In filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS, it is important to never overlook the obvious. One of the “obvious” points is this: If the document sent to the Office of Personnel Management never reaches them, it does no good. It is therefore important to make sure that all documents get there.
Normally, it is good practice to perform some “follow-up” actions — to send the document by fax, then by regular mail or express mail (my preference), to help ensure that the document arrives at OPM. A follow-up telephone call is often a good idea, but more importantly, receiving and keeping a record of the transaction of sending the document is what is vitally important. For, if it later turns out that OPM never received a particular document, or states that they never received it, having a record of sending the document will be important in establishing the right to have it reviewed at a later date, for consideration in having one’s Federal Disability Retirement application under either FERS or CSRS approved.
Remember the obvious: If you don’t file it on time, or file it at all, you can’t argue the substance of that which was filed. Having a record of the filing is just as important as filing it, because filing it without a record can end up with one’s hands seemingly left in an empty pocket.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire