Every administrative and bureaucratic process is a frustrating one, and waiting for an OPM Disability Retirement application to be approved is likely the epitome of frustration.
Thus, it is essential to understand at the outset that filing a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is a long and arduous process that will likely take many years to accomplish, and nothing short of a miracle will expedite the time required.
One’s own efforts in attempting to take shortcuts will have minimal impact upon the ultimate outcome. Still, an Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law can undoubtedly enhance the chances of an earlier approval. Even then, however, Federal and Postal workers need to understand that a great deal of the process merely involves waiting.
Filing quickly does not result in OPM rendering a quicker decision. Often the contrary is true: By preparing an application quickly, it is likely not as strong a case as it could have been and when OPM finally gets around to reviewing it, a likely denial will be issued, further prolonging the waiting period because of needing to go to the next, “Reconsideration” Stage of the process.
And while every bureaucratic process inherently possesses its unique set of frustrations, OPM Disability Retirement has the added feature of contending with a serious medical issue, which tends to magnify the frustrations involved.
Can anything be done about it? The short answer is, Not Really. Calls to OPM will often only exasperate the level of frustration, and while “doing something…anything” may temporarily appease the frustration in the short term by making it appear that some progress is being made, almost all such efforts come to naught, and all that remains is to await OPM’s response.
Once received, of course, the entire process can be a further stage of frustration. For, if an approval is received, there are further battles in getting the annuity payments started, and that doesn’t even touch upon whether the annuity is correctly calculated. On the other hand, if a denial is issued, the bureaucratic frustration is further extended, especially because of the short timeframe provided in preparing and submitting a response.
Any Federal or Postal employee contemplating preparing, formulating, and filing a Federal Disability Retirement application under the FERS system to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, must be prepared for a long and frustrating administrative process.
And if you want further insight into this lengthy and frustrating process, you may want to first consult with a Federal Attorney who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.