Since prior to the time of Plato’s Dialogues, the questions distinguishing between “appearance” and “reality” have pervaded Western philosophical thought, and through that tradition, to the common culture we inhabit. What a person, entity, organization or group “appears” to do, think, become motivated by, etc., as opposed to the underlying teleological focus, the substantive “substratum” which, in the progressive evolution of philosophical thought, culminated in Heidegger’s explosion and unrevealing of true “Being” as being.
In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important to have a rudimentary understanding of the methodological approach of the agency one must deal with — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. To do so, as one might take Aristotle’s analysis, it is well to understand and evaluate “first principles”.
Yes, OPM is required to apply “the law“. Yes, certain aspects of “the law”, such as questions concerning accommodations, whether a job offer was ever made by the agency; whether a case appears to have some semblance of situational disability; whether workplace harassment played a role in a Federal or Postal worker’s medical condition — all of these are “considered”. But that is merely the “appearance” of how OPM approaches a case.
Ultimately, the “reality” of consideration focuses upon the effectiveness and persuasive efficacy of the medical report and records. Where law, medicine, and common sense meet and collide, is where the reality of a Federal Disability Retirement case ultimately coalesces, and that is why the combination of what the medical evidence says, what the applicant states, and what the law argues, will be the deciding factors in the “reality” of a case, as opposed to the mere appearance.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire