Imagine if you were asked to go into a large warehouse full of items, boxes, stacks of documents, etc., and your instructions were simply: Find what is relevant. You would be lost. Moreover, you may either spend a great amount of time searching for what is relevant, or not any time at all — for, without contextual significance, doing a lot or doing nothing amounts to the same thing.
That is the perspective that a Claims Representative at the Office of Personnel Management possesses when he or she receives a Federal Disability Retirement application with a voluminous stack of medical records, without guiding contextual instructions. Indeed, an Applicant’s Statement of Disability is not merely a statement of medical disability and its impact upon one’s medical inability to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s job; it is, moreover, a guide to the medical records and relevant attachments.
Context and significance must always be the guide. Never just “dump” a bunch of medical records along with an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, thinking that the OPM Representative will understand the import and significance of such records. You may simply receive a correlative response: a responsive dumping of the application.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire