflicting and confusing legal framework, the novice who first encounters the Standard Forms (SF 3107, with Schedules A, B & C for the FERS employee; SF 2801 with Schedules A, B & C for the CSRS employee; and SF 3112 series for both the FERS and CSRS employee) may well have a perspective that, inasmuch as the questions asked are fairly easy to comprehend, the answers themselves would naturally, likewise, be easy to append.
But as much of law and the success of legal reasoning involves the preempting of anticipated future problems (e.g., that is precisely what Estates & Trusts lawyers attempt to do — to anticipate any objections of those who are heirs or potential beneficiaries of an estate), so the lack of knowledge of the wide body and historical evolution of how X came to be through the legal evolution and expansion of Y, results in the grave disadvantage of the Federal or Postal Worker who stumbles upon the compendium of the Federal Disability Retirement process. And, of course, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management loves nothing more than to look upon the unknowing Federal applicant, with hungry eyes, ready to pounce upon such lack of knowledge.
Preempting a problem requires the anticipation of the question; and knowing the question is the first step to coming up with an answer.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire