Beyond making sure that you have enough time for your treating doctors to provide you with updated medical documentation at the Reconsideration Stage of the process, an applicant must take care in addressing the the underlying concerns expressed by the Office of Personnel Management.
Unfortunately, this is a stage in the process which will probably require an attorney who is knowledgeable in the area of Federal Disability Retirement law. Why? Because the Specialist who denies an application for disability retirement will often provide a “laundry-list” of purported evidence which the Specialist claims would be “helpful” in proving your case. The laundry list provided is often a mis-statement of the law. It is up the the attorney to point out to the Office of Personnel Management what the correct statement of the law is; at the same time, however, it is important to “read between the lines” of a denial letter, and address some of the underlying “missing links” which provided the basis for the denial.
This is where the assistance of an attorney can be crucial. For it is the job of a disability retirement attorney at the Reconsideration Stage to do three things: (1) point out the correct law, (2) provide updated medical documentation to address the concerns of OPM in the denial letter, and (3) correct any errors that the applicant made in the initial stage prior to having contacted a disability retirement attorney.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
I feel victimized by SSA and OPM. Approximately, 11 years ago my agency forced me into a medical retirement. Pursuant to FERS Disability I applied to SSA, and received my benefits. SSA encouraged me to find other suitable employment given my disability and told me that their Back to Work Program offered me an opportunity to explore my prospects of going back to work without affecting my benefits. So this week I receive a SSA notice of overpayment in 2005, 2006. They claim I owe them in excess of $15,000 and will take 100% of my benefit until repaid in April, 2011. Ok, so lets assume according to SSA I was overpaid shouldn’t OPM pay me the 60% offset to my FERS disability annuity? Not only do I have to repay this overpayment, which I always reported my work activity to SSA and OPM, OPM is essentially applying a 60% penalty because of my overpayment/repayment. How can a net 0 dollars from SSA justify OPM to reduce my disability payment 60%. It doesn’t make any sense! Now I am faced with a 2/3 cut in my monthly benefit payment, not a livable sum.