I am often asked, when filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS, Will you use … ? From the range of tools of evidence to use — including VA disability ratings, to OWCP “CA” forms, MMI ratings, Veterans Administration records, Second opinion doctor’s report, referee opinion report, letters from the Agency indicating unavailability of work; letters from the agency indicating the extent and limitation of willingness to provide for an “accommodation” (whether legally sufficient to rise to the level of meeting the definition of what it means to be an “accommodation” under the law), and multiple other tools — all of it is a matter of legal discretion.
The general rule that I utilize is that, If it is helpful to my client’s case to prove to the Office of Personnel Management that my client’s Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS will be enhanced and aided by the material, then I will use it. The discretionary issue which the attorney representing an applicant for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is essentially to “match” the document or piece of evidence with the particular issues which must be proven, and that is a matter of carefully reviewing each piece of evidence in compiling a compendium of evidence which makes up the “whole”. It takes time, patience, and sufficient legal knowledge to understand which issues are important in proving a Federal Disability Retirement case under FERS or CSRS to the Office of Personnel Management.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire