Is it important? How can the U.S. Office of Personnel Management make a proper decision on a Federal Disability Retirement application without knowledge of the law?
Yes, yes — the ones who make decisions are “medical specialists” — but that is only one-half of the equation. That is precisely why the bureaucratic process of a Federal Disability Retirement is so frustrating — because OPM looks at 1/2 of the equation for the first 2 stages of the process — of the Initial application stage, then the Second Stage, the “Request for Reconsideration” Stage — and then leaves the Second Half of the process (the “legal stage”) to the paralegals and lawyers who represent OPM before the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.
Wouldn’t it be wiser and more efficient if there were a legal department which oversees and supervises the denial letters issued by the “medical specialists” at OPM for the first 2 stages, thereby making sure that the denial is based not solely upon medical issues, but on the legal issues underlying them?
Of course, it is rarely the case that a Federal Disability Retirement application is ever validly denied based upon the medical conditions alone; for, the benefit of “Federal Disability Retirement” always involves the legal criteria for eligibility, and that is why the applicant who wants to pursue the benefit should contact a disability lawyer who specializes in Federal Disability Retirement Law. For, in the end, knowing the law is what will prevail in a Federal Disability Retirement application under FERS.
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.