Doubting can become infectious. Once the confidence wanes, the seeds of doubt have been planted; once the seeds begin to sprout, further fears of shaken self-confidence begin to appear, and the shattering of a once-certain sense of calm begins to pervade insidiously within the soul of a questioning mind.
A denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management in a Federal Disability Retirement case is intended to do exactly that: Doubt the strength of your case. It may quote directly from the office notes of your medical providers, and even selectively extrapolate statements that you once thought were “supportive” of your case, and the OPM “Medical Specialist” will yet conclude: “This does not meet the eligibility standards for Federal Disability Retirement, and it is insufficient and lacks objective and subjective evidence. Therefore, you have not proven your case.”
Perhaps you believe you have given your “best shot”, and even with that, OPM has stated in rendering its denial that you do not meet the criteria to be eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits. You have started down the pathway of “doubts”, and your confidence has been shaken.
The natural reaction? Why even request reconsideration?
Of course, that is precisely what OPM wants you to think — that your Federal Disability Retirement case is so “weak” and unsubstantiated that you might as well give up and not pursue this, anymore. Do NOT get trapped and deceived by the denial letter of OPM; the intent is to sow the seeds of doubt, so that a certain percentage of cases will simply give up without filing for Reconsideration of the OPM Denial Letter.
Time is of the essence in filing a Request for Reconsideration in every denial issued by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and while the selective extrapolation of evidence submitted is intended to sow those seeds of doubt, one must forge forward with confidence in the same manner that originally prompted the Federal or Postal employee into preparing and submitting the OPM Disability Retirement application in the first place: that one’s medical condition prevents one from continuing in the line of one’s chosen career, and thus does one become eligible for Federal Disability Retirement benefits.
It is simply a matter of proving it, and consulting with an attorney who specializes in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS is the next step in reinstating that self-confidence and setting aside the seeds of doubt that OPM has so deviously sown.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire