A benefit which is part of being a Federal or Postal employee — OPM Disability Retirement under the FERS system — must of course include “proof” that the Federal employee or Postal worker is no longer able to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job; but what constitutes failure in meeting that burden of proof?
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, of course, is the “gatekeeper” at the Initial Stage of the Federal Disability Retirement process, as well as the Second, Reconsideration Stage of the process. The “safety” mechanism is that, if OPM denies the application for Federal Disability Retirement at both the First Stage as well as the Second, Reconsideration Stage, a Federal Disability Retirement applicant can file an appeal with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board — taking it out of the hands of OPM and placing it before an administrative judge for an administrative, telephonic hearing.
For, OPM’s methodology of “proving” that there has been a “failure of proof” is by selectively choosing everything undermining a Federal or Postal Disability Retirement case, then proceeding to make conclusions based upon those selectively chosen bases and ignoring everything else. It is, in the end, not a failure of proof that defeats an OPM Medical Retirement submission, but more often than not, a baseless claim by OPM that proof by a preponderance of the evidence has not been met.
To counter this, contact an OPM Disability Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law, and meet the baseless assertion of a failure of proof by proving that the failure was a failure of proper adjudication.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire