The advantage which the U.S. Office of Personnel Management has over the individual Federal or Postal disability applicant in a Federal Disability Retirement application is self-evident: they control the timeframe of the decision; they are not subject to any repercussions or consequences for a decision contrary to law; they possess multiple templates in disapproving a Federal Disability Retirement application, and a single template upon approving a Federal Disability Retirement case, thereby making it administratively easy, simple, and without the necessity of expending much effort, either way.
For the Federal or Postal employee who is contemplating preparing, formulating or filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, it is a daunting task to go up against such a behemoth of a Federal administrative bureaucracy.
Indeed, one only needs to review a denial letter from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to comprehend the near-impossible obstacle which OPM can present: in some denials, there is merely a brusque and short “discussion”, barely touching upon providing any rational reason for a denial; yet, in other denials, there are long and detailed templates — however erroneous or misplaced, and however lacking of any legal or factual basis — which purportedly “explains” the legal basis of the denial. In either case, OPM has the “upper hand”, at least for that time and stage, because it is merely kicked-up to the next Stage in the process, and handed over to another OPM employee.
Against such an entity, it is important to be prepared with knowledge, legal tools, and the ability to cut through the administrative nonsense which passes for legal authority.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire
FERS Disability Retirement Lawyer