It has often been noted that “knowledge is power”, which necessarily and logically implies, of course, that lack of knowledge leaves one with weakness. Preparing a Federal Disability retirement application under FERS or CSRS requires a vast amount of knowledge.
After practicing in this area of law for over twenty (20) years (with my first 10 years involving not only Federal Disability Retirement law, but also including a heavy trial practice, appellate practice and employment law and general practice — with the last 10 years devoted exclusively to disability retirement law), the consistent and persistent need to keep updated on any changes; on case-law updates; on nuances of cases which I may have previously missed — one might think that the practice of law in a specialized field might get easier over the years.
I find that, to remain on top of the constant changes and shifts in the law is an ever-present, all-encompassing endeavor. One cannot, and must not, put a “generic” case before a Merit Systems Protection Board Judge. To do so becomes transparent and phony. The same goes with submitting a generic application to the Office of Personnel Management. There is no such thing — all Federal Disability Retirement applications must be tailored to fit the individual, and knowledge — and more importantly, greater knowledge — allows for such tailoring.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire