Perhaps they are trying to be helpful; but, more likely, the Agency through which a Federal Disability Retirement application is routed, before being forwarded to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, first to Boyers, Pennsylvania, then on to Washington, D.C., is merely acting (or reactively conducting its day to day affairs, as is often the case) in the manner that most Federal agencies and the U.S. Postal Service do — a mixture of thoughtlessness, and without a view to helping the Federal or Postal employee.
Whether the Federal Disability Retirement packet contains all of the documents which were originally submitted to the agency before the agency processed their portion, is a mystery which will often remain unresolved unless it goes to the Third Stage of the process, which is the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.
At the appellate stage (the MSPB appeal), upon an appeal by the Federal employee or the Postal employee, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is required to send to the appellant and his/her attorney, a complete copy of the file concerning all documents related to the disability retirement application. Until that time, one never knows whether — at the agency, where the Supervisor’s Statement, the SF 3112D, and all the other Standard Forms are to be completed — the Human Resources person at the agency forwarded everything which was submitted by the applicant.
If it is approved at the First Stage, or course, the question becomes an irrelevancy; if it is denied, one can sometimes infer from the body and substantive content of the denial whether certain documents were missing. But that is the problem of accountability; agencies are rarely accountable; and if it ever comes to light that certain acts of incompetence were clearly engaged in, the scramble to point fingers in different directions always seems to work.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
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