Proper preparation is the key to success in every endeavor. Often, such preparation means that one must project for a disapproval at any given stage in filing an application for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS. This does not mean that one “expects” that a Federal Disability Retirement application will be denied or disapproved; rather, it means that in the event that such a denial is issued, you have properly laid the groundwork for the next stage. Much of what constitutes anticipatory preparation has to do with predicting the various points of weakness in a case.
It is rare for a case to ever be a certainty — although, it is quite understandable for an applicant to believe that his or her Federal Disability Retirement application is “the one” — the one that will only need the First Stage of the Process; the one that cannot be disputed; the one which won’t need but a minimum amount of preparatory work; the one that… Such an attitude is quite understandable, precisely because the applicant is the same person who is experiencing the multiple medical conditions, and such an experiential perspective cannot possible understand how an application involving his or her medical condition could possibly be denied. At the same time, however, such a perspective fails to understand the puzzling, often arbitrary and capricious decision-making process engaged in by the Office of Personnel Management.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire