Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is an administrative process which one must undergo if a Federal or Postal employee is medically unable to perform one or more of the essential elements of one’s position.
It is a benefit which is accessible only if proven; and proof must meet the legal standard of “preponderance of the evidence“, through a tripartite methodology: Evidence of the existence of a medical condition; the nexus of that medical condition impacting upon one’s ability/inability to perform the essential elements of one’s job; and that such a medical condition(s) cannot be legally accommodated by the agency such that the Federal or Postal employee can perform all of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job.
While the Federal or Postal employee has up until one (1) year from the date of separation from Federal Service to file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, the proof of when the nexus formed between one’s medical condition and the impact upon the position of one’s Federal Service, must have occurred during the Federal Service.
These are just some basics of Federal Disability Retirement law; the complexity, of course, resides in the details, and it is always the details which provide the fodder for an OPM denial.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire