That is what makes you pause, yet unsure — the “just beyond”. Maybe its a dream — but it is just beyond your grasp. Perhaps the directions you were given — just beyond the next corner, just beyond the next town; or just beyond what even Google Maps can lead you to.
Or, in a Federal Disability Retirement case, it is the argument that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management makes in denying your Federal Disability application under the FERS system: the insertion of a word here, an unfamiliar legal phrase there, always “just beyond” a suspicion as to whether they are correctly stating the legal criteria or the statutory authority cited in denying your case.
OPM systematically engages in such word-usage — of using phrases and inserting words which go “just beyond” the law, but in fact do not comply with the actual legal requirements. And, as the individuals who make the decisions at OPM are themselves just beyond any accountability, they engage in such misuse and mis-application of the law with impunity, knowing very well that they will never have to answer for such mis-characterizations.
Thus, for example, does a denial of a Federal or Postal Disability retirement application often refer to the fact that “Social Security did not find you unable to be employed” — which may be true, but is a statement “just beyond” the laws governing a FERS Federal Disability Retirement application because what Social Security determines has absolutely no relevance to your FERS Disability Retirement application.
Or, OPM might say something like, “There is no evidence that your Agency could not have accommodated you beyond all possible means”. Yes, but that is not the law; rather, the issue is whether your Agency could have “reasonably” accommodated you; not, whether you could have been accommodated beyond all possibilities within the universe of theoretical possibilities.
Again, OPM engages in legal jargon “just beyond” the boundaries of truth and integrity. To make sure that OPM stays within the boundaries of statutory authority, contact a FERS Disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and always make sure that you apply the law not just beyond, but within.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.