Tag Archives: opm’s decision making process

OPM Disability Retirement: The Human Element & Application of the Law

It may well be that technological advances will one day allow for imputed algorithms to precisely calibrate and decide everything in life; but for the time being, we must all deal with the human element in the process of decision-making.  

Comparative stories abound about how X obtained disability retirement benefits with minimal documentary proof, and even less of an actual medical condition.  It is always an anomaly as to how one can possibly answer the query which involves the following:  “X told a friend of Y, who knows of Z who filed and got his Disability Retirement benefits approved within T-amount of time”.

The particulars of each case must always determine the outcome of the case; some stories become inflated with the telling of the narrative when passed through third parties multiple times; but, on the other hand, there is the possibility that the final narration of the story is entirely true.  The reason is because the human element is still the determinative factor in any Federal Disability Retirement application.  

There is no computerized algorithm which is applied in making a determination at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.  And, so long as human beings continue to remain a part of the administrative, bureaucratic process in scrutinizing a Federal Disability Retirement application, by analyzing the content and substance and applying the relevant laws, there will never be a perfect continuity or consistency of application.  

In some ways, this is a good thing; for, as each human being is unique, so the story of each medical condition and the impact upon one’s inability to perform all of the essential elements of one’s positional duties, in preparing, formulating and filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether under FERS or CSRS, is also particularized and unparalleled.  May it be so in the future, lest we ourselves become mere drones in this world of conventionalized perspectives.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire

Disability Retirement for Federal Workers: Summer & OPM

It seems that one merely jumps from cycle to cycle; from a furious work cycle to a period of delay; and government agencies, including the Office of Personnel Management, is no different.  The summer is almost over, and the Office of Personnel Management should be getting into “full throttle” for decision-making in Federal Disability Retirement cases under FERS or CSRS.

 This can be both a good or bad thing, depending (obviously) upon the decision which is made upon each individual Federal Disability Retirement case.  If an individual’s specific Federal Disability Retirement application is approved, then the world appears as it should — efficient, with the future secured, and the governmental agency having accomplished what it was created to do.  

On the other hand, if an individual’s Federal Disability Retirement application is denied, then the world becomes a compartment of dire circumstances, with increasing doubts and thoughts of unfair treatment.  The key to the latter is the try and keep everything in its proper perspective, which is sometimes difficult to do.  It is the job of an attorney who represents a Federal or Postal Worker in obtaining Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS to attempt to remain objective, calm, and methodical.  The client may be upset, but if the attorney becomes upset in parallel fashion, then that attorney is not doing his or her job that he/she was hired to do.


Robert R. McGill, Esquire