OPM Disability Retirement: Agency Actions I

Can adverse agency actions to terminate a Federal employee impact a potential disability retirement application?  The short answer is “yes”, but the longer answer would have to consider multiple factors:  what is the underlying basis of the adverse action?  Does a person’s medical conditions (often psychiatric, cognitive dysfunctions impacting upon less than stellar performance ratings, or perhaps impacting upon the essential elements of one’s job in other ways) explain, in whole or in part, the “adverse” nature of the action?  Has there been a “paper trail” established with respect to informing the Agency of medical conditions, such that it can “explain” — again, in whole or in part — the apparent basis of the adverse action?  Is the Agency open to negotiating a material change in the proposed removal — i.e., from one which is adversarial (and therefore would be appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board) to one based upon one’s medical inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job (with a stipulation that no appeal will be filed, thereby saving the Agency’s time, resource, and personnel).  It is important to “get involved” in the process of any contemplated Agency action — early.  If the Agency puts an employee on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), it is time — in fact, overdue — to become active in the future plans for filing a disability retirement application.

Sincerely,

Robert R. McGill, Esquire

One Response

  1. I AM A CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEE HIRED ON 4-29-81…I FILED AN OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE WC CLAIM IN 01-2007 AND WAS APPROVED…HOWEVER I HAD TO FILE A SEPARATE WC CLAIM FOR EACH OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE AND HAD TO RECEIVE A SEPERATE DECISION ON EACH CLAIM FILED….FOR EACH CLAIM FILED (5) I WAS APPROVED….I WAS APPROVED 05-07—07-07—-10–07—06–08 AND 11-09…..EACH REQUIRD SURGERY AND PHYSICAL THERAPY AND ALL OVERLAPPED EACH OTHER WITH NO BREAK IN WORKERS’ COMP PAYMENTS OR APPROVALS FOR SURGERIES, ETC. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, SINCE MY AGENCY TERMINATED ME IN 05-09 STATING THAT I HAD BEEN ON WORKERS COMP FOR MORE THAN 1 YEAR—DOES THE 1 YEAR START COUNTING AS OF THE 1ST APPROVAL LETTER? OR DOES EACH APPROVED WC CLAIM GET A YEAR FROM THE DATE OF APPROVAL? I DID GET A LETTER ALONG WITH THE TERMINATION LETTER STATING THAT IS WAS NOT DUE TO DISCIPLINARY OR PERFORMANCE ACTIONS. BUT I HAD 28 1/2 YEARS OF SERVICE…WITH 1 1/2 YEARS LEFT TO GET FULL RETIREMENT BENEFITS….CAN YOU HELP WITH THAT DATE OF APPROVAL VS. 1 YEAR RECOVERY QUESTION? THANK YOU VERY MUCH….CHERYL

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