Federal and Postal Disability Retirement: Guidance and the Void

Questions in life always abound; those who ask few, if any, questions, either retain an abundance of knowledge, are wanting of care, or merely meander through life in a muddle of marginality.

In enduring the administrative process of preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, questions concerning the entire bureaucratic process are never fully answered at any stage of the process.  The void of clear, concise and definitive answers are often deferred — whether because of OPM’s actions, one’s own agency actions, or because the context and timing of the question must betray the patience of an immediate answer.

Guidance throughout the process is invaluable.  Remember — ultimately, Federal Disability Retirement is a legal process; yes, it is the filing of government standard forms; yes, it is “administrative” in nature, inasmuch as the benefit applied for must be submitted through an administrative agency — the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  But whenever there are rights to have a “case” reconsidered; whenever that administrative “filing” may require an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board; whenever “anything” of such a nature is or may be required — it constitutes a legal process and procedure.

For a legal process, one normally requires legal guidance.  The void of legal guidance of those who have tried it without an attorney, is palpable.  Of course, guidance is separate from wisdom; and wisdom is differentiated from the mere providing of information — often of error.  Seek the proper guidance, and keep out of the void.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

OPM Disability Retirement: Discretionary Selectivity

Having the discretion to do X can have two possible meanings:  One has the power or authority to choose to make decisions; or, alternatively, one has the ability to do X, as in having the judgment and talent to discern in order to selectively choose, refrain to act upon, etc.  The two are not necessarily possessed by one and the same; i.e., the fact that a person has the power or authority to do X does not mean that such a person should, or competently could, assert such power or authority to act.

In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is important for the Federal or Postal employee who is contemplating filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, to recognize that while he/she as the potential applicant, has the “discretion” to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, it is often unwise to be both the subject of the application, concurrently with being the object of the application, and as such, the highest recognition of discretionary selectivity is to recognize the inability to assert sound discretionary judgment, and to delegate the (applying second meaning of the concept of “discretion”) act to someone else; or, at the very least, to ask for assistance in the preparation, formulation and filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application.

In most issues of life, to be both the subject (the applicant filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits) as well as the object (the person of whom the application itself is the primary focus of discussion in a Federal Disability Retirement application) presents a difficulty and obstacle, if only because the one suffering from a medical condition is hardly the most objective person to be describing and communicating the essence of the medical condition and its impact upon the subject of the object.

Discretionary selectivity requires the ability to approach issues in an objective manner; but when the subject (the pervasive “I”) becomes inseparable from the central focus of discussion (the “thou” or “him/her”), it is often a good idea to delegate the vehicle of communication.  This is not a matter of split personalities; it is a practical approach in order to “how” best be effective in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire