The analogy or metaphor in preparing, filing, and waiting (for a decision) in a Federal Disability Retirement application for FERS or CSRS employees, submitted for review before the Office of Personnel Management, is of a child with square building blocks. If at the first try, the outcome is a nod of approval, nothing further needs to be accomplished. If, however, a third party (the Office of Personnel Management) comes along and knocks down the building blocks (analogy: a denial from OPM), then the child must rearrange the building blocks anew, and perhaps add one or two more for reinforcement.
Thus, depending upon the basis of OPM’s denial (which is often either irrelevant or self-contradictory, or both), one may want to reinforce that which was already gathered and organized, for a re-presentation of both the original evidence, and additional medical or other supporting evidence. Again, if a third party (OPM) knocks down the second set of building blocks (a second denial at the Reconsideration Stage of the process), then it will be time for further reorganization, and for gathering of additional supporting building blocks.
When it gets to the Third Level of the process, the Merit Systems Protection Board, remember that all of the original building blocks of the process will still be there for the Administrative Judge to review. That is the point of having the perspective of the entire process as one of “building blocks” — that the entire foundation is still there to be added to and reviewed, in the end, by an Administrative Judge.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire