Upon an initial denial of a Federal Disability Retirement application, the Federal or Postal employee has a right to Request Reconsideration of the denied Federal Disability Retirement application within thirty (30) days of the date of denial (the rules allow for a later date — 30 days from the date of receipt — but it is always advisable to utilize the date of the letter, as that date can obviously be verified).
If the Federal or Postal employee is denied a second time, then there is a right to an appeal to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. Again, the timeframe within which one must file an appeal to the MSPB is identical to that which one has at the Reconsideration Stage of the process — 30 days, or the later one of receipt of date of the letter.
Often, when one reads through a denial from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, there is a growing suspicion that OPM has either ignored, overlooked, or otherwise has never received for review, important and significant documentation, whether medical or otherwise, which should have been part of the file.
Once an appeal is filed with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is mandated to forward a complete copy of the file to the “Appellant” (the one who is filing the appeal) and to the attorney for the Appellant. Once this file is received, it is important to “compare notes”, and to determine whether the “missing piece of information” is indeed missing, and may need to be re-submitted.
That is the time for comparing notes (“files”, in this case), and double-checking whether OPM has all of the information it should have.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire