The problem with sharing sensitive information with others is that the question of trust always enters into the picture. As noted in a previous blog, a Federal or Postal employee filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, must be willing to submit sensitive medical information to one’s agency, at some point in the process.
Such submission — and therefore, presumptive “sharing” of such sensitive medical information — can hardly be avoided, because there are legitimate reasons why the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service must view and analyze the information. Such mistrust of a Federal Agency is certainly not unfounded (yes, a double-negative is difficult to discern, but necessary nonetheless), and the concern rises exponentially based upon the nature of the medical submission, the prior historical encounter with the Agency in the arena of other litigation, adverse actions, legal forums, etc. Then, the question of timing must be considered — for, if other litigation is pending, there is a question whether the submission of a Federal Disability Retirement application will impact any other pending issues.
Ultimately, in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, one assumes that the goal of the applicant is to obtain a Federal Disability Retirement, and be separated from Federal Service as an obvious but necessary consequence; and, in doing so, to suffer the cost of revealing some sensitive medical information in order to achieve that goal.
In attempting to reach that goal, one must get beyond the intermediate “wall” — one’s own agency — in order to arrive at the destination — the Office of Personnel Management. That wall must be allowed to display some personal information. How; to what extent; to whose viewing; and when and for what purposes, must be contained and restricted based upon a standard of ensuring, to the extent possible, that such viewing is limited to those who have a “must see” position in order to complete the Federal Disability Retirement application.
Sincerely, Robert R. McGill, Esquire