It is sometimes asked whether or not other issues which are concurrently and concomitantly filed can, and to what extent, impact the viability of a Federal Disability Retirement application submitted for approval to the Office of Personnel Management.
In order to comprehend such a question, it is important to view the answer from the various perspective of the parties. First, from the viewpoint of the Office of Personnel Management — unless they are specifically made aware of such collateral issues — such peripheral “other issues” would have no bearing upon a Federal Disability Retirement application unless it concerned the potential offset questions of Social Security Disability.
Whether a court filing which concerns a discrimination issue; or an EEOC filing, or perhaps a grievance procedure; all such collateral issues, from the viewpoint of the Office of Personnel Management, would have no relevance. Then, of course, there is the perspective of the “other” forum — perhaps there is an ongoing case at the Merit Systems Protection Board, or with the EEOC, or even a Federal Court case.
Whether, from the “other” forum, there may be an interest as to whether the Federal or Postal employee has filed for Federal Disability Retirement benefits with the Office of Personnel Management, is a question which only the other forum can answer.
If a claim is made in the alternate forum where the requested relief involves getting one’s job back, and at the same time, one has declared by the mere filing of a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS or CSRS with the Office of Personnel Management, that one is no longer able to perform all of the essential elements of one’s job, then from the “other” perspective, what has been filed with the Office of Personnel Management may be of some interest to the other forum. However, remember that seemingly contradictory concurrent filings are not necessarily negatively viewed, especially if such actions are engaged in order to preserve one’s right to assert a legal standing.
Ultimately, however, it is a rare case indeed that an alternate, concurrent, concomitant filing with another forum has any relevance or impact upon a Federal Disability Retirement application.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire