Denials issued by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in a Federal Disability Retirement application are informative in multiple ways; while based upon templates for the most part, they often make arguments which are neither based upon the legal precedents which currently prevail, nor on standards of proof which are applicable.
In preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, the Federal or Postal employee is expected to submit a Federal Disability Retirement application based upon the standard of proof and legal requirements which are current, applicable, and relevant.
Yet, if a denial is issued by OPM — one that is based upon language which is clearly contravening the statutory standards of legal precedents — that requires things which are not truly required, then what does one do?
It is tantamount to proving a negative: how does one prove that a murder did not occur? Or that a man did not say something asserted to have been stated? Or that one’s Federal Disability Retirement application does not contain “compelling” medical evidence, or here’s a better one: “According to AMA Guidelines, you do not have more than a 5% permanent disability rating…” What? For OWCP purposes, that may hold some meaning or relevance, but for a Federal Disability Retirement application, it means absolutely nothing.
The answer to the question, What does one do? What one must — go to the next level, with the proper legal tools in hand, to answer such nonsense. Or, better yet, start at the first level with some preemptive legal arguments.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire