One can act as if a mistake was not made; the problem exists, however, and continues to impact, with the assumption that X did happen, despite one’s best attempts at ignoring the occurrence.
Thus, when the question is posed to the undersigned attorney whether it would be “okay” to try and file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, on one’s own, and if it is denied, to then seek the assistance of an attorney, the short answer is, “Of course”. The silent “but” and qualifier is never necessarily posed or queried.
The caveat is a simple one: While most mistakes are correctable, there is one thing which cannot be done: one cannot put blinders on OPM for what they have already received and reviewed. We cannot play “as if” OPM did not review that specific document which implied a situational disability; or the one which characterized a medical condition as one which “waxes and wanes“; or referred to certain elements in terms of possibilities and potentialities; and other such equivocating conceptual paradigms.
The world of OPM, Medical Disability Retirement, Federal employment issues, etc., does not allow for the playing of the “as if” game. Thus, to the question of going at a Federal Disability Retirement application alone, yes, we can play as if the Federal or Postal employee will do everything properly; but when the consequences come back with a negative result, we cannot then play as if we are back at the starting gates of the race; we have already entered into the fray, and must deal with the facts as they now exist.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire